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November 27, 2014

Photo-of-man-with-question-mark-why-english-not-improving-LearnEnglishALCCAre you learning English and finding that your skills are stagnating? Many second language learners start off strong, and then hit roadblocks where it seems they’re not advancing toward fluency. Let’s look at a few reasons why this might happen:

1. You Need More Active Learning

Language fluency doesn’t come from a textbook. To improve, you have to use your skills. Put yourself in situations where you can use what you’ve learned. Watch English-language movies, get an English-speaking pen pal, or look for friends that you can converse with in English. You can spend your free time writing in English or even speaking aloud to yourself. Don’t just try to absorb lessons – take an active role in using the skills you’re learning.

2. You’re Too Focused on Correcting Small Mistakes

Mistakes are part of any new project, especially one so ambitious as learning a new vernacular. It’s easy to nitpick at grammar and usage when you start out, but don’t be too much of a perfectionist! Getting hung up on the small stuff will make you more hesitant when speaking, Your goal, as a learner, should be to speak as much as possible, even if every word and phrase doesn’t come out perfectly.

3. You Don’t Review Your Work

Reviewing vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation is essential to helping you learn English. You need to go over and over the material from class. Though rote learning isn’t exactly fun, memorization will make speaking English feel natural to you. Your goal is to be able to speak fluently without thinking, which means a ton of vocabulary and grammatical conventions need to be memorized. Set aside time to review things as you learn them!

4. You Need to Focus on Context

Lots of language learners memorize tons of new words, but fail to understand the context for these words. So much depends on linguistic context. When learning a new word, don’t just “What does it mean?” Ask “When can I use it?” Knowing the real-world extensions of your lessons will put you on a faster track toward fluency.

If you feel stagnant, don’t fret. Tweak a few of your study habits, and you’ll learn English in no time.

 


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