Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

Are You Living English or Just Learning English?

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Fri, Jun 27, 2014 @ 06:39 AM

are you living English or just learning itYou want to become more confident in English, right?

You are tired of feeling confused all of the time when you communicate with people.

You are tired of not being understood by native speakers.

Well, today I am going to show you why just "learning English" in the same way that you might learn a new skill or a math subject is not enough to gain the English skills you want and I'll show you a better way to do it.



What's the problem with just "learning English"?


We had an interview with another online English teacher last week and this got me thinking about this topic.

If you haven't achieved the level of success you want with English you are probably treating it as an academic subject and it's not just an academic subject.

You are removing yourself from the language. You are hiding behind a grammar book.

This doesn't work because your brain is not completely engaged when you are "learning English" from a textbook and treating it like another school subject.



Why is "living English" better?


live EnglishWhen you are "living English" you aren't separating yourself from it.

You aren't treating it like a school subject.

To "live English" the first thing you need is lots of close connections with people who speak English as native speakers.

You want to start focusing on those relationships and forget about asking them to correct you because they won't do it and that's not their job.

They are trying to be your friend so build that connection and your English skills will get better naturally.



How to "live English"


  • Make native friends instead of hiring a tutor
  • Go to a barbecue instead of studying your grammar book
  • Chat with your friends and listen closely to their pronunciation instead of asking them to correct you
  • Learn English while you participate in a new sport instead of in a classroom



What's the bottom line?


The key question is this: are you separating yourself and your life from your English?

Are you treating it like a school subject that should be studied for 2 hours a day and then are you putting your book away until the next day? Stop doing that!

To really get better at English, you need to get close to the language.

Make it YOUR language.

Build relationships with natives.

Make it an exciting challenge and be curious.

Good luck!


If you are looking for a native English conversation partner, we have a program for you! Click the orange button below.


Get our free video 7 simple secrets to connection in English




Topics: Advice for English Students, How to Learn English

Speak with Confidence

practice English now with native English speakers

Monthly Newsletter


English Podcast


American English conversation listening podcast

Nominated Top 100

Top 100 Language Lovers 2012

1. Top Language Lovers   Top 100 Final

Business English


Subscribe to this Blog

Free Trial Lesson



"Every day I read the English and Culture blog and I love it."

-Student of English and Culture

Connect with Us

Free Practice Guide


Latest Posts

Resources for You


Student Testimonial

business English student Boston

"My classes with English and Culture have been awesome. I have been taking the classes for almost two months, twice a week and I am really happy about my improvement. Now I feel more comfortable and secure when speaking English and more fluent, too."

-Elkin, Colombia