When I talk to my students-to-be ( = przyszli uczniowie), their main concern ( = troska, zmartwienie) is to speak English spontaneously, easily and confidently ( = z pewnością siebie). Due to ( = z powodu) the old-fashioned ways of teaching languages in the education system, most Poles – when speaking English – feel self-conscious ( = zawstydzony. Nie, nie pewny siebie. That’s self-confident. A tiny difference).
Luckily, there are a few simple tips ( = wskazówki) that can help you speak English with pleasure, ease and joy ( = radość). Let me share with you what I’ve learnt in the area of the psychology of learning. Let’s get started!
Ta lekcja jest dostępna także jako podcast i filmik. Hura!
1. Have fun learning
Before you can focus on fluency ( = skupić się na płynności), you have to learn some words, phrases and grammar. After all ( = w końcu), you have to know some English before you can use it!
Traditional learning – and teaching – methods are dreadfully dull ( = okropnie nudne). You sit over that stupid textbook ( = podręcznik), read a boring text about some merger ( = fuzja firm), and learn 10 phrasal verbs you’re never gonna use. You memorise old-fashioned rules for Present Perfect, which explain nothing, and only create more chaos in your head instead of helping you use that grammar.
This is why in my series “English for work with songs” I focus on fun. You listen to fun pop or rock songs which you already know – mostly from the 90s ( lata 90.). You already know them, so the English is easier to remember. You probably like them, so you’re having fun. Your brain produces hormones which make remembering much easier! It’s like working out ( = trenowanie). When I decided to get in shape, I could have gone running – which I don’t like – and hate every minute of it. But instead, I chose dancing, which I totally love. I get in shape without noticing it, while having fun!
2. Do it with others
Let’s face the truth ( = stawmy czoła prawdzie). Learning alone sucks ( = jest do kitu). You either need a one-on-one teacher, to guide ( = prowadzić) and motivate you, or a good teacher plus a group of other people. When you see others learn with you, it’s easier to pull yourself together ( = zebrać się do kupy), actually come to the class, and not to fall asleep in the middle.
In my “English for work with songs” classes, you meet lots of enthusiastic people, and it’s contagious ( = zaraźliwe). You see others having fun, and you become happy yourself – it works! That’s mirror neurons in your brain at work! Even though the camera can be switched off, you still see all the fun in the written chat. And another great thing: you can see that others are having the same problems as you! They need help with Present Perfect, they mix up idioms. You can see that there’s nothing wrong with you! Feeling that is really necessary to boost your self-confidence ( = zwiększyć pewność siebie).
This is the most important thing in practising English. Use the grammar to talk about YOU. Use the words to describe YOUR beliefs and experiences. Don’t make false, abstract sentences about Uncle John, like “Uncle John has gone on holiday. Well, I don’t know if he really has, because I don’t have and Uncle John.” Don’t make “just examples”: “She fell off a ladder. Who’s she? Oh, I don’t know, it’s just an example.” Your brain won’t absorb the knowledge this way!
In my series “English for work with songs,” we personalise EVERYTHING! In each lesson, we learn a bunch of ( = kilka) new words and phrases, and you immediately get to use them about YOU and your job! We look at one grammar structure, and use it to talk about it YOUR professional life. You can use the written chat if you’re feeling shy, or you can switch on the microphone and actually practise in speaking.
So, if you remember these 3 tips: have fun, do it with others, and personalise – learning will be much faster, and you will quickly become much more confident in your speaking!
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