9 great tips for learning English from home 

  • April 13, 2020

As an overseas doctor, preparing for any English Language Test, whether you have chosen IELTS or OET, requires learning a huge amount.

IMGs have told us that one of the most effective ways to improve their general level of English, and help them on their journey to improving their test scores, is to study at home. So, we have put together a handy list of IMG tips for studying for the English Language Tests at home, enjoy! 


1. Start devouring podcasts

If you don’t already listen to podcasts, you should! They are great! You can access these at home, or on your commute to work. On your laptop, or even better, on your phone. If you have an apple, simply open the podcast app already installed. 

If you have Android, then try Stitcher, RadioPublic, Podbean or Pocket Casts. 

Here are a few of the IMG Connect Team favourites:

  • There is no such thing as fish
  • In our time, science
  • The Infinite Monkey Cage
  • Today in Focus
  • Happy Place
  • Woman’s Hour
  • Ted Talks Health
  • Dan Snow’s History Hit 
  • Thinking Allowed
  • BBC Inside Science
  • The Guardian’s Science Hour
  • Ted Talks Science and Medicine 
  • Discovery

2. Speak to native English speakers

There really can be no substitute for regularly speaking to native English speakers. In most cities across the world there will be a community of English speakers, seek them out online or go say hello! 

The IMG team are always happy to have a chat with you, so if you can’t find anyone, then give us a ring! 

3. Speak to everyone!

We know that sometimes in this modern world, people would rather turn to their computers, but to learn English is to share English! Whether a colleague at work, a fellow student, a friend or family member, speaking English about a range of topics, medical and general, will help you to practice what you learn. Be sure to apply your recent learning of vocabulary and grammar.

It is widely known that students who speak and listen to people every day, learn quicker. 

4. Get down with the kids… and watch YouTube! 

There are millions of videos on YouTube, with thousands of great channels and shows to subscribe to. And of course, they are mostly all free! But don’t get stuck watching cute cats and dogs, stick to the task at hand – learning English!  

IELTS and OET have their own official channels, full of useful resources. 

Instead of randomly watching topics, think about your exams and search YouTube for suitable resources. 

At IMG Connect we have found a few great suggestions to search for: 

  • OET
    • Medical lectures
    • Nobel Lectures 
    • Oxford University lectures – medical 
    • Cambridge University medical lectures 
    • Parliamentary debates, UK
    • BBC, Sky, Channel four News 
    • National geographic
    • Ted Talks

But don’t take our word for it, search for your own topics of interest. 

5. Binge on your favourite movies (in English)

What could be better than sitting back after a day at work and watching a movie? Well, watching a movie and learning English at the same time! The rule here is to not just sit back and relax, you have to do some work too, put the subtitles on, and follow the dialogue. If you don’t understand, then pause, rewind and watch again. 

Try to choose the right type of films, with lots of dialogue, so apologies to all those blockbuster fans, you may have to watch something else. Documentaries are excellent, with topics for everyone! 

Listen to the way that words are said, how the actors or narrators stress the sounds. And copy it!

Even better, take a note of all new vocabulary, and when the film is finished, find out what they mean. 

6. An article a day gets the doctor to the UK!

This doesn’t have to be test related, you can choose something that you really are interested in. It can’t all be boring! 

Blogs, news outlets, organisations – you choose. 

Reading an article a day, short or long, can dramatically improve your confidence. 

7. Tweet, tweet, twooo! 

Twitter isn’t just about a tweet, but there are plenty fantastic articles and up to date topics that are shared daily. 

Find someone you are interested in and follow their articles. 

Many news groups share excellent articles daily. 

But remember don’t just read the headline! 

8. Write as much as you can, to anyone you can.

Practicing writing English in different contexts will help you to cement your learning and get you into the habit of writing to a high level of structure and grammar. 

You could write a blog online for your colleagues, this is free on wordpress. It is your blog, so you choose the topic! 

Of course, you should practice writing the essays for the tests, but if you know anyone that reads English why not also write to them…in English of course!

9. Consider working with an accredited tutor

As an International Brand dedicated to helping international doctors to register with the GMC and find work in the NHS - we have lots of partnerships in place with trusted companies in many areas. One of these key areas is English Language Testing and IMG Connect works closely with a company called Specialist Language Courses. You can take a look at their website here.

Specialist Language courses work very professionally and are the UK's leading provider of online courses and tutoring. They are also one of the few accredited providers of OET and have provided consultation and guidance to the GMC on english language testing. 

Success rates are 70% + for those who sign for their tutoring and you can receive a discount if introduced by IMG Connect.

Register with IMG Connect to request your discount on English Language Courses or get in touch with one of our IMG Consultants to discuss.

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