Subtitles prepared by human
So if you feel like you've been learning English for a while now but you feel like you're not improving as much as you used to when you first started, then today's lesson is for you. You'll first watch a clip with subtitles and then I'm going to teach you the most important vocabulary in the clip while giving you practical tips on what you can do to advance your English. And then finally you'll have the chance to watch a clip again without subtitles and see a summary of the words and tips that we studied in this lesson. Oh! And there's a surprise quiz at the end that will help you identify if you are ready to move towards becoming an advanced learner. But before we get into any of that if you are new here I wanted to quickly let you know that every week we help you to understand fast speaking natives, to be understood by anyone and to connect to the world! Just like Allah, who says that our lessons are helping him improve his accent. We look forward to joining you on your journey to English fluency too. The first step is hitting that Subscribe Button and the Bell down below, so that you don't miss any new lessons.
So in this part Ollie is sharing his frustration after starting to learn Portuguese. He says he feels like he's stuck in a rut. Now this means that learning the language has become monotonous and he feels bored with it, probably because of that he can't see any improvements. This is such a common situation when learning a foreign language, that's why I feel that classifying the levels of English just as beginner, intermediate and advanced isn't a very good representation of the reality. You don't simply jump from one to another overnight. It's a process and there are differences within the levels you are at because sometimes one skill like reading or writing is more developed than others. Still when you get to an intermediate level it becomes really difficult to see exactly where you're making progress. Improvements become harder and harder to see as you don't feel the small wins like you did before you may feel discouraged and demotivated to keep studying. This situation can even make you feel like you're not good enough.
However even if it is small as long as you're consistent the progress is there. You probably already sound more fluent and you don't have to think a lot about the words you're going to use. You don't pause that much and your listening is better. Your reading maybe is even faster. So how can you find the motivation to keep going? Alright, so my first tip is to "Keep a record of your learning." The easiest way to do this is by creating a folder on a cloud service like Google Drive or OneDrive and use it as a digital portfolio. Actually my favorite tool for this nowadays is Notion, it's really powerful and I highly recommend you check it out, but I won't talk too much about it in this video. But give us a like down below if you would like me to do a video on my favorite tools for language learning and productivity. So in a service like one of these that I mentioned, you can upload things that you write, audio you record yourself speaking English, exercises you did in class or even nice feedback that you received on your language abilities. Or you could even upload some notes of
a successful situation where you used your English. You can separate your files by date and make a note on your calendar to revisit from time to time. Maybe once every quarter or semester. By revisiting your old work you'll be able to see how much you've progressed, maybe this sounds like a lot for you. If that's the case a simpler alternative would be to record yourself talking about some advanced topic. Do it once per month and compare it to your past ones. A lot of times when we're studying we don't realize the progress that we're making, so this tip is a good way that you can start observing your progress, which will help to light the fire inside and motivate you to continue. Did you notice the expression he used to emphasize how bored he was? If you are bored to tears it's like saying that something is so uninteresting that it could even make you cry. When you throw in the towel you give up doing something. Learning a new language demands consistency and over time that can indeed become too repetitive. That's when you fall into the danger of getting trapped in your comfort zone,
so to avoid falling into that trap the second tip is to "Constantly slightly increase the challenge" The foreign language I speak most here in Barcelona is Catalan. However a couple years ago I noticed this feeling that I was stuck in a rut, I wasn't making progress even though I used the language every single day. So at the beginning of 2019 I decided it was time to take it to the next level. What I did to break out of the comfort zone was to sign up for the C1 Level Test in Catalan. Now I had never studied the grammar in this language before so getting a good teacher and studying every day for the exam over four months forced me to discover where the holes were in my learning and fix them. For me this was the trick to breaking out of the intermediate plateau and into advanced, giving me more confidence in my abilities in this language. Of course everyone has to find what will work for them to step outside of their comfort zone to where the magic happens. Have you had any similar experiences? I would love to hear about it. Share it down in the comments below.
The key here is to do something that's just a little bit more difficult than what you were doing before. For people who work out it's the same principle of progressive overload, that is when they gradually increase the weight or number of repetitions in their training routine. Of course it's not so obvious when it comes to learning a language what it means to increase the weight. Every time our brain faces a new challenge it actually creates new brain cells. The process of responding to a new challenge requires the brain to do some work that it is not used to do or hasn't done before. How can you apply that to learning English? Well if you have a favorite TV series and watched it with subtitles go back and watch it without them. Or maybe you like to read so you could pick up a book that is a little bit above your level of English, or instead of doing book exercises to revisit your grammar you could start creating your own exercises. For example by removing all the verbs from a news article or song and having to conjugate them yourself. You could do crossword puzzles, watch videos of your favorite subjects,
play trivia games, etc. all in English. Or maybe if you feel like you need a little bit of an extra push, then you can sign up for a language exam just like I did. For English learners you have the IELTS exam, TOEFL or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English. It will help you to focus and structure your learning. If you're like Ollie or me then when you got to the intermediate level you probably felt like you could understand most things quite well, right? Well despite that you feel you can't quite respond as precisely as you do in your first language, and you end up always using the same words, don't you? This limits your conversations and maybe they just don't feel that interesting. Just like I once felt you may not be using a wide enough range of expressions. The range is the extension of your vocabulary, how varied it is, relying on the same expressions because they're comfortable is perhaps the biggest thing that stops you from getting to an advanced level. The thing that you can do is to start learning chunks instead of isolated words.
Chunks are expressions that are used in certain contexts or that often come together. Reading is one of the absolute best ways to discover wonderful new word chunks that you're not currently employing when you speak. When I read I like to highlight these chunks on my e-reader and then during my study time I add them to a spaced repetition software like Anki or Memrise. I'll link our lesson on how to improve your English reading in the description in case you want more tips about this. So I said here that deep down I was aware I had a good level of Spanish. Use "deep down" to refer to things that you feel strongly about but that you often don't admit to other people. That's probably the case of your English, because at an intermediate level your English is already good enough for most situations you need to use it in. You convince yourself that that is it you don't need to continue studying and putting effort into it. Furthermore this could result in fossilized mistakes, it is like you're so used to saying things in a certain way and it becomes harder and harder to correct them.
The tip to overcome this and refine your language is to ask for feedback. As I mentioned for me a huge turning point was when I got a professional teacher. Actually I used to be really against the idea of getting a teacher, I thought that I could do it all on my own. However having someone with experience who could identify my own mistakes and guide me made all of the difference in breaking out of the intermediate level. If you can swing this it will make a huge difference for your progress, so I highly recommend that as soon as possible you find a teacher if you can. Other good options can be a friend that you trust or a mentor, constantly ask them to give you feedback on your language. Ask things like: [...] Of course this feedback is only useful if you actually apply it. Ask yourself "why do you need to have advanced English?" and set clear action points making sure that they fit your purpose, intention and needs. Another great way we have for you to gain confidence with your English is with our Power Learning Mini Course, this will help you to gain the vocabulary that we natives really use and to improve
your pronunciation so that you can speak clearly. Look what Itzel, who is a student of our Premium Course recently shared in our community about her experience. She says that now in her meetings in English she feels confident speaking. So you can get started right now and it's absolutely FREE, just click up here or in the description box down below to sign up. Now you'll have a chance to check everything we saw in the lesson. Before doing that though I have one last tip, so even after you have reached an advanced level of English it is important that you are always learning, so you don't lose what you've worked so hard to achieve. We say in English that if you don't use it you lose it. I mentioned sometimes that I have learned six different languages. Several years back I tried my hand at learning Hebrew, now the first five months went great I made a lot of progress but my life got busy, I wasn't using it and I put it on the back burner. Unfortunately I've never come back to it and I lost most of what I learned. Luckily I have learned from those mistakes with other languages that I've learned, so don't make
this mistake with your English. I recommend that you make it a fun part of your everyday life. For stress-free ways you can do this be sure to check out this lesson which you can find linked up here and down in the description below. I hope that you've enjoyed today's lesson and you learned some new things. If you did just a reminder Subscribe and click the bell down below so you don't miss any of our new lessons, but before you go as promised it's time to complete the final quiz and find out if you are ready to move towards becoming an advanced learner. If you answered Yes to seven or more you are ready to start taking your English to the next level. One last thing, don't forget to connect with me on our Instagram page where you can keep learning with our lives, quizzes and mini lessons. See you next Friday for another lesson and now it's time to go beyond the classroom and live your English. Aww yeah!!
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