What do you hear from English teachers or so-called “experts”?
During my school days I frequently heard such discouraging and demotivating claims like:
“You need at least 2 years of study to jump from B1 to B2 level”.
“It will take you many years of hard work until you become fluent in English”.
Maybe you have experienced a situation when an authority figure told you that it is impossible to do something within a couple of months. Or maybe it was even worse – you had believed them.
Where are your real limits?
The hidden truth is, that you can achieve a very decent level of English faster than you can imagine. I’m the best example.
I get from the B1 to C1+ level in less than 10 months… After 15 years of hopeless English studying. If you are already in a state of disbelief, prepare yourself for the best part. I ACHIEVED IT BY MYSELF, WITHOUT ATTENDING AN ENGLISH COURSE.
A true story:
I passed the Cambridge Advanced exam (CAE) with a “B” grade, which is very close to the native speaker level”, without any formal exam preparation.
But I needed years of trial and error, thousands pages of books, and a lot of research before I finally discovered what is really important when it comes to learning languages. At my business English sessions I teach not only English, I teach HOW to learn English in order to get the best results in the shortest time possible.
Does it mean that all of the teaching experts were wrong?
No! Actually they were right! At least in a part… Learning English, using the old, ineffective educational methods can actually bring you to a point when after 10 years of having English classes you suddenly realize that you have a big difficulty to make a small talk with an English speaking person at a casual conference meeting!
And it is not an exception, it is a common thing! That happened to me, most of my friends and it is highly probable that this is also the story of you!
How is it possible that despite countless hours of English classes, you are still in the same (starting) point?
I will tell you a secret –
“most of the teachers want you to believe that learning English is a difficult and long-lasting process”
Why? Because as long as you are their student, they are getting money from you. It’s that simple. That’s why you were taught with obsolete, time-consuming learning methods. That’s why you are learning all of the unnecessary, boring grammar rules despite the fact you will never apply them in a real conversation.
For most of the tutors, this approach is easy to handle and safe because they are in full control of your learning process. For example, even if you have already mastered 4 basic tenses, there are still 12 more they can get you familiar with. It doesn’t matter if you really need them all to communicate with your business partners or clients (in most cases you DON’T).
But it’s the easiest way for a teacher to “organize” the time for the next 40 lessons. So you end up paying for all the grammar lessons just to get an illusion of making progress and the teacher plays his role of a Master Yoda, telling you “you have so much to learn…”
This flawed teacher-student symbiosis can work very well for a long time during which everybody might be happy. At least up to the time when you are suddenly faced with a real-life situation such a sales conversation with your potential client from China.
One thing you can be sure of is that the moment of truth will appear sooner or later.
And there is nothing worse for a manager than realising that all your previous efforts were completely worthless. However, that’s exactly what most English learners feel at some point of their journey. So, to start with I will give you some very important tips to save your precious time:
Rule nr 1: Don’t study grammar!
It may sound like a madness or heresy to you, but I’m absolutely convinced that learning grammar can do you more harm than good, especially at the beginner and intermediate levels (A1 to B2).
You really don’t need to focus on “the differences between the first and second conditional” if you don’t feel comfortable and confident enough to explain your business partner from Hong Kong, why the project in which he invested large amounts of funds has a delay.
By avoiding the grammar sections, you can focus on English skills you need at the very beginning, which are speaking and listening. And your first goal should be to communicate with other people as soon as possible.
Rule n 2: Speak a lot!
Speaking is one of the most important parts of the language learning process. It seems to be so obvious, nevertheless most of the English teachers pay so little attention to development of the speaking skills of their students. Why? You remember – they are concerned about the grammar issues:) Talking with people in English should become one of your essential activities.
You don’t have a partner to have these conversations? Find one! It doesn’t have to be someone fluent in that language – to start with you can just chat from time to time with a fellow who is learning English too.
Personally, I started my speaking journey on a Russian online dating website. It has been one of the best ways to exercise my English. Not to mention that my motivation to learn English skyrocket. But I will come back to this topic in another article:)
You can also use our outstanding communication tool at www.owlangs.com, were you will find an inbuilt chat designed specially for English learners! It will enhance your speaking confidence faster than you can imagine.
You should apply these two rules as soon as possible. It will save the most precious asset you have – your time.
If you find this article useful, please share it now with your English learning friends – there is a 99% chance that he will benefit by reading this. And don’t forget to leave me a comment about your own thoughts about this subject.
See you soon!