YESNYOU – The Love of Learning

Pablo_Picasso1“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

Pablo Picasso

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since we last spoke, so in this blog I want to address an issue that is fundamental to your success in learning English. How do you learn? What is the right way to learn grammar? Is there a best way to learn vocabulary? How much time should you spend every day, week or month learning English?

Ear hand eyeThese are very big questions. They are also almost always subjective. Everybody learns in their own way and modern teaching practices reflect this by being a lot more flexible than they used to be. Blended learning courses (using online resources supported by contact with a trainer either in person or on the phone) put the schedule of study in the hands of the learner. So what is the best use of your time?

Here are 5 little bits of advice:

study everyday1. A little goes a long way!

Doing a little bit of study every day is much better than studying intensively for hours at a time. This is true for both grammar and vocabulary. Studying for 10-20 minutes every day will ‘wake up’ your brain to English, and activating the language on a regular basis will help you to remember what you learn.

 

selection2. Be selective!

It is impossible to imagine that you will be able to remember every word that you ever encounter in English. Start a personal vocabulary dictionary and make a note of the words that you think will be most useful to you in the future. That’s your ‘active’ vocabulary. The other words will form part of your ‘passive’ vocabulary, which means that you recognise and understand them, but don’t use them very often.

context3. Put it in context!

When you learn a new word, always write a phrase next to it that will help you to remember how to use it. This is especially important when learning phrasal verbs because they are often tricky devils with several meanings!

translate4. Try not to translate!

Thinking in English will help you to improve your fluency. Even if you sound like a crazy person, try speaking to yourself when you’re alone. Practice saying the phrases that you have learnt out loud so that they become more natural to you. Use a monolingual dictionary – it will keep you thinking in English and will force you to make connections between related words.

dive in pic5. Dive in!

Immerse yourself in English! Watch English TV shows, go and see English language movies and theatre plays in their original version, listen to the radio in English at home and in the car, make some English friends, sing English songs at your local karaoke bar and read in English!

Reading will give you access to some of the greatest literature ever written! Shakespeare! Stephen King! Dan Brown! Well, maybe not Dan Brown, although I do like some of his stuff. Angels & Demons was a good book but a terrible movie. See? English is great for forming spurious opinions about things that don’t even matter! Embrace it!

To help improve your reading, here are some links to previous blog posts that you might not have seen that will teach you a little bit about English, life and us here in the office.

 

links 2

There are blogs about us!

Part 1 of my three part blog series about myself – fascinating!

Part 2 of my three part blog series about myself – electrifying!

Part 3 of my three part blog series about myself – narcissistic!

An interview with semi-famous telephone trainer, Georgina

Our trainer’s hobbies and interests

An interview with our favourite office face, David

There are free gifts!

The first of two free downloadable pocket guides to English – Social English

The second free downloadable pocket guide to English – British vs American English

There are discussions about music!

Al takes on The Gambler

Vic wants a ticket to anywhere

One of our learners makes a music suggestion

And there’s a lot of other stuff too!

Murphy’s Law – bad luck or bad karma?

Population and the planet – just how many of us are there?

#InternationalDayOfHappiness

 

If you click on any of the above links you’ll be able to navigate forwards and backwards through all of our archived blogs. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed writing them!

One final piece of advice: the best way to learn is by using the language. So why not write to us? You can leave a comment at the bottom of this page or write on our facebook wall (YES ‘N’ You Spain), or send us a message on twitter (@YESNYOU_es). We love to hear from you!

Take care until next time,

Al

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un Retroenlace

  1. […] festive period. Since September we’ve given you some general tips on how to study better in The Love of Learning,  talked about how reading articles and watching videos on the Internet can help your […]

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