Considering ESL School? 3 Tips For Picking Up English Colloquialisms

ESL school student in a classroom

If you’re looking to be successfully admitted into a North American university, boosting your English language proficiency is a great goal to pursue. At the Great Lakes College of Toronto, we help students to develop all of the academic skills they need to get accepted into competitive post-secondary institutions. Though our fast-track ESL program is designed to get you up to speed on basic English skills, there are plenty of helpful habits you can adopt to further accelerate your language learning progress. For example, colloquialisms play a large role in any ESL learner’s language acquisition. Colloquialisms, commonly known as slang, are integral to any language and the culture associated with it. When you pick up English colloquialisms, you can expect to see improvements in your comprehension and confidence during conversations. Keep reading for some effective tips for learning English Colloquialisms. 

1. Try Using Social Media In English 

Since the dawn of the internet, it has become a common setting for new colloquial expressions. As a young person, you’re likely already familiar with social media and may use it in your native language. The internet presents a unique opportunity for you not only to see common colloquial phrases but also to gain context on them. Before your arrival, consider exploring Toronto tags on social media in order to get familiar with the local slang. Like most large metropolitan areas, Toronto has its own unique dialect. Understanding it, or at least some of its expressions can help you feel more comfortable in your surroundings as you complete ESL school with us.

ESL school students using a smartphone
Social media is the birthplace of many colloquial expressions so try using it in English during ESL school.

2. Have Some Free Time? Watch Some English Television 

Your free time presents the perfect opportunity for you to make valuable connections with class content. By enjoying some quality television during your free time, you can pick up several colloquialisms. Consider looking up some Canadian movies and television shows, turning on subtitles, and making a note of words and expressions that you don’t know. You’ll be surprised at how many colloquialisms show up in popular media. In fact, without even taking any notes, there’s a lot you can learn from Canadian television.

ESL school students watching a movie
Try watching movies and television shows in English during ESL school.

Fun fact: Toronto, the city where our private high school is located, is home to an active film scene. 

3. Initiate Conversations With Native English Speakers In And Out Of ESL School

Once you’ve collected a solid number of colloquialisms from your English media consumption, you’ll need some practice. In our ESL program, we incorporate speaking and pronunciation practice into our classes; however, another effective way to master the correct use of colloquialisms is to interact regularly with native English speakers. The homestay accommodation option allows our students to stay with Canadian families, many of whom are highly proficient in English and completely willing to help students improve their language skills. Otherwise, Toronto offers students ample opportunity to get involved in their local community and practice their conversation skills in English. Our instruction and support coupled with the tips above will leave you prepared to excel in North America and any region you may wish to explore in the future. 

Are you ready  to start our ESL program

Contact the Great Lakes College of Toronto to learn more! 

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