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Learned Skills for Improving English

Mindset / マインドセット

Hello. My name is Duncan Brown and I’m an English Facilitator, here a some of my thoughts about learning the English language.

Quick learner?

Some students succeed faster than others, that is down to a natural ability or determination or both. Language is based on input (listening and reading) and output (speaking and writing). Some skills that help learn a second language, and if you don’t have these talents, here is some advice to help.


Positive Mental Attitude – First of all, be positive! Changing a few words will help improve your idea of learning: Challenging, not difficult. Interesting, not strange. Different, not confusing. Possible, not impossible. Eventually, not never. A lesson, not a mistake.

Body & Mind

Healthy body, healthy mind – Energy is everything! When the body works well, so does the mind. Some have physical limitations but exercise whatever you can, breathing is an exercise too. Avoid lovely junk food.

Good memory – The brain is like a muscle too, it needs exercise. If your memory isn’t so good, try some different techniques. Read aloud what you are learning, also, review what you learned the previous week and month. Use flashcards to test yourself and Brain Training applications if you have a smartphone.

Listening & Speaking

Good ears – Active listening! Some people have good ears, they can hear exactly what is being said. Others need to practise more often, old fashioned language courses on CD and cassettes will help with repeating useful words. Say them aloud to help a good mouth. Good ears support a good mouth and vice versa.

Good mouth – Mouth gym! Some English sounds use parts of the mouth differently from Japanese. From the throat, tongue, and lips, find a way to copy the sound first. Use a word you know you can pronounce correctly to build muscle memory for that sound.

Dedication & Motivation

Regular learning – Make it part of your day! First thing in the morning, last thing at night or any time in between. Put it in your diary to have a time focussed on what you are learning with no distractions.

Motivation – Make a goal! Have a purpose for learning, “I want to talk about my hobby and how it makes me feel” You are learning for a reason, for yourself. Another motivator is studying with others, sharing what you have learnt and the journey to learn more. Demonstrating what you have practised alone, in a group, with a teacher, or with someone else who speaks English shows what you have achieved and is motivating.

Lifelong Learning

If you already do these things, how can you improve further? English is a tool to use for communication and conversation. Communication and conversation have two different meanings in English, this is a cultural difference. These are other skills to improve your English.

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