When it comes to learning a new language, you may have noticed that some people can put in the same amount of time and energy as others, but the two people achieve different results. You might be going to the same classes as someone else and studying for the same number of years, but they seem to be racing ahead while you’re struggling to get past a certain level of English language skills.
This can be due to several factors, but there are many different actions English-learners can take to ensure their learning journey is more efficient and more effective. With the right mindset and habits, anyone can become an effective English learner. These are the 7 habits of highly effective English learners:
- Practice consistently
When someone visits or moves to a country that speaks the language they are learning, their language proficiency dramatically improves. This is because they are forced to interact with that language on a daily basis and consistency is key when it comes to learning anything new. If you want to improve your English skills, it’s important to practice regularly, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. Consistency helps to build a habit, and the more you practise, the easier speaking, writing and listening to the English language becomes.
Make a schedule for yourself and stick to it. It could be as simple as practicing for 10 minutes every day before bed or during your morning commute. The important thing is to find a time that works for you and make it a daily habit.
- Set achievable targets and goals
Setting achievable goals is important to keep yourself motivated and track your progress. Start with small goals that are easy to achieve, such as learning 5 new words a day or practising speaking for 10 minutes a day.
As you progress, you can set bigger goals, such as reading a book in English or having a conversation with a native English speaker. Remember to celebrate your achievements along the way and don’t get discouraged if you encounter setbacks.
- Focus on the fundamentals
It’s important to focus on the fundamentals of the English language, such as grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. These are the building blocks of the language and mastering them will help you to communicate effectively.
Start with basic grammar rules and sentence structures, and gradually move on to more complex topics. Build your vocabulary by learning new words and phrases in different contexts and practise your pronunciation by listening to native speakers carefully and mimicking their accents.
- Surround yourself with English speakers and speak with confidence
The more you surround yourself with English speakers, the more you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the language and learn naturally. This means listening to English music, watching English movies and TV shows, and reading English books and news articles. You can also find language exchange partners online or in person to practise speaking with. Joining a language group or club can also be a great way to immerse yourself in the language and meet other learners.
Whether you are ordering a drink in a café, talking to a friend or in a class with a tutor you paid for, its helpful that you speak with confidence. If you are afraid to try, then you will never get the feedback you need to progress.
- Learn from your mistakes
Making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process. Don’t be afraid to mess up, and don’t get discouraged when you do. Instead, use your mistakes as an opportunity to learn and improve.
Take note of your mistakes and try to understand why you made them. Look up the correct grammar rule or pronunciation, and practise until you get it right. Remember, making mistakes is a sign that you’re trying, and trying is the first step to success.
- Use a variety of resources
There are many resources available for English learners, from textbooks and workbooks to online courses and apps. Use a variety of resources to keep your learning interesting and engaging. If you enjoy your studies, you are more likely to keep it up long term.
Try different apps and websites to practise your grammar and vocabulary, watch English-language TV shows and movies to improve your listening skills, and read books and articles to improve your reading and comprehension skills.
- Find ways to stay motivated
Learning a new language can be a long and challenging journey, so it’s important to stay motivated. Find your own motivation by setting goals and celebrating your achievements along the way.
Reward yourself for reaching milestones, such as finishing a book in English or having a conversation with a native speaker. It can also be helpful to find a community of learners who can support and encourage you and remember why you started learning English in the first place. Language-learning is a constant process and its important to stay engaged with a variety of people and resources if you really want to become an effective language learner.
Ready to enhance your language learning journey?
When it comes to the best method to learn English, there’s so many different options to try and what’s best for you will be dependent on your personal preferences and learning style. However, if you incorporate the 7 habits of highly effective English learners into your study practise, you will definitely see results more quickly.
As a reminder, the 7 habits of highly effective English learners are: practise consistently, set achievable targets and goals, focus on the fundamentals, surround yourself with English speakers, learn from your mistakes, use a variety of resources, and find ways to stay motivated. With these habits in place, anyone can become an effective English learner and achieve their language-learning goals.