It’s time to hack studing! Today, we’ll go through some life hacks that will revolutionize your approach to learn English faster. These methods are based on the principles of how our brain works, which is why they are so effective.
Tip 1. Relax
Learning English is all about keeping it cool. Success in learning English largely depends on how relaxed your brain is. Don’t stress about making mistakes, ’cause that messes with your learning mojo.
Why does that happen?
Fear of making mistakes puts the human brain in a state of fight-or-flight, significantly reducing learning effectiveness. Short-term stress disables the prefrontal cortex of the brain, responsible for memory, planning, logical thinking, problem-solving, and goal setting. In “fight or flight” mode, cognitive functions work at a minimum, and the brain is entirely focused on eliminating the threat.
Tip 2. Set SMART Goals
Before diving into learning, it’s crucial to find your real inner motivation for studying the language. What exactly energizes you? How will your life change in the future? Your brain needs specific goals backed up by emotions to keep you going and moving forward. Dopamine is responsible for that feeling of success and euphoria when you achieve your goals. It pushes us to start something and not give up right away, giving us a hormonal boost after a successful accomplishment.
How to set goals and learn English faster?
The SMART method will help you out.
S — Specific
Your goal should be clear about what you want; make it super specific. If your goal is just “learn English,” break it down into sub-goals: what aspects you need to improve, what topics are most relevant.
Bad goal: Learn English.
Good goal: Move from Elementary to Intermediate level.
M — Measurable
Goals should have an objective way to measure them to track your progress. It could be a deadline, a specific quantity, or a percentage change.
Bad goal: Improve grammar.
Good goal: Master the usage of all 12 tenses.
A — Achievable
We often set unrealistic goals for ourselves. If you set an unattainable goal, like becoming fluent in a week from scratch, you’ll quickly give up and lose motivation. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Be real about what you can handle, and take it step by step.
Bad goal: Prepare for TOEFL in two days.
Good goal: Understand strategies and practice one section per week.
R — Relevant
Why should you read “Gone with the Wind” in the original language if you need English for work, talking with IT colleagues? Learn what you need to use in your life in the near future.
T — Time-bound
You must define when exactly you want to achieve something; otherwise, you might spend a lot of time and resources on learning without getting the desired results.
Bad goal: Learn all English tenses.
Good goal: Master all 12 tenses within a month.
Tip 3. Plan the Next 3 Months (But Not More)
You know those New Year’s resolutions we all make and then totally bail on after three months? Yeah, Savanta, this British research company, did a survey in 2020 and found that a whopping 72% of people ditched their goals right after the first three months of the year.
Turns out, our brains aren’t big fans of long-term predictions. Calculating time and resources is tough, leading to major procrastination. So, those grand yearly plans? Nah, they don’t really work.
Here’s a better idea: break it down into 12-week chunks. Set yourself 1-3 goals for each chunk, but don’t go overboard, or you’ll be all over the place. And don’t forget to check on your progress from time to time. Seeing progress and success in English will keep you motivated.
Try out these tricks right now. Join our 30-day English challenge to improve your English skills over a month. Grab the calendar, tackle those tasks, and check them off each day. Let’s whip your English into shape!
Tip 4. Focus Your Energy in the Right Spot
The more we put into our language goals, the stronger our brain builds those awesome neural connections. And those connections are like the secret sauce to using new language skills like a pro over time.
If you wanna nail a language, you need to integrate it into your daily life. Make it a habit to spend some time with English every single day. Create your own English zone, no matter where you live. You don’t need to be in England or the USA for that — just switch up the language on your smartphone, watch movies and shows in their original language, and follow foreign bloggers to get loads of English content in your feed. Embrace the English vibes! You got this!
Tip 5. Take the VARK Test and Find Your Own Way
To make learning a breeze for you, it’s crucial to figure out a strategy that fits you best. Studies have shown that people absorb information differently. Back in the early ’90s, a New Zealand school inspector, Neil Fleming came up with the VARK questionnaire — it stands for Visual, Aural, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic. Based on how you answer the questions, VARK splits people into four groups, depending on how they process information.
You can take the VARK test (there’s a chance you might get a multimodal result, which means a mix of styles) and discover which way works best for you to remember new stuff.
Learning English is like a long-term project for you, and you should totally enjoy it to the fullest. Try out all the tips and find the one that clicks with you. So, give it a shot and see what works like magic!