Every new year comes with many resolutions:
“This year I’ll go on a diet and lose 20 pounds.”
“This year I’ll stop smoking”
“This year I’ll get a boyfriend/girlfriend/ pet”
“This year I’ll learn (…. – fill in the blanks)”.
But the problem with making resolutions is that they don’t tend to stick. They slip away and melt as if under the tropical sun.
But if you follow these steps (not in any necessary order and at least some of them) you will make progress and then you will feel you can continue to learn English (or any other language for that matter)
- Watch movies and TV in your target language (the internet makes it accessible) – even if you don’t understand what’s going on you’ll get familiar to the sounds of that language. (I particularly love commercials)
- Read a book you know well. Preferably a book you liked reading in your mother tongue. When my wife was learning French she bought a copy of the Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) so she could enjoy the book and learn in her new language.
- Keep a notebook – scribble down new words you learn – especially creating word collocation and usage sections. Revisit the notebook once a week.
- Use mnemonic devices. It won’t work for everyone but it does work. When learning about the coordinating conjunctions, for instance, you can use the word FANBOYS to help remember the list. Can you name them? I’m pretty sure you can, because of FANBOYS (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So). That is a mnemonic device. Creating a funny mental picture that you’ll remember is another way to use a mnemonic device. The sillier the picture is, the better it will stick in your head.
- Listen to podcasts – not only about English learning – but podcasts of other subjects of your interest produced in English or target language.
- Get a grammar book and do the exercises. Need I say more?
- Be mindful. Notice language. How it’s used. How it sounds.Create a routine, Stick to it.
- Read aloud – small texts and paragraphs but that will improve your pronunciation, intonation and fluency.
- Test yourself – after a month – review the points you’ve learned and test your progress.
- Enjoy your learning