You have worked extremely hard on your English in college and you are happy to find that you speak considerably good English and you can have a pretty good understanding of English broadcast. As a rule, you get your CET 6 certificate(for non-English majors) or TEM8 certificates (for English majors). Very soon, you find a job with the help of English certificates. But before you know it, you learn that you cannot express yourself fluently as you used to and you cannot understand English broadcast anymore, which shows that your English is deteriorating. If you do not take immediate action to address the problem, you will likely to forget your English in a few years.
What is the reason behind this problem? The simple answer is a lack of using it. Because you are not living in an English environment and you do not use English every day. Imagine you were living in the United States, and working for an American company, do you think you would still be concerned about forgetting English? Apparently, you should start worrying about forgetting your Chinese.
To fix the problem, We need to create an environment for ourselves to use English, which means that we really need to use English as a tool to get the information we need either by reading or listening. Take me as an example. I have learned English for more than a decade, and taught English for eight years. Although I try very hard to sharpen my English skills, I find my English is going downhill from time to time, especially after long holidays. So I try to read English newspapers and browse English websites to learn current news. When I am working beside a computer, I will keep my Internet radio on. In addition to these things, I also download daily news videos from the Internet to watch on my MP5 player. But listening and reading are all passive activities, you also need to work on your speaking. One thing I find over and over again is that my English sounds terrible if I do not speak English for two weeks. Somehow, Chinese muscle in my mouth has taken hold and prevents English muscle from working smoothly. To increase the flexibility of English muscle in my mouth, I will read after simple English recordings aloud for several hours. The material I usually choose is VOA Special English Programs. When I feel that my English sounds better, I will read after normal speed news. Then, I will speak English to someone who understands English. For you, probably the best place to speak English is English Corner, where you can practice English and meet some cool people. As for writing, I suggest that you keep an English blog to write whatever you want. All in all, whether your English is deteriorating or improving depends on how much efforts you put in using English.
Here, I’d like to share some of the websites I use frequently:
CNN Student News: http://www.cnnstudentnews.com/ (my favorite. It has news videos and transcripts. It is also the learning material for my Advanced English class. You can also find it here. http://www.listeningexpress.com/download/#CNNSN)
iTunes university: http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/ (my favorite. It provides recorded video or audio courses from around of the world for free. If you want to use it, you need to download the Apple iTunes software first.)
VeryCD Foreign Language: http://www.verycd.com/sto/edu/language/ (my favorite. It has the most up-to-date, various free language learning materials shared by netizens. If you want to download, you need to stall either 迅雷7 eMule downloading software on your computer.)
Internet Radio: http://edition.cnn.com/audio/radio/cnntv.html