Improving your English level in 2024

Today I’m going to give you a big overview on what I think are the best ways for you to go from the level you have now to the level you want to have.

In the shortest amount of time possible, we’re going to talk about your goals, training methods, the types of things you need to do.

We’re going to talk about time and how to fit English into your schedule.

So, stick around, continue reading if you want to know the most efficient way to improve your English, and stay until the end, because I have a question that I want you to answer. 

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Before I talk about the fluency equation, I want to briefly talk about your goals and your why?

Because having a goal that you are excited about is going to give you the motivation to create a plan, but also the motivation to continue learning. Because think about a time when you have started to learn something new.

In those initial stages, you have all that energy and motivation and desire to learn that new skill. For me it might be learning the guitar or learning a new sport, and those beginning stages are very exciting.

But those who are going to succeed are those who continue doing things consistently over the long term.

And we’ll talk more about consistency later, but you’re going to have. You’re going to need to create that strong reason why this is important for you. This then gives you the desire to do the right things.

Now to help me explain this. Meet Sagar and Khushboo. Now Sagar and Khushboo are both from New Delhi and they both want to learn English.

Sarah works in the health department in New Delhi, but she wants to get a job in New York within 12 months. And something that is holding her back, something that is stopping her from getting this job, is her level of English.

So, she needs to learn English in order to get this job. Now, Sagar lives in Mumbai and he’s going to start working for his family’s business, which is a restaurant in a big tourist area.

And his desire to learn English is so that he can talk to customers and to be able to take their orders and do the other things, which include interacting with English speakers.

Both of these people have a strong desire to learn English, but for very different reasons. They both have a strong wish to learn English. Not only is it important to think about your “why” in this sense, it also allows you to focus on the English that you need to know.

So, the type of English that Khushboo needs to learn is different to the type of English that Sagar needs to learn.

So, my first question for you is why are you learning English?

So, for some people it’s an external motivation, which means a job that they need to get or so that they can move to another country so that they can get into a university in an English-speaking country.

But for many, it’s also an internal motivation. They want to be able to speak English because it’s a challenge, because they love the language, or because they like meeting new people. Take a moment, maybe pause reading and think about your “why”.

Another important thing here at this stage is setting a goal. Now your goal could be to reach a certain level by a specific time.

If you are an intermediate speaker, it could be to have a scene one level of English by the end of the year. So, or within 12 months, but basically, you’re setting a goal with a deadline, now having a goal is very important.

We all have goals, even if we don’t write them down. When you start a new skill, your goal is to become better at this skill. We always have a goal, even if we’re not very specific with it.

But it’s a good idea to think about what level you want to have and when you want to have that level. But later when we talk about creating a learning schedule, creating a daily routine, we can also talk about.

For example, your goal might be over the next three weeks I’m going to do 10 minutes of the imitation.

We’ll talk about methods later, but this is a more specific goal which focuses on deliberate practice, which focuses on doing something on a daily basis, and this is more of a process goal instead of an outcome goal.

An outcome goal is where you say a C1 level within 12 months, but also create goals in terms of daily habits.

Let’s now talk about the fluency equation because this focuses on the 2 main things that actually dictate how long it’s going to take you to reach your goal. So, let’s again just say your goal is to reach a C1 level where you can speak freely, and you can understand.

Almost anything new here, you’re not quite at that native level, but you’re very good at English and you feel really confident. There are two main things that are going to dictate how long it’s going to take you to reach that goal.

The first one is the types of methods that you’re going to use, what you do with your time. And then the second one is how much time you spend doing things in English and learning English, how much time you spend studying.

It’s what you do and how much time you spend doing what you do. Just to give you a very simple example, if you spend 40 hours a week, which is a lot of time. Just studying verb tables, then you’re not going to improve.

And on the other hand, if you spend 10 minutes using the most efficient method possible, then you won’t make any progress. So, both of these things are important.

Now before we talk about the methods, there are two important things to know. The first one is you have to become an independent learner.

You have to become an independent learner, which means that you take responsibility. For your learning, don’t just think that signing you to a course or signing you to speaking lessons is enough.

You have to take control of your learning and that’s what this blog is going to help you with.

And then also know that there are 4 main skills to English. Reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Two of those are output and two are input. Reading and listening those are inputs.

And speaking and writing are outputs. With that in mind, let’s talk about the types of techniques and learning strategies that you can implement.

And the first one is to get lots of input, get lots of listening and reading. This is what I call immersion, where you listen to things in English, and you read things in English.

You can also watch things in English too, so we’ll include TV in this. Now, the majority of learning a language is subconscious. OK, this is an important concept to understand.

The majority of learning a language is subconscious. This means that you don’t really study your language, instead you immerse yourself in it.

Getting lots of input is going to help you with this. It’s going to allow you to get used to English, to recognize patterns and to acquire the language in a very natural way.

Now the downside of this method is that you need a lot of it. So, it’s not just about getting input, it’s about getting a lot of input.

The advantage though, is that you can do this while doing other things, and I’m sure you’re doing some of this already. Reading this blog is input.

It’s quite easy to do in a way, because it doesn’t require you to really think about the language you need to use. Instead, you’re just acquiring the language

This is easy to do these days, and I’m sure you can think of all the times during the day when you can be listening to English while doing the housework, exercising, etc.

And due to the digital revolution, where you live isn’t as important anymore because you have access to all these materials no matter where you live.

If you can read this blog, then you can read more or less anything that’s out there in the world. Now. The next technique is to learn English through sentences, because context matters.

And learning English through sentences allows you to learn new vocabulary and see how that vocabulary is used. But it also helps you internalize grammar because when you learn a sentences, you recognize grammar patterns.

You don’t need to know the rules to learn grammar.

Instead, you can acquire grammar through the repetition of sentences.

Now the input method, getting lots and lots of input will help you with this. But you can also focus on learning English through sentences by using something like Anki.

But know that the repetition of sentences is going to help you acquire. Grammar, vocabulary, and also if you do it with audio, the intonation and stress and the phonetics involved.

Learn English through sentences, watch that video on this sentence method, and then also apply this later. When we talk about mimicking native speakers.

The next thing to focus on is the sounds of English and how to make them, but not just the sounds but everything to do with English pronunciation. Now, this is something that not many people focus on when growing up and learning English, and this is obvious.

There’s a big reason why this happens. And it’s because usually there’s one teacher and more than 40 students in a class, and it’s very difficult for a teacher to give everyone’s personalized attention.

And to correct the way that they save things. But know that this is an important area of English. And improving the way you say things in English is going to help your confidence.

It’s going to help your clarity, your accuracy, and also your fluency. Because if you can save things without thinking about how to save them, then your English is going to just flow.

Now here is how to improve this area of your English. Firstly, know how to make the sounds. Know what you need to do with your mouth in order to make a sound in English.

Just knowing how to make these sounds is the first step. Knowing what to do with your mouth, your lips, your teeth, your tongue, etc. is the first step.

The second step is to practice and to get feedback on these sounds. OK, this is important. You can do this on your own by recording the sounds of English and then listening to how you say them, and then you can make adjustments based on what you think you need to do so.

Know how to make the sounds, say them, get feedback, and then get long term repetition. Train your muscles in your mouth to be able to make these sounds without thinking about how to do it.

The next technique is what I believe to be the most powerful, and it brings together the four skills and a lot of what we’ve already talked about so far. And it’s simply to mimic native speakers to mimic proficient or native speakers. By getting audio of sentences.

Listening to these sentences, repeating them, recording your version and then comparing the two. And this is going to allow you to work on all four skills if you do it properly, but it’s also going to help you improve your English in general. I think this is a most powerful method.

Now when you’re listening to the phrase and reading, you’re getting input.

You’re learning new words and phrases; you’re getting the input you need to acquire grammar and then you’re saying these sentences.

So, you’re getting the output, the speaking part of this you’re listening to, where you make mistakes or where it doesn’t sound quite like the original, and then you’re making changes.

And then if you repeat these sentences over the long term. Then you’re going to internalize them. You’re going to acquire the English that you learn from that sentence.

There is a lot going on here. And this also helps you improve the areas of pronunciation that you might not focus on, things like rhythm and stress and the music of English to be able to express different emotions in the way that you speak.

And a big part of this is getting the right type of audio that is specific to you. Going back to our Khushboo and Sagar.

Examples, Khushboo wants to learn health care English for the hospital work, so she should find phrases that are specific to her that are based on health care and business English, whereas Sagar needs to learn the types of phrases he needs to use in the business.

Things like how is everything going, are you ready to order yet, would you like dessert? etc. And then both need to work on general English. And things like small torque, things like phrasal verbs that people use in everyday English.

Know that no matter which area of English you want to learn, there will be this everyday English component. But be specific to you and focus on the areas you need to know. Those are the main things that I think are the most important techniques or strategies to use.

Study plans to use so that you can make fast progress. Now it’s also important with all of this to have fun.

And that doesn’t mean just doing things that you always find enjoyable, but it also means to enjoy the process of learning English, to learn the whole journey from where you are now to where you need to be, and to take pride in the way that you learn English.

Repeating sentences might sound boring, but you can make it fun, you can make it enjoyable, and that is a big part to this, because consistency is so important.

Now a couple of other things to work on are to get feedback on your speaking, maybe from a teacher to get that natural speaking practice so that you can put everything together and enjoy speaking English.

And then the other one is to try and make some English-speaking friends so that you put yourself in a situation where you’re using your English more naturally. Now the second part of the fluency equation.

It’s time. And you can have the best strategies in the world, but if you don’t do them then you’re not going to get anywhere. This is a really important part to spend some time on.

The key here is just to get in the habit and make English part of your daily routine. And I recommend implementing these strategies so that you can use them on a daily basis.

Dedicate 10 minutes a day to something you know you should be doing. And then if you do more, great. If you don’t, don’t worry about it. But the key is just to focus on 10 minutes every day and to do this consistently.

If you don’t do it for one day for whatever reason, forget about it and then do it the next day.

Try and do it every day if you can and make this part of your daily routine that is going to allow you to get used to doing the right things in English, to using these, I think are really going to help you.

And then over time it becomes a habit. It just becomes part of your daily routine. So, try the 10 plus method.

Now with all that in mind I’m going to talk about some general tips to help you with this journey. And the first one is to learn high frequency used phrases and words because these are the most important to learn.

Because they’re the ones that you’re going to use most of the time. So, take some time to look up this high frequency used words and phrases and implement that into your daily learning strategy.

And it’s not just about knowing something, because I come across a lot of learners who know how to use must and have to, but actually using it. During conversation is a completely different story.

It’s not as easy as just knowing something, and that’s why the repetition of sentences and mimicking speakers is going to allow you just to use it naturally when speaking.

Don’t fall into that trap of thinking, ‘OH, I know that grammar point, therefore I don’t need to implement that into my daily practice.’

Stay simple, go with the basic phrases, the high frequency used phrases, so that you can speak freely and naturally.

The next tip is to make it easy to learn English. So, download the apps that you need to have and have them on your phone. Change the language of your phone into English.

Only have English come up on your social media feed unfollow pages that you don’t need to know, and then also have English books by your bed.

Don’t have books in your own language by your bed, just have English books by your bed. Make it easy to learn and then another tip is to do something in English in the morning first thing.

Because by doing this, it makes sure that you’ve done something in English for that day.

But it also gives you the motivation to do something later, because if you’ve already done something in the morning, then you get excited about this. You get excited about maybe doing something else and learning more later.

Think about how you can do something in English first thing in the morning, and in fact, let me know what you’re going to do as soon as you wake up in English.

So, I have covered a lot in today’s blog. 

Now the question I have for you is this.

What are you going to do for 10 minutes every day over the next 30 days?

What method are you going to use for 10 minutes a day for the next 30 days?

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