Taking your English language skills to great heights requires strength!
- Strength of character
- Strength of mind
- Strength of body
Learning ANY language is not for the faint-hearted, it takes time and dedication. There are ups, downs and plateaux, there’s despair and frustration and seemingly endless lists to learn! As soon as you reach one peak you see others looming in the distance and you just know that you have to pick up your grammar book and dictionary, put your best foot forward, grit your teeth and plod on.
So why bother?
Why put yourself through all that work? You can muddle through with the English level you have already or you can use an interpreter or a translator, people who are clearly experts in this area and can do a better job than you can.
Or can they?
Notice the word – interpret – this gives room for paraphrase, for interpretation would this still be YOUR message? Interpreters are certainly experts in what is a very difficult job requiring lots of training but if you are presenting YOUR product or service, or conducting YOUR meeting with a potential client or looking to move higher in YOUR career, it is YOUR message that is important. Remember, people buy from and relate to YOU, not someone else trying to deliver you!
So is it worth the effort? Yes, of course it is – just as you would spend time on other aspects of your work and career your English has to be part of that mix. If you have a dream for your work and your future and English is a part of that dream then you have to be prepared to do whatever it takes to get the English you really want and this will take stamina and dedication!
How to get English that really shines!
1. Decide on where you want to be with your English – imagine how it would be if you had really fantastic English skills, make this your ultimate goal.
2. Decide how far you are away from that goal now and what you need to do to get there – you will probably need to do an assessment for this or find a teacher who can help you.
3. Decide how much time you can dedicate to improving your skills daily, weekly etc.. and formulate a plan (see my post Setting SMART goals for your English).
4. Be realistic, if you only have 1 hour a week then it might take some time – doing a bit each day may work better.
5. Get as much exposure as possible, use the ‘dead’ time during your day to practice (travel time, waiting at the station, before a meeting, in the doctor’s surgery – my Gapfillers site is designed to do exactly that (Gapfillers Latest offers 10/15 minute exercises every day) or read the newspaper, listen to songs, the radio – whatever you are interested in.
6. Find things that interest you – dedication and graft don’t have to be boring – there is so much English out there and available that you really should choose what is engaging for you.
Doing this alone will not be easy there will be times when you feel like giving up or when you just can’t be bothered or when you feel you can’t make any more progress. It is easier if you have some support from a group of learners with a similar goal or from a mentor or coach. This will spur you on and encourage you to keep moving forwards. A really good coach won’t let you give up even when you feel you want to.
Whether you use a language coach, join a study group or soldier on alone, remember that it is not going to be an easy ride but the rewards are great – keep focused on that mountain top – you can do it!
We have a range of Gapfillers programmes
Total immersion, short, residential courses are held at Fleetham Lodge in Yorkshire in the UK (from a weekend to a month)
Find out more about English language coaching with English Language Mastery