Three Pillars of Successful Language Learning

In this article I would like to share with you a secret knowledge: three ingredients that will help you learn English successfully. And there is no magic in these ingredients.

Have you ever asked yourself, ‘Why am I learning English?’ This simple question addresses the key ingredient to successful language acquisition – motivation. Motivation isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept; it varies, ranging from strong to weak. The strength of your motivation directly impacts the likelihood of reaching your language learning goals.

Low motivation often occurs when learners fail to fully understand why they need English or show little interest in the learning process. For instance, you might think, ‘It would be good to know English; it might be useful.’ While this isn’t wrong, it reflects low motivation. Similarly, ‘I want to know English, but I don’t enjoy studying’ is another classic example of low motivation.

On the contrary, when your career, social status, or personal satisfaction hinge on your proficiency in English, your motivation is at its peak. It also happens when you derive genuine pleasure just from learning English.

The second pillar of successful language learning is the system or strategy you employ. This encompasses the study material you use, how it is presented, and the sequence in which you tackle it. A good system effectively plans the time needed to master each language element. The realm of language teaching methodologies is vast and complex, and there are abundant resources available to guide you in your journey. You may well make a perfect use of such resources on your own, but most likely you will need a teacher or a methodologist that can do this job for you.

The third essential element is self-discipline. Adhering to a system requires strength, time, and often a substantial amount of will. A higher level of motivation usually yields a stronger discipline, enabling regular and consistent study sessions. Imagine trying to study English only twice a week. The chances of significant progress are slim. Can you picture children learning to talk if they only practiced speaking twice a week? Unlikely, right? Why would it be different for adults learning a new language?

Miracles don’t exist in language learning; consistency is key. Study regularly, and if possible, every day. It may not need to be extensive sessions, but frequent practice is essential. Follow the instructions of your chosen study program diligently. Like a doctor prescribing a treatment plan, if the system recommends a specific sequence or strategy, there’s a good reason behind it. Stick to it.

Remember, success in language learning is a fusion of motivation, a reliable system, and discipline. Embrace this knowledge, and you’re well on your way to mastering English!

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For almost 20 years I have been helping adult learners speak English, which for most of them was not only a learning challenge, but also a path to discover their potential and to believe in their abilities. It has also been a 20 year long journey for me to discover myself and my place in this world, for which I am sincerely grateful to my dear students.Read more

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