If becoming a fluent English speaker is part of your plan and you want to make it happen next year in 2020, then you really need to need this writing.
We will be sharing four things that you need to do in the coming year if you’re planning to become fluent in English within twelve months.
And it starts today right now and we are going to warn you that there’s going to be some tough love happening here. Some strong words. Perhaps ones that you don’t really want to hear or ones that you’ve been pretending that you can’t hear for awhile but these are words that you need to hear.
If you’re going to make English fluency your goal for the year ahead, you need to change the way that you’re acting. You need to change your behaviour, do something differently and that’s what we’re talking about today.
If you’ve been telling yourself that the only way to become fluent in English is to live in an English-speaking countr. Well, you just need to stop that. It’s not true. It’s simply something that you’ve been telling yourself to make an excuse for why you’re not already fluent. That’s the tough love right here.
Right now, it’s completely possible for you to create an English life for yourself, no matter where you are in the world and we’ll talk about that a little bit more later on.
Let’s get started on the four things that you need to do to become fluent in English within a year.
4 Steps To Become Fluent In English
1, Find motivation
Get really, really clear on why you want to be fluent, so clear that you can actually see and feel what it’s like to be there. What are all the awesome amazing things that you’ll be able to do when you become fluent?
Imagine yourself there. Feel it. Smell it.
This is your motivation, the fuel you need to keep practising, to keep learning and keep reviewing, to keep putting yourself in situations that are outside of your comfort zone. Let’s not kid ourselves. There are and there always will be days when you feel frustrated with English and you feel like giving up, you can’t be bothered, you just want to make a new plan or something that doesn’t involve English at all.
But this is the reason why so many of us fail at things that we try or we don’t get as far as we want to because we don’t have enough fuel to get there. Without a really clear motivation, it’s easy to get distracted, to lose focus and to let your attention be taken away from your English practice and put onto something else. That is absolutely fine as long as you’re not bothered about being fluent by the end of the year.
If you’re happy for it to take longer, for it to be a slower process, that’s fine but we’re talking about making this happen in the next twelve months.
So we need to take drastic action. We want you to take this opportunity now to declare your motivation here. Tell us in the comments what is your fuel that will help you to keep your English goals as a priority throughout 2020? Tell us down in the comments!
2, Financially commit
The second thing you need to do is financially commit and that means putting some money on the table, putting some skin in the game.
Money is a huge motivator for every person, for every English learner.
Is it correct that for some people money is the biggest motivation right?
Putting your hand into your pocket or your wallet and pulling out some of the money that you worked so hard for, doing that almost instantly changes your mindset about your English practice.
It will certainly change your mindset when you pay for your English classes. You will have to go because you have paid for them, so you will have to do way more practice during that period because putting money on the table forces you to commit. It makes you show up.
If you financially commit to your English, you will probably go much further and you will get to fluency faster.
Now, let’s talk about this a little more because we know what some of you are thinking!
Yes, there are things that you can’t afford but there are options that you can afford. You can hire a local non-native English teacher, you can invest in an online English program that you can take yourself through at your own time, at your own pace. This is a much cheaper option than paying for a teacher’s time.
You can financially commit a little or a lot and what might be a little to some, might be a lot to others. But if you do that, if you invest in yourself, it will help you to get to your goals faster.
How about the case that you don’t have any the money? Make a plan and save for it. Sacrifice something else in your life to get ahead in your English. How badly do you want to become fluent?
We know the other things that you’re thinking too! Yes, you’re right. It’s possible for you to learn on your own, but you will have more success and you will make more progress if you have the support and guidance of a good English teacher or a language program.
Now if you really, really, really can’t invest any money in your English training this year, then you’ll need to compensate by investing more time and more focus in your studies. You’ll need to create a learning plan and you’ll need to keep yourself motivated all the way throughout the whole year, you need to be active. And this is a much bigger challenge than finding some money to invest in your training.
If you want serious change and serious results in the year ahead, decide what serious action you’re going to do now and get ready for it.
3, Create a learning plan
The third thing you should do is create a learning plan.
Even if you’re going to regular classes or you’re meeting your tutor often, you still need to create your own learning plan to help you practise outside of your lessons.
You might think this sounds boring but it doesn’t have to be. Your formal classes are just part of your learning plan and you need to make sure that you’re developing all four language skills. You need to spend a little bit of time on each of those skills each week. Like you need to read to broaden your vocabulary. Learn and experience how new words are used in context. Become familiar with the different use of phrasal verbs, learn common collocations and informal language by reading. You need to write. You need to practise expressing your thoughts and your ideas in a controlled way. If you create a habit around writing in English, it will start revealing where there are gaps in your knowledge and that will allow you to build your vocabulary further.
And here’s the thing about writing, when you write your own experiences and your own opinions and ideas, it increases retention. It helps you to remember new words and expressions because you’re associating them with your own ideas and experiences. Starting and then committing to a daily journal practice is going to do amazing things for your language skills.
You need to listen to different accents, you need to study the way that native speakers link words together and they reduce sounds. Watch movies, listen to podcasts and audiobooks, all of those things. Try to give yourself some of the real listening and practice as well in real conversations.
Besides, you also need to speak as much as you can to yourself, you can read aloud to your classmates, your teacher, your online friends, your colleagues, but make sure you’re constantly pushing your comfort zone further.
Chatting doesn’t count here. You need to create the space and the opportunity to practise your speaking skills in real conversations.
4, Do it every day
Lastly, you got to do it every day.
You’ve got to do something every day to practise, and this is not really something that you can question. It’s just something that you need to do if you want to create change in your English and create it quickly.
Doing fifteen minutes of practice every day is much better than doing four hours of solid English practice on a Sunday afternoon. Doing it daily allows you to build a great habit and it brings English into your life every day.
This doesn’t mean that you need to sit down and study every day right because there’s always going to be days where you just can’t be bothered and you don’t feel like it. What it means is you need to expose yourself to an English activity every day, listen to something in English, read something in English, watch something in English, write or speak or sing in English. Anything.
In order to become fluent within a year, you need to do something daily. It could be simple and mundane like writing an email or writing in your daily journal but on Sundays it could be completely wild. It could be exhausting, it could be like attending an international conference where you listened and network to people in English all day.
Your daily practice may not need to be balanced. However, if you’re going to make it through a whole year, it should be balanced. Burying yourself inside a grammar book for fifteen minutes every day for a year is not going to make you fluent, it’s only going to make you awesome at grammar.
Your learning plan really should be a combination of fun and passive English experiences with active and deliberate practice.
A good example of active practice is writing. You should sit down and spend some time creating sentences and expressing your own ideas. And maybe the following day you review your work. You use a thesaurus to upgrade some of the words that you used or maybe check some of the grammar in a little bit more detail.
This is not as fun or as easy as watching an English movie right? However, it is really necessary for you to do this type of practice and after that you can reward yourself the next day by watching the movie.
This is the balance that I’m talking about. You do some grammar practice and some writing practice and then reward yourself with a podcast or a movie.
It is the end of our lesson today! Now, everything is up to you! What are you going to do to put your plan in action for 2020? We want you to tell us about it in the comments below. In order to get further explanation and practice your listening skills also, watch the video below. Thank you for reading and see you in the next writing!
Credit: Youtube Channel “mmmEnglish”