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Published on 18 Apr 2015 | about 1 year ago

Do you sometimes feel like you're not improving your English? The good news is that you are improving, but you just aren't noticing it. In this video, I recommend some helpful tips you can use to evaluate your progress. We will talk about keeping a journal, goal setting, and other techniques you can use to evaluate your learning process. After watching this useful lesson, you will have new tools to measure your success. www.engvid.com/help-im-not-improving-my-english/

TRANSCRIPT

Hi, there. My name is Emma, and in today's video, I am going to discuss something that is a problem for a lot of advanced students. That problem is: "Help: I'm not improving my English anymore." Okay? A lot of advanced students believe that they are no longer improving. They've learned the present perfect, they've learned the past tense, they know a lot of vocabulary, and they just feel like they're no longer getting better in English; they feel like they are at the same level.

So, in this video, I am going to tell you three ways to stop you from feeling this way, because it's not true. Okay? You probably are improving; you just don't realize it.

So, the first thing I want to do is explain why these feelings are normal. I have here a graph. This means beginner, this is advanced, and intermediate would be here. For a lot of students, they remember when they were a beginner. They learned a lot. You learn past tense, you learn all sorts of new vocabulary, you learn: "Hello", "Good-bye", "How are you?" There's a lot you learn as a beginner, and you actually learn quite quickly. Okay? The first day you learn English, maybe you learn five words; the next day maybe you learn 10. You're learning very, very quickly.

As you get more and more advanced, the learning actually starts to kind of trickle off; it starts to almost plateau. You're still learning, but you're not learning as much as you did when you were a beginner. You don't feel the same way as you did when you were... When you were a beginner. So, this is a very normal feeling.

How do you deal with this? Okay? How do you deal with this frustration? Well, first of all, a lot of students, they don't realize how much they're actually learning, because they don't think about what they're learning. They go to school and then they come home, or they go to work and come home, and they just, you know, they don't think about it.

Well, so this is why I recommend making a self-reflection journal. Okay? If every day you write what you have learned that day about your English vocabulary, maybe grammar, this will help you recognize that yes, you are learning. Okay? Yesterday, maybe, you know, you learned five new words. When you write these words down, then you have proof, you have evidence of how much you actually are learning. And you can think about, and this will help you with that frustration.

So, what I would recommend doing is buy maybe a diary or a journal, and in that journal just write: "What did I learn today?" Did you learn some new idioms? Did you learn a new expression? A new word? A new grammar point? Okay? So write down everything you've learned, and then it's good to think about: what do you want to learn tomorrow? If you think about what you want to learn, you're more likely to actually learn it, and this will really help you get over this plateau. Okay?

A second thing you can do, which will help you with this frustration, is in terms of goals. Okay? A lot of students, when they make a goal, their goal is too big; their goal is: "I want to learn English. This is my goal. This is what I want to do." The problem is this doesn't tell you how you're going to do it, and it's just too big; you can't measure it. It's very difficult to measure this goal, so I've put an "x" here.

Instead, you should pick a smaller goal. Okay? So, for example: "Today I will learn five verbs." You could be even more specific. "Today I will learn five verbs about swimming." Maybe you want to practice pronunciation. "Today I will use 'I'll' instead of 'I will' three times.", "Today I will use the present perfect two times." So when you actually make a goal and you have very specific numbers, and times, and detail, this will really help you to get over this hump because you know that you are actually improving, you have evidence, you have this journal, you have these goals, and it's a lot easier to meet these goals.

Finally, a third thing you can do if you're feeling frustrated because of this is you can tape record yourself speaking. You can either buy a tape recorder, or use your phone or computer. Talk about something for one minute, and then listen to your mistakes. Okay? Keep doing this every day. Measure it. Listen for specific mistakes, and see: are you improving?

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