Do this and you’ll see results guaranteed

Humans are impatient so I often get the question, “how can I improve my English in the shortest amount of time?” I wish I could tell them that all they have to do is give me money and they will magically speak English perfectly, but we all know that’s not how it works. 😅 The truth is, if you want to learn anything in life you have to make an effort and be disciplined. And here’s the good news, there are techniques that will make your learning more effective.

Many in the scientific community have concluded that the best way to learn anything is with practice testing. I’m sure this makes some of you cringe and have bad memories of your school time, but let me assure you I’m talking about a different form of testing.

When I was in university, I spent a lot of time hanging out with friends and travelling on the weekends. But when exam period came, I’d start to stress and spend entire nights studying and studying. Oftentimes, this method worked out for me so I didn’t change anything. Here’s the sad truth about it though, I don’t remember much of what I learned in university. Cramming and studying under pressure are the two worst ways to learn. It is much better to space your learning and learn in a relaxed and positive environment.

Nowadays, there are apps that can help you space your learning. Apps like Duolingo or Drops are my favorite for that. These apps remind you, after a couple days or weeks, of words you’ve previously learned. You then have the opportunity to repeat old words and have them stored in your long term memory. All you need is 5-10 minutes a day.

If you’re not a technophile like I am, then print out some worksheets and fill them out. Wait two weeks, and repeat the same worksheets. The brain is a muscle, so you need to go back and forth between exertion and rest.

If you’re not a self-motivated person, then look for a study buddy. Find someone who is interested in learning with you, and test each other. If you don’t know anyone, then consider working with a teacher. Nowadays, there are so many possibilities available because of the Internet, so there are no excuses.

Conclusion

The worst way to learn is by cramming and studying under pressure. Instead, space your repetition and relax. A positive mindset is the key. What we believe ultimately becomes our reality. If you believe you are too old or too stupid to learn, you are right. But if you believe that you have the ability to learn and develop new skills, then you are also right. Use apps, flashcards or print out worksheets to practice. You can also check out the quizzes in the e-learning section of this site.

Vocabulary

  1. impatient (adj.): having or showing a tendency to be quickly irritated or provoked.
  2. cringe (verb): bend one’s head and body in fear or apprehension.
  3. cramming (noun): study intensively over a short period of time just before an examination.
  4. spaced repetition (noun): the method of learning information, waiting some time, and then repeating the same information.
  5. remind (verb): cause (someone) to remember someone or something.
  6. exertion (noun): physical or mental effort.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What do you need in order to learn anything in life?
  2. What has the scientific community determined as an effective way to learn something new?
  3. (True or False) Cramming is better than spaced repetition.
  4. What are some good apps to use for spaced repetition?
  5. What is the key to learning?

Discussion Questions

  1. When you were in school/university, did you cram and study under pressure like I did?
  2. Which learning method has been the most effective for you?
  3. Do you have a favorite learning app? If yes, which one and why?
  4. Do you have a positive or negative mindset when it comes to learning?

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