How to learn English

Hi, my name is Jeremy. My mission is to help you to learn English.

It won’t be easy and it won’t be quick. There will be lots of challenges and difficulties along the way. But I’m convinced that you can do it! Don’t worry. I’ll be your guide!

Who is Jeremy?

jeremy-italy

I’m English (from London) and I’ve lived in Italy (in Padova and then Venice) for 8 years. I’m married to Serena (Italian) and we have a beautiful daighter, Margherita. Since I came to Italy in 2006 I’ve helped thousands of Italians to learn English through my website moxonenglish.com and the Moxon English website.

Now I try help English students to learn English by offering free advice and organizing English courses on Skype. If you want to receive my help and advice then you can sign up here.

Too much grammar, not enough speaking

When I first came to Italy I realized that schools teach a lot of grammar but there is almost no opportunity for speaking English. I know this is the same problem in many countries around the world. Probably your English teacher at school was very good at getting you to do thousands of exercises but didn’t give you any chance of actually practicing your English by speaking.

You’ll have already figured out that a purely theoretical approach doesn’t work. Indeed, the real secret to learning a language is to start to speak, speak speak the language (not continuing to only do written, silent and passive practice).

I’m not saying that speaking is enough on its own (there are many other elements that contribute to your success in learning the language), but I am saying that without speaking you’ll find it hard to be successful.

How long have you been studying English?

Maybe this is your first attempt at learning English. Or maybe you’ve already tried many times in the past. Maybe you tried a group course of English but discovered there was little attention dedicated to you (again not enough time for speaking). Or maybe you’ve been abroad (to London or elsewhere) on a study-holiday or exchange and found that talking to and meeting native speakings wasn’t so easy. Or maybe an English school has sold you a super-expensive English course with hundreds of modules and hours in front of the PC. In any case you probably didn’t get the results you were hoping for.

You chose a solution with little opportunity for speaking. But you also thought that you could learn everything immediately without a plan for the long-term.

So everything you’ve done so far hasn’t produced the results you were hoping for. Now let’s turn the page and begin with the right approach.

What’s blocking you?

No time to study English? No chances to speak English? You don’t know where to start? You don’t know how to organize your efforts?

What you’re missing, in my opinion, is someone to guide you. I’ll be that person.

Introducing the Moxon English method

The Moxon method was developed through my work with students who, like you, found it difficult to express themselves in English. The Moxon method was formed after understanding that the most important element of any learning approach is speaking. We use the Moxon method in the courses we organize on Skype (see moxonenglish.com/skype). Through our courses on Skype with native English teachers you can become fluent in the shortests time possible.

Do you want to learn English?

Yes! Of course you need to learn English but sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start. Too much information and advice only creates confusion. No problem! I’ll be your guide. All you need to do is to follow these easy steps. If you have any doubts or questions write to me at [email protected].

1. Plan. Make a plan.
2. Organize. Get organized with a Virtual Notepad or a traditional exercise book
3. Vocab. Personal vocabulary list
4. Contents. What to study: exercises, topics, contents
5. Principles. Moxon method and its principles

1. Plan. Make a plan

1-plan

Try to avoid the temptation of throwing yourself into your studies without first creating a plan or program.

In your program you’ll write the following information:

– your current level of English
– the level of English you’d like to obtain
– when you would like to obtain your level

– the contents of the various modules and programs that you decide to study

If you need a hand you can ask for a personalized program by writing to me at [email protected]

2. Organize. Get organized with a Virtual Notepad or a traditional exercise book

2-organize

Have you tried to learn English in the past? Maybe you didn’t have the right organization in the past. One of the most popular aspects of our Skype courses is the Virtual Notepad. There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about this and it’s very similar to the traditional exercise book. But in its simplicity it is very effective.

Virtual Notepad. You can see an example of a Virtual Notepad here. You’ll see that every lesson has space for the errors you make, the new vocabulary you want to learn and other notes.

Traditional exercise book. Maybe you’re more old-fashioned and you don’t like the idea of an online document. And maybe you prefer a paper solution, rather than a digital one. In this case I’ll leave it up to you to decide what type of exercise book to get. Personally I prefer a ring-binder like this one. This allows you to add, take out and reorder the various sheets of paper you use. It also means you can print worksheets and other pages from the internet and enter them.

3. Vocab. Personal vocabulary list

3-vocab

In section 5 I talk about the principle of chunkification (that is the act of breaking down bigger modules into smaller tasks; see 5. Principles). So if we apply the idea of chunkification it’s right to see vocabulary as a super important category of building block. It’s certainly not easy to learn and memorize all those new words – especially if you don’t have the chance of practicing a lot.

In order to memorize these words you need some kind of system. I suggest one of these two solutions.

Virtual Notepad. In the first instance probably the easiest way is to write these words in your Virtual Notepad or in your physical exercise book.

Google Translate. Did you know that Google Translate allows you to save words within your Google account.

4. Contents. What to study: exercises, topics, contents

4-contents

Don’t try to do everything immediately. And (at least at first) don’t try to improve your English with lots of approaches or modalities (speaking, reading, writing etc.). For our Skype English students we propose only a few modules. You can also choose some modules to study. For further ideas you can sign up for the Moxon English newsletter. In the various emails that I send I suggest various different modules and approaches. For example:

– TV e film
– Listening
– Podcast
– Reading
– Grammar
– Speaking
– Vocabulary

5. Principles. Moxon method and its principles

5-principles

Zero to hero. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do exercises that are too difficult or (for that matter) too easy. Instead, you need to organize things so you learn step by step in a gradual way. If you try to learn difficult and rare words and watch films full of slang and phrasal verbs you run the risk of getting burnt and disappointed when you don’t manage. You have to think about learn English as a large set of stairs that you climb gradually, one step at a time.

Chunkification. When I say ‘chunkification’ I mean breaking up bigger modules (i.e., the things you want to learn) into smaller bits. Learning English is like eating an enormous steak. It’s much easier to eat and digest if you cut it up into small bits first.

Every day. You need to practice everyday if you want to make real progress. Learning English is like developing a muscle. It doesn’t work if you exercise occasionally, every now and again. In order to be successful you need regular and consistent practice.

Positivity. Given that you need consistency and determination it is also important to have a lot of positivity. Maybe you’ve had disappointing experiences in the past of trying to and failing to learn English. It’s also probably that in the future you will come across roadblocks and obstacles. But it doesn’t matter if we’re not perfect, rather it’s important to try, try and try again. Like any other habit that is had to form (physical exercise, giving up smoking, eating less) you’ll need lots of time, determination and multiple attempts (and failures!).

Pleasure first. Try to choose activities and modalities of learning English that you like. If you can’t stand English grammar exercises then it doesn’t make sense to try to do 1000s a day. If you do you’ll soon get tired of them and give up. Try starting with activities and exercises that you find fun. It’s also fundamental to choose activities that are compatible with your lifestyle and everyday routine. If you spend a lot of time in your car driving (maybe for your job or ferrying around your kids) then start with podcasts, CDs and mp3s rather than reading. If you have little children then start with cartoons (that way you keep them happy as well).

People. Don’t try to learn English entirely alone. Often my students choose to do Skype courses with us not only because they want to talk a lot but also because they want someone to guide and encourage them. This person doesn’t necessarily need to be a teacher. You could find another English student, or else you could try to find a native English speaker in your city to do a tandem or language exchange with.

Learning Style. Don’t forget to take into consideration your learning style. There are three types of learning style: visual, auditory, kinesthetic. Of course, really we each use all three of these styles to varing degrees (in different contexts and to varying degrees we use sight, sound and movement to learn). Our method makes the most of all three (as compared to other methods that focus on written exercises). You need to speak, memorize vocabulary through images and use movement to reinforce certain grammatical and lexical concepts.

Speaking, speaking, speaking. Perhaps the most important principle of all is that of speaking. Without speaking useful learning is impossible. Obviously our Skype students have lots of opportunity for speaking in the lessons but even outside of the lessons we encourage them to speak using various tricks that you too can learn. Indeed, within each module or program there is always an element of speaking.

Sign up for the newsletter now and I’ll tell you how to use various tricks to apply these principles in your study of the English language.

button-discover-benefits

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.