You want to learn English quickly but you don’t want to forget everything as soon as you learn it? You need to live it so it’ll last for life!
Does improving your English seem like hard work? Imagine how the builders of Stonehenge felt, moving massive sarsen stones around. But they built something to last. Make your English so secure it lasts you a lifetime.
Build your confidence. Polish your skill. Stone by stone, like Stonehenge.
What’s the first step? Use it!
From the very first moment, with the first words you learn, TALK to every English speaker you can find.
LISTEN to native speakers all the time. The BBC, CNN, TED talks, audiobooks, music. Make English the soundtrack to your life.
SING even if you don’t understand what you’re singing. Repetition is at the heart of mastering a language. A catchy tune and compelling rhythm make endless repeats a lot more fun! They also encourage the words you’re singing to stick in your brain, which helps you to recall the structures and vocabulary you’re subconsciously memorising. They’ll come out of your mouth one day when you least expect it.
Analysing the lyrics of a favourite song is one of the most popular homework activities for my clients. Motivation, as always, is the key to good learning.
READ as widely as possible. Start with baby books if you want to but push yourself on to novels as soon as possible. Somewhere between those two you’ll find selected readers edited for learners. News items range from easy-to-follow international reports to complex scientific or political analyses. The documentation you use in your own professional world will present specific challenges but you’ll overcome them because you’ll soon be used to using it!
The more you read, the more frequently you’ll meet the vocabulary that matters to you. Repetition again. As you study new grammar, you’ll begin to recognise it in your reading. You’ll realise that your understanding is deepening, that the true meaning of a sentence is clear to you. If you love reading, this will be a pleasure, not a task. But social media makes bite-size reading easy for everyone.
Every time you meet a new word or an additional point of grammar, WRITE it down in a sentence. Make the example relevant to you. Something that’s true, important or funny. Think of 3 or 4 examples, if you can, and commit them to paper or screen. If possible, get someone to check that you’ve used the English correctly. These examples will stay with you. They’ll be ready for you to use in casual conversation or impromptu meetings.
FIND a good teacher who’ll help you improve your pronunciation and intonation. Better still, combine this with a VISIT to an English-speaking country where you can immerse yourself in English.
And finally, the lintel stone! You’re ready to place the lintel on the sarsen stones of your English. If the sarsens you’ve put in place are strong enough, they’ll support the lintel. But it takes one final effort to get it there.
What is that lintel for you? The use of phrasal verbs? Giving a speech at a conference AND coping with the dinner table chit-chat afterwards? Passing your Cambridge Proficiency exam?
That’s how you learn English, stone by stone. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get to place your lintel, that crowning glory of your efforts.
Interested in learning more about the language of Stonehenge? Have a look at this glossary: