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Upgrade your English this summer!

Fluency in English is increasing its demand as the world continues to globalize, contribute, and unite—but the COVID-19 pandemic may create a barrier in exchange or study abroad programmes. But not to worry! There are still plenty of ways to improve your English skills this summer in preparation for summer schools, standardized tests, and more using fun and easy methods that will keep your motivation up going!

1. Read a book that excites you and/or listen to an audiobook

Take a stroll to a bookshop that sells books in English, or, you can click around online to see what you can find. Reading books not only increases your vocabulary, but also teaches you useful phrases and idioms that will help in sentence-building and speaking. It expands your imagination and creativity too!

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl)

If you are still a beginner, try reading a book by one of the world’s best storytellers—Roald Dahl. Matilda, The Witches, and The BFG are also very enjoyable!

  • The Convenience Store Woman (Sayaka Murata)

The english translated version of a fun and quirky novel(コンビニ人間) by Sayaka Murata. Once you read this book, your view on convenience stores may change forever. If you are a beginner in English, reading the book in Japanese first may help your understanding.

  • Klara and The Sun (Kazuo Ishiguro)

Written by 2017 Nobel Prize-winning British writer born in Nagasaki, Kazuo Ishiguro, his latest novel is a thought-provoking piece featuring a dystopian future in which humans coexist with robots and Artificial Intelligence. This novel also has a Japanese version(クララと太陽).

  • And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie)

Ready for a spine-chilling thriller by the queen of crime novels? A must-read that will no doubtedly have you hooked!

2. Listen to podcasts

A more accessible way to enhance your English is to download a streaming service on your phone, laptop or computer and search for English podcasts.

  • US vs UK: Fancy an English battle?

Expand your vocabulary and learn about recent events through this fun podcast by Harry Sugiyama!

  • BBC Global New Podcast

If you’re a more advanced learner, try a podcast straight from the British news that covers a wide range of news around the world.

3. Take note of any new vocabulary

As you’re reading, watching TV or listening to songs/podcasts, it’s a good habit to keep track of newly learned vocabulary in one place. Use the website/app Quizlet to keep note of these, and play the vocabulary games to look back on what you’ve learned in a fun way.

The key to effective language learning is consistency and to keep up your motivation. Try a method that you find enjoyable—it doesn’t have to be a grammar book!