Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

These 3 Students Will Teach YOU How to Learn English

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Mon, May 13, 2013 @ 08:05 AM

English learners in Boston and New York a sense of urgencyWhat makes a successful English learner?

Is it the ability to memorize a bunch of vocabulary words?

Is it knowledge of grammar rules? Is it the ability to invest hours of time and money into private English lessons?

In my opinion, those things are NOT what makes a student succeed.

So what does make a student succeed? Today I am going to introduce you to three of our most successful students.

There is one quality that all three of these students had in common when they took their classes. Besides the fact that they were all super fun to work with....

They all had a sense of urgency in learning English. They knew that if they didn't improve within a specific period of time, they would fail to achieve a specific personal or professional goal.

Today you will find out exactly what these 3 successful students accomplished and how they did it. If you are currently struggling with your English, you can learn a lot from these amazing students. So take a few minutes to read this post!

 

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Amazing student #1 : Cynthia


Cynthia English and Culture student croppedWho is Cynthia?

Cynthia took private lessons here in Boston in the fall of 2012 for about 2 months. Cynthia began the classes with a clear goal: She wanted to pass the Boston University Interpreter's Exam to enter a course to become a Spanish-English interpreter.

 

What did she do that was different from most students?

  • She set a clear, short-term goal
  • She researched the exam to figure out the exact skills that she would need and we implemented those skills into our class
  • She did homework outside of class on a regular basis
  • She practiced English with friends outside of her class
  • She committed to a regular tutoring schedule of 2-3 lessons per week and never missed a class

 

What was the result?

Cynthia passed the exam! She is now studying to become an interpreter and she will soon be prepared to start the career that she has been dreaming about. Cynthia was motivated, dedicated, and driven. I am very excited about her achievement!

Read more about how Cynthia achieved her dream

 

 

 

Amazing student # 2: Carlos


carlos Boston English student resizedWho is Carlos?

Carlos first came to the US in the summer of 2012. We worked together in an intensive summer tutoring course. In the fall, he returned to Spain and then came back for a long-term stay to work at his company in Boston.

 

What did he do that was different from most students?

  • Carlos approached English-learning as an entrepreneur approaches starting a business

  • He listened to podcasts in English to improve his listening and did his homework between classes

  • He asked tons of questions and was curious about the language

  • He was not afraid to make a mistake and he learned from all of his mistakes
  • He had a sense of urgency in learning the language. He was curious about English words and phrases and what they meant and how to use them

 

What was the result?

I have seen real improvement in his level since last summer. The last time I worked him in March, I could tell that he was more comfortable with the language. He was making fewer mistakes and he was using natural phrases and expressions. He is continuing to work hard and he is on his way to English fluency!

 

 

 

Amazing student #3: Natalia


natalia English studentWho is Natalia?

Natalia is from Italy. She moved to New York City back in 2011 with her family. She works for a tech company in Manhattan. When she first arrived in New York, she was worried that her English wasn't good enough for her to be successful in the workplace.

 

What did she do that was different from most students?

  • She maximized her time by working with her tutor during her 45-minute lunch breaks
  • She linked her work with her tutor directly to her career by practicing Powerpoint presentations and business emails in English
  • She had a positive attitude and stayed motivated
  • She stayed open-minded about the immersion method to learn English rather than the textbook-based method that she remembered from her school days back in Italy

 

What was the result?

When Natalia finished her tutoring sessions after a few months, she told us that she felt more confident while doing business tasks such as sending emails, giving presentations, and participating in teleconferences. She gained confidence from this improvement and was able to keep getting better and better.

 

Read more about Natalia's success

 

 

 

Do you have a sense of urgency with your English goals?

 

Jim Rohn quote for English learnersWhat can you learn from these students? Don't begin your English classes with a vague goal such as "I want to become fluent in English eventually" and don't take English classes because your mother wants you to take them or because your boss said that you have to take them.

The urgency has to come from a place within you.

You need to feel that something is at stake. So what is that for you? Here are a few tips to find your sense of urgency:

  • How can better English skills help you reach a personal or professional goal?
  • How passionate do you feel about reaching this goal?
  • What will happen if you don't accomplish this goal?
  • What is your timeline for accomplishing this goal? (short-term is better)

Ask yourself these questions before you start studying English and continue to remind yourself about how urgent it is for you to improve your English so that you can accomplish the personal or professional goal that you have set.

 

I hope you found this article helpful. Special thanks to Carlos, Cynthia, and Natalia for letting us share their stories!


 

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