As for a freelancer, your English impacts your compensation directly. If you wanna earn more than your local country’s standard, learning English is going to have the best Return on Investment. It will benefit you much more than learning a new programming language or framework.
When I realized it took me 2 years to master English to a level where I can completely communicate using it. I didn’t follow any official guidelines or programs, instead, I developed my own. I wanna share this program with you in the following article.
Reading out loud
This is the most powerful exercise out of all here. Get any book written in English and read it out loud together with the same audiobook playing in the background. Just repeat by audiobook and read words at the same time. It is so a cheating way to learn English that after a month of doing that, your pronunciation will be exceptionally good.
Don’t take complex books though. I don’t suggest getting into fiction cause very often it has complex words which you may not know. Start with non-fiction books and then you can slowly move to reading everything.
Here are some great books you should start from:
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People : R. Stephen Covey: Amazon.in: Books
- Buy Clean Code [unknown_binding] Robert C Martin [Jan 01, 2012]… Book Online at Low Prices in India | Clean Code [unknown_binding] Robert C Martin [Jan 01, 2012]… Reviews & Ratings – Amazon.in
- Amazon.in: Buy The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Book Online at Low Prices in India | The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Reviews & Ratings
Switch all languages to English
Your phone, your GitHub account, your IDE, your laptop, your weekend games, your youtube, your social media, your Alexa, etc. Everything has to be in English. It will help you to make a transition from “Speaking English” and “Thinking English”.
Here is a starting list of everything you have to switch on English:
- Social Media apps
- PC / Laptop
- AI assistant
- Streaming services (Youtube, Netflix, etc.)
Switch to English Internet
Slowly start transitioning yourself to using google in English. Start watching English youtube channels, trust me there are alternatives for all channels you are currently watching. Start following English-speaking influencers on social media.
It may be challenging at the beginning to find video resources with subtitles, here are some services you definitely have to check out:
- Audible India | 2 Months Free Trial | Audible.in
- Blinkist: Powerful ideas—15 minutes at a time
Start producing English Content
You can’t learn without practicing and the best practice is a cringe public practice. Produce podcasts videos or articles in public in English. With that, you will learn not only how to speak English, but how to speak so that people listen. It will make you pay attention to how others speak and notice the small details that make a difference.
I suggest starting from LinkedIn cause it has the easiest English and very supportive community. You can also give a shot to Twitter or Threads.
Join (or create) English Speaking club
Toast is having a pretty small community in Ukraine but there are a couple of more paid English learning groups. It is important to become a part of one so that you can learn how to debate. If there is no such, just create one with your friends and debate on anything.
Some already existing international English-speaking communities:
- Toastmasters International -Home
- Meetup – We are what we do
Join English Speaking Communities
There are a lot of study buddy and language exchange communities in Discord where you can find great friends. I have found my wife there lol, and you definitely can find a friend with whom you can chat in English daily. I have got the list of the most active communities I am a part of:
The English Crew – https://discord.gg/UzZwHSUUpX
Language Learning Community – https://discord.gg/language-learning-community-634078414332231681
Bluelearn – https://discord.gg/bluelearn
Study Together – https://discord.gg/study
Startups & Entrepreneurship – https://discord.gg/Qu4fHXc54r
Entrepreneur – https://discord.gg/NyjduFNYvj
Freelance and programming
KavunUA – https://discord.gg/Ww2RCJNje7
The Coding Den – The Coding Den – Discord Server (disforge.com)
Spend some time in English speaking country
Not everyone has this opportunity right now, but the final dot for me in learning English was spending 1 year in the US. First, for a couple of weeks you will have trouble understanding day-to-day talks, but then they will become natural for you. If you can afford that, definitely go to a foreign country once you have at least a B2 level of English.