How to Learn English FAST!

Listen to the Podcast here while you read the article! (This article has been updated. The words in the article below are more recent than the podcast. A new podcast will follow shortly.)

podbean-image

Download this episode (right click and save)

So you have taken the decision to learn English? First of all, well done! Which is one of the most important things to do when you learn a new language: reward yourself. You need to pat yourself on the back and tell yourself you did a good job.

You see, at times it’s not easy learning a new language. In fact, many people give up at the beginning because they feel they are not learning anything.

So let’s look at how you can learn English fast.

The first thing you must do when you are learning anything is to be positive.

This is what I always hear people say when I meet them:

“I’m sorry for my terrible English.”

This doesn’t help you at all. Your English is not terrible, especially if I understand you. Even if it was terrible, you are trying.

So it’s irrelevant how good or bad your English is at the beginning because if you persevere it can only get better.

What is the second thing to do as soon as you start learning a language?

Set clear and realistic goals.

It’s no use saying you want to be fluent in 90 days if you are a complete beginner. It’s better to set short-term goals like:

 “In a week I will learn X number of new phrases, read three news articles, listen to five podcasts, and do five grammar exercises every day.”  

This will help you feel more positive as you go through each task. However, it is important not to overdo it, which have the opposite effect.

So here is the Third tip:

Make a study record.

(No. I don’t mean go to a recording studio and record a song about studying!)

You need to have a record of all the studying you do. This can be a document on your computer or simply a notebook which you carry around with you every day. The content must also be clear, so you can understand what you have done if you need to look back on it as you progress through your studying plan.

The way you record it should be important too. I would suggest writing the date as a title, then below that date  you should write what you have studied. This can include website links or simply the type of exercise or grammar topic. It’s important to record any issues you had when you studied this area and an action plan to keep you motivated. For example:

Study record date: 25 January 2017

 I had difficulty with word-formation exercises.

Action –  check back on the same exercise in three days.

To help you memorise information in a better way use the following: pictures, charts, tables, and any other illustrations.

How can I vary my study? Sometimes I get so bored!

This is a common problem I hear from people.

So, let’s take a look at how you can vary your study plan so results are more evident:

Did you know that when you study anything your brain is already trying to forget it?

Yes, this is true. It has been proven that your memory retention level is very low soon after you learn something new. It is a natural phenomena that you quickly forget information that has just been presented to you. Take the idea of learning someone’s name for the first time.

Do you agree that, in most situations, by the time you have shaken the hand of the person you have just been introduced to, you have already forgotten their name?

It is common knowledge, but why does this happen?

Well, I was often guilty of this, but now I have discovered a fantastic technique that helps me remember anything, and practically everything. So here it is.

When you shake that person’s hand and hear their name, you repeat it immediately and look at them in the eyes.

Eye contact when hearing their name makes the memory more conscious, and not subconscious. Hence, the reason we don’t remember it immediately.

It is also a good idea to try to associate a word that can help you remember that name. For example, let’s imagine the person’s name is Steve. So by associating a word with his name you will never forget it. This could be something associated with your first impression of this person.

So, as you shake this person by his sweaty hand, you say in your mind:

 “Pleased to meet you, Sweaty Steve.”

A strong emotion like this can help you remember his name. Let’s think about another example: Samuel has very big teeth and so you use the phrase:

 It’s cool to meet you, Samuel the mule.

This will help you to remember his name. Remember, the more extreme the choice of the word association, the easier it will be to remember the name.

Which brings me on to the whole idea of learning anything in English, or anything in life.

Our memory is triggered by emotion, such as:

fear; excitement; sadness; hate; and love.

Although strong emotions bring on stronger memories. Think about a time when you were really scared. I bet you are thinking about it now.

Why is it that we remember every single detail about a past event when we were really scared?

 

This is due to the fact that your memory associates those images and situations when your emotions are in a heightened state.

Basically, when you are frightened, you enter a higher state of consciousness, and thus experience an increased level of awareness.

As a result your brain becomes more receptive to external stimuli.

So even though it seems a little crazy to perceive, very often I get the best results when I induce emotions into my teaching. That doesn’t mean I scare the living daylights out of my students. No, that wouldn’t really bring me much continuity with my lessons. I mean that I will insert as much happiness, joy, excitement and love to what I do, which will be reflected by the student if they feel the same. If they don’t feel the same, then I change my methodology.

Real learning begins when you are surrounded by strong and positive emotions.

As a result, you learn English faster.

Click here to book English lessons with me, Teacher Dominic.

Thanks for reading.

© Dominic Christopher Elliston and http://www.teacherdom.com 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dominic Christopher Elliston and http://www.teacherdom.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.