Here is the pen picture of the intended reader- A person who did schooling in vernacular medium, haven't read more than 5 English books in addition to curriculum books and is not good with the English language. [in short an engineer belonging to rural India] If you fall in the pen picture, go ahead; this article has been written for you, although categorization might look judgemental, but hey! You need to be realistic, and some time to move forward you need to accept reality, I did!
But if you studied in the English medium and your English is better than Shashi Tharoor, please don't read it to judge people who are not good at it! If your racist gens are not strong! Skip it.
Let's get started from zero
So you are in desperate need of improving yourself. Great! Here we go-
See the first thing you need to do is to develop a habit of reading. This is the essential requirement to achieve mastery of anything. Probably you have tried to improve yourself, maybe by getting FOMO (Fear of missing out) or because of desperate requirement, but after some time you might have forgotten it or tried, but nothing seemed to work out.
Reading- Start from a newspaper and stick to only one paper for somedays; I would suggest editorials/opinions of any of the following news The Hindu, The Indian Express, The Times Of India, The Economics Times, and Business Standard.
I would suggest you fixed a 1-2 hour slot daily and stick to it. If you a morning person, then set your intended time before you start your work or college/school. If you're an evening person, perfect, make a schedule before dinner, and stick to it. Since missing this schedule is less likely as you would not feel sleepy and generally, this time is free for most people.
Vocabulary- At this point, you most likely don't have many words in your vocabulary. When you start reading an article, there are likely to be many new words. At this point, you can't infer the meaning of words from the context of a passage . Hence it is better you see the meaning of all such words in a dictionary (Dictionary.Com). Also, remembering too many words will be difficult unless you have a photographic memory. So the best thing you can do make a register for all new words, note the meaning and the whole sentence in which the word was used. The sentence will help you memorize the word while revising as you will go through the word it will flash the story of the article it was used in! For example, this is how I remember the word "Solace- Something that comforts in sorrow" [Solace- Work is my only Solace, Priyanka Chopra used this sentence in 2013 while interviewing after her father's death!] Once you have made the personalized vocabulary, keep it revising at least once in a week. Here whatever word you are going to remember, that is not a mere word. It's an idea!
Continue reading in this manner for 2-3 months, once you start having a craving for good articles, and your exploring appetite becomes strong, move to next step.
Till now you, you have won almost half the battel. Now you don't need to put as much effort as you did. It would be best if you started exploring new avenues and exciting books, articles.
Here are some suggestions-
Word Power Made Easy- This is a must-read book at this stage. Get 30- 45 minutes extra time for this book for all 47 sessions and continuously read all the sessions.
Along with this book, you have to keep reading newspapers. In addition to your favorite new paper, you can start reading international newspapers and pick some from The New York Times, HBR magazine Aeon, Arts & Letters Daily ,etc.
Obviously, you can't read all these newspapers daily, So go to their website, pick whatever your interests, and read it and keep skipping from one publication to another.
Books- Since you have started to like reading, develop a habit of reading books on weekends. Take Animal Farm on the first weekend; it's a 2-3 hour read, plan accordingly. You will enjoy it, given the current comical nature of politics and the logic used in these days in politics.
From next weekend onward pick the Rich Dad Poor Dad, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Notebook [if you are a romantic person must read it], 7 habits of Highly Effective People [must read].
From here, you might get an understanding of your test of books. Start exploring books in that area and keep reading.
When you reach here, initially, you might feel proud that's good, and you deserve that appreciation. But after some time, you might start taking it lightly and begin to lose your grip on your acquired habit. Please don't get too much excited, continue your journey with this habit; believe me, you can acquire anything! If you don't give up your good habits
So you are here when you start feeling this- if you don't read a book or a good article for some days, you start feeling like you have stopped growing mentally! If you feel the same, then great for you in some times your English language skills will increase above average and knowledge of things around you.
Also read these fantastic books The Discovery of India,The Republic, Sherlock Holmes series, Jobes, War and Peace, etc.
Believe me; reading is one of the addictions that bring miraculous changes in the reader. It opens the shuttle of possibilities, which at one point of time was unimaginable to the readers. It doesn't open the doors of opportunities; it shows you many doors along with the way of opening them!
TV series & movies- TV series and films are the most common way of entertainment. Sometimes it's also a way to connect with people, and sometimes these become a topic of discussion. You might be a fan of Indian romantic movies or some Indian tv series like Mirzapur, Sacred Games, etc. but there are some fantastic movies and TV shows available in other cultures. The majority of these are available on Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos in the English language.
So I would suggest starting to explore a different type of entertainment shows in English.
When you first start watching movies or tv series, it's better to watch it with subtitles. Initially, you might miss some context due to pronunciation differences, but eventually, you will start getting it.
The first thing to watch- Planet Earth (2006 TV series) watch all 11 episodes. Narration, wording, wonders of the earth! This is an excellent package. Believe me; you will feel enlightened after watching this tv series.
Later you can watch- Roots, Prison Break, Lost, Suits, Friends, The Big Bang Theory [If you are an engineer]
Movies- I am sure initially when you start tv series, it will eat a lot of your time. To save your time and not become habitual, watch some good movies based on your taste of the genre in between watching TV series. You can try some movies I liked- Troy, Gladiator, Alexander, The Shawshank Redemption, The pursuit of Happyness, Interstellar, Avtar, The Godfather, The Hobbit, The Accountant, World War Z, etc.
Here you need to beware once you enter the world of movies and TV series, there is no end. Keep watching videos till you enjoy it; do not let it become your habit of just watching only for the sake of watching. I am telling you from my experience. Initially, it's fascinating and gainful, but after some point of time, it becomes a time killer.
Podcast -This one of the best ways to learn if you are a long commuter (Home - Office, home - college). Many useful websites provide a great insight Podcasts. Some of them are BBC world service, HBR IdeaCast. There has been an excellent list presented by Team InsideIIM, visit here it will give you an extensive list along with a description to choose from based on your preferences.
If you have reached it till here, you would have achieved a world-class fluency in the English language and in-depth knowledge of many things. Now I am sure it won't bother you.
Welcome into the world of masters!
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