“I took an English course but it didn’t work; I didn’t learn; English is not my thing”
During the last years these are the phrases I’ve heard the most. Just a few days ago, a student came to me and shared the same concerns.
Unfortunately, y people face this situation. For example, those who start learning a new language, those who finish their university program and want to travel around the world or start working, and those who want to improve their English skills to have a better job, or opportunities.
If this situation has happened to you, allow me to tell you the same thing I told the student I was telling you about.
I will describe below the 3 most common mistakes people make when leaning English, but first I need you to keep something clear in mind.
- It’s not your fault! Everyone can learn English. Some people learn faster than others but it doesn’t mean you can´t learn English.
- There is no English program or magic trick that will make you learn English in 7 days, not even in one month. It requires time, commitment, effort and specially willingness to learn.
- With enough effort, commitment and patience you will achieve your goals (It applies for everything in life)
In just 5 minutes, you will learn about the 3 common mistakes, how and what you can do to avoid them.
If you take these minutes, once you finish reading this article you will realize how valuable it is this piece of information
((Don’t miss a special gift at the end of this article ?)
Shall we start?
MISTAKE N° 1: English courses with boring/”magical” methodologies.
The market is full with offers of new English courses, from universities, institutes, study houses, tutoring, and of course, online courses. On one hand, it is good to have more opportunities than before since it opens doors that in the past weren’t even there.
On the other hand, the English language market is overwhelmed, making sellers excessively more creative when offering their English courses to the public.
For example: “Learn in 7 days” or “70% discount if you register for one year”. The user is tempted with these phrases and end up buying a course without checking thoroughly what it includes and if it fits with his/her necessities.
In general, these courses comply by giving you access to a platform where you will have to spend hours in front of a computer reading or watching videos. Hey! It’s not bad, but it seems there is something missing…
These methodologies result in little interaction between the teacher and the student. It turns you into a recorder that repeats what’s being listened, there are no communicative activities like “role plays”, activities to help you develop your creativity and problem solving, for example, giving your opinion based on real facts, where everyone participates. “Learn by doing and without limits. Practice, practice and more practice”.
What to do if you don’t know which is the best course?
As mentioned before, due to the large offer, it could be complex for the user to choose the best course. Here I give you a pair of things to keep in mind when choosing an English course.
- A clear and open methodology. If you are buying an English course you should at least know what’s included. It’s like buying a cellphone without knowing it’s storage capacity.
- Don’t trust on cheap or “magical” courses that promise you will learn in 1 week or month. For example, our “One Race” methodology consists of 18 months, but after the first trimester you will notice a progress on you English and you will achieve your first objectives.
- Try to prioritize “live” classes, whether face-to-face or online, but in real time and with a certified teacher.
You already know, maybe you were tempted by these magical/boring methodologies but it doesn’t mean you cannot learn English, it means you chose the wrong course.
MISTAKE N° 2: You don’t practice nor complement your studies
As mentioned before, the key is to practice, practice and keep practicing.
If at the end of a lesson you put your material away until next lesson, you will forget most of the information you learnt. The best thing to do is to take your time to practice every day and to imagine different situations where you can use what you learnt, look for more information about the topic on internet and try to expand your vocabulary by reading and listening different material.
Yeah I know, it’s not as easy as it sounds. That is why I’ll give you some tips on how to complement your English studies. These are the same tips we give to our students when they start our program “One Race”
Here I detail them:
- Find English youtube channels of your interest. Since youtube is filled with media, it may be overwhelming to have so many options. Let’s see how can we find something useful:
- Choose a topic of your interest, for example, food, travel, sports, cars, motorbikes, videogames, entrepreneurship, business, etc. Although at the beginning it could be stressful to listen in English (depending on your level), over time it will get easier, you will enjoy learning the language and increase your motivation.
- Look for your chosen topic in English, so the search engine gives results in English.
- Remember that in English you may find different accents, for example, American English or British English. Despite they are almost the same, both have their differences, starting from the pronunciation. I recommend you to start with a neutral English, not informal because you may find different slangs and get confused.
- Once you have chosen your video, turn on the automatic subtitles. You can start with Spanish subtitles, then you can use English subtitles and finally watch the video without the subtitles.
- Participate on workshops and activities
- There are many tool on internet to participate on different online activities. On Facebook you can find groups where they arrange meetings and share different conversations in English.
- Meetup is an excellent app where you can find events and activities with different topics, one of them is language. A host creates an activity and invites other people with a shared interest like practicing English.
Yes! Music is fantastic for practicing every day. It is easy to find and you can do it any time.
Little by little you will recall different words learnt in class and together with the lyrics and rhythm you will start making connections until you get the whole meaning. AWESOME!!
- Who said Netflix?
Yaaaay! A broad list of movies. What you have to do is similar to Youtube but, it demands more time.
Now that you know how to complement your study, let’s read the last mistake…
MISTAKE N°3: Lack of time, poor organization
I think more than a mistake, this is an excuse because a lot of people quit their studies because of lack of time.
It doesn’t only apply to English learning. You may know someone who registered on a gym for 1 year and quitted before the 1st month (It happened to me ?)…, of course, before the pandemic.
Ok, ok, each person may have their own motives for quitting their English studies. Maybe it is true that you lack time, I’m no one to judge others. What I can do is to give you some practical and simple advices based on my experience learning English.
In the last years I’ve seen and learnt together with my students some tips that work when learning English so I’d like to share them with you today.
- Plan your time
This is the starting point for all the other advices. If you don’t have your time planned and organized, you won’t be able (or it may be very difficult) to allocate some time for learning English, or anything else, in your daily routine.
It doesn’t mean that you have to schedule everything you have to do but to point out the most important activities and assign them a fixed day and time. If you repeat this every week you will have scheduled the time you need for learning English in advance.
- Schedule Flexibility
Once you have your time organized it’s important that the English course you are taking has a flexitime that could fit your working hours, or free time.
For example, in “One Language” our students can choose among different options the schedule that fits the best for them. If the options we provide are not suitable for you, we can always talk and try to find a solution. In that way we adapt our program to your necessities.
As mentioned on Mistake N°2, in order to learn a foreign language, it is necessary to practice.
Depending on your learning style, you can find the best strategy. Try to make a schedule and find 15 minutes-spaces where you can check your notes, do any given homework or find more information about any topic.
During the 15 minute-spaces you can go to Youtube, BBC or any other website to watch an educational video.
Interesting, but there is something more…
Do you remember I promise you something at the beginning of this post ?? … The information I gave you today will help you improve your English learning, so I’d like to make you a special invitation.
Since you took the time to read this post, I’d like to help you and invite you to a lesson and the possibility to take an English test.
I will personally check your results and contact you so you can join an online lesson and get to know our program “One Race”.
What if I want to learn more? If you want to learn more, do not hesitate on signing for the online lesson. We will contact you and explain you in detail our program One Race.
Soon we will have more tips for you, and very useful information regarding English learning.
Please remember that in One Language, we want the best version of You