Setup Your Language Ecosystem
One big mistake language learners make is that they buy a book or an app and study it everyday… And do nothing else. Then then get bored and stop studying after a few weeks or months…. Why does that happen?
Life is not all about studying and working! You need fun and interesting ways to use the things you study everyday. Also, it is better to study English several times a day. If you study once a day, and never, ever use what you are learning, it is harder to remember what you learned- and more importantly… You’re not using what you learned!
Let’s look at how to add hobbies and activities into your life so you can practice English all day and also to have more reasons to be studying.
Talk to Yourself
There are things you do every single day where you know you have time to think. Activities like taking a shower, cooking dinner, and jogging are good times to try and remember the things you are learning. Spend this time to try and think back on the words and grammar you have studied recently.
If you go for a jog, look around and talk to yourself out loud about the world around you. Try to use the new vocabulary and grammar you study. If you have a long car drive or bus ride to work, this is also a good chance to practice talking to yourself.
If you don’t have people to talk to… and you don’t have anything special to say… There isn’t a reason to learn a new language. You need a reason to talk. Here are some ways you can make friends.
Tandem and HelloTalk
Tandem and HelloTalk are apps that let you chat with other language learners around the world. They are both free, but if you don’t have anything interesting or helpful to say to people, your conversations will die. Make a list of 3-5 things about your life that you think people would want to talk about.
Many people try to make friends on Facebook. If you want to do this, join the FreeTalk.fun Facebook Group… However, making friends is hard, even in your own language. If you ask a stranger on the internet “Hello, can you teach me English” OR “I want to practice my English with you”… They don’t know you! Why would that person work for hours and hours to teach you English free? If you want something, you need to add value for the other person.
Most people use social media like Instagram all day. If you don’t follow a few English accounts, you’re missing a big chance to practice English reading and listening. There are channels for every kind of person and every type of interest. Since Instagram is all about pictures and videos, you will still have fun when the English is really difficult to understand.
Real Life Friends
The best thing you can do is find real-life hobbies and real friends to learn with. If you are in a non-English speaking country like Japan or India this can be difficult.
One good place is a club called Toastmasters. This is a popular group in America for business people who want to be better public speakers. It is also a popular group to practice making presentations in English in other countries. If your city doesn’t have a toastmaster’s group, you can start your own!
Make sure you do 3 important things.
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