A great way to learn how to type in English is to create an online persona and discuss topics that you enjoy. This strategy has been used time and time again by motivated students that want to immerse themselves into English-speaking communities on the internet. In some case studies, students who have done this as a language learning technique have developed an English-speaking alter ego, which is quite interesting.
Step 1 - Create a “Fake” email address
Go to Google.com and create a new email address that will be used for this purpose. You can even choose a fake English name for your Google account profile so you can avoid the dread of being identified. With the burden of being negatively judged removed, you can now focus on having fun and engaging conversations with people from around the world about topics of your choosing. This new email address can also be used as a central login for many other websites that you may join.
Step 2 - Join Communities Online
There are countless web communities to join to match your particular interests. My favorite is reddit.com since it includes an infinite number of subcategories, you should find several, if not hundreds, of subcategories that you can join. Take for example “r/cheese”, you could join this community and chat with almost 100,000 others who love cheese. Interested in classical music? Well, “r/classicalmusic” has more than 1.5 million members. And not to be forgotten, “r/englishlearning” has more than 94,000 members. Since the website is mostly visited by adults, I must warn you that the conversations are quite unfiltered and the sarcasm is quite intense. However, I feel as though it depicts the English language in its natural and most spoken form. There are other websites such as Facebook groups, Twitter, Twitch, etc. I would recommend starting with enjoyable topics to become comfortable commenting online. Progressively you should have more intense conversations to expand your vocabulary. Find a subject that matches your university major such as “r/machinelearning” to familiarize yourself with common industry jargon, this may help you read English reference material in the future.
Step 3 - Use a Grammarly + Chrome
Grammarly is a free and powerful grammar and spell-checking tool that works in connection with Google Chrome. As you are typing, Grammarly will highlight suggestions and incorrect grammar. I always recommend this tool since it will provide corrective feedback on your own mistakes immediately. Remember that people on the internet will rarely correct your grammar. They may judge you and say rude things like “learn English” but don’t take this personally, just think of this as a learning tool. That rude person did not correct your grammar but they did kind of provide some feedback or indication that you may need to reread your comments. Try to use these opportunities to find your mistakes. This is your fake English avatar for practice, so don’t take things seriously or be scared :)
Also, don’t be rude on the internet. If people want to know your IP address, they can get it easily. Be nice, ask questions, Enjoy!
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