Stop being a student and start being a speaker

I’ve noticed that there are 2 very different ways of learning: 1 for school and 1 for real life.

They keep you from speaking English, because you aren’t required to apply it in real life in order to be rewarded.

Our whole education system, for the most part, is broken because we have been taught to memorize and not apply concepts in real life.

“Studying” English, in the traditional sense of the word, is the antithesis of speaking English.

Let’s talk about the difference between studying and learning and speaking English

“To study” means to read about it. To memorize lists of vocabulary words. It means you relegate the subject to study sessions, blocks of time when you might sit quietly at home in your room or maybe a desk at the library.

Where does this get you? Maybe it gets you a better grade in your class if you have a quiz on vocabulary or grammar.

Maybe it makes you feel better in the short-term because you don’t have to take any risks, like being embarrassed of the way you speak. It’s so nice to stay in your comfort zone of studying the way you’ve always studied, but to really speak English, you need to get out of your comfort zone.

When we are babies, we do not “study” English or our native language, yet we manage to learn to speak it! Now, studying English can accelerate your language learning, but to really speak you have to use it in the real world.

Learning English is not simply memorizing information or learning about the language, it is using it. Learning English comes from making mistakes, correcting, and moving forward.

If you want to speak English, you’d better stop focusing your time solely on memorizing and reading about it, and start doing it.

How to Stop “Studying” English

Even if you’re taking an English class now where you need to study in traditional ways for tests, etc., understand that to speak you’re going to have to invest more of your own time.

English shouldn’t feel like a competition, or something you have to do perfectly.

Understand that you do NOT learn to speak only in a classroom. It is extremely limited there. You can role play, but most of us are not such good actors that it can replace real life attempts at conversations with real native speakers.

Understand that studying does not equal speaking.

Leave your books at home. Stop using studying as a crutch for not speaking.

Get ready to leave your comfort zone.

Start using English as soon and as much as possible.

How to Start Using and Speaking English

English should start feeling like a tool that you can pick up any time to help you accomplish something else, like talking to someone or asking for information.

Imagine that you can not look in your books, you can not study anymore, you HAVE to speak English NOW. What would you say if you met me in the street, right now?

Take what you’ve learned so far, and think about how you could create a conversation from that. Even if it’s not 100% correct, that’s ok. If you never to speak, then you don’t really know how much you’ve already learned. You have to put it to the test! The real-life test!

If you want to practice on your own (or have to) it’s best to study through activities (key word: active) – flash cards, imitation, free-flow journal writing, free-flow recorded speaking, singing your favorite English songs…

Basically, it’s better to make some time to use English in everyday life. Understand that for every hour in the classroom, or studying learning materials, you should apply at least double that time to using English in the real world if you want to see results.

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