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Learning English Effectively: How to Manage Your Time

Learning English Effectively: How to Manage Your Time | Daria Storozhilova

In my recent Facebook live video session, I was talking about two main aspects of learning English effectively: self-organisation and schedules. Finding the time for English learning is probably the most popular problem I hear about.

In many cases, people lose motivation after a while. They feel guilty and it leads to giving up. And we can't let this happen, right?

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Christmas time is not just a time for holidays and presents. It's also a perfect opportunity for us to think about our achievements and plans. Learning languages is often on the list of our New Year resolutions

What makes our plans effective? Let's start with thinking over successful time management in this video.

Watch the recording of the video session here:

what you will learn from the video

In the session here I am answering the following questions:

  • Do you really need it? How does motivation influence your time management decisions?
  • How can a teacher help? Do you need anybody else for your language learning or you can do it completely alone?
  • What works for you? What are the best possible scenarios for organising your English (or any language) learning?

I am looking at the scenarios from the perspective not only a teacher but using my experience as a learner of 4 European languages (French, English, Polish, and German).

Working on your New Year Resolutions? Read my post with the best tips and download the free template

important to remember!

/06:40/

Languages are not learnt in a month. 

We can work with some particular problem, just 'I need to fix my listening skills'. Yes, you want to learn how to understand the language, yes, you will do it in a month, after some number of lessons.

But if we talk about reaching fluency from zero, it will take time.

And here the consistency is the most important thing. And I've been talking about it many times and I will continue talking about it.

It is not important if you last for a month intensively. Better last for a year but with low intensity. 20 minutes a day three times a week in the course of a year will give more results to you than a month of daily one-hour studies.

If you are just doing it because everybody does it, it will not work. Be in control of your #languagelearning! #learnenglish

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How does the teacher help?

/09:12/

The role of a teacher is mostly to direct you and to show you where to go. We are good at seeing where you are. We are very good at understanding your level, speaking formally. We understand your current situation with the language . We can show you how to reach your goal and we can recommend the best resources for that. And of course, we can be a support system throughout the way. But just the fact of having a teacher means actually nothing.

This is very important to understand because individual classes are very popular these days. People say: 'Ok, I prefer to study with a teacher one-to-one because all the attention will be directed to me. When we are studying in a group, there are six of us, the teacher doesn't time and so on. Here it will be all about me'.

Yes, I will direct all my attention to you but who will do the actual work? It is still you learning a language. With the direction. With the support. With the motivation. With the regularity. But it's still you.

the main rule!

it is very important to keep consistency. It's better to do something in smaller chunks but for a longer period of time than to start working very intensively and then give up after a month.

How to organise your learning time

/12:52/

Some people block off regular time one a regular basis. Lindsey Williams and Olly Richards, for example, use a similar learning schedule: they have one hour blocked off every day in the morning. And it is very effective for them. they do it regularly and they show good results. It doesn't work for me. I can't do mornings. And I can't do one hour every day - it's too much. Seven hours a week is very much for me. I don't have so much time, and I don't have so much energy.

/14:05/

I tried, for example, studying only at the weekend. For a couple of years, I studied on Saturday morning (morning, in my case, until 1pm). I never planned anything for that time because I stayed in, I had a lie-in in the bed and I studied languages. Now, I don't do that now because I work during the weekend. Now, I have developed a new learning schedule for myself.

And for example, people go to weekly language exchange meetings in the evening. And this works for them. They relax after work, have a cup of coffee, talk to people in different languages for two hours. You could go there weekly. It's free of charge and you can improve your language skills. If it's a big exchange group, you will meet speakers of different languages.

my top advice on learning english effectively

  • Plan your learning in writing or in your calendar. Make your plans visual!
  • You can consult with a teacher at some stages for showing you your gaps, what needs to be improved and to ask for the best resources. But don’t think of a teacher as your final solution. They will not help if you don't do actual work.
  • Only do what's comfortable for you and forget about the guilt. The guilt will never help. If you are not enjoying it, don't do it.
  •  Limit the resources. These days, the problem is not to find good resources but not to get lost because there are too many even for free. Stick to 2-3 resources for one language.

Want to ask a question? Have some ideas or interesting experiences? Share them in the comments! I answer all of them!

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