Bonne année! Avez-vous pris des résolutions pour 2017? Si vous voulez commencer a apprendre l’anglais ou vous cherchez de la motivation, voici 17 strategies d’appretissage pour accroitre votre niveaux d’anglais.
What are learning strategies?
They are methods, hacks, tips, shortcuts that help you achieve your goals and be more successful. When I teach students I try to give them these types of strategies so they can improve faster and, ultimately. communicate more proficiently.
How to use these suggested English learning strategies:
Try one or two of these ideas at a time. Focus on it for a specific amount of time: for example, a class (e.g. # 9) or a week (e.g. # 4 or 15) or a month (# 1 or # 12). Adding a new learning strategy will reinvigorate your learning. We all like something new and fresh!
- Write one sentence in English a day: Start a note on your phone, a document on your computer or buy a new notebook. Each day write down one sentence in English. It could be something you read, a question you want to ask your teacher or notes about your day. If you are keeping a food journal or work diary, write it in English. Combine your interests. (I do this in French and it works!) Make it simple and relevant to your life. Do it on your commute, while you have coffee. Just one sentence!
- Plan a schedule that makes time for English: If you want to be better at communicating in English, you need to make time for class, homework, and practice. At the beginning of the week, try scheduling several blocks of time during the week. Make learning English a priority and you will find the time.
- Use rhymes to practice new English words: When you learn a new word think of another word that rhymes with it. For example: Mingle (to move around and talk to different people at a social activity); Mingle/single: People like to mingle when they are single! Try out a rhyming dictionary to improve your vocabulary.
- Practice the sounds of English: Try tongue twisters. If you have trouble with the TH sound, try these tongue twisters to learn how to pronounce the TH sound in English.
- Think in English: Many successful students tell me that they regularly talk to themselves in English. They repeat words or sentences from class or try to experiment with other ways to say things. One student even told me that she repeats everything she hears while listening to the radio in the car!
- Try to guess what someone will say next: Watch a TED talk video, at a random moment press pause. Imagine what you think the person will say next. Were you right?
- Increase your flexibility: If you can’t think of a word or phrase in English, use a different sentence that means the same thing. Try this game: Explain the word « microphone » to a friend without ever saying the word « microphone. » See if they can guess what you are talking about. Also don’t say: « sound, » « voice, » « record. »
- Review your notes regularly.
- Notice your mistakes and use that information to improve: After you make a mistake think about the grammar rule that might apply.
- Think about the progress you have made: 1. Go back and look at work you did earlier in the course. Notice the differences. 2. Record yourself at regular intervals (use your smart phone), so you can hear the differences. 3. Whenever you achieve a small win while learning, write it down. Look back on this list monthly.
- Make connections between what you already know in English and new concepts. By putting new material into context, it will be more likely that you remember it.
- When you learn a new word, imagine a situation you could use it in: This is similar to #15, when you learn a new word think about an image that reminds you of the word, notice where it is on the page. Imagine a situation where you might say or write the word.
- Read for pleasure in English: Lifestyle guru Timothy Ferriss loves to learn new languages. One of his favourite learning strategies is to buy comic books he likes that have been translated into the language he wants to learn. Listen to how he uses comic books to learn a language on his podcast at 19:22.
- Pre-read a document or article: Skim the text first, then go back and read it carefully.
- Make links between words in your own language and English words. La bonne nouvelle: 40% of English words have a French root.
- Give yourself a reward if you take a risk: Let’s say you decide to give a presentation in English, once it is over think of a way to treat yourself for a job well done.
- SMART GOALS: Do you have clear goals for learning English in 2017? Define long-term and short-term goals for learning English. Take our free evaluation to see what you could work on.
If you try one of these English learning strategies, tell me how it goes.
Wishing you all happy and successful language learning in 2017! This is your year!