EC English Blog

Live and learn English

Why repetition is important whilst learning English

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Sharing is caring!

“But teacher we’ve done it already!!”

Repetition may seem to be boring or a waste of time in the language class, but it is actually a key to success in language learning.

Think about when you speak in your own language. Do you ever tell a story just once? Or do you tell it to a few different people? Do you tell it to a friend and then maybe change it slightly to make it shorter or funnier when you tell it to your colleague or classmate later that week? Do you plan what you are going to say before you meet someone? Think about what excuse you are going to make when you are late?

In our daily lives, we are constantly repeating our stories and our conversations; we constantly make them shorter, more concise or just more interesting. This is exactly what we bring into our language classroom at EC. It’s not about repeating the same task…it’s about constantly getting better and better, it’s about seeing your progress. 

In our daily lives, we are constantly repeating our stories and our conversations; we constantly make them shorter, more concise or just more interesting. This is exactly what we bring into our language classroom at EC. It’s not about repeating the same task…it’s about constantly getting better and better, it’s about seeing your progress. 

In a second language, it takes even more planning and repetition to become a successful communicator. We’ve all experienced the frustration of repeating the exact same thing and not seeing any progress. It can be boring and incredibly demotivating, but the reality is that in order to ensure a piece of language is automatic, meaning we can use it in conversation without having to think about it, we will need to meet that piece of language on average 10-20 times in different contexts. That means reading it, learning it, hearing it, practising it again and again until it’s automatic. 

Repetition needs to be embraced and exploited as a valuable tool for learning a language. Much like taking notes or watching videos with English subtitles on, repetition is not just a good study skill, it is a vital one. 

So, how do we prevent it from being boring and frustrating? At EC we embrace repetition and we ensure it is engaging and developmental by combining it with our visible learning techniques which ensure that you are not only improving each time but by discussing that improvement you know what you have to do next to continue improving.

Imagine this situation:

You have just learnt to tell a story about an evening out. With your teacher you’ve discussed the success criteria for this story and you know that a successful story:

  • Describes the main actions with the past simple
  • Keeps the audience’s attention with background actions using the past continuous
  • Is easy to follow because of linking phrases
  • Helps the audience to follow by stressing and pausing after the linking phrases

But this is a lot for you to focus on, so you decide initially, to focus on using the past simple and the past continuous. You tell your partner the story and your teacher gives you some feedback on how well you did. 

Now you are more confident with the past tenses, you decide to add in some linking phrases. You move to a new partner and tell your story. Each time you tell it, you get better and better. 

By the end of the lesson, you have not only learnt to tell a story, you have a story that you are confident telling. Now you can go off on the social programme and tell your story to your friends over dinner or a drink, or apply the same learning to a different story. Repetition has paid off. 

About EC

Every year we help students from over 140 countries to achieve their language goals and realise their dreams at our amazing English schools across the world.

Start Your Language Learning Journey Today!

Courses for English, French, IELTS, Academic Year, and so much more!
Recent posts