Some people master foreign languages smoothly, while others have to work hard on every word and grammar rule to gain more or less decent knowledge. Why is that? Royal Editing decided to find out. And you know what? Our paper editors can enumerate at least 15 habits that will make anyone a proficient English learner and lead to success. Read this article, get to know what they are and start developing these habits in the nearest future. As always, we will be here to help.
Make up a list of advantages
What will English knowledge give you? Once a person has such a list, keeping oneself motivated becomes a no-brainer. Imagine that you can already speak English fluently and understand what other people say. How can you apply it in real life? Put down a list and get into the habit of reading and rereading the advantages. This ritual will fill you up with energy and give strength to go on learning. Here are some impromptu suggestions for the list:
- I will be able to travel to Great Britain, the US and a whole bunch of other English-speaking countries on my own.
- I will watch Hollywood movies without translation, enjoying original scripts. I will also savor my favorite stars’ voices and intonations.
- I will find a prestigious job in a company that works on the international market.
- I will read Shakespeare (insert the name of your favorite British or American writer) in original.
- I will be able to keep a blog popular among people from all over the world.
- I will improve my college results (working with a document proofreader is yet another way to achieve it).
This list can be endless because our imagination is limitless too. Feel all these advantages with your heart and never give up. And of course stick with the next 14 techniques.
Plan your studies ahead
Having a written plan makes us more organized in many respects (here is a post for those interested in self-organization specifically as a writer: http://royalediting.com/advanced-guide-time-management-tips-for-writers). It is easy to forget about English learning today if you have only a fuzzy idea of doing some activity. And now compare to the situation when you see something like this in a scheduler:
- Mon 4 pm – 5 pm: watching YouTube videos on English idioms;
- Tue 8 am – 8:30 am: learning new words from the cookery book;
- Wed 6 pm – 8 pm: English speaking club;
- Thu 10 pm – 10:30 pm: listening to a child’s audiobook.
We find this idea amazing, and it will surely get you organized. Because learning a language is the same work as, for example, learning how to dance or sing, only you can do it without a tutor – with our website instead.
Think of treats for yourself
Everyone can make even unpleasant tasks rewarding by inventing different treats on completion. It is a psychological fact that expectations of something desirable increases human efficiency, and after some time we find ourselves doing the same work without looking for a treat.
This approach is popular among animal trainers. Animals get their regular rewards only during initial stages of training, but the goal is to make them listen to commands at any time. And it really works! In a week you do not have to give your dog a treat each time it listens to “Sit,” “Come” and so on.
This principle is based on mere psychology, and yes, it works with humans too. What can you offer to yourself after quality English practice? A chocolate bar? A night out with friends? Or maybe half an hour together with your favorite magazine? Think of something to reward yourself and go for it now!
Devote some time every day
Language structures become ingrained in our memory after numerous repetitions. It makes daily practice reasonable and more efficient. For example, if you decide to devote to English 7 hours each week and distribute them unevenly (3 hours on Monday and then 4 more on Thursday, or, God forbid, all 7 hours on Sunday at one go), it will be less productive than allotting one hour every day.
Regular studies give an opportunity to constantly revise new things, and you do not forget them. Besides, the chances of getting bored converge to zero. If we failed to persuade you, try both variants and see for yourself which one is fruitful.
Surround yourself with English
Why not switch the phone and the laptop into English? It is a nice way to learn all the essential words quickly (see also the list of basic English key words). Then, try to google up things in English rather than your native language. The process will require more time, yet the results are worthy too. Convert as much of your regular life as you can into English to simply dive into this language. Such submersion will yield positive results after several months.
Here are articles with other tips from our editing service that will help improve English knowledge fast:
- Ways to Master Coherence in English Grammar
- Top Secrets Of English Grammar
- How to Master Present Tenses: Quick Guide
- Beginners Guide: Relative Clauses
- What Does It Mean Text Interpretation
Install learning apps
This step will keep you busy in lines and public transport when there is nothing else to do. Spend this time wisely rather than consider it wasted.
Listen to favorite music
Rock, pop or R’n’B – the world has enough English-speaking bands and solo singers to suit any taste. The algorithm of working with songs can be the following:
- Listen to a song until you start distinguishing separate words and phrases. Do not read its lyrics at this stage.
- Try to put down every line of the song.
- Look up the lyrics and fill in the gaps in your writing; correct the misheard parts if there are any.
- Keep listening to the song until you learn the lyrics by heart.
- Sing together with the singer, paying attention not only to your voice characteristics, but to the pronunciation as well.
Watch videos and movies
The good thing about English in terms of movies is that today America is the heart of cinema industry. Naturally, movies coming from Hollywood will become perfect remote English teachers for students from other countries. There are films for any taste:
- action movies,
- detectives and many more.
British cinematograph has its masterpieces too, available for everyone who wants to develop a beautiful British accent. Start with Harry Potter, for instance. We bet that Harry fans know the plot well enough to understand the majority of phrases even without translation. For those who would rather prefer videos aimed at self-development, short enough to watch them before going to bed or during a lunch break, we suggest subscribing to TED talks. The Internet gives endless possibilities for learning – where there is a will there is a way.
Communicate with native speakers
During the first stages, it can be in the form of texting. Use browsers with a built-in spelling checker (surely, it is not a professional editing and proofreading service, but still better than nothing). They will help you correct obvious mistakes and save your face in the eyes of a native speaker. When you feel confident enough for oral communication, find suitable language clubs or native speakers online who are willing to practice with foreigners. Some of them may want to learn your language, so it gives occasion to provide mutual help.
Try to imitate native speakers’ intonation and pronunciation
Foreigners rarely get rid of their accents completely, but making it less explicit is within your powers. Find a video with a native speaker whose pronunciation sounds beautiful and pause the video after short intervals to repeat everything the speaker was saying. Pay attention to how they articulate sounds (a mirror will come in handy for this exercise) and what intonation they use (whether the voice goes up or down). If necessary, do a research on the peculiarities of English intonation.
We do not recommend picking a news presenter for the task because their speech sounds too official and inappropriate for everyday communication. A blogger or a stand-up artist is what you need.
Speak, even when there is nobody to listen
This advice is a logical continuation of the previous one. Having practiced pronunciation and intonation long enough, record yourself and then compare to the native speaker you tried to imitate. It allows to spot mistakes without a tutor; moreover, it is absolutely free. We know people who started mastering a language this way, and in several months, native speakers took their accent only for a regional dialect!
Writing down new words, expressions and grammar constructions is another useful habit for English learners. Now everyone can do it on a smartphone, so do not worry about having to carry about a notebook and a pen. Revise the notes from time to time and try to employ the phrases from there in oral and written speech – thus they will become part of your active vocabulary.
Here are some sources for these notes:
- books, newspapers and Internet articles,
- videos and films;
- phrases that you have heard from a native speaker;
- grammar structures from English lessons online (for instance, from our article on Future Continuous rules).
Find a “goalmate”
It is almost like a soulmate, but from a slightly different perspective. It must be a person who wants to learn English as much as you do, and this relationship will keep both of you motivated. Having found a goalmate, you will be able to share your insights and problems with this person, and together you will come up with creative learning ideas.
The secret of keeping interested lies in changing an approach to tasks. For example, the decision to watch one English movie every day for a month will stay attractive only during the first week, whereas a varied plan that includes English music, TV series, movies and speaking clubs will give you a sense of novelty and will not let any of the activities bore you.
In this post we already shared a lot of ideas how to practice, that is why varying your learning schedule will not be difficult. But we have other tips on practicing English without tutors too, this time with a focus shifted to improving grammar: http://royalediting.com/useful-tips-how-to-practice-grammar-all-by-yourself.
Make a public promise
When we let other people know our intentions, we decrease the chances of backing off. Imagine that all your friends are already aware of you studying English because you said so in a recent post on Facebook or Twitter. Now how can you give up on this when all the friends know? It is like losing reputation in their eyes and becoming a laughing-stock, which although does not sound funny to you. A published promise will push you forward even during spells of laziness, so to say.
That is all we have for today. The amount of work looks tremendous, but it should not scare you. Take one step at a time. Imagine that learning English is just like doing puzzles. Start with the first habit of visualizing the advantages, live with this practice for some time and then, when you begin feeling comfortable about it, move on to planning, enjoying treats and everything else we were writing about – adding the activities gradually. There is no need to start doing everything simultaneously, simply because our brain always needs some time to adjust to new habits, and it will sabotage if you push too hard.
While you are on your way to success, our specialists can take care of your essays for the time being. Everyone can get amazing academic results right now if they choose to cooperate with Royal Editing. Read more posts devoted to our online services: