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Help! I'm not improving my English!

September 5, 2016

 

(Bấm vào đây để chọn bài học kế tiếp)

 

Xem lời thoại dưới đây:

 

0:02

Hi, there. My name is Emma, and in today's video, I am going to discuss something that

0:08

is a problem for a lot of advanced students. That problem is: "Help: I'm not improving

0:16

my English anymore." Okay? A lot of advanced students believe that they are no longer improving.

0:24

They've learned the present perfect, they've learned the past tense, they know a lot of

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vocabulary, and they just feel like they're no longer getting better in English; they

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feel like they are at the same level.

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So, in this video, I am going to tell you three ways to stop you from feeling this way,

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because it's not true. Okay? You probably are improving; you just don't realize it.

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So, the first thing I want to do is explain why these feelings are normal. I have here

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a graph. This means beginner, this is advanced, and intermediate would be here. For a lot

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of students, they remember when they were a beginner. They learned a lot. You learn

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past tense, you learn all sorts of new vocabulary, you learn: "Hello", "Good-bye", "How are you?"

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There's a lot you learn as a beginner, and you actually learn quite quickly. Okay? The

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first day you learn English, maybe you learn five words; the next day maybe you learn 10.

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You're learning very, very quickly.

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As you get more and more advanced, the learning actually starts to kind of trickle off; it

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starts to almost plateau. You're still learning, but you're not learning as much as you did

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when you were a beginner. You don't feel the same way as you did when you were... When

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you were a beginner. So, this is a very normal feeling.

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How do you deal with this? Okay? How do you deal with this frustration? Well, first of

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all, a lot of students, they don't realize how much they're actually learning, because

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they don't think about what they're learning. They go to school and then they come home,

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or they go to work and come home, and they just, you know, they don't think about it.

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Well, so this is why I recommend making a self-reflection journal. Okay? If every day

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you write what you have learned that day about your English vocabulary, maybe grammar, this

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will help you recognize that yes, you are learning. Okay? Yesterday, maybe, you know,

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you learned five new words. When you write these words down, then you have proof, you

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have evidence of how much you actually are learning. And you can think about, and this

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will help you with that frustration.

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So, what I would recommend doing is buy maybe a diary or a journal, and in that journal

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just write: "What did I learn today?" Did you learn some new idioms? Did you learn a

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new expression? A new word? A new grammar point? Okay? So write down everything you've

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learned, and then it's good to think about: what do you want to learn tomorrow? If you

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think about what you want to learn, you're more likely to actually learn it, and this

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will really help you get over this plateau. Okay?

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A second thing you can do, which will help you with this frustration, is in terms of

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goals. Okay? A lot of students, when they make a goal, their goal is too big; their

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goal is: "I want to learn English. This is my goal. This is what I want to do." The problem

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is this doesn't tell you how you're going to do it, and it's just too big; you can't

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measure it. It's very difficult to measure this goal, so I've put an "x" here.

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Instead, you should pick a smaller goal. Okay? So, for example: "Today I will learn five

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verbs." You could be even more specific. "Today I will learn five verbs about swimming."

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Maybe you want to practice pronunciation. "Today I will use 'I'll' instead of 'I will' three

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times.", "Today I will use the present perfect two times." So when you actually make a goal

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and you have very specific numbers, and times, and detail, this will really help you to get

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over this hump because you know that you are actually improving, you have evidence, you

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have this journal, you have these goals, and it's a lot easier to meet these goals.

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Finally, a third thing you can do if you're feeling frustrated because of this is you

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can tape record yourself speaking. You can either buy a tape recorder, or use your phone

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or computer. Talk about something for one minute, and then listen to your mistakes.

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Okay? Keep doing this every day. Measure it. Listen for specific mistakes, and see: are you improving?

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When you speak, do you say a lot of: "Uh, umm, ah" or is it very clear? Do you use organizers?

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"First of all, secondly, finally"? Or is your speech very confused and without organization?

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So by tape recording yourself, you have evidence. You can listen to yourself in... You know,

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in the past. "Okay, this is how I sounded five months ago. This is how I sound now.

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I have improved." Okay?

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So, the main reason why students feel frustrated is because they have no evidence of how much

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they are learning and how much they are improving. By following these three things: creating

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a journal, setting small goals, and taping yourself speak, this is a way to really deal

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with your frustration and to have evidence of your improvement. Okay.

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So, I invite you to visit our website: www.engvid.com. There you can find a lot of different resources

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on vocabulary, grammar, speaking, pronunciation, and you can practice those words and write

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about them in your self-reflection journal. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel,

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which has a lot of similar resources. So, I invite you to come visit us. Thank you for

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watching this video. I hope you are not feeling like this, feeling frustrated, and I hope

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you realize you are improving. Until next time, take care.

 

 

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