Spring cleaning your study habits
With spring just around the corner, let’s take a moment to review helpful study habits. Here are some questions to run through to make sure you are still on track to achieve your learning goals. It might also serve to help you identify any changes you’d like to make.
1. Why are you studying?
It’s an obvious question but nevertheless an essential one (we ask all our students this before they start a course with us). Have your goals changed in recent months? This could be the case if your role has changed: one of our recent students was promoted into a position where she had an American boss. Suddenly, much of her daily communication was in English! Maybe you are looking for new opportunities and need to brush up your C.V and Linked In profile – we can help with this.
2. What are you studying?
Consider what is your most important goal: to be able to speak with clients or suppliers on the phone? Presenting in English on a regular basis? Whatever it is, break down this bigger goal into manageable steps. For presenting, for example, you can learn helpful phrases which link all the parts of your presentation (let’s look at, moving on to etc). You can practise the pronunciation of key words and learn where to create emphasis. On our intensive courses, we help you to break down your big goal into manageable pieces. In this way, you’ll also be able to see very tangible progress.
3. Who are you studying with?
There are a number of responses here. Firstly, who is helping you - A teacher, colleague, friend? Progress greatly improves when you can get some expert advice to steer you on the right track and give you considered feedback. Secondly, consider if you want to study to study as part of a group or individually. Obviously, 1-1 lessons allow you to concentrate on your main language difficulties and your industry. Group lessons generally allow for more interaction.
4. How are you studying?
You may have agreed on your learning plan for the year and been able to secure some budget for your English course – great! Will you dedicate this to an intensive learning period abroad? Will you take weekly classes (group or 1-1)? You can combine both of these strategies to ensure that any progress you make is sustained. Adding on self-study time also helps keep your focus on English.
5. When are you studying?
No less important is finding a good time of the day, week and month when you can study at your best. If you take a language course abroad, naturally you’ll check your diary to make sure you have as few interruptions as possible. Most people work better in the mornings so focus your efforts on as much input as possible in the morning with more ‘passive’ or ‘receptive’ learning (listening or reading) in the afternoon and evening. You may find that listening to a short podcast on the way to work is a good use of time and in effect, gets in a learning slot very early in the day, which feels motivating!
Let us know if these questions have helped you and get in touch if you’re interested in taking the next step in your English!