How to Learn English in 30 Days

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While it's impossible to become fluent in English in 30 days, you can learn some basic phrases that will help you communicate in specific situations. If you need English for an upcoming event or trip, one month is enough time to learn some “survival English.” Find out how to learn English in 30 days by focusing on essential phrases, listening to conversation-based audio lessons and practicing role plays.

  • Phrase book
  • Audio course
  • Speaking partner

1 Define your goal

Define your goal and create a plan. Aim to learn about seven words a day. Stick to basic verbs like “go,” “do” and “say.” Learn the present, future and past simple forms of these. In English, many common verbs are irregular, so take care to learn the correct forms. Learn question words and pronouns. Add nouns and other parts of speech as needed.

Vocabulary Builder

2 Collect useful phrases

Collect useful phrases. Choose a phrase book based on your needs. Phrase books may focus on business English, tourist English, English for journalists, medical English or another topic. First work on essential phrases, such as “I’d like…” and “Where is the…?” Then add phrases useful for your individual needs. For instance, as a tourist, you’ll need the phrase, “How much is this?”

3 Listen to audio lessons

Listen to audio lessons. English spelling isn’t phonetic, so it’s difficult to learn proper pronunciation from written material. Native English speakers also blend sounds when speaking. For example, “Do you want to…?” can sound like “D’ya wanna…?” Both of these issues make audio lessons critical. Choose an audio English course that focuses on real-life situations and frequently repeats useful phrases. The Pimsleur method, a technique that can have someone speaking a new language in 10 days, is a good example.

4 Write dialogues and short notes based on common situations

Write dialogues and short notes based on common situations. Situations might be meeting new people, asking directions, or ordering food in a restaurant. Also practice writing short notes and memos or e-mails in English. For example, imagine you’re expecting a visitor at work, but discover you must leave your office for an hour. Write a note that explains the situation and tells your guest where to find you.

5 Find a speaking partner

Find a speaking partner. Live conversations with a native or near-native English speaker will improve your pronunciation and help you learn correct intonation. If you’re not comfortable speaking English, first read written dialogues aloud. Then do unscripted role plays based on situations you’re likely to encounter.

  • Choose a limited amount of words and phrases and practice them until you can use them easily. This method will help you learn basic English quickly, but to become fluent you'll need more practice with grammar.
  • Read about intermediate level grammar topics like conditionals and the present perfect. You won't have time to learn how to use them well, but learning to recognize them will help you understand English better.

Nicole Langton has been a professional writer for over 10 years. She began writing for a natural health company where she developed a deep interest in nutrition and natural treatments. Langton earned a Bachelor of Arts in east central European studies as well as a certificate in English language to teach to adults.