Before you read any further, may we first congratulate you! If you are reading this, that can only mean one thing – you have already started or are thinking of starting to learn English! You are taking the first exciting steps towards a new life, a new future and a new you so well done!
Let’s be honest, there are no disadvantages to learning a language. Certainly not any that we can think of. Learning a language opens up a whole new world to you! It opens up new cultures, new ways of thinking, new ideas, new ways to express yourself and above all, new careers that may take you around the world and introduce you to people you probably never would have met. Doesn’t that sound exciting?
‘But’ we hear you say, ‘learning a language is a lot of work’. On that point we have to agree with you. Right now, you are probably imagining a future where you will be sitting night after night at your desk completing exercises in a book. ‘Learning a language takes so much time. How will I fit learning English into my busy life?’ you ask. We know you are busy with university, or a full-time job and / or even a family but we have some ideas so please, keep reading!
Did you know that learning can be anything you want it to be? There are so many fun ways you can continue learning AND best of all, you don’t have to spend 3 hours every evening sitting at your desk! ‘Sounds great’ you say, ‘But how can you learn without doing that? Well, here are some ideas for you.
Why don’t you try ‘EC Virtual’? These are courses that have been specially designed by experts at EC with busy people in mind. These courses allow you to study flexibly and at a time and in a place that suits you. You can choose the days, times and amount of time you want to study so you can decide if you want to study at a desk or somewhere more exciting like on the beach!
Here’s another idea. Take your mobile phone out now and change the language setting to English. Go on! We will wait for you before we carry on……………. Finished? We all spend a lot of time looking at our phones and this is a great way to get used to seeing the English language on our screens. That’s a pretty easy start wouldn’t you agree? And you hardly spent any time doing it!
You have friends, right? Do any of them speak English? Next time you arrange to meet them, why don’t you suggest an ‘English speaking evening’. It can be funny and you can learn a lot from each other. Take a notebook with you and write down new words that night. Don’t worry if your friend’s English is stronger or weaker than yours. You will rarely find people in life with exactly the same level of English as yours. Remember that new career we talked about earlier? If you are going to have your dream life of travelling and doing business with other nationalities, you will need to have good skills to speak to people with different levels of English. What better way to practise than with friends you feel safe with? And it takes no extra time as you were going to meet them anyway!
So, you finally have a free evening and you want to relax and watch your favourite programme on TV. Easy. Watch it in English. Okay, we know you won’t understand every word but watching and listening are great ways to learn because we understand a lot of the story from the pictures we see. If you watch TV or listen to the radio in English often, you will learn the rhythm of the language and start to notice more words. Our only suggestion would be to notice new words that are used a lot, try and write them down and find them in a good online dictionary so you can learn them. You will begin to understand more and more and hey, you were going to watch TV anyway, so it hasn’t taken any extra time.
Do you travel by bus or train? Do you spend that time looking out of the window, exchanging messages with friends or posting on social media? Use this time effectively. Post in English or use this time to find a good app that can help you learn new vocabulary.
We are not saying you will never have to spend a few extra hours at your desk completing exercises, but you can find other ways to learn which will motivate you. The question to ask yourself is what do you do in your life and CAN you do the same thing in English? If you can, do it! You will soon become used to living parts of your life in English. The more you surround yourself with English, the faster you will learn. We think you will agree that the suggestions above will not take much more of your time and we guarantee you will have fun at the same time.
Good luck and have fun learning!