YOUR ROUTE TO LEARNING ENGLISH
English is a popular language, and many people want to learn it. Nevertheless, desire alone is not enough. It is important to understand why you want to learn a foreign language and what you want to achieve in the end. In addition, to get started and not stop halfway, you need a plan and help. We’ve put together a guide for those who want to master the language but can’t figure out the right route to learning English on their own.
Set a goal and maintain motivation
The first thing you need to do is to understand exactly why you need to learn English. Language is just a tool, not an end in itself. Some people have a very clear and understandable goal. For example, to prepare for an international exam that you have to pass in a year. You can’t be more specific than that. However, if you don’t understand exactly what you want, aren’t sure if the goal is realistic or adequate, use the SMART approach.
S — это specific (точный, конкретный). Сначала четко сформулируйте вашу цель. Это ◾может быть, например:
◾pass an English exam;
◾prepare for an interview with an international company;
◾communicate fluently when travelling abroad;
◾move to an English-speaking country;
◾fill in gaps in your school knowledge.
M — this is measurable (поддающийся оценке). The learning outcome should be such that it can be measured. Not just “prepare for the exam”, but “prepare for the exam to get at least 70 points”.
A — this is achievable (достижимость). Be realistic about your ability to achieve your goal. Learning English for the exam in 2 months is not a realistic goal. Increase it to 2 years, and achieving that result is already possible.
R — this is relevant (относящийся к делу). The goal should be relevant and appropriate. Preparing a 9-year-old to work for an international company makes no sense at all. But filling in gaps in school knowledge is an appropriate solution.
T — this is time-bound (ограниченный по времени). Remember to set deadlines for achieving the goal. This way you will understand what needs to be done and in what quantities.
Having the right goal is already the motivation part. Every time you start to doubt whether it is worth studying any more, you get bored, lazy, and have no time, go back to the goal. You have chosen it, so you need it. However, the human brain is complex, and simple persuasion may not be enough. What else can you do when motivation starts to fade?
1. Break the big goal into smaller ones and make them as simple as possible: learn a certain number in a week, learn to talk about yourself by the end of the month.
2. Do it regularly and put language lessons in your overall plan at the same time as your other activities.
3 Praise yourself for your progress. Anything, even the seemingly insignificant ones. You couldn’t master the reading rule, but then you did – that’s a victory. Tell your loved ones about your successes or find like-minded people on the Internet. By reinforcing positive experiences, it will be easier for you to move on.
4. Don’t compare yourself to others. Even if you study in a group where everyone is studying for the same exam. Everyone is different, and everyone is learning and retention rates are different too. Compare yourself yesterday with yourself today.
5. No perfectionism. This is enemy number one. Don’t strive for a perfect result, it’s the completion of the task that counts. Can’t cope on your own, see a psychologist.
Set a goal and go for it, don’t stray from the path, and progress in mastering the English language will not be long in coming.
Choose a teacher
Once you have decided why you want to learn English, decide whether you want to do it on your own or with a teacher. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, but one thing is certain: under an experienced teacher guidance, it is easier and faster for most people. However, it is important to choose the right teacher.
The main criteria you should rely on when choosing:
◾the English level – preferably not lower than Upper-Intermediate
◾education – higher education (philology, linguistics, foreign languages), certificates (TCT, TEFL, etc.) – a very good addition.
◾Personal qualities – the desire to develop in their business, optimism, the ability to find common language with different people, the ability to plan and analyze the result.
These criteria can be used as a guide when looking for a teacher. You can also find out what kind of training plan the teacher has beforehand. If you need to prepare for exams, and your Elementary level, and the teacher promises that after a year you will already reach the Upper-Intermediate, it is worth thinking about the qualifications (or rather, its absence) in such a teacher.
To avoid this problem, you need to do the following.
Determine a starting point and start learning
A good teacher will, course, help you with this. But if you don’t have such help yet, you will have to manage on your own.
First, you need to understand what your English current level is. This will determine the programme, the lesson plan, the textbook choice, the time required to achieve the goal. It’s easy to do. You can determine your English level yourself by taking a test on the website or by signing up for a free trial lesson at the EnglishPapa.
By finding out what English level you are at now, you will understand your next plan of action. For example, your level is A2, or Pre-Intermediate. Your next target is at least B1, or Intermediate. To reach this level, you need to learn certain topics and improve all your language skills. At grammar level, you will need to know the Past tenses: Continuous and Perfect, learn modal verbs in depth and increase your the indirect, gerund and infinitive knowledge. At the course end you will be able to watch films in the original language and be sufficiently fluent in abstract topics such as politics, business and social issues.
That is, each level corresponds to certain skills, as well as grammar and vocabulary. The lesson plan is based on these requirements.
So, once again, let’s briefly outline your route in learning English.
Setting a goal (SMART approach) → Supporting motivation (break the goal, praise yourself, see progress) → Choosing a teacher (education, language skills, personal qualities, adequate plan) → Determining the level of language skills → Learning itself (according to the plan according to the level and goal).
We hope our article was useful for you. We invite you to take our English courses for adults at our school to start learning English or to improve your knowledge. Take an English level test on our website and sign up for a free trial lesson of English online. With EnglishPapa, you will definitely begin to speak English!