Many ESL students start out motivated and dedicated, but after a few days or weeks, they end up completely burnt out. Practicing intensely every day may seem like the key to proficiency, but this is typically not a sustainable study regimen. Instead of throwing yourself into your English studies only to end up disheartened, try to study at least 20 minutes a day. With a consistent, realistic study schedule, you are much more likely to remain dedicated to your studies.
The Key to Success: The 20-Minute Method
Learning English requires diligence and endurance. All a student needs is 20 minutes a day, no less and no more. The key to this method is to complete a study session every day, but also to limit the session to a reasonable amount of time. With the 20-minute method, you will notice improvement while maintaining your motivation. Studying 15 minutes one day, three hours the next, and not at all for the next two days is an ineffective way to learn a second language. With just 20 minutes a day, which is a practical and manageable amount of time, learning English becomes a part of your daily routine.
Studying Tips: Learning English Through Videos
You need to incorporate a variety of resources into your study regimen to ensure you are evenly developing your pronunciation, comprehension, and reading skills. One great resource available to all for free on ESL websites is videos. When using a short five-minute video during your 20-minute study session, we recommend breaking up the session into four phases.
First, watch the video without subtitles. This will give you a chance to become acquainted with the lesson’s major points, and you should also try to focus on the pronunciation of unfamiliar words or phrases. Remember to take notes. Watch the video a second time with subtitles to further hone in on unknown vocabulary. You should read the subtitles and listen at the same time. On the third watch, you should pause the video to focus in on the specific words or phrases that cause confusion. Write down any challenging words or phrases in your notes. The key to learning English is repetition. You should not rush through the video, but instead be active the whole time, looking up new words and phrases and listening for proper pronunciation. Each time you watch the video, you should be building your comprehension level. Some websites offer quizzes at the end of instructional videos, which should help you determine if you need to review this lesson again or if you can move on to a new topic.
Routine and Determination
The 20-minute method can be applied beyond instructional videos to any ESL resource. This method makes it easier to achieve long-term, consistent practice, which is what leads to fluency. If you find yourself becoming burnt out and quitting your English studies, try the 20-minute method. Twenty minutes of practice in your daily routine could help you achieve a higher level of English proficiency faster than you think!