How to Give Advice

When you give advice, you position yourself as somebody with experience, knowledge or wisdom that is worth sharing.

Sometimes we offer advice and other times we are asked for advice. Remember not to always give advice unless people seek your help. Otherwise, people may think you are a know-it-all.

 

Many of my students ask me for advice about how to improve their English and while I have some ideas which may be useful, there is a strong argument for saying that the best people to give advice about improving your English are successful language learners and not teachers.

A few years ago, I asked a group of Advanced-level learners (successful English language learners) to give some advice to lower-level learners.

Here are some of the things they said:

I think the best way to improve your English is to find an English-speaking boyfriend or girlfriend.

What you should do is find someone who wants to learn your language and arrange regular meetings with them – they can practise your language and you can practise English.

If I were you, I would go to a small town in an English-speaking country and immerse yourself in the language and the culture. Find a job working in an English-speaking environment, join clubs, and attend courses in English. Big cities, such as London, are full of people who speak your language, so you won’t need to spend 24 hours speaking English.

I reckon you ought to pay for a private tutor. They may be expensive but they are worth investing in because you can personalised attention and individual feedback.

If I were in your shoes, I would enrol in an intensive language course in which you spend 6 or 7 hours a day using English. It’s the only way to really develop.

The way I see it, you can learn English online now by doing everything in English, surfing the web, watching YouTube, reading articles, everything.

My advice would be to study abroad if possible. It will be really difficult at first but after a while, you’ll start to think, speak and dream in English. Oh, one more thing, avoid hanging out with people from your own country.

Let’s quickly review:

I think the best way to do something is to …
What you should do is do….
If I were you, I would do
I reckon you ought to do
If I were in your shoes, I would do
The way I see it, you can do…
My advice would be to do….

So, your homework is to tell me what advice you would give to people who want to go from Intermediate to Advanced English.

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