Help! I’m not improving my English!

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? When you speak, do you say a lot of: “Uh, umm,
ah” or is it very clear? Do you use organizers? “First of all, secondly, finally”? Or is your
speech very confused and without organization? So by tape recording yourself, you have evidence.
You can listen to yourself in… You know, in the past. “Okay, this is how I sounded
five months ago. This is how I sound now. I have improved.” Okay? So, the main reason why students feel frustrated
is because they have no evidence of how much they are learning and how much they are improving.
By following these three things: creating a journal, setting small goals, and taping
yourself speak, this is a way to really deal with your frustration and to have
evidence of your improvement. Okay. So, I invite you to visit our website: www.engvid.com.
There you can find a lot of different resources on vocabulary, grammar, speaking, pronunciation,
and you can practice those words and write about them in your self-reflection journal.
You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel, which has a lot of similar resources. So, I
invite you to come visit us. Thank you for watching this video. I hope you are not feeling
like this, feeling frustrated, and I hope you realize you are improving.
Until next time, take care.

Glenn Chapman


  1. actually that's what it's happening to me because at my work I speak English and with my friends, Spanish ,they don't speak English that's why, it's hard I feel like frustrated, damn it

  2. hello ema my problem is when i wanted to write some english its like he was broken sometimes. and i dont knw what i do thnks..

  3. I want to ask,if I got a word I don't understand,should I translate in Chinese?
    When I got some word I don't know how to say/explain,how can I do? Use Chinese to translate ?
    When I forget a word how to spelling,How can I do?
    Thank for reply me.

  4. Emma you are the best teacher.i love to watch your videos.i would like to say thnx a lot.n i am requesting you to introduce auxilary verbs along with tenses.

  5. I've really appreciated this video and I like so much your tips and classes.

  6. Emma please make a video about how to differentiate between tennis in the exam and how to a void confusing between them

  7. Sometimes I got the same feeling especially when I'm listening English radios.

  8. aquí va un secreto: leer no solo te hace mejorar en lectura, sino que también te hará mejorar en listening. ¿Por qué? Porque si lees muchos libros – no libros sobre la gramática, sino lectura recreativa – lo que más te guste- poco a poco serás capaz de procesar el inglés más rápidamente y con menos esfuerzo: estarás más y más familiarizado con el idioma y comprenderás las frases más rápidamente. Cuando escuchamos a alguien hablar, no podemos tomarnos el tiempo que queramos para procesar el lenguaje, la velocidad nos viene dada. Pero si hemos leído mucho, estaremos mucho mejor preparados para comprender en tiempo real. Y cuando esto ocurre, cuando comrpendemos facilmente lo que escuchamos entonces nuestra pronunciación puede mejorar más rápida y efectivamente. La lectura es una de las herramientas más importantes y más ignorada por estudiantes y profesores. Ni que decir tiene que una persona que ya puede leer mucho y por placer, no tendrá el problema del video. Si lees mucho tendrás la sensación de aprender más y más. Porque cada vez lees más y más fácilmente, y puedes elegir libros menos simples.

  9. hlo madam i get confuse at one place that u told difference between i will and i*ll
    if they are same then how can thier pronouncation be different .At last thank u very much for building confidence on me. waiting your feedback

  10. we dont even finish learning our 1st language and we have to learn a 2nd language which gets more challenging…

  11. i love this woman, she is really a good teaher, and of course i gotta say that she always wears a cute smile.

  12. muy greeting from dominican rep. yo emma, i watch tour vídeos, god bless you

  13. Emma but i dont have belingual friends to improve my english listening skills i have knowledge about english grammar and i very fast writting in english but when i am in front of american people i get nerves and my conversation is very frustrate i dont know what is going on with that, what do you recomend me please help me?

    my best regard Em

  14. Tkank you so much for this lesson! I feel really better now, I was so frustrated that I make no more progress in my English… Thanks!

  15. Hello everyone I want to imrove my English,who want to speak with me +992989111001 (my viber)

  16. My names kadar from Somalia
    I finished my english course my country and stil am searching to improve my speaking and listening
    So thank you so much teachers Emma
    I have questions so that question is when i listen english video specaily Emma I actually understand well
    But some of the youtubers if I listen their videos I only understand 60%
    Also I need to know learn phrases and idioms so how I can learn it
    Thank you teachers Emma again and again

  17. Hello, Emma. One more time I wish say to you that your performance as a Teacher is really really really (three times!) good. You are excellent Teacher. I think you know exactly how we (foreign, strangers) feel ourself when are trying to learn, listen and understand your language (English). Congratulations to you for your excellent job, Emma. I am from São Paulo, Brasil.

  18. I think that a good goal is to learn new words about a same topic and not about different topics, so you'll learn them easier and you won't forget them later.

  19. hi Emma thank you sooo much .. i learned alot with you but i have a little problem which is I feel so shy when i am talking with my master and i face alot of wrong mistaks on pronounciation

  20. Hi emma i am munesh kumar how inprove my english please massage

  21. well madam regards from THATTHA whats a great strenuous efforts you make keeo carry on

  22. In my country, especially where I'm living. English isn't important. We don't speak it in a daily life, that's why it was so hard for me to improving. What could i do to improve my english to be better day by day? I speak to myself and recorded it. I still sound beginner when speaking cos I kept make plenty of pause like 'ahh' 'umm' to find the words i want to deliver. But when it comes to writing comments or some story I'm envision in my mind and make it into long stoty It much, much better compare to when I'm speaking. I've never forget to learn new vocabulary every day, also grammar every other day. And yeah, seems like my only problem is speaking it. I'm not sure if any native English speaker want to have a conversation with me, i can carry on the conversation well with them cos I'm suck at speaking it.

  23. Thank you Emma for your effort for learning English to us.

  24. I will start learning English by reading comic books, I have a lot of English books , especially comics

  25. To improve English one must practice. Best way is to speak to english-speaking people.

  26. I really needed to hear this. thank you. I thought I was stocked… thanks once more t.

  27. You are amazing teacher ever
    I have improved my language alot with your videos
    Thanks alot

  28. Hi Emma, thanks for your valuable videos. I learn a lot from you. Could you please make a video regarding how to speak with C-level management at work. Thanks

  29. Whenever I watch your videos , you open my window . I can see more and more now I am wirting journal a kind of saying self-reflection book . You prove that it is a good ideal to have a book like this . I am from myanmar . I have always been a fan of yours . Thanks Emma .

  30. Emma , this video is great . you are something else ! you gave me a good idea : a smaller goal !

  31. Native English speakers, if u have free time, please call me at +996 776 969798… Want to learn and improve English so much.

  32. My goal is feel more comfortable speaking around other people in English on the phone. I'm really freak out about it.

  33. Mmm i played a game and i heard heart attack and i was like hey (stop the game) i think it means this in my language and i was right. 😁

  34. Thanks for the lessons. Any one to communicate with, here is my whatsap +213659967043

  35. I think, this schedule have to be turn over. If on the upper axis we have time and on the lower axis progress, we need very little time to get a big result, when we approach to high result.

  36. Sometimes I feel like I'm not improving my listening skills, but I watch a lot of videos in English. I turn off subtitles as well to be more concentrated to the voice of the native speaker. Has anyone felt the same?


  38. Thank you very much it’s looks like you are talking about what I am feeling

  39. Thank you for sharing Emma. This is how I felt. This lesson help me a lot. 👍👍👍

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