Here are some techniques that students have found effective for improving their English outside the classroom:

If you travel overseas you can use English when planning a trip , on the trip itself, and when communicating afterward with friends you’ve made during your travels. When you return home, share what you’ve learned about foreign sights and sounds at Wikitravel , the Wikipedia of travel.

Improve your English communication skills by meeting with English speakers and stretching your “English muscles.” There are numerous opportunities to do this beyond the four walls of your English classrooms at AGU. The International Exchange Center at AGU hosts an English Chat Room, at which students can socialize with international exchange students in English. Students from elementary school to graduate school can take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

Connect with English speakers face-to-face through This is NOT a dating site. It’s a website that was set up to help people connect with groups of individuals who have common interests. Through this system, you can meet people, for example, who share your love for movies, vegetarian food, or hiking and want to arrange group outings. Many of these groups in Tokyo have members from around the world. To find a group that matches your interests, go to and use the search box, in the upper right-hand corner, by typing in such search terms as “Tokyo film,” “Tokyo food,” or “Tokyo English.”

Try watching English DVDs/videos without Japanese subtitles. Instead, watch them with English closed captions or while following along with a transcript. Repeated viewing can help. Eventually, you may have enough confidence to watch English films unsupported.

Correspond–by letter or email–with foreign friends

Read books (Find books that don’t frustrate you; that you can read comfortably. Try reading graded readers or non-simplified ones written in simple, clear English.)

Read English magazines and newspapers–either online or in print. (Reading helps you to increase your vocabulary and understand how the words/phrases are used in context.)

Use the Internet to access sites especially designed for speakers of English as a second language and English online news.

Listen to/Watch NHK radio and TV programs for learning English.

Join a group that has members in it who you can communicate with in English. (The group might be one of the clubs or circles at Aoyama Gakuin University or an off-campus NGO, health/fitness club, nature appreciation group, etc.)

Listen to Internet RADIO. Choose from a wide range of genres–including classic radio dramas.]