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.