As a long time ESL teacher, some of the most effective methods for learning English that I’ve witnessed have been the most basic ones, yet maintained in a consistent manner. Above all else, it’s important to know the reasons why you are learning English; is it for an upcoming promotion? to further your education? for travel purposes? or to simply learn a new language that may serve you down the road? Setting a larger goal at the forefront of your learning journey enables you to clearly visualize the benefits on the improvement of your life. Setting smaller goals that can be achieved on a weekly or even daily basis will help you stay focused on the larger goal.

Another important reminder for studying English is maintaining a positive attitude throughout. There will inevitably be some bumps along the road and moments that can be rather discouraging. Don’t worry & most importantly, don’t give up! You’re doing great!! Even if it doesn’t always feel like it.  Rough patches are completely normal & part of the process.  It’s important to stay positive & remember why you’re learning English. Remember that big goal!  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Even if you’re not the most confident speaker, it’s important to get those words out & allow people to correct you. This will help you improve quickly.

Finally, organizing a plan for when to study English is your best tool for success. It will help you attain those smaller goals on a regular basis. Decide how much time per week you are going to spend studying and stick to it as best as you can. If possible, practise every day & try to establish a routine that coincides with your biological clock. For example, if you’re a morning person, plan to study in the morning. If you’re someone who is always ‘on-the-go’ then try to fill those interim moments with a quick lesson of Duolingo (https://www.duolingo.com/) while on the bus, or an audio lesson while walking to work.

Of course everyone studies differently, however I sincerely believe that having a defined goal with a clearly laid-out plan while maintaining a positive attitude about the ups & downs of studying English will certainly help maximize your success with learning a new language. Good luck!

Katie Lemay