How to ace english class

If you grew up in an Anglo-Saxon country (e.g. United States, United Kingdom, Canada, etc.), speaking English probably comes as naturally as breathing. However, for many native speakers, reading and writing in English isn’t so natural. Learning how to communicate effectively in written English requires a lot of education and study. Below we’ll introduce you to several strategies and skills that will help you improve (and enjoy) your study of the English language – both inside and outside of the classroom.

Read daily.

If you want to improve your ability to read, then read. Spend at least 20 minutes a day reading books, newspapers, online blogs, poems, etc. The greater the variety of reading you do, the better. Regular reading will not only improve your ability to read, it will also improve your ability to write in English. In fact, there is no other activity that will improve your ability to read and write in English faster than reading a little each day. You’ll be surprised how quickly your vocabulary grows, your reading fluency and comprehension improve, and how much better you’re able to write just by reading a little each day.

Avoid burnout.

Unless you’re a reading buff, studying English can be boring and tedious. Especially for those of us who already know how to speak English. How many kids do you hear talking about how much they enjoy their English class? Not many. Among middle and high school age students, English is one of the least favorite academic subjects. When studying English, set clear study time limits. The key is to be consistent. A little study each day is far better than a lot at once. Don’t attempt to read an entire novel overnight. Don’t try to learn all the English grammar rules in a week. Take it slow and easy. Read a little each day. Learn a little more each day. Doing too much at once just leads to burnout.

Don’t cram.

A study produced by the University of California Los Angeles suggested that for 9 out of 10 students spacing out learning is far more effective than cramming. Cramming rarely works. And when it does, it’s short lived. At best cramming leads to short-term rote memorization gains but rarely leads to meaningful learning and understanding. In most cases, the disadvantages of cramming outweigh the advantages. Cramming is especially problematic when it causes a student to sacrifice sleep. Students who sacrifice sleep in order to study more than usual are likely to perform worse academically, not better, the following day.

Get extra help.

If you want to improve your writing and mastery of English, then ask for help from your teacher or get an English tutor. English, especially written English, is one of those subjects that is difficult to “figure out” on your own. Learning how to write correctly is far easier, and more productive, when you’re able to learn from those who’ve mastered this skill.

Take good notes.

Note taking is an important strategy for success in any academic subject, but it is particularly important when learning to read and write English. Note taking is essential to the study of English for several reasons. First, note taking forces you to write things down. As you write down important concepts, rules and ideas they move from your short-term to your long-term memory. Second, good note taking requires active listening which forces you to pay close attention to what is being taught and what’s meaningful. Finally, you can use your notes to review and prepare for English exams.

The following are tips for taking good notes.

  • Make sure your notes are clear and accurate.
  • Focus your notes on what the teacher indicates is important.
  • Come to class prepared and having completed all assignments.
  • Compare your notes with those of other students.
  • Try to avoid distractions (talking with friends, sitting where there is noise, etc.)
  • Make sure your notes are organized (see the The Cornell System for Taking Notes)
  • Use abbreviations and symbols for long words to save time.
  • Write legibly so your notes are useful to you later.
  • Review your notes immediately after class and then again before your next class.
  • Write down any questions you have.

For more information on taking notes read Improving Your Note Taking.

Pay attention in class.

Regardless of whether you’re in high school or attending college, go to class and pay attention. Paying attention in class seems like a no brainer, but it’s a big reason students struggle in English. Not only do you need to learn English, you need to learn what it is that your teacher or instructor finds important. There is a science to English reading and writing, but the subject is also a bit objective at times. If you want to perform well in your class, you need to learn what it is that your instructor is looking for. The best way to do this is by attending class and paying attention.

Take advantage of online study guides.

There are a variety of online study guides designed to help students with English reading, writing and literature. Some of these include Cliff notes, Sparknotes, and Jiffynotes, to name just a few. These guides are chock-full of notes and information on English literature. They provide summaries, interpretations, essay tips, helpful hints, video tutorials and Old-to-Modern-English translations. Online study guides provide information that can help you better understand your textbooks, essay assignments and classroom lectures.

Form a study group.

Forming a study group is an effective strategy for improving your performance in your English class and earning a good grade. Forming a good study group will help you (1) improve your note taking, (2) learn from the knowledge and unique insights of other students, (3) develop a support system, (4) cover more material and (5) make learning English more fun.

The following are a few tips for forming an effective study group.

  • Keep your study group to between 4 and 6 people.
  • Select group members who are responsible and dedicated.
  • Find a study area for your group that is free from distractions.
  • Keep study sessions under 2 to 3 hours.
  • Plan to meet with your study group at the same time and place each week.

You can learn more about developing an effective study group by reading Using Study Groups.

Ask questions.

If there is one thing I learned from watching Big Bird on Sesame Street it is that, “Asking questions is a good way of finding things out!” This couldn’t be more true with respect to learning and studying English. If you have a question, ask your teacher or a fellow student. Make sure you’ve come to class prepared and that you’re not asking questions you should already know the answer to from completing your textbook assignment, but when you don’t understand something, ask. Even if your question seems stupid to you, never hesitate to ask. The only stupid question is that one not asked. If you feel uncomfortable asking your question during class, stay after and ask the teacher in private – but ask.

Prepare for exams in advance.

If you’ve kept up with your textbook readings, have attended class, taken good notes, and completed all assignments as they’ve been assigned, you should be ready to ace your English exam. Notwithstanding, we recommend that you start reviewing for your exam at least four weeks in advance. Meet with your study group each week, review your notes and essays, and make sure to get a good night’s sleep the day before the exam. Again, avoid cramming at all costs. It will only stress you out and cause you to lose precious sleep time.

Other English study resources.

In addition to the strategies we’ve provided above, we recommend reviewing the tips and strategies provided by the following websites:

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How to ace english class

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One Class. Endless Potential.

Affordable Classes

How to ace english class

Our online programs are some of the most affordable available. The online format enables us to provide high-quality, relevant instruction at a lower operating cost, and we pass the savings straight to our students.

Start Smart

  • High Quality Courses: Each course gives you credits toward accreditation in the area you wish to explore. It’s a quality education on your terms.
  • Customizable: Build upon a single course and put your credits toward a degree, a certificate or toward satisfying professional development requirements.
  • Flexible: Study on your schedule. Our online format allows you to plan your coursework around your life. It’s your time. We help you make the most of it.
  • Accelerated Completion: Classes last typically only five weeks and your application fee allows you to apply for as many classes as you want within a one-year period.

Classes in Demand

Enrolling in the individual classes that best meet your needs and interests is a great way to earn credits in some of our most popular areas of study. Classes include:

  • Methods and Materials for Teaching English as a Second Language
  • Diverse Learners
  • Assessment of ESL and Bilingual Students
  • Law and Policy
  • Foundations of ESL and Bilingual Education
  • Developing Teachers
  • Cross-Cultural Studies for Teaching ELLs
  • Linguistics for TESOL
  • Creating Safe and Supportive Learning Environments

For more information about this program, view the College Catalog. You can also ask questions anytime via chat.

*The requirements for professional licensure, certification, endorsement, salary increase, and related employment benefits vary from state to state and district to district and change frequently and without notice. ACE program completers seeking such benefits may be required to satisfy additional state or district specific requirements. While ACE makes every reasonable effort to remain abreast of state licensure requirements, the College neither implies nor guarantees that the completion of an ACE degree or certificate program will result in eligibility for licensure, certification, endorsement, salary increase, or related employment benefit in any state. Prospective students are strongly advised to confirm the benefit(s) for which they may be eligible upon completion with their state’s licensure agency and school district prior to enrolling in an American College of Education degree or certificate program.

How to ace english class

It’s always tough to interview for a new job. However, it is even harder if the interview is in English and not in your native tongue. Before you schedule a Private English Class on how to brush up on your interview skills, take a look at the following tips to help you ace an English job interview.

Prepare for a few commonly asked questions. For example:

“Tell us about yourself.” – This is a question that comes up in nearly every interview. The key here is to keep your answer relevant. You don’t want to get into your work history too much or overstate how much you love your industry. The interviewer is mainly asking about you as a person. An appropriate answer would include a brief description of relevant hobbies and interests, followed by how you got into your current industry, why you feel passionate about it, and a quick mention of your most recent work history.

“What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?” – Interviewers love to ask this question, so have a good answer prepared. It’s important to remember to make a weakness seem like a strength. For example you could say, “My biggest weakness is that I’m too much of a perfectionist, and I insist on everything being 100% perfect.” Is this really a negative statement? Not really. Whatever your weaknesses are, make them sound like strong points.

Now that we have addressed commonly asked questions, let’s talk about a few more general tips. Your first language is not English, but this is something your interviewer will be aware of, so don’t feel like you have to impress them and speak too quickly. It’s ok to breathe, think, and then answer. They would rather you pause for a moment than you jumble up your words.

Next, look in the mirror. Yes, that’s right, look in the mirror and practice! Before your interview rehearse speaking clearly. Stand up straight (or sit up straight), look yourself in the eyes and practice your answers. Make sure your body language is neutral. Don’t fidget with your clothes or bite your lips. It’s perfectly natural to be nervous, but don’t let your interviewer know just how much. Practicing in front of a mirror might help you address any nervous habits.

Lastly, after you have thought of your answers and practiced them, sign up for a Private Class and try a mock interview with a teacher. It will be great practice, and hopefully you can give some of your nervous jitters the boot by speaking to a native English speaker. We can help improve your answers and give you additional tips to perfect your interview. Good luck and see you for a mock interview soon!

Study Hacks Blog Decoding Patterns of Success –>

Last year I introduced The Straight-A Method: a general framework for all of the tactical studying advice that appears in the red book and on this blog. A lot has changed since then, so in this post I describe a new and improved version of this key piece of the Study Hacks canon.

The Straight-A Method

The Straight-A Method is supported by four pillars: capture, control, plan, and evolve. Each pillar is associated with a high-level goal you should strive to achieve as a student. Here’s the promise: If you can satisfy these four goals — regardless of what specific strategies or systems you use — you will ace your courses. All of the study advice presented on this blog (i.e., any article in one of the tips categories) and in the red book support one or more of these four pillars.

Below I describe each pillar, and provide some sample advice to get you started on the road toward satisfying their goals.

Pillar #1: Capture

You must capture, organize, and regularly review all of your obligations as a student. This includes both the academic (e.g., test dates and assignment schedules) and the administrative (e.g., application deadlines and demands from extracurricular involvements).

Taking stock of everything that’s on your plate can be scary, but it’s also crucial for maintaining control over your life. It provides the foundation needed to build intelligent plans and it eliminates the toxic stress generated by disorganization.

Sample advice for accomplishing this goal:

Pillar #2: Control

Control your work schedule. In the short-term: plan each day what hours you’ll dedicate to work and what you will accomplish in these hours. In the long-term: break up large projects into smaller pieces and identify on what days you will work on each. Do not allow any work to exist outside of a carefully considered schedule.

There are two types of college students. Those who are battered around by their workload, always jumping from one looming deadline to the next, and those who manhandle their work into smart schedules that allow them to get things done on their own terms. For the sake of your sanity, strive to be one of the latter.

Sample advice for accomplishing this goal:

Pillar #3: Plan

Never “study.” The word is ambiguous and tied up with too many emotional connotations driven by guilt and what you think school work should feel like (e.g., tiring, boring, painful). While you’re at it, never “write a paper” or “do a problem set” or “read an assignment.” These phrases are all too vague!

Instead, always follow a concrete plan built around specific actions. When you complete the actions according to the plan you’re done. No more late nights reading and re-reading your notes until you feel like you’ve paid your academic dues. Get specific. Then get it done.

Reducing your academic work to a concrete plan made up of concrete actions allows you to streamline and gain efficiency, while avoiding pseudowork and guilt.

Sample advice for accomplishing this goal:

Pillar #4: Evolve

No one gets it right the first time. Even the most carefully calibrated set of study habits can quickly strain under the unexpected reality of student life. Embrace this. Constantly reevaluate and tweak your strategies. Keep what works. Throw out what doesn’t. Try something new where an answer is still lacking. After every test, every paper, every major problem set, ask yourself: what worked and what could I do to be better (and faster) the next time around?

This Darwinian approach is the structure that makes it all work. In a surprisingly small amount of time you’ll evolve your habits to a place that fits the particular demands of your situation and your personality. This process of evaluation and repair is the only way to arrive at your perfect system.

Sample advice for accomplishing this goal:

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We promise your teacher isn’t out to get you. As unpleasant as taking a test can often be, it actually does more than just show your teacher what you know: it can actually help you learn.

Studies have shown that students who are tested regularly actually learn more content and retain it longer than students who have not been tested. Great news for final exams. Frequent testing has even been shown to help decrease test anxiety.

Not sure how to study for a test? Follow these study tips to make your best grade!

How to ace english class

1. Get informed

Don’t walk into your test unprepared for what you will face. Before you start studying, find out:

  • textbook chapters and topics the test will cover
  • test format

Will there be multiple-choice questions or short answers? Will you write an in-class essay? The goals and layout of the test will determine how you tackle learning the material.

2. Think like your teacher

Your homeworks assignments, quizzes, handouts, daily notes, and classwork are all indicators of what your teacher thinks is important about the information and what might appear on the test.

3. Make your own study aids

When it comes to learning, a 2013 study showed that practice tests work BETTER than simply highlighting or re-reading your notes. So, turn your notes into flashcards or use a flashcard app for memorizing Spanish vocab. Ask your friends to quiz you or write your own practice test.

4. Practice for the inevitable

Outline essays ahead of time. For math tests, do plenty of practice problems similar to ones that you KNOW will appear. Make a list of questions that you think might show up on the test (and then make sure you can answer them!).

5. Study every day

If you have a test in a week, studying a little each day will help you identify tough concepts or weak areas in your knowledge in advance. Can’t figure out factoring? Log on to Homework Help and get your questions answered.

6. Cut out the distractions

How to ace english class

Distractions make it difficult to pay attention to what you’re doing, which in turn makes it harder to commit facts to memory. Give yourself a leg up by turning off the notifications on your phone, temporarily blocking your favorite websites, or sticking to instrumental music while you study (so you’re not tempted to sing along!). Taking a break every 45 minutes or so will also help you stay focused.

7. Divide big concepts from smaller details

If you’re studying a big topic—like the Civil War for history or cellular processes for biology—try breaking the material you need to study into chunks. Study one battle at a time or one chapter section at a time—and then quiz yourself. Ask yourself questions about what you’ve just studied, and even write your answers down.

8. Don’t neglect the “easy” stuff

Even if you’ve been acing a certain subject or concept all year and think the test will be a breeze, you should still give it a review before the big day. You don’t want to lose points for careless errors or forget to memorize a key geometry formula.

9. Don’t skip school

Missing classes automatically puts you at a disadvantage. Make sure you go to class (especially during the week leading up to the test) and attend any review sessions your teacher holds. Did you have to miss an important class? You can always ask your teacher or one of our tutors for help catching up.

10. Review the day of the test

Before you take the test, give yourself time for a quick review. Shuffle through those flashcards a couple of times or re-read your chapter outline. This will ensure the material is fresh in your mind.

Still stuck on how to study for your test?

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The Staff of The Princeton Review

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Treat your job interview presentation like a three-act play, with an engaging introduction, memorable middle and exciting end

Alan Newland’s advice will help you serve up an inspiring and successful interview presentation. Photograph: Michel Euler/AP

Alan Newland’s advice will help you serve up an inspiring and successful interview presentation. Photograph: Michel Euler/AP

Most teaching jobs – whether you’re applying for a headship or first position – require candidates to do a presentation. You may be given a specific topic or a general theme. It might last as little as 10 minutes or as long as half an hour. But whatever the circumstances you will very much be on show and marked on your performance.

Think of the presentation like the structure of a three-act play, with a beginning, middle and end. Remember your beginning is very important, your middle is important too, but your ending is most crucial. Get this formula right and you will dramatically increase your chances of success.

The beginning is as simple as A, B, C, D

The first thing to consider is A for attention. Get your audience’s attention with a memorable quote, arresting statement, fascinating anecdote or snappy piece of data. For example, you could start with: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world … so said Nelson Mandela” or “Only 32% of white working-class boys achieved level 4 in this school last year …” In other words, get their attention and keep it.

B is for benefit. Tell your audience what they will learn from your presentation, even if you have been given the subject by the panel. Say something like: “In the next 10 minutes, I will explain how we can raise the achievement of white working-class boys in this school through year-on-year, systematic measures.”

C for credentials. Explain why you are the best person to be delivering this information. For example, you could say: “I have six years’ experience of working in schools in challenging and disadvantaged areas …” or “I think my background and experience are ideally suited to the challenge of being a new teacher in a school like this.”

Finally, D is for direction. Briefly elaborate on how you will do all this stuff. Say something like: “I will start by setting out the issues, provide relevant data, give examples of successful approaches and then lay out my strategy for providing better outcomes in your school.”

Write yourself a script, rehearse it and make sure you don’t take more than 20% of your allotted time for the beginning. If your presentation lasts 10 minutes, don’t use up more than two minutes saying all of the above.

The middle – the filling in your sandwich

This is where you talk about what you promised at the beginning. So in your opening if you said – “I will explain the issues, provide data, give examples of successful approaches and set out my strategy” – then make sure you do this. And make it interesting and varied. Populate your middle with the following:

  • An anecdote (keep it short, illustrative and directly relevant).
  • A chart, table, infographic or other visual image of data in your PowerPoint.
  • An explanation of how your methods, techniques, approaches and strategy will succeed. Highlight why your teaching, management or leadership strengths have been successful in the past and how they will be in the future. Be specific.

As with any story, the middle is where we understand the plot and character. This is your chance to get across how you will deliver on your promises and get them to believe in you as someone they can trust.

Remember the basics too – adopt an active body posture, scan the panel and maintain eye contact, use hand gestures to emphasise a point, show some passion, smile and even crack a joke if appropriate. Don’t overuse or talk to your PowerPoint – limit the slides to eight or 10. It’s you and your story they want to hear about. The middle section should take up about 60%-70% of your allotted time.

The ending – the most important part

Just like the beginning, script, time and rehearse this bit. Try to make a link with the beginning to achieve a narrative arc. This section doesn’t have to be long, in fact it should be the shortest part (about 10%-20% of your allotted time), but it should be the most memorable.

The single most important thing you want to achieve in your ending is a call to action. For example, you could say: “I said at the beginning that only 32% of white working-class boys achieve level 4. If you appoint me, we can work together to implement this strategy and make that statistic an irrelevance for this school.”

If you are an newly-qualified teacher (NQT) you could say something like: “I want to be the best NQT this school has ever had. If you appoint me not only will I work tirelessly to achieve that, but I will also bring all my inventiveness and creativity to make sure this year 2 class gets a wonderful experience while I am their teacher.” End with something that leaves your audience inspired enough to want to appoint you over others.

One final bit of advice: don’t overrun. If you have been given 10 minutes then plan for nine and a half – script it, rehearse it, time it and stick to it. There’s nothing worse than being cut off before you can finish on that big bang of an inspiring ending.