It happens quite often that people, although they have been learning English for quite a long time, can only reach a certain level of English – sometimes even no higher than Elementary, but then their improvement stops or goes very slowly.
Does that sound familiar? If this is true for you as well, do not worry – there is nothing terribly wrong with you. There just may be a couple of things that you are not doing – or doing wrong – that prevent you from successfully improving your English.
Let us look at some of possible things that may be wrong and how you can change them.
1. not enough REGULAR PRACTICING
Here is how quite a lot of people learn English. They learn it at school or university. Then, a couple of years later they take a course because their job requires it. Then, a few months or even a year or two more they decide to brush up on their English again. And so on, and so forth.
If you make big breaks in your learning, you are not going to move very far or very fast. To keep knowledge in long term memory our brains need constant repetition. The more you repeat, the better you remember.
If you only learn English every few months or even years, you do not give your brain enough repetition to remember words and grammar well – so, you do not make any progress.
Solution: study regularly, ideally – every day. Regular repetition and practice will help you remember what you have learned and move forward faster. Some days you may just practice for 5-10 minutes but as long as you practice a little every day you will improve.
2. lack motivation
Quite a lot of people learn English because they have to – for work or for school. And we all know, that doing something that you don’t really want to do just because you “have to” is not very fun.
And even if you enjoy learning English and do it because you want to, some days you are just tired or a bit bored – and not motivated enough to study.
Solution: find extra motivation. Find things you can do using English that are fun: watch movies or TV shows, read books on the subjects that interest you, chat online with people who share your interests.
3. negative ideas in your head
Thoughts can be very powerful and influence your life a great deal.
“I am not good at learning English, I will never succeed”. “I am too old/untalented to learn English”. “It’s too hard”. Have you ever thought something like this? If you have, stop it and never do that again!
Negative thoughts and ideas influence your motivation and success. If you tell yourself again and again that you cannot learn English, it may come true!
Solution: try to avoid negative thoughts and create positive ones. Instead of thinking about what you are bad at, think of your successes and things you enjoy about learning English, think about your strengths instead of weaknesses.
As you can see, different things can affect your success in learning English. But if you keep thinking positively, find motivation and practice regularly, you will make progress in English faster than ever before!