Five ways to keep your New Year’s resolution and improve your English

2010What’s your New Year’s resolution? Improving your English? If so, here are my five ways to keep your New Year’s resolution and improve your English this year.

1. Get into a routine. Try to practise at the same time every day. Maybe you are an early bird. If so, get up half an hour earlier so you can practise English every morning.

If you are a night owl, turn the TV off in the evening and sit down to practise English for half an hour before you go to bed at night.

2. Set achievable goals. Learning a language takes a long time and it can be frustrating. Set yourself small, achievable goals every month. It’s often good to choose specific situations for this (E.g. by the end of this month I want to be able to give a presentation about my work in English). Reaching these small goals will help motivate you to continue studying and bring you closer to your ultimate goal of becoming fluent in English.

3. Track your progress. At the beginning of each month, set yourself a short speaking or writing task. Think of a question and write a 500-word answer or record yourself speaking about it for 5 minutes.

When you’ve done this, put the paper or recording away and forget about it. At the end of the month, come back to it and listen or read through it looking for mistakes. Any mistakes you find here are aspects that you’ve improved on this month (otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to spot them).

Keep your monthly recordings and writing samples so you can look back at them at the end of the year to see how well you’ve done!

4. Make your resolution public. Telling people what you intend to do is a great way to make sure you stick to your plan. You could even start a blog and tell the world, like this guy.

5. Make it fun. I’ve mentioned before how important it is to make learning a language fun. The more fun it is, the more often you will do it. The more often you do it, the sooner you will reach your goals!

Today’s image is by Ilker.