Books and tips for learning English on your own

Nov 24, 2020

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Books and tips for learning English on your own

You may have been thinking about doing it for a long time, but in the rush and little time you never find the time to start. The academies do not generally offer you a schedule compatible with your personal and work circumstances. But what if you prepare for the English test on your own? It can be somewhat complex, from the outset, since you think that you are not going to be a sufficiently organized person, that if you have doubts you will not have anyone to ask and that it is boring to study a foreign language alone. However, today we want to encourage you and help you to take the step and not think about it anymore. Because getting an English certificate will only bring you good things and you should do it.

Tips for preparing an English test on your own

- The first thing you should do is propose it, with desire, and know that you can do it. It's just a matter of making the decision and taking the first step. Don't be overwhelmed if you have little time. To really motivate yourself, what you have to do is see what free time you really have to do it and adjust that time to study the different parts of the exam and make the most of it.

Preparing a weekly study plan is essential. This will allow you to organize yourself, sit down already knowing directly what to do and without wasting time and it will reassure you a lot, in addition to helping you concentrate. But, as we told you before, play with the time available and don't force things; If you can't every day, the question is to reach the goal when you can and not to quit. Keep in mind that in this plan you must add all the parts of the exam, all the tasks of the language so that you can prepare it completely.

-You have to be aware and realistic of what your level of English is, in order to prepare for your test. We advise you that if you have never really studied or have not studied English for a long time, that you start over. It is essential to have a good base, since it is what will allow you to advance much more quickly.

- You need material and you need to practice with all the activities in the books. Be aware that your progress depends on it. You must carry out the activities, you must study every day and divide the contents according to your time, in a coherent way.

- It is good that you manage to become part of a group of people who are like you. Even if you don't have time, don't worry, today's technology allows you to belong to groups and communities without leaving your home, you also have enough tools to be in contact with all of them in different ways. Their experiences, anecdotes, situations, doubts, etc., surely help you. You will find a great reinforcement and you will walk this way much more animated. Search for groups through the different networks, of English learners, events, profiles, blogs, etc. You will find information, community and a lot of material.

- It is good that you also get contact with a native, that would be great, since it would be very good for you to practice the oral part, to solve doubts and to correct you if you have doubts. You can also find people online if everything is easier and more comfortable for you and you don't have time to establish other contacts.

- Remember to be in contact with native countries, that is essential so that you can do language immersion. Get involved : read newspapers, watch movies, read books, listen to music, you should watch television, series, etc. All this will also lead you to learn about culture, a fundamental element in your learning, in addition to making everything much more enjoyable.

- You should look for official pages that can help you learn the language: a university that conducts official exams for foreigners, language academies, language dictionaries, etc. These are the sites you can trust the most, they offer the most truthful and accurate information, and many learning tools.

Youtube is also a communication channel or social network that can help you a lot on this path. In addition, as they are videos, you can find a lot of spoken material, which will be great for conversation, pronunciation, etc. You can follow who you like, you will receive notifications of videos, you can find recommendations for similar videos and also make a community through this medium. Also look for videos on the subject that you like the most in English and find people and people who will surely motivate you to continue studying. This can be very encouraging. 

English levels

In case you don't know, there is a division of levels in all languages, standardized by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(CEFR), through which it is possible to determine, depending on the students' knowledge, what level they have and what content they should control and dominate. The CEFR establishes the level for both oral and written comprehension of the study language. In other words, each of the established levels recognizes the abilities of students in these different areas. Take them into account to see where you can be and thus focus on your study.

The CEFR levels and the skills that English learners must handle in each of them are:

Level A1 : it is an introductory level, which serves as a substrate so that you can continue studying and deepening the English language. This certificate recognizes your ability to convey very simple ideas and to communicate in an essential way in English. It will allow you to understand and learn frequent expressions of daily use, be able to introduce yourself and others, making reference to your home, your belongings, your daily activities and your description or the people you know. You will be able to understand a native who speaks slowly, with simple expressions of everyday life.

Level A2: refers to an initial level, but something more advanced than the previous one, through which you can talk about yourself, your profession, family, neighborhood, home, work, shopping ... From this level you should already have a base both in the oral and written part, both of your expression and understanding. You must begin to write, begin to have conversations, listen to them and interpret them.

Level B1 : you already have knowledge that brings you closer to the intermediate level of English. You must be able to understand somewhat more elaborate texts, be able to develop orally in a spontaneous way in familiar situations, such as work, friends, shopping, families or on a trip to an English-speaking country. The texts are simple, but you should already be establishing and using some more complex writing techniques and using familiar or general and everyday topics; You can also give your opinion on simple topics, give advice, express wishes, etc.

Level B2 : at this level you are already fluent enough to engage in communicative acts with natives in a natural and spontaneous way. You will be able to write much more elaborate texts, focused on more general and complex topics. If you are, by chance, a specialist in a certain area, with this level you will be able to understand and express yourself through elementary technical vocabulary.

Level C1 : this is one of the last levels you can aspire to as an English student, since your knowledge of English is almost complete. You will be able to understand long texts, with specific vocabulary, as well as understand texts on abstract topics. You have to be already prepared to use the language in a flexible and fast way, both in social, work and academic areas. You should also do with both oral and written expression, in which your texts and speeches use the necessary elements that allow you a good articulation of the text and its undeniable internal cohesion. You will be able to relate perfectly with natives in any situation.

Level C2 : refers to the last level of study. You will have the ability to develop orally and in writing under any circumstance, in any situation, fluently and naturally, practically like a native.

Recommended books for different levels of English

And to help and accompany you in this process, we want to advise you on the fundamental or better books that will help you prepare your level of English, whatever it may be. Remember that most of them carry a CD or several, which allows you to work on listening; it is essential that you order it at your bookstore or library. And, if you are more interested, request the online version of your book, possibly already have it.

Level A1 and A2:

Engli sh File 4th Edition A1. Student's Book and Workbook with Key Pack (English File Fourth Edition)

Basic English Kindle Version : speaks and understands English. Learn, in these 30 essential topics, all the basics to start getting loose with English. This book will be very useful if you are starting from scratch, or if you are reviewing the basic English learned before. Everything is explained in Spanish, with many examples, texts and vocabulary lists. This book will be of great help for Spanish speakers who want to learn English for work reasons, or to travel or study, and it will also help you if you want to review some of what you have learned before. Links in the text indicate where you can find extra resources (especially about pronunciation) and also some audios that accompany the included texts:

Speak English. Book 1 (A1) : Do you want to speak English and understand what the English say? With this practical self-study guide you will have the opportunity to learn English and communicate. The course begins with the most basic concepts and takes the student on a journey to more advanced grammar. Contains phrases selected for grammatical concepts with solutions. The explanatory notes that appear next to the sentences present the theory and point out the most frequent errors:

Learn English by reading short stories : 10 stories in English and Spanish with vocabulary lists: There are many ways to immerse yourself in English: this book proposes you a simple but effective way to learn English through stories for beginners (Level A1 and Level A2 ). This book will help you:

  1. Learn new vocabulary.
  2. Learn new expressions on a specific topic
  3. Learn the vocabulary of everyday life that is used to communicate with people through dialogues.
  4. Learn some typical sentences that are used frequently in English dialogues
  5. Correct and / or improve your pronunciation thanks to the audio file.
  6. Improve your comprehension skills through listening.
  7. Simply improve your English whatever your beginner level

The stories are primarily in the present indicative tense in English, making it easier for readers to learn the basics of the language through texts .

English File 4th Edition A1 / A2 . Student's Book and Workbook with Key Pack

Cambridge English Empower for Spanish Speakers A2 Learning Pack

And if you want to read, here are 20 reading books in English for level A1 ( ) and 20 reading books in English for level A2 ( )

Level B1 and B2:

English File B1. Student's Book and Workbook with Online Practice

Prepare Your B1 : the pack consists of 2 books that will help the student to prepare for an exam at this level, without the need for a teacher. It is tailor-made for Spanish speakers, so that to achieve the knowledge of English that is required at this level, we place special emphasis on the differences with respect to Spanish. Presents a detailed appendix and the Writing, Reading, Listening, and Speaking sections. The explanations are concise and easy to understand; all the contents are interspersed with examples, useful comments, pronunciation tips and typical exercises of the method. Our aim is that exam preparation stops being a boring obligation and becomes a dynamic and fun experience.

English File B1 . Student's Book and Workbook with Online Practice

Cambridge English Empower for Spanish Speakers B1 Workbook with Answers , with Downloadable Audio and Video

Prepare Your B2 :The pack is made up of 2 books that will help the student prepare for an exam at this level, without the need for a teacher. It is tailor-made for Spanish speakers so that in order to achieve the knowledge of English that is required at this level we place special emphasis on the differences with respect to Spanish. Despite the fact that both books follow the preparation guidelines required for exams at this level, we do not lose the Vaughan spirit at any time. The explanations are concise and easy to understand; all the contents are interspersed with examples, useful comments, pronunciation tips and typical exercises of the method. Our aim is that exam preparation stops being a boring obligation and becomes a dynamic and fun experience.

English grammar

As it will surely help you, we also leave you 20 reading books in English for level B1 ( ) and 20 reading books in English for the level B2 ( )

Level C1 and C2:

Destination C1 & C2 Grammar and Vocabulary. Student's Book with Key

C1 Vocabulary: 100 Exam Keywords: Advanced English

Grammar and Vocabulary for Advanced Book with Answers and Audio downloadable

And don't miss 20 reading books in English for level C1 ( ) and another 20 for level C2 ( https: // )