learn-how-to-really-learn-english

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It's really important to learn how to learn English.

To find out how to learn, watch the video or read the text below.

It's really important to learn how to learn English.

To find out how to learn, watch the video or read the text below.

Most methods of learning English consist of How to learn Englishlearning the rules, grammar and vocabulary. Then you practice these rules and vocabulary in activities, and finally (hopefully!) you can speak and understand the language naturally, without thinking or translating from your mother tongue.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.

And this is because, learning English in this way is like putting information into a box and trying to take it out of the box when trying to communicate or understand.

This is a great method for How to learn Englishlearning facts and other school subjects, such as history or biology. The problem is that a language is different.  A language is not a subject, it is a skill.

And the only way to learn a skill is by training.

Let’s imagine you wanted to become an Olympic cyclist.  Can you become one just by learning the theory? No, you would have to train to do so.

English is just the same.  You need to take your brain to the English gym in order to train to communicate and understand it.

In the case of an Olympic cyclistHow to learn English you need to build stamina, lung capacity and leg muscles.

In the case of English you need to build a network of neuralHow to learn English connections.

These neural connections need to be recorded by your procedural memory. This is the part of your long-term memory in charge of knowing how to do something.

Most methods of learning English consist of How to learn Englishlearning the rules, grammar and vocabulary. Then you practice these rules and vocabulary in activities, and finally (hopefully!) you can speak and understand the language naturally, without thinking or translating from your mother tongue.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.

And this is because, learning English in this way is like putting information into a box and trying to take it out of the box when trying to communicate or understand.

This is a great method for leHow to learn Englisharning facts and other school subjects, such as history or biology. The problem is a language is different.  A language is not a subject, it is a skill.

And the only way to learn a skill is by training.

Let’s imagine you wanted to become an Olympic cyclist.  Can you become one just by learning the theory? No, you would have to train to do so.

English is just the same.  You need to take your brain to the English gym in order to train to communicate and understand it.

In the case of an Olympic cyclist you need to build stamina, lung capacity and leg muscles.How to learn EnglishHow to learn English

In the case of English you need to build a network of neuronal connections.

These neuronal connections need to be recorded by your procedural memory. This is the part of your long-term memory in charge of knowing how to do something.

Most methods of learning English consist of learning the rules, grammar and vocabulary. Then you practice these rules and vocabulary in activities, and finally (hopefully!) you can speak and understand the language naturally, without thinking or translating from your mother tongue.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.

And this is because, learning English in this way is like putting information into a boxHow to learn English and trying to take it out of the box when trying to communicate or understand.

This is a great method for leHow to learn Englisharning facts and other school subjects, such as history or biology. The problem is a language is different.  A language is not a subject, it is a skill.

And the only way to learn a skill is by training.

Let’s imagine you wanted to become an Olympic cyclist.  Can you become one just by learning the theory? No, you would have to train to do so.

English is just the same.  You need to take your brain to the English gym in order to train to communicate and understand it.

In the case of an Olympic cyclist you need to build stamina, lung capacity and leg muscles.How to learn EnglishHow to learn English

In the case of English you need to build a network of neuronal connections.

These neuronal connections need to be recorded by your procedural memory. This is the part of your long-term memory in charge of knowing how to do something.

Most methods of learning English consist of learning the rules, grammar and vocabulary.How to learn English Then you practice these rules and vocabulary in activities, and finally (hopefully!) you can speak and understand the language naturally, without thinking or translating from your mother tongue.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.

And this is because, learning English in this way is like putting information into a box and trying to take it out of the box when trying to communicate or understand.

This is a great method for learning facts and other school subjects, such as history or biology. The problem is a language is different.  A How to learn Englishlanguage is not a subject, it is a skill.

And the only way to learn a skill is by training.

Let’s imagine you wanted to become an Olympic cyclist.  Can you become one just by learning the theory? No, you would have to train to do so.

English is just the same.  You need to take your brain to the English gym in order to train to communicate and understand it.

In the case of an Olympic cyclist you need to build stamina, lung capacity and leg muscles.How to learn English

In the case of English you need to build a network of neuronal connections.How to learn English

These neuronal connections need to be recorded by your procedural memory. This is the part of your long-term memory in charge of knowing how to do something.

With this training you will be able to understand and communicate spontaneously in English without thinking or translating from your mother tongue.

With this training you will be able to understand and communicate spontaneously in English without thinking or translating from your mother tongue.

Your exercise needs to be in 3 areas

Listening

By listening to English A LOT you will develop the necessary neuronal connections and these will be recorded by your procedural memory. BUT it’s essential to find the right level of listening for you. You can find out how to do that here.

Reading

By reading English A LOT you will also develop the necessary neuronal connections and these will also be recorded by your procedural memory.  It is also essential to find the right reading level for you.

Communication

By communicating A LOT you will repeatedly use and re-use important structures.  This repetition of structures in real communication will create the neuronal connections you need, and these will be recorded by your procedural memory.

Your activities should have 3 characteristics

Your exercise needs to be in 3 areas
Listeninglistening in English

By listening to English A LOT you will develop the necessary neuronal connections and these will be recorded by your procedural memory. BUT it’s essential to find the right level of listening for you. You can find out how to do that here.

ReadingRead in English

By reading English A LOT you will also develop the necessary neuronal connections and these will also be recorded by your procedural memory.  It is also essential to find the right reading level for you.

CommunicationCommunicate in English

By communicating A LOT you will repeatedly use and re-use important structures.  This repetition of structures in real communication will create the neuronal connections you need, and these will be recorded by your procedural memory.

Your activities should have 3 characteristics

Relevant

  • It is important to choose materials, activities and experiences that are relevant to your life, your work, your interests and hobbies.
  • This is because our minds have evolved to work in a ‘cost-effective way’. This means that our brains naturally make as little effort as possible, unless something is important to us and then our brains actually optimize mental processing (Sperber & Wilson, 2006).
  • Therefore, if the information or the activity is relevant or important to you, you will pay more attention to it and your brain will actually work harder to remember it! And if it is not relevant your brain might not make any effort at all!

Real

  • The best type of practice is real practice.  You need to use and experience English in authentic or real situations (Paradis, 2004 and Ellis, 2011, as cited in Netten & Germain, 2012).
  • Cognitive neuroscience has shown that when you have authentic or real communication, there is a more complex involvement of different centres in your brain, such as those related to motivation. And motivation is central in language learning.
  • So don’t just learn English, USE it! Use it as a tool to achieve other goals that you have in your life.

Routine

  • Introduce English into your normal daily habits and routines.
  • Find moments in your day which are convenient to do some English exercise.
  • Change some of your normal routine activities into English moments.
  • Surround yourself with English as much as possible in your day-to-day life.

Relevant

  • It is important to choose material, activities and experiences that are relevant to your life, your work, your interest and hobbies.
  • This is because our minds have evolved to work in a ‘cost-effective way’. This means that our brains naturally make as little effort as possible, unless something is important to us and then our brains actually optimize mental processing. (Sperber & Wilson, 2006).
  • Therefore, if the information or the activity is relevant or important to you, you will pay more attention to it and your brain will actually work harder to remember it! And if it is not relevant your brain might not make any effort at all!

Real

  • The best type of practice is real practice.  You need to use and experience English in authentic or real situations (Paradis, 2004 and N. Ellis, 2011).
  • Cognitive neuroscience has shown that when you have authentic or real communication, there is a more complex involvement of different centres in your brain, such as those related to motivation. And motivation is central in language learning.
  • So don’t just learn English, USE it! Use it as a tool to achieve other goals that you have in your life.

Routine

  • Introduce English into your normal daily habits and routines.
  • Find moments in your day which are convenient to do some English exercise.
  • Change some of your normal routine activities into English moments.
  • Surround yourself with English as much as possible in your day-to-day life.
RelevantRelevant English activities
  • It is important to choose material, activities and experiences that are relevant to your life, your work, your interest and hobbies.
  • This is because our minds have evolved to work in a ‘cost-effective way’. This means that our brains naturally make as little effort as possible, unless something is important to us and then our brains actually optimize mental processing. (Sperber & Wilson, 2006).
  • Therefore, if the information or the activity is relevant or important to you, you will pay more attention to it and your brain will actually work harder to remember it! And if it is not relevant your brain might not make any effort at all!
RealReal activities in English
  • The best type of practice is real practice.  You need to use and experience English in authentic or real situations (Paradis, 2004 and Ellis, 2011, as cited in Netten & Germain, 2012).
  • Cognitive neuroscience has shown that when you have authentic or real communication, there is a more complex involvement of different centres in your brain, such as those related to motivation. And motivation is central in language learning.
  • So don’t just learn English, USE it! Use it as a tool to achieve other goals that you have in your life.
RoutineRoutine activities in English
  • Introduce English into your normal daily habits and routines.
  • Find moments in your day which are convenient to do some English exercise.
  • Change some of your normal routine activities into English moments.
  • Surround yourself with English as much as possible in your day-to-day life.
Now you are ready to start exercising!

Find fantasitc resources and activities for your English gym training.

Ideas!