February, although a shorter month, is filled with so much excitement, love, and things to do! Not only is a groundhog going to tell us about our winter/spring season (read about groundhogs day, Feb 2, here), we’re going to celebrate love (Feb. 14), random acts of kindness (Feb 17), Mardi Gras (Feb 17), and so much more. You can read about all kinds of National Holidays on nationaldaycalendar.com There are some good ones!
I have also created a very special calendar for February 2015. This calendar is a way for you to take your English skills to the next level this month, it highlights a variety of things you can do to practice: writing, speaking, grammar, vocabulary, reading, and pronunciation. You can guarantee that you will notice a change in your English by the end of the month, as long as you stay focused and are consistent with your practice. There is so much variety that you will definitely not get bored, and most are out of the box ideas to keep you engaged and motivated. What’s even better is the amount of resources you will get to continue learning after February. I’ve listed some of my favorite and top recommendations for online language learning, so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity. Below is an image of the calendar that you can save for future reference this month. Some of the wording is small, so you may have to zoom in to get a better look. On this post, below the image, I’ve included some more details and links for each of the day’s activities so you’ll have an even easier time completing them. I would love to see how you are doing, or interact with you during this month…so feel free to comment or e-mail me some updates, your exercises/sentences, journals, etc…
Good Luck & Have FUN!
1 It’s SUPERBOWL day! Before you watch the game, read the official rules, learn the necessary vocabulary, and get ready to share your expertise at whatever BBQ or Superbowl party you’re attending. Enjoy the famous commercials, and practice some listening, too!
2 Groundhogs Day! Read the link I posted above to learn more about the tradition, find out Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction, and then watch Bill Murray’s 1993 classic.
3 Reading & Vocabulary day. http://www.newsinlevels.com is a great site with simplified news articles and clearly defined vocabulary. You can take a simple test, find your level, then search for some articles that interest you. Be sure to utilize the video as well to get a bit of listening practice in!
4 Expand your vocabulary today by creating a synonym list. Using a thesaurus (online has so many options) find related words to the ones you learned yesterday. Increasing your knowledge with vocabulary will help you speak with more variety, help with tests, and overall understanding of a variety of English text. Make a list of at least 3-4 synonyms, and if you want to go a step further, write some practice sentences.
5 TEDtalks are an excellent resource to any educational setting, and with Ted ED lessons, you can know practice more listening comprehension, and dive deeper into the lessons. This website provides hundreds of video based lessons online that you can use for free! Find a topic that interests you and enjoy!
6 Journal Day! It’s time to stop and reflect (and practice some grammar). Think about your past week and upcoming weekend, take some time to write about what you’ve done, and what you are going to do. The more you write, the more you practice.
7 National Send a Card to a Friend Day! It’s a national holiday, so you’ve got to do it! Send a postcard, hello note, or e-mail to a friend to simply say, hi. Tell them about the day and some interesting things going on in your life.
8 Grammar day. When I say GRAM….you say MAR.. GRAM….. well, I’ll just assume you said it on the other side, because I know how excited you are to practice grammar. Review the 12 time tenses (www.englishpage.com) is a great resource, and practice writing at least 1 sentence for each. If you find yourself having some difficulties, these are your weak areas, and you’ll know to spend a bit more time reviewing.
9 Vocabulary building day. Today you have a wonderful new resource, http://www.quizlet.com. Sets of words are created, and there are over 5 different ways to practice them online. Find my sets (I have 25 sets, and over 435 words) and study, study, study. I recommend “scatter” or “space race” to practice.
10 Practice your Pronunciation today with one of the best teachers, Rachel. Rachel’s English channel on YouTube has countless videos to practice so many different pronunciation areas, from individual sounds to intonation, rhythm, etc.. Explore different videos and find your problem areas.
11 Today is National Make a Friend Day. Say hello to someone in a cafe, at the gym, in class/work, or anywhere you can meet new people. Start a conversation and practice “small-talk.” International Meet Up could be a great place to find some English groups, if you’re in an non-English speaking country.
12 Have you signed up for English Outside the Box’s FREE Conversation Hang Out Class?! If not, it might not be too late so send an e-mail to: email@example.com to join Sunday’s Free Conversation Hang Out, a place to practice speaking and connect with me and other learners!
13 Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, so write a special letter to a special someone saying how much you love or appreciate them. Everyone enjoys receiving a little love!
14 In honor of Valentine’s Day, after you give your special someone their letter of course, learn some idioms about LOVE. You can find some here on the blog, (jenesl760.com/2014/06/15/love-idioms/) or do a search on the Internet.
15 Today is Free Conversation Hang Out day with me. Remember, English Outside the Box hosts a free conversation class every month, starting this month, where you can connect with others to practice speaking. If you haven’t signed up, be sure to sign up for the newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bbavFX to receive information about next month’s class!
16 More vocabulary building! Because tomorrow is Random Acts of Kindness day, find synonyms for the words: random and kind. Again, to go a step further, try creating some practice sentences.
17 Mardi Gras! Learn more about this day with a lesson provided here, on http://www.jenesl760.com. Search Mardi Gras in the search bar to find the lesson.
18 Have enough of the American Accent? Hear some British English, review grammar & vocabulary, play some games, and so much more on the British Council’s English learning site (http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/). This is another great resource to take with you and continue using after February, and into the 2015 year.
19 Pronunciation Practice! Review minimals pairs on this blog! Specifically TH, and the long versus short E sound (Italian in Malta anyone?), and more. Review pronunciation exercises under the ‘Practice English’ menu on the top of your screen.
20 Today is Love your Pet day! LuLu will be getting all kinds of love today, review some of her favorite CAT idioms here.
21 This blogs Facebook page has an album dedicated to visual learning resources. There are infographics, pictures, and charts in the Learning Resources album. Take some time to review some grammar, learn some new vocabulary, and comment on some questions. You can access the file, without Facebook, at this link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.599195483545730.1073741831.451280701670543&type=1&l=a890e26f44
22 Reconnect with some grammar today, specifically modals. Enjoy this infographic and lesson reviewing modals on English Outside the Box’s very own blog: bit.ly/FF_modals
23 Memrise is another fabulous resource where you can learn not only about English, but science, history, and as they say, “just about anything” Visit the site, sign up, and find an new, interesting course for you! Share with me what you found, I’d love to know.
24 Blog Day! You’re reading this blog, so I encourage you to find another blog (website) to increase your connection and opportunities with English. Some sites I’d recommend: ‘Teach Them English‘ Great for learners and teachers! Really Learn English has videos, ebooks, multiple skills exercises, & also things to buy. Lastly, a new blog I stumbled upon Antriparto which also has helpful links & posts to review English! Like I said, read & connect!
25 Listening practice day! Review a variety of videos with listening comprehension videos at http://www.eslvideo.com Find my videos here.
26 Make more connections today at http://www.englishclub.com English Club has a live chat room, helpful learning tools, and is a community to connect with other learners and native speakers. I have a profile, feel free to add me as a friend if you haven’t already. Reach out to others and connect.
27 Journal day! This is a real time for reflection of everything you’ve been learning, and how you can continue to learn now that the month is almost over. Brainstorm some new ways to practice English, ask some of your new friends their favorite ways, and write these in your final journal entry.
28 Goal Setting! Look forward and setting goals is a great way to stay motivated! Utilize some of those ideas from yesterdays journal entry and create a calendar for March. If setting a daily activity is too overwhelming, try setting activities for the week, or set 2-3 goals for the month. Share your new goals here with me, and the other readers to provide some fresh ideas and help others in their language journey. Be sure to check back here often, as an upcoming post will feature even more learning tools from me and other language learners!
Please, share this post & calendar with a friend, teacher, or your students to give the opportunity of learning. Thank You!