Hey there, and welcome to Speak English with Christina, where you’ll have fun becoming fluent in American English. Do you sometimes feel like you’re not progressing in English? Like you just stay at the same level and don’t continue to improve?
Or worse, you feel like your level has decreased? It happens to even the best language learners. So today, you’ll learn how to take your fluency to the next level. Let’s go!
What’s happening to your English?
It’s called “hitting the intermediate plateau.” When you started learning English, you could see your improvements pretty easily. But now, you feel more like this. It’s normal.
You’ve reached a point where you can express your ideas more or less correctly, and you don’t really need to improve to communicate your message. So people don’t correct you. And you perhaps know that you could be better, but you don’t know what to improve or how to do it.
And maybe, you’ve just stated to accept that you’ll never understand all the expressions with “get”, or phrasal verbs will remain a mystery, or that you’re doomed to use the same vocabulary that you already have.
No, it doesn’t have to be this way! But you need to identify what’s blocking you. That’s the first step to getting off the intermediate plateau.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON?
If you need help identifying how to get off the intermediate plateau, you can join my Personal Fluency Coaching. We work specifically on how to accelerate your progress. First, you need to identify what you need to improve.
“I need more vocabulary”, and “I have problems with verb tenses”, and “I don’t have anyone to practice speaking” are not precise enough. We have to really focus on one tiny aspect of English. This way, you improve one small aspect of your English, and then progress to the next small aspect. And you start seeing progress again! Woohoo!
Here’s an example: Let’s say it’s difficult to understand Americans when they talk fast. Maybe your current solution is to watch series in English. But that’s not enough. You need to focus on one aspect of pronunciation.
For example, understanding some common phrases the way they really sound. You can focus on these expressions for, let’s say, a week to be sure you understand them. And at the end of the week, you’ll feel your progress starting again!
If you have this problem, you’re in luck, because my American Accent Survival Kit is designed to help you start understanding Americans when they talk fast. I’ll put the link below the video if you want to get it.
The most important thing at this step is to identify one precise aspect of English you want to improve. And then?
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO?
The key here is to do activities that help you solve the problem you identified in the first step. If your objective is to learn a specific grammar structure, watching episodes of “The Good Wife” probably won’t help. If you want to improve your oral comprehension, reading Huffpost isn’t going to help.
You need the right resources, that correspond to your small, precise objective. This way, you focus on making one small improvement to your English, so you see progress immediately. Most people say they don’t have a good method to learn, or they are lost because there are millions of resources for learning English. It’s easy to feel lost. So here are some suggestions.
WHERE DO I FIND RESOURCES?
The “right” resources depends on your #1 small, precise objective. But here are some suggestions to guide you. If your objective is just “opportunities to speak”: There’s my Faster Fluency Conversation Club, or a language exchange partner on italki. If you need help improving your comprehension, watch my lesson “How to improve your listening skills” for a ton of resources!
If grammar that gives you problems, look for specific grammar exercises by googling it. Something like “exercises 3rd conditional English”, or “exercises preposition in on at English” will give you lots of online exercises for precise grammar points. I also like the sites grammarbank.com and learn-english-today.com because you can browse grammar points.
If you need more vocabulary, focus on one specific theme at a time. You can find lots of good themes, and vocabulary on learnamericanenglishonline.com/vocabulary or by watching some Speak English with Christina lessons on specific vocabulary themes like wine, describing movies, idioms from baseball, talking about your flight, etc.
WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
After that, you need to plan your activities, so you’re sure to actually do something with what you learn.
It’s one thing to absorb the information through listening, reading, or doing a worksheet, but you also need to practice using the language. If you use it in different types of activities, you’re more likely to remember the new English point, and truly integrate it into your language.
I’ll make a specific lesson to give you some ideas, because there are sooooooo many things you can do, even if you’re alone. But if you can’t wait, we can always start a Personal Fluency Coaching Program together!
What about you?
What is your biggest priority in English right now? The one, specific, precise thing you want to improve. Let me know in the comments, because I can make a lesson for you! (But don’t just say “I want to improve my vocabulary” Be specific. Ultra specific. So specific you think it’s almost absurd!)
Thanks so much for improving your English with me, I’m Christina, and I’ll see you next week!
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