Lesson 19


The next day, one girl asks our teacher an interesting question. She says, “Thank you for the information you are giving us on how to learn English. Could you give us a summary with some rules on what we can do every day to learn English well?”

Our teacher says, “OK, I will try to give you a simple summary.

If you want to speak English well, you need to do 3 things. You have to read, listen and speak. You already know that.

What is important is that you do all these 3 activities about the same amount of time. If you leave one out, then your progress will not be as fast as it could be.

From my experience, I can say that it is important to use English every day for at least 90 minutes. You don’t have to study, but you should use English actively.

Now, I will explain every activity in more detail. Let’s start with reading. You should read for at least 30 minutes every day. It is the minimum. Don’t read to study English. Read to get some new information. Read to enjoy an interesting story. I know that I repeat this information again and again but it is really important.

Then, you should listen to English for at least 30 minutes every day. Again, it should be something which you are interested in. You should enjoy getting the information. You should start to listen to simple audio books or news first. Then you should go to a higher and higher level of books and news. When you know 2000 words, you should start watching films and videos on the Internet.

Then there is speaking. You already know how important it is to speak when you study English. Again it is important to speak for at least 30 minutes every day. Of course, the best way is to speak to real people. It can be your teacher, your classmates, colleagues or friends. Try to find somebody who is at your level of English or a little bit better and speak with this person. However, if you have nobody to speak to, with shadowing and thinking aloud, you can also get a lot of speaking practise every day. I use these techniques very often when I learn Spanish. I don’t have any native Spanish speakers in my life who I would meet every day. I use these two techniques to improve my Spanish.

As you can see, studying English is simple. All you have to do is read, listen and speak. This is all. Now, you know how to do it.”

“Thank you”, says the girl. “This is what I needed to hear. You are the best.”

I am also very glad that the girl asked this question. It is my last day at school and I needed some kind of summary on what I can do. During the four weeks I have spent with my teacher, I have learnt a lot. I have also improved my English very much.

My teacher knows that this is my last day at school. She asks me if I want to say something to the other students in the class.

I say that I was very happy to be a part of this class, and I met a lot of nice people. I give everybody my email address and I tell them that they can contact me if they want to. Then I say goodbye to everybody. I am a little sad but I know that I have to continue with my life. I can’t be at school forever. Now, it is up to me to improve my English. I have all the tools I need.

Now, it is one year after my last day at school. I used English every day. I used the techniques from my teacher. Now, I know 4000 words in English. It is great.

I also have a new job. I start to teach English. I teach beginners. They know only 500 words. It is good for me because I know that I need a lot of practise as a teacher before I can teach at higher levels.

I have one great advantage in my new job. I had a great teacher in London. I learnt a lot from her. Now, I am trying to give all I learnt from my teacher to my students. I want them to be successful as well.

When you want to learn English, read, listen and speak. Do each activity for 30 minutes every day.