Studying English at CISL and living in California is the perfect way to learn English, but sadly, we can’t live in California and be English students forever! Many students are afraid of “losing” the English skills they perfected while studying English in San Diego or San Francisco; however, if you follow these suggestions, you can keep your English skills sharp even while living in a non-English speaking country.

How to continue improving your English skills after studying at CISL

1. Make it a part of your daily life


English shouldn’t be something you sit down and study for a few minutes each day: it should be something you incorporate into your life so that you are often seeing and using English words. Dedicate small parts of your day to the English language with some of these ideas:

  • Change your phone’s language to English
  • Change your Facebook and other social media settings to English
  • Change your computer settings to English (and your website homepage to an English site)
  • Make lists and take notes in English
  • Keep a notebook with new vocabulary words, and add to it often

2. Make it a part of what you love

Do you like to play soccer? Try joining a soccer team with English speaking players! Do you like to cook? Buy a cookbook in English! Watch your favorite shows and movies in English or with English subtitles, or try reading your favorite book in English. (Hey, you already know the story, right?)



3. Make it a part of your social life

Check out the local ex-pat groups in your area: this is a great chance to meet English speakers who live in your area. English-speaking expats typically know all the English events in your area: groups, clubs, sports . . . you name it! A simple Google search of “expats in __________” will yield great results.


4. Think in English

It’s that simple. When you are going about your day, making decisions, and thinking . . . do it in English! Training your brain to think in English is a great way to show yourself what vocabulary and grammar skills you have (and which ones you lack). From there, it’s up to you to study and keep learning!


5. Use the internet . . . and read the CISL blog!


The internet is a great resource! There are so many great YouTube videos, Ted Talks, iTunesUniversity courses, articles, websites, and blogs. Click here for a CISL Blog article on some great listening websites to help continue improving your English skills.



6. Use on-line tools such as to grow your English vocabulary!

Another great option is to use English apps. We recommend, an interactive app that is an English dictionary. keeps track of all your new vocabulary words and is a great way to improve your knowledge of English words. Click here to learn more about it.