My experience shows that learning a language is a process, there is no shortcut. The more time you spend speaking and listening, the better you are. Therefore, your results depend on the hours of practice, exposure to the language and time necessary for processing the information, putting your knowledge in order. However, there are a few key factors which will make your learning process effective:
- find somebody you can speak with
The most important language skill is speaking. Speaking is a process because it makes particular language aspects automatic. At the beginning we aren’t fluent because we have to think about even the simplest grammar, words which we can never remember in a particular situation, sentence structure. The more we speak, the less we have to think about these single aspects as they become automatic. Practice makes perfect. You can’t be fluent without having conversations, I think monologues aren’t interesting enough to keep you motivated.
- find involving materials which make your learning pleasant
Do these activities which you like. Don’t torture yourself with one thousand grammar exercises, 14 tenses if you don’t like it. Watch movies and TV shows, listen to songs, read books in English instead of doing mundane exercises from a coursebook. Professional teacher should be able to prepare for you a programme which consists of various language activities that will keep you interested for a long time.
- keep regularity
Devote only 20 min to English, but daily! Schedule 20 min in your daily routine, plan it and do it! You will see progress soon. Learning a language is like a gym, to see results you must be regular.
- be consistent
Don’t set goals like: „I want to speak English fluently”, it will take time. Set a goal like: „I will learn 50 words and I will be able to use them in present tense”. Small goals keep you motivated. Even if it’s difficult, don’t give up. Slow down, do pleasant tasks, tell your teacher you don’t want new things, concentrate on revision. In course of time, you will see progress and then learning will be more fun.
- good pronunciation pattern
Make sure you listen to people whose pronunciation is correct. Especially at the beginning, it’s very important to listen to native speakers or a teacher who takes care of pronunciation. Don’t guess how to read a word from a written text – check it. When you learn incorrectly, it will be hard to change it. It’s better to know nothing than change bad habits.
- immerse in the language
English surrounds you, read English internet articles, pay attention to labels on your products, compare Polish and English instructions in the manuals, change your phone language into English, think how you could say something in English, make notes in English
- be attentive
When you care, you will learn more:
- when you hear a song in English, try to understand what they are singing about,
- when a film has an option: dubbing speaker or subtitles – choose subtitles
- when you see a notice or board in English, read it and try to translate