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Seven things you should stop doing if you want to learn English 🤫

You want to learn English? You shouldn't always add new things to your studying habits. You often need to remove some.

Or, as English speakers say:

Sometimes, less is more.

So, what do you do when you're not working towards achieving your goals? What do you agree on doing which comes in the way of your success in learning English?

Here comes a list of seven things you should stop doing in order to start making real progress in English. Some of these activities are easier to quit than others, but it's worth trying.

1. Stop watching TV

Turning the TV on is an easy choice. Channel hopping is addictive and makes us passive, mere spectators of our own life. Each minute in front of the screen is 60 seconds lost, which you could have used to reach your goals.

The irony is that watching TV programs in English, that are chosen by you and that are without commercials, can easily transform time you waste into precious and intelligent English practice. Meaning, watching TV in your own language is a waste of time, while watching English language TV can really boost your English level!

Stop using Facebook

Facebook is the new boob tube (television). It takes advantage of our need for human contact and not to mention our personal data.

With the exception of providing you with a spare minute for a bathroom break, commercials are not something you want in your life. As opposed to watching TV, where you know it's time to go to sleep because your favorite show is over, you're constantly exposed to the blue light, which is ruining the quality of your sleep.

If you can take back all of that dead time, you could use it to practice more English.

You can meet your friends in real life. As for meeting new people, you can do that on sites like Meetup.

3. Stop having toxic relationships

It's always easier to criticize than to act. Making fun of foreigners who speak English is easy, but speaking better than them is hard.

People who keep on telling you that you will not succeed in learning English (while they never try anything new) do not deserve your friendship.

It's always a hard choice to make, but tolerating their atrocious comments is giving them credit that they don't deserve. If there are people around you who undermine your morale and suck the energy out of you like leeches, then you should just let them go. That's energy you could invest elsewhere, so distance yourself from them.

This will leave place for better friends and relationships, in English and in your native language alike.

4. Stop working on other languages

In order to really progress in English, focus only on English.

You want to dabble in some German and some Spanish, too? What, learning to speak fluent English isn't already complicated enough? Stop doing a little bit of everything, because you will end up achieving nothing. Give all you've got to learning English and achieve as much as you can. No more excuses!

There will still be time for new languages after learning English. And, after having reached a comfortable level in your first foreign language, adding others will be much easier.

5. Stop wasting your money

You do not need that six-dollar latte to start your day. Our ego and advertising strategies are not doing us a favor and make us waste the money we worked so hard for.

Be thoughtful before spending. Minimize waste. Invest in yourself.

The money you save will allow you to do things which are more meaningful and to practice your English longer and further improve your language skills.

6. Stop reading without pronouncing

English is not pronounced the way it's written and is not written the way it's pronounced.

Reading in English is imagining the pronunciation as opposed to knowing it. This will most likely leave you with an incomprehensible foreign accent.

Do yourself a favor and invest in improving your pronunciation. Learn the basics of English phonetics, check the pronunciation of the words you study and learn using your ears. The world of spoken English will open itself to you.

7. Stop using your native language

Your native language is getting in the way of achieving your full potential in learning foreign languages.

Stop using your mother tongue. Let go of the anchor. Practice English everywhere and all the time, whatever your current level may be.

When abroad, avoid people from your country like the plague. When you're in your own country, minimize the time you spend speaking your native language as much as possible, starting from your own thoughts and inner monologues.

In these periods absent from your native language, you still will have the need to express yourself and to consume new information, but you will be forced to do so using English.

In order to learn to say yes, you also have to know how to say no.

Take action!

If you want to improve your English and finally feel at ease when speaking, check out our course called Click & Speak.

One last thing

If you liked this article and found it useful, please consider sharing it with people you know!


The format of this article was inspired by an article in English on Medium, called 13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Successful.

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Fabien Snauwaert


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Dimitar Dimitrov


Last modified: June 17, 2021, 11:36 am