How to make your English learning plan and achieve your goals

How to make your English learning plan and achieve your goals
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    I'm Rebecca from engVid.
    In this special lesson I'm going to show you how to plan your English learning so that
    you can get the best results based on your needs.
    And in order to identify your needs, we're going to go through a series of questions.
    Now, these are the same questions that I use with my consulting clients from all over the
    world to help to find the best path for them to achieve their goals.
    And I believe, if you follow these steps, you will be able to do the same thing.
    So what you might want to do is to grab a piece of paper, and as we go through the questions,
    make some notes for yourself. Okay?
    And then by the end of the lesson, you may actually have a much clearer idea of what
    the next step is in order to achieve your English learning goals. Okay?
    And also, what are the best strategies that you can use to get there. Okay?
    So, are you ready?
    Let's get started.
    Okay, so the first question that you need to ask yourself is: "Why are you learning
    Now, I know that sounds pretty obvious, like: "Why?
    Well, okay.
    I need to...
    I have to..."
    These are some of the things that I hear upfront, then when we go a little bit further we start
    to get more real reasons.
    And why is that important?
    Why is the "Why?" of our life important?
    Because the "Why?" is the motivation, the "Why?" is your fuel to reach...
    To help you take this journey. Okay?
    Learning English is a journey, and you need that motivation and you need to know clearly:
    "Why am I doing all of this?"
    And so, in order to do that...
    First somebody might say to me: "Well, I'm learning English for my job."
    I say: -"Okay.
    Why are you learning English for your job?"
    -"To get a better job."
    -"Why are you trying to get a better job?"
    -"To earn more money."
    -"Why are you trying to earn more money?"
    -"Because I have to provide for my family."
    -"Why do you have to provide for your family?"
    -"Because I love them.
    They're the most important thing in the world with... to me."
    Okay, now we found the real reason.
    It wasn't just that you're learning English for your job, you're learning English for
    your family who you love with all your heart.
    So, like in everything, there's a rational reason why we do something and there's an
    emotional reason.
    If you can find your emotional reason, then along with your rational reason, now you have
    really strong motivation.
    So ask yourself these questions, okay?
    Because nobody has to do anything; we choose to do something.
    Find your: "Why?" and you will have the strongest motivation to achieve your goals.
    So, now, more specifically, let's look at some of the "Whys" that people have usually.
    So, number one: University.
    Let's suppose you're trying to get into university.
    Why is it important to know that?
    Because the "Why?" is also going to determine the "What?"
    What you need to study.
    So what's your "Why?"
    Is it to get into university?
    If so, then you need to focus on academic English.
    All right?
    And that's actually an entire field of English language learning.
    It's called English for academic purposes.
    Then you need to get those kind of books, attend those kind of courses, work with teachers
    who have experience in those areas.
    All right?
    Because your needs are very specific. Right?
    Your needs are to be able to write papers and assignments at a university level, to
    understand lectures, to read textbooks with lots of technical vocabulary.
    So that's why focusing in on your "Why?" to get into university will help you to determine
    your "What?" All right?
    There are many more questions.
    Let's suppose your "Why?" is an exam, you need to pass an exam.
    Then... Let's suppose it's the IELTS, or the TOEFL, or the TOEIC, or the PTE, then your study
    strategy is completely different. Right?
    From somebody else, because these exams are like a world in themselves.
    You need to understand the exam, you need know reading, writing, listening, speaking,
    but not just in general, but for that exam.
    You need to know how to do well there, and you need to find a teacher or a training program
    which prepares you for the exam, which is very different from just general English learning.
    And that's another area where you will need specialized training. Okay?
    Next, if it is for your job or your career, then you're probably talking about business
    But, again, within the world of BE, which is business English, there are so many different
    needs and so many different areas.
    What are your needs?
    If it's for your job or career, what do you actually need to be able to do better than
    you do today?
    Do you need to write email more effectively and correctly, do you need to give strong
    presentations, do you need to entertain clients or talk to them on the telephone?
    By identifying exactly what you need to do at work, you will then focus on that particular
    skill. Okay?
    Because what happens when people get confused about learning English or when they get stuck
    in a particular area it's because they lose focus.
    They think they have to just keep doing a lot of English, a lot of grammar, a lot of
    No, it's not just that.
    In the beginning it's some of that, but afterwards it gets focused to a specific goal, like:
    "I want to be able to write a...
    Not an excellent...
    A perfect email, but an excellent email as far as I'm concerned." Okay?
    Or: "I need to make sure that I can give that presentation and really nail it."
    So when you identify that, presentation English is very specific.
    There are books which are just about how to do well in presentations, there are teachers
    and trainers who will work with you to optimize your presentations.
    Such as myself, I do that all the time.
    I work with diplomats, I work with executives, I work with international students who are
    preparing for their PhD or something like that. Okay?
    And various situations where that's a very specific skill. Okay?
    So by identifying what your exact needs are, then you will be able to find the right, and
    design the right, training program or trainer for you. Okay?
    Let's go on.
    Let's suppose your needs are more to become a specialist of some kind, then you need something
    which is called actually "English for Specific Purposes".
    And in case you don't know, there are actually specific books; English for Engineers, English
    for Nurses, English for Doctors, English for Lawyers, English for Journalists, English
    for Engineers, all kinds of detailed professions have their own textbooks.
    And you may be able to find a trainer who has actually specialized in this area.
    So that's something else to keep in mind.
    All right?
    So identify if your profession is something specific, and check out if there are materials
    specifically for that.
    You might be surprised.
    I, myself, have written specialized materials for various courses that I've run: English
    for Accountants, English for Economists, English for Production Engineers, and things like
    So check that out and think about whether...
    What your real needs are.
    Next, maybe it's not about this.
    Maybe you're learning English for social purposes or for personal reasons.
    You want to make more friends, you want to travel, or for cultural reasons.
    You want to be able to enjoy movies and songs, and really understand them, and grow as a
    person and enjoy more of English life, then your kind of English is going to be different.
    The English that you need to focus on.
    It's a little bit more conversational, more general.
    And also the resources that you're going to use are going to be quite different.
    You might be listening to music and songs, and watching shows and movies, or listening
    to the news.
    Your whole strategy will be completely different.
    Now, a couple of other questions that you need to ask yourself along this journey is:
    For example, what do I mean by that?
    When do you need to achieve a specific result?
    When my clients come to me they usually have something that's urgent coming up let's say
    in a month or two months, or even next week.
    There might be a very important presentation, so we have to achieve something in a short
    period of time.
    So, do you have a short deadline?
    Do you need to appear for an exam very soon?
    Or do you have a longer deadline? Okay?
    So think about that.
    Is it something you must do urgently or do you have time?
    And also, what kind of time do you have available to devote to this goal?
    Do you have...?
    Are you able to work on it full time?
    Are you a younger person who can spend a lot of time on it?
    Or are you a working person, you can only work on your English part time, you can only
    work on it on the weekends or only in the evenings, or only 15 minutes a day?
    Whatever it is, identify that answer for you. Okay?
    It will help you to design a program that you can stick with.
    Because the point is if you design a plan very ambitiously but then you can't stick
    to it, it's not going to help you. Okay?
    So design something realistic, taking into account your daily schedule, and your reality,
    and your life. Okay?
    Now, the other point is: "Where?"
    Where do you want to study English? Okay?
    Are you looking to study locally? Okay?
    Are you trying to go overseas and go to a language school abroad in Canada, or the States,
    or in England, or Australia?
    Or are you ready to study online?
    This is how I do most of my training.
    I work with people on Skype and so on, and that way it doesn't matter where in the world
    people are.
    Of course today people are working online with all kinds of trainers, so that's another
    big option that's opened up to you, the whole world has opened up to you, so you could find
    a trainer online or a program online.
    So this is another point that I want you to make in case you're making notes, is: "Where
    is it possible for you to study?
    Can you leave your country?
    Do you need to leave your country?
    Is it the best option?"
    Think about it. Okay?
    And next we're going to look at a few more questions that are going to help you zero
    in on what you really need.
    Okay, so let's look at the next question, which is: "How much?" which means: How much
    How much money do you have available for this purpose of improving your English?
    Are you going to go with the free option?
    Where you perhaps do not really have a budget for that but you still want to improve?
    Or are you going to be looking at some paid options?
    Or, of course, you can always look at a combination of those.
    All right?
    So let's see how your budget affects some of your options.
    All right?
    So then we come to the: "How?"
    So, are you going to study, for example, by yourself, kind of, you know, with the free
    In a group or a school?
    Or with a private teacher or trainer?
    These are some of the main options that people choose.
    So, what are some of the things you can do alone?
    You can do a lot alone, especially today.
    You know that, you're watching me right now, you watch engVid, you watch all our teachers,
    so you know that you can do a lot of English language learning online.
    So, of course you can go online, watch engVid, as I said.
    You can also watch lots of other things. Okay?
    You can...
    You can watch the news, you can listen to music, you can watch your favourite TV shows,
    you can watch movies, you can play games, you can download apps, you can read books.
    And from each of these you can learn something different. Okay?
    From the news, there's so much...
    So much vocabulary you can pick up.
    You can learn about accent, you can learn how to speak well.
    From the music you can go and look at the lyrics of a particular song that you love,
    and that's a great, fun way to improve your English.
    By singing, okay?
    Do you know that music has a special quality because of the music and the words, you're
    actually using both parts of your brain and you can learn really easily?
    So learning the words of a song and singing it in English are a wonderful way to improve
    your English, and also sometimes your grammar, depending on what you're listening to. Okay?
    And your accent as well.
    And all of these have ways in which you can mine that for whatever you need; for vocabulary,
    for expressions.
    When you're watching something, sit down with your notebook.
    Write down the words, write down the expressions that your favourite actors sing.
    Write down a phrase and a song that you want to try to use yourself.
    Something that appeals to your heart is something that you're going to use, and it's a great
    way to learn. Okay?
    There are a couple of things to keep in mind.
    These methods and learning by yourself will help you with reading and listening, improve
    your vocabulary, improve your grammar, but when you're talking about the productive skills
    where you have to produce the language which are speaking and writing, there it's really
    very tough to improve by yourself.
    Because you need someone to talk to, you need to practice what actually happens when you
    need to speak; and for writing, you need someone to evaluate your writing and give you feedback.
    Because if you keep writing every day, you might be making the same mistakes and that's
    a shame, and that's kind of a waste of time, and time is also money.
    All right?
    So, keep that in mind.
    And now let's look at what happens, then, when we go to some of the paid options.
    So one option is to join a group or a school, a language school, all right?
    There are all kinds of language schools, I'm sure where you live, as well as all over the
    world, which specialize in ESL students.
    And let's look at what the options are between...
    And some of the differences are between going with this school option, or going with a private
    teacher or trainer.
    What will happen in a school, generally speaking, not always, but generally, schools cost less
    per hour, so they cost less money.
    You're going to make general progress because you're part of a group.
    And depending on the school, there might be four people in your class, or there might
    be 14 people in your class, or 24 people in your class.
    It depends on the time of year, it depends on the school, lots of things.
    So you will make progress, but it's more general progress, and it usually takes more time because
    of that.
    All right?
    You're not going to get as much time in a speaking class, your writing is not going
    to get as much feedback, your...
    All of your skills.
    Are not going to get...
    You're not going to get as much attention.
    On the other hand, if you decide to work with a private teacher or a trainer, generally
    speaking per hour it costs more money.
    That doesn't mean overall it's going to cost more money, but per hour it's going to look
    like it costs more money.
    But what is the advantage with a private teacher?
    You're going to make very specific progress. Okay?
    So, for example, in your speaking, if you have an accent issue, well, that's difficult
    to handle-right?-in a class.
    Teacher can't give you that kind of attention.
    Or if you're trying to do some... pass a particular exam, maybe you're in the course, maybe you're
    in the IELTS course or the TOEFL course, but you keep having a problem with the writing
    and the teacher can't help you in that context.
    So maybe you'll do a combination of this.
    You will take the school classes or the exam prep classes in general, but maybe for writing
    for a short while, you'll do a combination and you'll have a private teacher who's working
    with you specifically on your writing, or on your speaking, or whatever your challenge is. Okay?
    And also because with a private teacher you are the only student, you're going to get...
    It's going to take...
    You're going to achieve your goals faster, it's going to take less time. Okay?
    Because you get all the attention, and therefore you get a lot more value out of it, out of
    that experience, out of that money, out of that investment of time and money.
    So don't always write off the private teacher or trainer because, if you're facing a particular
    challenge, that teacher or trainer could be the answer to your prayers.
    So these are some of the basic elements and basic differences between the group and school,
    and the private teacher, and the solo options.
    Now, in real life you're probably doing a combination of these things at different times,
    and that's perfectly fine.
    It'll keep changing based on whatever you need or wherever you're at.
    It also depends where you are today in terms of your level.
    If you're a beginner, intermediate, you're probably going to start here.
    And if you're at a higher level or if you're facing a particular challenge, you may go
    to that other option. Okay?
    Also, with the paid option, remember sometimes it's coming out of your pocket.
    And if you work in an organization, they may have a training budget which you have access
    to, so check that out.
    Check with your company whether they have a budget to help you with your English language
    I've worked with lots and lots of corporations, and I know for sure that they do, and hopefully
    your company does as well.
    So I hope that each of these questions has helped you get a better understanding of what
    exactly you need and what's the best plan for you to follow to achieve your goals.
    Remember, we've looked at the: "Why? What? Where? When? How much? How? And with whom?"
    And each of these questions and each of your answers has hopefully taken you one step closer
    to the best solution for your situation and your reality.
    Now, if you've found this lesson helpful, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.
    Feel free to share it with your friends if you think it will help them to achieve their
    goals faster as well.
    And also in this lesson I've included, in the lesson description, a link to my professional website,
    If you're interested in working with me, you can contact me there.
    All right?
    So, once again, thank you so much for watching.
    I really admire your determination.
    And I've seen thousands of people achieving their goal of English language mastery and
    I'm sure you can do it, too. All right?
    So, as always, bye for now and all the best with your English.
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