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Learning languages

Listen to Simon talking about how he learned several languages in a variety of different ways.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.



Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


i like this site, it is easy to use, and there are many themes to learn english.


I think that the best way to learn any language varies from person to person. For me, because I don't have much free time and anough money to pay for a course I have no other choice but to learn by myself, getting support from different means, like the british council website, which is, by the way, one of the most complete and incredibles sites for learning english that I've ever came across, there is also the BBC Learning English website, which is a relly good site for learning english as well. There is also a very good app, called Duolingo, which I use when I have some free time in my home, it helps me a lot specially with my pronuntiation, since I have no one which I could practise to. I know that the process of learning a new language could take too much time and that, in order to get all the required skills at a high level, it is necessary to read, listen, write and primarily, speak a lot of the language. I would like to go for the IELTS exam very soon, maybe in six months or so. The thing is that I don't have a real parameter to meassure actual english level. So maybe I could do it a little blindfolded. :)


Hello to everyone! I think, the best way to learn language is to expose yourself to as much reading and listening content as you can, and of course, motivation is the key, I would like you to give me an advice where to start. I took a test which put me in the upper intermediate level. I would like to speak more, and to speak more fluently. Thank you in advance...

thank you for this app, it teached me something. I want to learn English and someone can help me?

Hello godjaev,

Great! And welcome! We are here to help you with questions about the resources on our site. We can also answer other specific questions from time to time. I'd suggest you read our Getting started and Frequently asked questions pages, where you'll find advice on how to use our site. Then, if you have any other questions, please let us know.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

thank you for this app, it teach me something, I know I have mistake in my letter but i hope everything will be o'kay and i will learn english

I think the most useful way to learn English is to attend to the class and forcing yourself to do all exercises.
I've been studying online English courses since one year ago, I think if i had this period in the class I would be better than now .

In my experience it depends on the target language. Learning English and Spanish was much easier than learning Chinese.

I used the same method as Simon. Because of work I lived in Spain, England and China for years. Conversing with locals helped me a lot. Watching TV programs improved my vocabulary. It get me to conversational level in all 3 languages. But, to master English language later I attended classes and other courses.
I also read in the target language.
Recently I started having one on one classes in Chinese in order to improve my language skills.

My favorite method of learning a language is watching TV programs. You can hear the same word and expression over and over again and it makes it easy to remember and use them.

Hi British council, I am learning English and I would like to improve English skill. I would like to know that more effective way for studying English. My problem that I can't response when someone tell to me with English language but I understand what do they mean!! Thanks ,

Hi thinthinei,

It sounds like your listening skills are stronger than your speaking skills, so the latter is what you should work on. However, it's hard for us to give you any specific tips as we are not your teachers and so do not know in detail your strengths and weaknesses.

We do have a section with advice for our users which I think will be helpful for you. It includes a section on speaking (as well as sections on other areas, such as writing, grammar, vocabulary and so on). You can find it here.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team