How you go through the English lessons in your course is going to determine how fast you learn the language.
Here are four very useful tips that helped me became fluent:
Tip #1: don’t skip anything.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or have some previous knowledge of English, start your course on lesson 1. Don’t skip any lessons or sections, even if you’re familiar with them.
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of building a solid base. The more solid your knowledge of basic English is, the faster you’ll learn new things.
Tip #2: don’t rush.
Avoid rushing through the first few lessons of your English course, even if they’re easy. Go through them thoroughly, repeating the drills until you can get all the answers right.
That way you’ll avoid gaps in your knowledge. Small gaps at the beginning become huge holes by lesson twelve.
Tip #3: trust your course.
Sometimes you may feel that your English course goes too fast, or not fast enough. Often you’ll get the impression that a difficult grammar point is brought up too soon, or that essential vocabulary isn’t coming up soon enough.
Put those thoughts aside and follow the material in the way it’s presented. Avoid jumping to more advanced English lessons or using two language courses at the same time. It’ll all soon fall into place!
Tip #4: take notes if you need to.
Don’t hesitate to write notes down in a notebook, or create a document on your computer called, for example: “My English course notes”. Make a note of anything you find difficult or unclear, and come back to your notes every so often.
As you progress, you’ll see that it all becomes clear and the difficulties disappear.
Let’s go through an English lesson, step by step
Listen to the recordings
The first thing to do when you start a new lesson, including Lesson 1, is to listen to that lesson’s recordings twice, without looking at their transcript.
Always make sure you listen to all recordings before reading their transcript. Often you’ll understand very little or even nothing at first, but it’s the most effective way to develop your listening skills fast. Then listen to the recordings again, this time while you read the transcript.
Speak out loud
Now listen to the recordings again, and read the text out loud along with the native speakers.
Make sure you speak out loud, as if you were talking to someone.
Speaking a foreign language often requires you to produce sounds you’re not used to. You’ll make many mistakes at first. You’ll get stuck and won’t be able to string words together the way you do in your native language. By reading sentences out loud, you’ll overcome those difficulties, and you’ll get a great accent.
Study line by line
Then go through the recordings line by line. This is an excellent way of developing your speaking skills.
Learn the new words
Once you’re familiar with the text, move on to the vocabulary. If your course has audio flashcards, play them several times. Say the English words out loud, making sure you understand every word on the flashcards. Once you’re familiar with the vocabulary, play the recordings once more.
Notice how you can understand them more easily now.
Do some pronunciation practice
Then move on to the pronunciation rules and practice. Read out the words in that section, focusing on the sounds you’re learning. If your English course has pronunciation audio flashcards, play them until you can say all the words without hesitation.
Do & redo the grammar drills
Then move on to the grammar section. Make sure you don’t skip any points. Do all the speaking, listening and other drills in your lesson. Don’t skip any. Redo the drills until you can get all the answers right.
Revise what you’ve just learned
Before you move on to a new lesson, always revise the one you’ve just done.
The magic of revising
Revising is essential if you want to learn English fast. Without revision, you’ll forget most of what you’ve learned, even if you have a good memory. Revising will boost your motivation to continue learning, and it’ll close any gaps you may have in your knowledge.
Go back to the English lessons you’ve completed in your course as often as you can. I always advise my students to revise at least 50% of the time they’re studying.
The more you play your course recordings and vocabulary flashcards, and the more your repeat the drills, the faster you’ll learn.Revising is essential if you want to learn English fast.Click To Tweet
Completing your English course
Once you finish the last lesson in your course, don’t move on to a new course. Not immediately. Instead, go through all your English lessons one more time.
Make sure you can understand all the recordings without looking at their transcript. Play all the vocabulary flashcards. Redo the drills fast, until you can easily get all the answers right. Play the speaking drills and aim at saying whole sentences at the same speed as the recordings.
A final thought
Going through your course a second time will put you a lot closer to becoming fluent in English.
One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland – and no other.
E. M. Cioran