Improve your English in 10 minutes
While there is no quick fix for English language issues, persistent practice in bite-sized activities every day can make a big difference in the long run.
About 10-minute English
Practising your English skills purposefully can take as little 10 minutes per day. Spending time listening, reading, speaking or writing, and setting goals about what you want to learn, can help you to steadily improve your English and enjoy it more.
Your 10-minute English practice should be:
Comprehensible – You understand most of the material.
Interesting – You enjoy discovering new ideas about the topic; it could be one of your hobbies, for example.
Daily – You spend 10 minutes a day, every day, focusing on a language skill.
10-minute English cycle
- Set a clear goal for a specific skill, e.g. listening
- Choose a comprehensible and interesting source
- Spend 10 minutes practising the skill
- Assess how your goal has been achieved
- Use items/skills learned from 10-minute English in everyday communication
- Identify issues in everyday communication to set new goals for 10-minute English.
And repeat the cycle from 1 to 6.
Join the 10ME Program
If you want to receive daily prompts and suggestions for your 10-minute practice, sign up for the 10ME Program. These short videos explain what the program offers and why you should join.
(via UniMelb login)
Resources for daily practice
- Clickable phonemic chart: BBC English (Download the chart to be able to use it)
- Pronunciation of English on the Academic Skills Hub.
- Pictures as writing prompts
Setting a goal
Besides having comprehensible and interesting material for your daily practice, you also need to set a clear goal for each 10-minute session. This can be any language skill or item you want to focus on.
Aim for both the understanding and use of the language skill or item. It’s a good idea to practise a receptive skill, i.e. listening or reading, and a productive skill, i.e. speaking or writing, on alternate days. This allows you to both learn and practise using what you’ve learned while staying focused on one skill at a time.
Here are some examples of goals:
- Learn three new words and use them
- Learn and practise a grammar point (e.g. the use of ‘a/an’ or ‘the’, the use of an English tense or subject-verb agreement in a sentence)
- Understand the main idea in your reading or listening, and summarise it verbally or in writing
- Learn and practise ways to give your opinion on another’s idea, verbally or in writing
- ‘Free-write’ about the information (without stopping to edit your writing as you go)
- Talk about the information focusing on fluency (just keep talking with minimal pause)
- Practise an English sound
- Practise putting sentence stress on important information
- Notice and practise ways to start a conversation
- Practise using idioms that you hear or read
- Immerse yourself in English – enjoy and observe interesting expressions
You can quickly jot down a specific goal every day or make a list of all the goals you want to achieve in a week or a month. Whatever you do, be flexible about the goals as they can change with emergent language needs.
The real challenge of 10-minute English is to maintain the habit in your daily routine. You can use short bursts of time in your weekly schedule. Also try putting up a visual reminder of your 10-minute English goals and resources for each week. Enjoy your 10-minute play with English every day!
- Online learning module
Academic English is a distinct language, and one you’re expected to write in at university. Understand how to identify, create and improve your academic style.
- Quick read
Using sources in assessments: voice in academic writing
Effectively combine your ideas with those of other writers.
- Quick read
Developing clarity and focus in academic writing
Academic writing aims to be clear and precise, with a direct style that moves logically from one idea to the next. This page describes how you can structure sentences and paragraphs to achieve clarity and ‘flow’ in your writing.
Looking for one-on-one advice?
Get tailored advice from an Academic Skills adviser by booking an individual appointment, or get quick advice from one of our Academic Writing Tutors in our online drop-in sessions.