Sometimes the English learning process can be difficult, frustrating, and daunting. A lot of English learners have been studying for years but still don’t feel confident in their skills or their ability to communicate. But sometimes, all you need is a little boost! In this article we wanted to go through some tips to help students build confidence and continue on their English learning journey in a positive state of mind!
1. Make mistakes
As an English learner, nobody expects you to speak a perfect English and if this is your goal throughout your learning process, it’s going to set you back. Even when you’re not sure about a word, a phrase or how to use them- give it a shot! Your teacher, tutor, or English speaking friends will help you and when they correct you, you’re more likely to remember it in the future. Also- ask questions! When you’re not sure about something or you don’t understand a correction that has been given to you, ask why so that you can gain a deeper understanding of the language. Speak, be vulnerable, and make mistakes.
2. Figure out your method for learning new vocabulary
During this process you’ll be learning new words constantly and if you’re not in a classroom where you’ll be tested on them, you’ll need to develop a new method for remembering them. This will be different for everyone- whether it’s writing them in a notebook to review later, adding them to a flashcard app on your phone, writing them on your hand, or creating a vocal recording that you listen to while you sleep (it’s science!) there are lots of different ways you can make sure that you’re studying all of the new things you’re learning so that you’ll be able to use them in the future.
3. Be patient, but driven
It’s really easy to get frustrated with yourself while you’re learning English, but you have to cut yourself some slack- learning a language is hard. You may feel like you have been studying forever and you haven’t seen a lot of improvements, but a negative attitude will only slow your learning. Be patient, but remember to stay focused. One of the most important things to do when you’re learning English is to be consistent with your studying and practice. If you push yourself to do even a little practice every day, you’ll see improvements much faster.
4. Don’t try to translate directly from your native language into English
Once you have reached an intermediate level of English, it is really important to make the transition from translating into thinking in English. If you continue to try to directly translate, it will impede your learning for a few reasons. First, sometimes there is not a perfect translation for what you want to say, so you’ll need to find a different way to express what you want to. Secondly, your fluency will be limited if you need to take the time to process your translated thoughts while you’re speaking. One way to make this transition is to practice ‘talking’ to yourself in English when you’re alone- driving in the car, in the shower, or walking to the store. This will help your brain to start thinking in English instead of translating (you’ll also figure out where you have gaps in vocabulary that you need to fill in, double plus!).
5. Never stop learning
Don’t let English be a stressful task- make it fun! There are numerous ways that you can practice your English on a daily basis. Check out our article on 10 Meta-Learning Tips for some ideas on ways to integrate English into your daily life. Listening to podcasts or radio stations in English can have a major impact on your comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. Following an English blog about your interests, whether it be fashion, sports, literature, or business, is another way to get your snippet of English practice for the day. Find ways that are fun for you to study and the learning process will become significantly easier.
6. Speak, Speak, Speak!
The research shows that to become fluent in a second language, purely studying the language isn’t enough: you need to speak it, and speak it often. One of the best ways to work on your fluency is by speaking with native speakers so that they can correct your errors and so that you can shadow their accents. That’s why we love Fluentify and we believe that it is the best way to significantly improve your English fluency. The more you speak, the more fluent you’ll become.
Are there other tips that you would give to students learning English? Leave a comment below!