That time of year…
So here we are again, a new year begins and we’ve made a list of ‘promises’ to ourselves of the things we are going to change or do better: New Year’s Resolutions. Now, if you haven’t, or if you are still looking for some ‘resolve’ as to how to improve your English learning experience, here are 3 suggestions for 2018 (SPOILER ALERT !! If you do these, in the end your English WILL improve greatly !!)
FOCUS ON the material when you are IN FOCUS classes
The first one is for ALL you UFO General English students out there, and it goes something like this : FOCUS ON the material when you are IN FOCUS classes !
It has come to our attention that many students simply attend the Focus classes without really ‘focusing’, often worksheets are found in bins or left on the tables after class, or are just put into a pile of papers never to be looked at again.
(What the *$@ ?!) Remember, the UFO system is based on scientific research, AND it will only work for you if you FOCUS on the material, keep a record of it (in a well-organised separate folder with each week filed accordingly) AND review the material later. For example, after your Reading Focus class, you should add new words to your Vocabulary Bank in your notebook (as you do/or should do after USE class) and then revise it daily or weekly. If you don’t, you will simply forget. “Use it, or lose it”.
Set a time at home when you can only speak English every night
Secondly, having trouble speaking English outside of school ? Living with people with the same mother tongue as you and speaking English at home ? This is a common challenge (not a problem) and you can implement a simple and effective solution. Set a time at home each night which is ENGLISH ONLY !
For example, from 6 to 7 pm each night, perhaps while you are making and having dinner, you only communicate in English (and no mobiles !). Gradually, you can increase this time slot, and eventually it is English 24/7! Sound easy ? Yes, it does. Is it easy ? Not exactly, and that’s why it is an essential ‘resolution’.
Watch a series on streaming services without English subtitles
And finally, this is one for all you ‘Netflixers’ (and other ‘streamers’) amongst us, and I know there are many. Most students use streaming services, such as Netflix, to watch series’. Now, obviously most of you are watching a series that is in English and utilising English subtitles, if so, well done ! It’s a great start which improves your listening and vocabulary skills. However, there comes a time (especially for Level 4 and above) to REMOVE the subtitles, and trust your ‘Super-English-Listening-Powers’ to take control. Once you have been watching a series for a while, you know the context, the characters’ voices and the general themes of the show, SO it makes it easier to understand the language spoken.
IF there is a scene which is too difficult, you can always repeat it with subtitles, and eventually that will no longer be necessary.
In the end, you have to enjoy, and even love, learning languages to truly become fluent and proficient. These ‘resolutions’ are just 3 of many that can be implemented in your English learning life to allow your ‘beautiful minds’ to flourish and blossom the fruit of our lingo.
Adam – Teacher, Langports Sydney
Langports UFO English Program
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