One of the most challenging aspects of learning a language can be finding the time to do so. It requires a great deal of willpower and organisation. This post is going to look at how to organize your time and to find spaces in your routine to study.
The ideal thing to do is to immerse yourself in the language and use it as much as possible. For this reason you should look to incorporate English into your daily routine, here is a video on the subject.
A great way to start this is by putting English all over your house. Write post-it notes and stick them to your possessions. Put your phone in English (let’s be honest, we spend hours looking at our phone) and watch TV in English at all times.
It is clear that you cannot dedicate 100% of your time to language learning, The likeliness is that you have a job or even a family to occupy your time so you need to find 30 minutes per day to study in some way, for example:
You need to balance your study time between a few different aspects of language learning:
- Use all 4 language learning skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening)
- Speaking and listening tasks should be done frequently, at least 3 times per week.
- Class time!
- Activities that you enjoy like listening to music or watching TV series with subtitles.
- Improve your vocabulary and review grammar mistakes.
- Play in English! Games and quizzes are a great way to learn.
It is clear that you need to use a guideline to make sure that you stay focussed on your studies. You can either go to a language school, study online (HERE) or use language learning material such as: grammar (HERE), vocabulary (HERE) and phrasal verbs (HERE).
It is also a good idea to use a range of course materials that are focussed on the exam that you are taking. Have a look at the main menu and our exam section or follow the link (HERE)
The best way to study is to combine a few different things to make sure you stay motivated and that you always have enough material and content to study. You should do each and every of these things:
- Use a phone APP like Duolingo or Babbel
- Have a tutor to help you with exam preparation and to correct your mistakes (HERE)
- Watch TV in English, I recommend Netflix as it has subtitles and you can repeat programs on demand.
- Read general books in English
- Write all the time (HERE)
- Speak in English to natives and non-natives (HERE)
- Study online as it is flexible and reasonably priced (HERE)
There are two aspects of learning a language that hardly anyone ever speaks about, motivation and confidence. It is essential to set goals that you can actually achieve. For example you cannot go from being at a basic to advanced in 1 month, it is not realistic. You will lose focus and become demotivated. The best thing to do is to set small goals that you can achieve, like: learn 5 key words per day. Speak for 15 minutes on Skype to an English speaking friend etc. This will help improve your confidence when using English and this enhances your English level.
An essential part of this is utilizing your time well to make sure that you are not wasting it. Take a look at our 10 tips to improve your memory when learning a language (HERE) Get a language learning partner:
The importance of not studying alone has been mentioned previously on this blog (HERE) but I must repeat it. Your progress will enhance a lot by just working with another language learner. You should speak together, talk about your doubts and also correct each others mistakes to make sure that you improve. You must do all of this as well as motivating your partner to continue.
All of these points are aimed at enhancing your English learning and to finish off we want to talk about the importance of enjoyment. The best way to make sure that you carry on studying is to do things that you enjoy, but just do them in English. It is easy to motivate yourself to study if you have fun doing it. Sometimes we need to change out mindset a bit and convince ourselves that ENGLISH CAN BE FUN AND ENJOYABLE.
- change your phone into English
- read in English
- watch TV in English
- speak as often as you can in English
- do an English activity every day
- join a language learning community on a social network site (HERE)