From my own experience (which is so limited), i can roughly divide these methods into two groups. The first group, which can be carried out between the bustle of everyday life, I call it fun learning; while the other one, require specific training, and especially contested in various events, i call it serious learning. Let me explain these further.
The first group, which can be implemented in daily activities :
- reading english passage. in this internet era, we can find so maaany information from various source. And of course, english is the most used language in internet. So there's no reason not to read an english website. Wikipedia, yahoo, and so many other sites are in english, so while browsing, just try to read some english-written article. It might be boring if you are not used to it, especially when we find some 'weird' words that we don't know the meaning - don't worry, we can always access google translate in that case. But when we have become familiar with it, there'll be quite fun as I say. Also, it will improve our vocabulary database, since we have to face some unfamiliar words and being forced to look for its meaning
- chatting/texting/making social media status in english. it might give us some weird feeling for the first time-me too. Especially if we are not so good in grammatical-like me. Maybe we will need some grammatical handbook to minimize mistake, but whatever, our friend might also help us correcting each other.
- listening english song. It might be the most exciting way, since most people like listening to music. And most people, not only listening to music sung in their native language, but also the international hits-mostly, are english. When doing so, also try to understand the lyrics. If we still don't get the words in that song, it's ok to search for the lyrics. So, what's your favourite english song?
- and also, singing the song. Since we all like to listen english song, the song itself might get us in the emotion, the feeling of the songwritter/the singer. And suddenly, our mouths sing too. Well, don't be afraid when this happen, it's not a kind of hypnotic song or something, it's just natural. Just try to match our pronunciation with the singer. Maybe later when we are fluent enough, we can be a singer too :p
The second group, which special trainings are required (Here I mention the kind of competitions that can be used to train our capabilities; note that most of them are not only focused on one aspect) :
- news reading contest. Of course it will boost our speaking skill. Not only the pronunciation, but also the intonation and expression
- writing competition. Here, grammar are the most important. It also requires a good use of vocabulary, idea and how we explain the idea to the readers (especially, the adjudicators). It's not easy to tell our idea in a text, since this kind of communication lack of non-verbal language (like body gesture, expression, intonation, etc)
- speech contest. I think, this kind of contest covers almost all aspects of english capabilities. The adjudicators will give concern to our grammar, our diction, our pronunciation, our intonation, our expression, our gesture, our ideas etc. For me, it's one of the most difficult competition since I have 0% success rate in this competition.
- debate competition. Like the speech contest, it covers almost all aspect of english skill. But somehow, it seems that the adjudicators give less concern to the grammar and vocab; pronunciation, intonation, and expression are still important, but the most important is how we convince (or force) them (the adjudicators) to agree with our idea; while we still able to show them that our opponent ideas are bad, not impliable, non sense, etc by exploit their argument's weakness (means that we have to be able to listen & understand to what our opponent said); and still be able to deflect our opponent attack. Plus, note that we have to build our case in some mere minutes, and should be . Debate is so hardcore i think xp
So the conclusion is, that there are so many ways to improve our english capability. Like a famous proverb that all we know, there're so many roads lead to Rome. No matter which road do we take, as long as the direction is right, we will soon arrive at Rome - in this case, the goal is an improvement in our english capabilitiy.
Well readers, i think that's all i can share. Thank you for visiting this blog. And if you don't mind, would you help me improving my grammar & writing skill by giving some advices or corrections?