Many learners want to know why they aren’t fluent in English.
This lesson is going to give you seven reasons why you don’t have a high level of English and the changes you need to make. Watch the video carefully and think about what you need to do in order to progress at a faster rate.
1: You Don’t Have Enough Time to Learn English
This is a common one. I understand. We all have commitments and we constantly say, “I’m so busy.” Finding the time to learn English isn’t easy.
… if you want to reach a high level, you’ll need to do more. There are three ways to study more:
- Make learning English more a
priority Listento English while doing other things
- Change your environment (more on this soon).
Look at your calendar and the way you spend your day. Ask yourself if you can study English instead of doing something else. If you have a strong why – more about that in my book – then this will overcome the how.
Sometimes, saying that you’re busy is an excuse. If it’s truly important to you, make it a priority.
Additionally, listen to English while doing other things. Listen on your commute, while you’re doing the housework, and while you’re exercising.
2: You’re Not Getting Enough Output
Listening and reading is easier than writing and speaking.
That is why learners spend a lot of time listening to podcasts and watching videos but don’t do much speaking or writing. The problem with this is that if you’re not focusing on output, you won’t improve quickly.
Here is what I recommend:
- make sure you’re getting enough natural speaking practice
- start using the To Fluency Speaking Method
- improve your grammar and output through this writing method
You’ll need to be able to focus while following this methods. Choose a time of day where you can concentrate on speaking and writing and be consistent with it.
Even if you can only do 15 minutes a day. This is MUCH better than doing nothing. Learn more about the methods and implement this today.
3: Stop Spending So Much Time Learning Grammar Rules
Knowing grammar rules can help.
But in order to have natural conversations in English, you’ll need to intuitively know grammar. This is where you don’t have to think about the rules when speaking, instead, you automatically use correct grammar.
Spending too much time on grammar rules is taking away time that you could spend doing something more effective.
This is key: you don’t need to know grammar rules to use grammar correctly.
What should you do instead? Repeat sentences so that you internalize grammar. This is another reason why the TF Speaking Method is so powerful. Not only does it help you improve your speaking, you’re also going to internalize grammar and vocabulary.
Watch this video to learn more about it:
4: You’re too Shy to Practice
This is a biggie!
So many learners tell me that they feel too shy to speak in English. Or that they are afraid of making mistakes.
Again, I completely understand. I used to be so nervous speaking Spanish in front of others. I was petrified of making a mistake and everyone laughing at me.
However, I overcame this as I realized something. No one cares if you make a mistake.
English speakers are used to listening to people speaking English as a second language. And the vast majority of English speakers don’t care if you make a mistake. What’s important is that you make a connection.
I also think ego plays a role. What I mean by that is when you speak a foreign language, you want people to be impressed. You want to look good when speaking. If you make a mistake, then you feel people are going to judge your level.
To overcome your nerves, do the following:
- Find someone who you are comfortable with to practice
- Use small talk to ease your way into a conversation
- Watch the following video
You’re Waiting for the Perfect Opportunity to Learn English
“I’ll start studying English in the summer when….”
Have you ever said something like this? I know I have! The perfect time to start learning English is today. Do what you can today and do the same tomorrow.
A big reason why people wait is
Here is a quote from AJATT:
Most people don’t mess up by doing the wrong thing.AJATT
They mess up by doing nothing.
Do something today. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity.
6: You’re Not Consistent Enough
We all go through stages where we are excited about something.
You know the feeling. When all you want to do is study English / learn something new / exercise.
It’s important to know that motivation comes and goes. That even if you’re really excited about learning English right now, you probably won’t be in a few weeks.
The key here is to be consistent no matter your level of motivation. How can you do that?
By getting into the habit of learning English. Here is a quote from Will Durant:
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.Will Durant
Again, don’t wait for one perfect opportunity to improve. Do the right things on a consistent basis. Create habits that you can stick too.
6: You’re too Stressed about Your Level and Your Goals
Learning English is a journey. You might as well enjoy it.
I believe that stress comes when you compare the level you have now to the level you want to have.
You know that you can’t magically start speaking English. That it takes time to achieve your goals.
It can make you down to think about this. To be constantly thinking about your level and where you want to be.
That’s why it’s important to create a plan of action that will get you to a C1 level of English and then stick to it (continue doing it).
And have fun.
Do things you enjoy. Read books you like. Speak to people you like. Listen to things that interest you. Smile while you learn.
You might think that the only thing that matters is fluency. But once you reach your goal, this will become the new normal. Enjoy the journey as this is what truly matters.