10 Ways to Learn English (Outside the Classroom) in New York City

Taking English Classes is an excellent way to improve your English, (especially classes at Manhattan Language!) However, coming to class each day is still never enough if you want to be completely fluent in the language. So what else can you do? There are plenty of way to immerse yourself in the language while living here in New York City. We collected feedback from some of our teachers and staff about some of the best ways to improve your English outside of classroom. Take a look below at some of their suggestions..

1) “Take a class that matches your interests – Salsa, Painting, Fitness! The classes will be taught in English and you will get to learn a lot of vocabulary for that topic – along with a new skill. Sites like Eventbrite or Coursehorse are great places to look for different classes and events. The parks also offer a lot of free fitness classes and activities, especially during the summer months. (Carolina) 

2) “Get a library card and take advantage of all the books, movies, and resources in the public libraries around NYC. The New York Public Library, located on 5th and 42nd, is a beautiful and cozy place to study or read a book (in English).” (Susie) 

3) “Go shopping and speak to the salespeople. I recommend electronic stores – like Best Buy. You can practice asking questions and listening for information. Salespeople are usually friendly and willing to help as much as possible.” (Bonita)

4) “Pick up the NYC Metro/ or AM New York Newspaper every morning in the subway. It’s free and you can learn new words in English AND see what’s going on in NYC each day.” (Michael)

5) Meet-up Groups! There’s a group for everyone and will let you find a community of people that share similar interests. In big cities like New York, there are tons of groups and people to meet. You can look for meet-ups for “English speakers” and “Language exchanges”, but also groups that match your interests like Sports, Technology, or Movies. You will still get to speak in English and talk about subjects that you enjoy. It’s also a great way to make American friends, and others that don’t speak your language. (Seoyoung)

6) “Read the ads on the subways and big billboards to pick up on idioms and expressions. They also use a lot of American pop culture references and slang which is both fun and interesting. It’s always helpful to ask a native speaker what they means so that you know how to use them correctly.” (Maggie)

7) Join the ML activities! Outside of the classes, we always have about 3-4 events going on each week. These include trips to museums, parks, restaurants, and seasonal events in NYC. There is always a teacher or staff member that will accompany you. It’s the perfect way to practice your English, meet new staff and students, and enjoy NYC! (Ellen) 

8) Post a new picture from your day to Facebook or Instagram and explain what you’re doing. It’s like keeping a daily journal of what you did each day. This is a fantastic way to practice English, AND keep a detailed memory of your time spent in NYC. (Gerald)

9) Volunteer! Make a difference and practice your English. You can browse the NYC Service site to look for organizations and opportunities that you are passionate about. NYC Service is the official NYC government site on volunteering. It has links to a variety of organizations and opportunities. (Anthony)

10) Head to the Parks! Central Park, Bryant Park, Washington Square Park – there are so many all over the city. Each one is special and unique in it’s own way, and there is always something going on. Not to mention, you have the chance to meet people from all over the world. Don’t be shy and strike up a conversation with someone new. (Nese) 

One thought on “10 Ways to Learn English (Outside the Classroom) in New York City

  1. Very useful tips, thank you ML people! I also try to listen to conversations of strangers in the subway, to see whether I can understand everything or not. A great way to learn some slang too! 🙂


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