Study English Better in 2019 ⚡️5 Simple Steps

Lesson Overview

Lesson Summary 

OK, let’s start the new year off RIGHT! What progress have you made with your English throughout 2018? What things do you need to keep working on in 2019? How can we keep improving your English in the year ahead?
We’ve worked so hard over the past year, and there’s more work to do! So in this lesson, we’ll talk about how you can improve your study habits to make even faster progress with your English in the year ahead!

We all like to make things happen FAST, don’t we? Well, FASTER than we can usually make them happen Developing good study habits can help you HACK your English learning time, to become a more effective, efficient studier!
STUDY LIKE A BOSS and reach your goals faster!
Best wishes for a fabulous 2019!

Video Transcript
Section 1

Well hey there! I’m Emma from mmmEnglish! Can you believe that we’ve made it to the end of another year? 2018 is almost over! Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it? Well, I hope that you’ve been having fun here at mmmEnglish and that you’ve been learning a few new things along the way.

But before we finish up the year, I want you to tell me which was your favourite lesson of this year and also tell me what lessons do you want me to teach you in 2019. I’ve had lots of requests for conditionals and relative clauses which will be fun but necessary and also lots of requests for more common English expressions too. So let me know in the comments what you want me to teach you in 2019.

And while you’re thinking about the year ahead, let’s talk about your study habits because I think that we can improve a few things to make 2019 the year that your English leaps to the next level. We’ll set clear goals in this lesson, we’ll optimise your study time and find out if it’s your mindset that’s been holding you back.

Today I’m going to share some English-learning hacks with you, ones that will help you to make huge progress in the new year. But before we do that, let’s spend a few moments looking back at the progress that you’ve made this year. Try to be kind to yourself here. What’s one thing that you’ve done in English this year that you couldn’t do at the same time last year in 2017?

Perhaps you couldn’t watch an English movie without subtitles or maybe you couldn’t understand a whole lesson of mine. Perhaps you spent the entire year saving enough money to enrol in a language school and now you’re planning to start at the end of January. Perhaps you’ve spoken with an English native speaker to enrol in a language school and now you’re planning to start at the end of January. Perhaps you’ve spoken with an English native speaker and you’ve never done that before. Maybe you took your IELTS from a seven to an eight. Just tell me one thing that you’re proud of about your English. What progress did you make throughout 2018? It doesn’t matter how tiny or insignificant it might seem. Write it down now.

You could also add something that’s been quite difficult for you this year, something that you want to keep working on in 2019. And if it’s something that I can help you with, then let me know.

Now my year has been full of ups and downs, highs and lows and I’m sure that yours has too. But I’m really excited about what’s coming and I hope that you’re feeling really positive about the year ahead.

Now make sure you have subscribed to my channel so that you can find out what’s changing, what new things we’ll be trying in 2019. Just click that red button down there. I’ve already been having some conversations with my community here on YouTube to talk about what those things are so come and join us there!

Let’s kick off the new year with five steps that you can take to improve your English and your study habits.

Maximise your study habits

The first one is: maximise your learning time. What does that even mean? It means make the most of the time that you have. Take advantage of the time available in your week and get the most out of your study time. We all have different amounts of time to spend on learning a language, right?

We all have different priorities so when it comes to studying English, you need to focus on the time that you have available, what do you have available to you. The realistic amount of time that you have. Don’t go telling yourself that you’re going to do twenty hours of study a week when you have a really demanding job and you’ve got young children to care for, it just won’t happen. What time do you actually have to study English?

Whatever that amount is, we need to maximise it, make the most of that time. So to do this, I highly, highly recommend writing your own study plan. Now that sounds serious, right? Well, it is!

If you haven’t been making the progress that you wanted to make with your English this year or maybe you’re feeling a little lost about what you should be studying, chances are you’re not spending enough time on it or you’re not studying the right things or you’re not doing it in the most effective way. You’re not maximising the time that you have to study.

Now a study plan is going to help you with that. It’s going to help you practise the right stuff and make your practice more consistent. So it becomes a habit, make it part of your daily routine.

Here’s a super quick hint. If you watch through until the end of this lesson, in the bonus section, I’ll show you exactly how to create your own personalised study plan.

Now if the best that you can manage is thirty minutes of study each day, that’s okay. In fact, that’s great! It’s really good! But make sure that you commit to it and that it’s in your schedule. It’s scheduled study time.

But what about incidental study time? Extra time that you might have where you could study. Maybe passing time on a bus, for example. So what can you do?

Practise in your head

You can practise in your head constantly. If you haven’t been training yourself to think in English this year, then 2019 is the year to do it.

Now if you’re watching this video and you understand most of it without subtitles, your English level is probably at least intermediate level and that means you have the words and vocabulary to express your ideas in English, you just need to get more comfortable using them. And while it’s not always easy and practical to speak out loud, you are under pressure, you can regularly practise thinking in English. And you can do this on your own, at any time. It doesn’t matter.

Now I’ll admit that thinking in another language all day takes a lot of hard work and determination. So start small, start with an hour then two. Make sure you take a break. I’m still learning to speak Spanish, so for me, this task is painful! It’s slow, it’s frustrating, it’s really tiring. I always end up finishing the day feeling like my head has exploded and I start mixing up English and Spanish and then some other random languages I’ve learned in the past too. By the end of the day, you’ll feel like your brain has been fried. At least I do.

But this is exactly how you need to feel. Exhaustion and confusion and feeling like you’ve reached your learning limit each day means that you’ve been doing an amazing job.

Okay so compare it to going to the gym. Have you ever felt really fit after going to the gym every day for six weeks? You feel fantastic and you look great. But then you have a bit of blowout. You go on holiday, maybe you stop working out because you’ve injured yourself, whatever. You put on a few pounds and the thought of going back to the gym is suddenly terrifying. You know that it’s going to hurt, right? Because you haven’t been practising every day, it’s been a while and this is exactly the same when you’re learning English.

So that brings me back to my earlier point about consistency. Creating a routine to make sure that you spend regular times practising English. It matters less how much time you have and it matters more how consistent you are when you study. And although it takes a lot of work and self-motivation to start thinking throughout the day in English, pretty soon it’s going to feel like a habit. It’s going to happen naturally and constantly.

My students are always thrilled when they start dreaming in English. Have you had this yet?

Speaking of which, here is another item on our list.

Get a good night’s sleep

If you’re going to bed every night with your brain feeling like mush because you’ve been practising English all day, then getting a good night’s sleep is so important. It helps your brain to work effectively. Now this sounds kind of basic, right? But it’s simple. A good night’s sleep will improve your concentration and your ability to think clearly.

In fact, eating a clean, healthy diet is also going to help. If you wake up feeling hungover because you’ve been out drinking and dancing all night. You’re probably not going to be leaping out of bed to practise English, right? New Year’s Eve is an exception though, you can take me as day off to celebrate. But can you honestly say that you regularly get a good night’s sleep?

If you don’t get enough sleep then your brain feels kind of fuzzy, right? You have a hard time thinking about problems and concentrating. Not to mention, you just look like a zombie. Plus, there’s another more serious reason why sleep is important. Memory consolidation happens while you’re sleeping. Yeah.

What does that mean? While we’re awake, we acquire memories or we make new memories. We learn things, we see things, we study things. Sometimes we’ll forget those things in an instant and others will become cemented in our mind permanently. Now it’s believed that that process happens while we’re sleeping.

So memories – the things that we learn, become stabilised or more permanent in our brain so that we can access and use that information in the future sometime. So all the new words and the grammar that you’ve been learning in English every day, it gets stabilised in your brain, while you’re sleeping. So if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, there’s a good chance that you won’t remember all of the new things that you’ve learned throughout the day.

So my main point here is don’t let your hard work and your study go to waste, right? Make it a priority to get a good night’s sleep as often as you can.

Ask for help

Another thing I want you to focus on in 2019 is asking for help. Now I get it, it can be awkward, embarrassing, uncomfortable to make a mistake while you’re trying to communicate in English, right? It’s hard to admit that you need help. I wish that I didn’t have to ask for help with Spanish and that I just knew it. But I don’t.

But you know what? Getting help from someone at the moment that you are in the middle of a conversation having trouble is the perfect time to ask. Most people are happy to help you improve your English. If you’re in an English-speaking country and you aren’t really sure about something that’s on the menu or what something’s called in a shop, then ask. Make this part of your plan in 2019. Ask for help.

Now part of the problem and what maybe you feel nervous about is actually knowing the phrases that you need to ask for help. In fact, I made a lesson about asking for help in English, right here. But really what you need to do is just learn a handful of phrases like…

Can I ask you what this word means?
Can you please tell me the name of that?

Practise these questions so that they come out naturally. Most people are going to be happy to help you out and if they’re not, then move along. You don’t need that in your life, put it behind you and keep going, keep focused on your goal. There are grouchy people all around us, unfortunately. There are grouchy people right here writing comments under my lessons on YouTube. Do I let it stop me from showing up here every week to teach you? Not at all. They’re not going to stop me! They ain’t getting in my way.

Use what you’ve learned

Now after you’ve learned all of these new words and expressions, the next thing you need to do is use what you’ve learnt. Maximising your study time, thinking constantly in English, getting a good night’s sleep and asking other people for help, these are all really great ways to improve and advance your English but most importantly of all is taking what you’ve learned and actually using it yourself.

Passive learning, memorising, all of these things could be great ways to learn new vocabulary. You can do this by reading books and watching movies. Thinking in English is a great way to practise fluency on your own but memorising and thinking for yourself can only take you so far. What we really, really want to do in 2019 is find a way to help you practise and make that practice part of your routine.

If you’re not living in an English-speaking country and you don’t have many people around you that you can practise with, don’t worry. There are still so many different ways that you can practise using your English on a daily basis. So you can look for an online community where non-native speakers practise with each other.

Remember what I said in an earlier lesson? This one about finding the right group and the right speaking partner and how important that is? I’ve also mentioned The Ladies’ Project before which is an online membership community for women which I run to help women develop their English speaking skills together.

And there are so many groups like this online. Most cities have weekly meet-ups. Maybe at the local cafe where people meet to practise their English skills. Even if you’re in a non-English speaking country, there are still others around you who are trying to learn English. So finding them just takes a quick Google search. You might want to hire a tutor either online or in-person to practise your speaking skills and pronunciation with.

One of my favourites that’s so easy to do is to write a journal, keep track of everything that you did during your day in English. So practise writing sentences using the new words that you’ve come across throughout the day. You’ll see so much progress in your language if you practise regularly, habitually. Make it a priority.

Now I know that out of all of these steps that I’ve shared today, this one is probably the most challenging. It requires the most thought and energy. It might be difficult to imagine how this will happen but don’t let it stop you. This is what a new year is all about, right? Setting new goals for yourself, pushing yourself a little further outside of your comfort zone.

I’ve got a feeling that 2019 is going to be an excellent year for us and I hope that I can be here with you throughout the next twelve months teaching new lessons and sharing new pronunciation tips with you. If you’re looking to make progress with your English and maximise your study time this year then, these areas that I mentioned during this lesson are a great place to start. And if you have any other tips and tricks of your own that you’d like to share with everyone watching then please add them in the comments below.

If you’re keen to get some new ideas about how to take your English to the next level, then make sure you check out that lesson right there. And if you stick around now for a few more minutes, I’ll share my tips to help you create a killer study plan to improve your English in 2019. Let’s do it! WATCH IT HERE!

Links mentioned in the video

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