Being stuck inside can make you feel like you’re going crazy. But why not use this time to your advantage, and work on improving your English? You’ll be able to practise fluency, all while staying closely connected to the rest of the world through news, video and games.

Here are some tips to help you pass the time, and most importantly – stop you from getting cabin fever. A lot of these activities are free. And, you can do them in your pyjamas!


1. Define your goals


Before you start practising your English at home, draw up a plan to help you get the best results. Think about your strengths, your weaknesses and exactly what you want to improve. Ask yourself if there is a way you can merge your interests and hobbies with your English learning. Then decide what you’ll do each day to reach your goals.

For more information about goal setting, check out our blog: How SMART Goals can help you improve your English in 2020.


2. Start watching that Netflix series


Whether it’s Netflix, HBO or Amazon Prime, online streaming services can be a godsend when learning English at home. Make use of the subtitles (in English – of course) to easily follow the dialogue. Practise your listening skills, pronunciation and even pick up new slang.

One thing you can do is to make note of interesting and new vocabulary. Then pause the show and repeat the sentences with the same stress and intonation.

Short sitcoms like Friends or How I met your Mother are a great place to start if you’re new to watching shows in English. And then when you’re a real pro, try Peaky Blinders or Game of Thrones to perfect your regional accents!

For more ways to practise your English with your favourite TV program read: How to Improve Your English Using Netflix.


3. Download a language learning app


Transform your smartphone into your own mini-classroom, and download an app dedicated to learning English. Although apps can’t replace a real-life teacher, they can give you a little push in the right direction. Practise your speaking in a chat room with apps like Tandem and Hello Talk, or learn new vocabulary with Memrise and Duolingo. Whatever your needs, trust us: there will be an app for it.

Don’t know which one to download? Take a look at our list: 8 Of The Best Apps For Learning English.


4. Learn a new skill or hobby with YouTube


If you’re trapped at home and feel like you might go insane, use the time to learn something new. YouTube is a great platform for this, and if you watch videos in English, you’ll not only acquire a cool new hobby, but also work on your listening skills too.

There are thousands of videos out there, everything from looking after plants to learning to draw. Follow a step by step guide on how to make pancakes, a makeup tutorial or even how to tune a guitar.


Need some more tips? Check out our post: How To Improve Your English With YouTube.


5. Learn English with Influencers


There are thousands of bright, young, influencers out there, waiting to teach you their mother tongue. You might have heard of some of the big names like English with Lucy and Amigos Ingleses. But there are also influencers like Emma from mmmEnglish and Korean Billy, who have equally as much to offer.

Search YouTube for everything from grammar classes, to pronunciation workshops, to fun vocabulary videos. You’ll quickly improve without having to leave the comfort of your sofa!

Here are our picks of the best! Our 10 Favourite Youtubers to Help Your Learn English.


6. Download a podcast


Podcasts allow us to pop in our headphones and escape to another world. Whether you’re interested in true crime or sports, there are lots of different topic-related programmes to choose from. Use them to pick up natural speech, and also for some light relief when your family are driving you ‘round the bend!

Here are some cool podcasts to try in English:

This American Life

Freakonomics Radio

No Such Thing As a Fish

Looking for more podcasts to practise your English? Check out these 7 Podcasts to Improve your Listening.


7. Scan your social media


On social media, there are lots of gems for practising English if you know the right places to look. Accounts such as Cambridge English, BBC Learning English and Cork English Teacher, are great places to start.

Don’t forget to follow our very own Oxford House Instagram and Facebook pages for funny idioms, tips and quizzes for learning English.

Oxford House Instagram account | 10 Ways to learn English at Home

Discover more top Instagram Accounts For Learning English.


8. Be a bookworm


Have you been looking for the opportunity to push yourself and read a book in English? Well, here’s your chance. Challenge yourself to read a chapter a day and make a note of any new vocabulary you learn. Once you’re done, have a go at writing a review of the book in English and ask your teacher to cast an eye over it for any mistakes.

Take a look at our pick of 7 Books You Should Read To Improve Your English.


9. Sing-a-long in English


Music is one of the best ways to lift the spirits. It’s a great way to learn English, too. If you use a tool like Lyrics Training, you can improve your listening skills by inputting the lyrics in real-time. You can even sing along to work on your pronunciation!

LyricsTraining | 10 Ways to learn English at Home | Oxford House Barcelona


Need more inspiration? Improve your English accent with these 6 Great Songs.


10. Take a class online


One of the best things about the digital age is that we can still keep the world spinning in times of crisis. At Oxford House, you can still continue with all your normal classes online, and we can help you join new courses. Contact reception for more information at:

Let us know your tips for learning English at home!

Glossary for Language Learners


Find the following words in the article and then write down any new ones you didn’t know.

Cabin fever (n): feeling bored because you have been inside for too long.

Draw up (pv): to prepare a plan.

Godsend (n): something good that happens unexpectedly.

Chat room (n): a place on the internet to talk or message other people.

Go insane (exp): go crazy.

Big names (n): famous or important people.

Drive somebody ‘round the bend (exp): to make somebody crazy.

Gems (n): precious stones/ something good or special.

Cast an eye over something (exp): to check something written.

Lift someone’s spirits (exp): to make someone happier when they’re sad.


n = noun

pv = phrasal verb

n = noun

exp = expression

Study English at Oxford House Barcelona

Interested in taking an English course at Oxford House Barcelona? Check all the different English classes we can offer you, or contact us for more information.

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