Step 1 – Level Testing
Taking a level test every 8-12 weeks is a great way to track your progress. Whenever you begin studying in an English course you should have a goal in mind. Level tests are a great way of tracking if you have met that goal.
Let’s work with an example. Many university students struggle with vocabulary and grammar skills. This is common and happens for a variety of reasons. Vocabulary is difficult to master, if you are not speaking with native speakers, listening to authentic texts or reading different types of texts.
When you take a level test, this will help you understand where you have weaknesses. Once you know your weaknesses, you can address them with your tutor.
Step 2 – Speaking with Natives
Speaking with natives is a great way to understand where you are in your language learning. Take a moment to speak with your teachers or friends in English. Do your best to hold a conversation. Do not rush and really try to listen and understand everything that is happening in the conversation.
Take notes in your mind. Think about the words you missed or the phrases that seemed new to you. Write them down. Review them at a later time. As you improve your grammar, try to use these phrases and new vocabulary.
One of the best ways to improve your listening and speaking skills is to set aside a special time for discussion with a native speaker.
Step 3 – Taking Notes
While you are in lecture, it is important that you take notes. This will help you improve your level and understand where you are in your English language learning. If possible, audio record your lessons, for future reference. Be sure to ask your professors permission before recording.
Taking notes will test your understanding and comprehension skills. If you are struggling with these two aspects during your lecture, then you know where you need to improve.
In order to see yourself improve across time, you will need to focus on your listening skills. The best way to do this is by listening to authentic audios like the news, YouTube and Podcasts. Your tutor will work with you on developing strong listening skills in your tutoring sessions.
Try taking the Cambridge Level Test to gain a better understanding of your level.