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Something to inspire you to reach your goal!

6 years ago
I just wanted to share a story about my amazing student Juliette. I have NEVER seen a student improve as dramatically as she has and I would like to share her secret to success. She went from B2 to C2 in speaking and writing in 6 months .

I started teaching Juliette about 6 months ago, she was a strong B2 student with a fairly strong French accent - she needed to improve because she was preparing for university in London (in fact she left for London today!). Juliette was extremely motivated, her goal was clear and she knew what she had to do and through determination and discipline she achieved her dream.

Her strategy was simple - read, listen, write and speak. No grammar books and no vocabulary lists. Only authentic and fascinating content. Juliette is passionate about current affairs and history so she dedicated an hour everyday to reading, watching and listening to the news. We had lessons 3 times a week and we would speak about the articles that we had read, I would do error correction and we would work on pronunciation at the end of the lesson. Once a week she wrote an essay about the topics we covered in our lessons, trying to use some of the vocabulary she had come across in the news articles. By finding something that she was passionate about she had no problem finding the motivation to learn English and she improved at rapid speed. Her knowledge of vocabulary is exceptional, I'm not joking when I say it's better than mine! And her writing is above and beyond what I would ever expect from a non-native speaker, sometimes I feel like I'm reading something from the New York Times!

Learning a language isn't about boring grammar exercises and vocabulary lists. Learn like a child; surround yourself with English and find material that you are interested in. Expose yourself to as much of the language as possible in all kinds of ways so that you are listening, watching and reading on a regular basis. Your brain will automatically pick up patterns (grammar, structures etc) and vocabulary without you having to make an effort. Of course from time to time you will need to focus on a specific grammar structure but this should not be the main focus.

The next step is to find someone to speak to; it can be a teacher, a native speaker or just another english learner, it doesn't matter, you just need to speak as much as possible. Having someone to correct your errors is great but not important. And if you are paying for English lessons you should be speaking for the vast majority of your lessons.

I highly suggest trying out wwwLingQ.com, this is an amazing learning platform that will expose you to authentic materials and help you review new words on a regular basis.