Many international professionals wonder what the trick is to English learning success. Are you wondering the same thing? Well I am sorry to tell you that there really is no trick! Building a skill like a language could never happen with a trick or by cutting corners (taking shortcuts). What you need to do when you really want to improve is roll up your sleeves and get working! That means consistent practice. These days, in many different cultures in the world, especially the US, instant gratification is what we look for. We want things right away. The success of Twitter shows us that our attention spans have dwindled to less than 140 characters! Learning a language just doesn't work that way. But that's ok! I think there is something very inspiring about setting a goal and working hard to reach it. Imagine how you will feel when you accomplish your goal. In today's article, I have a few suggestions about how you can consistently practice your English and watch your proficiency increase! Read on!
"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish"
-John Quincy Adams
Make a Promise to Yourself and Write it Down!
Every study that has ever been done on goal setting says that those who write down their goals have a much better chance of achieving them. What kind of goal should you write down? Avoid setting a goal such as "I want to be a better English speaker". This article is about practicing consistently so the goals that you write down should be about the specific actions that you will take every day to speak English. Here are some promises you can make to yourself to practice more consistently:
- "I will participate in a language exchange at least twice per week"
- "I will choose a new verb, noun, adjective, idiom, etc. (that I'm not familiar with) each day and find a way to use it in a conversation"
- "I will read one new book in English every month"
- "I will pick up the English newspaper on my morning commute instead of the paper in my native language" (for those who live in large cities, it is tempting to read the paper in your own language every day but don't do it!)
My point is somewhat obvious, right? You know that you need to practice. But you wouldn't believe how many people attend a language class once per week, never practice during the week and expect magical improvement. This doesn't work! And by the way, I am not talking about opening your grammar book for a few minutes a day! There are many more interesting ways to reach your goals. I am talking about a lifestyle change. For English learning success, restructure your day so that you can get consistent practice EVERY DAY. Make a commitment to yourself! Do you have any other ideas for getting consistent daily English practice?
Feel free to share your ideas below or come join the conversation on Facebook!