The PoDCAST Series ARTICLES
Learn English 104 Article
You Need To Hear This Secret To Learning English
This is the learn English 104 Article that accompanies the audio podcast. Use this to help advance your understanding of any unfamiliar terms used.
I hope that you’re enjoying the new, shorter podcast on Thursdays. Some of you have said that they like the Thursday podcast because it’s shorter and it just focuses usually on one word or phrase, so it’s easier to understand. If you find the main podcast, the Monday podcast difficult, you might benefit from our 500 Most Common words course.
Hi, I’m Hilary and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. We’re here to help you with your English language learning. We provide you with good listening material, to help increase your understanding of spoken English and help you move towards being able to speak English fluently.
I hope that you’re enjoying the new, shorter podcast on Thursdays. Some of you have said that they like the Thursday podcast because it’s shorter and it just focuses usually on one word or phrase, so it’s easier to understand. If you find the main podcast, the Monday podcast difficult, you might benefit from our 500 Most Common words course. Just a bit more information about this course, I’ve taken the 500 most common words in the English language – and made a whole course, only using these words. So if you’re just starting to listen to our podcasts and you want to increase your vocabulary and make sure that you know all the common words, our 500 Most Common Words course is ideal for you. You’ll find it a lot easier to understand the podcasts when you’ve done it – and the English you might hear on the TV or in films. Having a solid grounding, a really good knowledge of the most common words – the nouns, the verbs, the adjectives – all learned in context, through listening, will really help you. We’ve made sure that the 500 Most Common Words course is also a good price – something that most people can afford to buy. Go and have a look on our website at adeptenglish.com.
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Little & Often
So today’s podcast. One of the things that gets in the way of being able to learn a language is lack of consistency. What is consistency? Well, consistency is the noun and consistent is the adjective. And if you’re consistent, it means that you do the same thing over a period of time. If you are consistent with your English language learning, it means that you have good habits and that you keep learning at the same speed, learning at the same pace all the time. If you’re not consistent with your English language learning, you’re unlikely to succeed.
Sometimes your language learning may have a boost – a boost is when something suddenly goes a bit quicker. You may have a boost, if you travel to an English speaking country and you suddenly find yourself hearing lots more English being spoken. There’s no doubt that this will help your language learning. But unless you’ve moved permanently, you’ve moved there to live, after a couple of weeks, you go back home again – and unless you keep up the same pace, you don’t really continue learning at the same speed. Your brain will gradually forget what you don’t use every day. So you lose the advantage.
Successful Learning Habbits
What’s really much better for your language learning is consistency. Consistency means that you have certain habits, certain things that you do every week to help your language learning. Like lots of things, it’s these habits that make a difference. If you wanted to learn a musical instrument, you might go and spend a whole weekend, learning to play your instrument. And no doubt you would improve in that weekend. But you wouldn’t expect to keep that improvement, unless you went home and you practised afterwards – and you kept practising. With a musical instrument, you would expect to have maybe a lesson a week – and then perhaps to practise for about 30 minutes every day. And if you were a professional musician, it would be a lot more than that – but I’m talking about an ordinary person, who wants to progress with their instrument. So we’d expect to practice if we were learning say, the violin, or the piano.
When you do consistency, when you do this 30 minutes a day approach, the improvements are not dramatic. Or they’re certainly not dramatic in the short-term. But if you keep up this approach and you do it over the long-term, slowly but surely, you get there. Slowly but surely your English language improves. We know that this is how it works when you learn a musical instrument. You wouldn’t expect to master the violin or the piano all at once, over a period of weeks. No, you would expect to put time into it. Well language learning is no difference – you are trying to get your brain to learn a skill – and keep that skill. It’s exactly the same – it needs daily practice – and you need to look after your skill, in order to keep it.
Learning A Language Is Like Growing A Plant
You could think of your language learning like you are growing a plant. If you wanted to grow a plant, there wouldn’t be a lot of point in spending a whole day watering your plant, feeding your plant, talking to it lovingly – if you then forget it for a whole month! If you want something to grow – like a plant, or an animal or a child even – what is needed is a little bit of care and attention every day. A little bit of what is needed every day. And your language learning is no different – it needs a little bit of care and attention every day. A bit of consistency, a bit of routine, will help hugely.
What’s also important is listening to the same piece of spoken English language lots of times. We know that sitting down with a list of vocabulary and trying to learn it doesn’t work very well. It’s really hard to learn like that and you just forget the words when you don’t use them. But if you listen to the same piece of spoken English a number of times, you’ll have a much better chance of remembering the new words – because you are hearing in context, you’re hearing them being used. It has a meaning – and it repeats. Every time you hear a word repeated, it makes your memory of that piece of vocabulary, your memory of that English word a bit stronger. So as you’re listening, gradually you’re learning and remembering more and more words. This is what takes the time.
You Need To Plan How You Learn As Well As Do The Learning Part!
So have a think about how you are going to do your English language learning. Where in your life can it fit in? When can you do it? If you’ve listened to the Seven Rules of Adept English – you’ll know all about Rule Three – which talks about using your ‘dead time’. Use the time when you’re waiting for something to happen or travelling or exercising. All those times when you are not fully using your brain. Use those times to do your English language listening. Download our podcasts and our courses onto your phone. Made sure that on your phone, or your tablet, you have a good menu of English language options – so that you always have something to listen to. This will help you to keep your learning consistent and that way, slowly but surely, you’re much more likely to be successful.
You might find even that you look forward to those times, when you can do your English language listening. That knowing that you are going to do your English listening, means that walking to work or waiting for the bus or getting on the train, is a whole lot nicer because you can be in your own little world, with your English language listening.