Do you make New Year’s resolutions? The new year is a traditional time to make positive changes, from exercising more and eating healthier food to saving money or ending a bad habit like smoking.

You can also resolve to improve your English. Do you have a goal for your language skills this year? Here are a few to consider and some resources to help you reach your goals.

  1. Increase your vocabulary
    Follow IEI on Instagram or Twitter for an academic vocabulary word with example sentence every day. Practice English on your smartphone with vocabulary games and flashcard apps like Words With FriendsFree Rice, and the New General Word List/New Academic Word List apps. Or you can resolve to learn a new word related to your study or career field every day. Check out these specialized vocabulary lists.
  2. Get into an American college or university
    Begin here and we’ll explain the process step by step!
  3. Immerse yourself in English every day
    Even in your home country, you can surround yourself with English. Learn how to do it.
  4. Learn more about American culture
    Start with this explanation of American classroom culture, learn common superstitions, or examine the American political system.
  5. Buy (and use!) a good English dictionary
    Yes, Google Translate is convenient, but computer translations are imperfect and can lead to mistakes. Here are some features to look for in an English learner’s dictionary. Two reliable (and free!) online options are the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary and the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online. If you’d prefer an app, check out Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary for iOS or Android.
  6. Talk to more native English speakers
    If you’re already in the U.S., resolve to speak with Americans daily. Here are 50 places to meet Americans and more than 100 questions to start conversations!
  7. Take the TOEFL
    Learn to prepare for the test you need to get into an American university.
  8. Study English in the U.S.
    We can help you to improve your English quickly and effectively. Since 1978, our experienced teachers have helped thousands of students to meet their English learning goals! Learn more about our classes and how to apply.


This is an update to a 2011 post.