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This year I decided to eat more fruits and vegetables. To make it easy on myself to really achieve this goal, my formula for success looks like this:
Buy vegetables 2x/week + make food with vegetables = me, eating more vegetables.
But, what does this have to do with learning English?
Well, the things is, you can make your own easy-to-use formulas for English learning too. Easy! Simple!
If you’re the kind of person who likes uncomplicated systems that make things simple and effective, this article is for you. And if you feel that the world is more crazy than usual right now, what with all of the 20 social media site you MUST be on, the news and politics, etc… well, this article is for you too.
Keep reading to see which of the following 3 systems could make YOUR English studies simpler:
1. Change your devices/programs to “English” as the default language
You can change the language setting on pretty much every device/computer/program that you own.
The location and way to change the language is different for every device, so I won’t go into the “how-to-do-it.”
I did this 5 years ago when I moved to Mexico and wanted to focus on mastering Spanish.
The first few days I felt as lost as a little puppy without his mommy. I had to rely on location alone for some of the buttons, but after a week or so, using my devices in Spanish was just a simple, daily part of my life.
Easy. And free! Definitely simple (after a little bit of learning time ;) ).
2. Keep all your notes in one place
Maybe you’re a digital person. I love Google Drive, but I HAVE to have some stuff written down. Even still, sometimes all my notebooks, notepads, journals and flashcards can get overwhelming - too much.
But I always recommend to my students that they keep all their notes in one Google document (as much as possible) and use one notebook at a time.
Having just one notebook can help you stay organized.
Here are some other ways you can keep your stuff all in one place:
Did you see a pattern here? ONE folder...or ONE document…or ONE basket with your notes and notebooks. This brings me to my next point...
3. Do just one thing
Maybe you really want to improve your fluency and increase your vocabulary and master pronunciation and do well on your IELTS test, and, and.... Great! I'm glad you have so many big and ambitious goals.
But, to simplify your study time, every time you sit down to study (either for 5 minutes or 50 minutes) do just one thing. One subject at a time.
This is so important that I'll write it again: every time you sit down to study, do just one thing.
Focus on just one aspect of your language learning:
Go deep into that ONE thing. If you choose just one YouTube video, listen to it once through. Then listen to it again, and stop and look up the words you didn't understand in a dictionary (here's my favorite online dictionary). Make new sentences with those words. Listen to the video again, and this time, repeat out loud and shadow the speaker (here's how to practice shadowing). Listen again for emotion, idioms, phrasal verbs, intonation, etc… Write a summary in your own words about the video. Record yourself talking about the video.
If you focus really concentrating on one thing, be it a video, podcast, or article, you’ll really learn and remember. It will be easier to actually USE the information from your study session later.
Oh, and it doesn't have to take 8 hours to study this way. You can do just one or two little exercises or review 5 important words. 5 minutes or 10 minutes is better than zero minutes :) .
Bonus Tip: Keep your study session short
When you find the right simple plan for you, this may not always mean that studying will be "easier." But more streamlined - there’s that word again - yes, so you can improve quickly and stay consistent.
Try a ten minute burst of studying after dinner. Or listen to one 5-minute podcast on your way to work or before starting your work day at home every day for 3 days in a row.
Quick, short, simple.
If you are looking for more ways to create your Perfect-for-you study system...read this:
The doors to my flagship program are finally open through September of 2020. It's called the Successful English Speaker (Click here to see more), and you get immediate access to all the modules when you start.
If your job requires English, this course is made for you, the busy professional. It will help you finally create your English lifestyle and speak English more fluently and easily.
I hope to see you there!
Learn to speak real, conversational American English with Sabrina, an American English teacher.
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