The Most Effective Method to Improve Your English is…

皆さんは私にこの質問を聞いています:「英語の上達方法について何が一番いいですか?」それはとてもフェアな質問ですけど答えが科学的じゃありません。色々の教師やテキストが科学的に英語の上達メソッドを考えてたくさんの本があります。

 

しかし、「日本人は英語が出来ない」と言う考えを信じていたら(毎日生徒から聞いている)、そういう“メソッド”は間違っているんじゃないですか?

英語の上達方法は一つしかない:目標をはっきり決めてからメソッドが決められます。

 

なぜ英語を勉強していますか?はっきり答えられる人がもちろんいます。だけどもうちょっと考えなきゃいけない人がいっぱいいます。

 

もしあなたの答えは「TOEICのスコアをレベルアップしたい」か「英語に上手になりたい」だったら、本当の目標をもうちょっと考えたほうがいいかと思います。何で今より高いTOEICのスコアが大切ですか?会社でもっといい仕事が出来る?ビジネスで海外旅行が出来る?何で英語に上手になりたいですか?世界中で色々な人とコミュニケートが出来る?自分の理由で成功したい?

 

最初に本当の目標をはっきり決めたら一番いいメソッドがはっきり見えます。

 

アクションプラン:

1.この質問を答えてください:「なぜ英語を勉強していますか?」

2.目標どおりにアクティビティを選んでください。そのアクティビティを分からないんだったら、僕にメールしてアクティビティを勧めてあげます。

3.一週間に毎日5分-15分をやってそしてまた考えてください。もしアクティビティはあまり関係なかったら他のアクティビティを選んでください。

 

これは英語の上達方法です。これはEnglish 2.0です。英語のOSをアップグレードしましょう!

読んでもらってありがとうございました。

さらに英語バージョンをチャレンジしてください!

以下のスペースにコメントを入力してください。日本語でもOKです!

よろしくお願いします。

 

 

Everyone asks me the question, “What is the best way to improve my English?” It is a very fair and reasonable question however the answer is not so scientific. Many teachers and textbooks treat this question very scientifically and that’s why there are many methods and books on the market today.

 

But if you feel that “Japanese people are not good at English” (a comment that I hear from students everyday), there must be something wrong with those existing “methods.”

 

In my opinion, the only way to improve your English directly depends on your purpose for learning English.

 

Why are you learning English? For some of you, this will be an easy question to answer. For others, it may take some time to think about it.

 

If your answer is “I want a higher TOEIC score” or “I want to be great at English” I would suggest you think even harder about your true purpose. In other words, why is a higher TOEIC score important? Can you get a promotion? Can you go overseas for work? Why do you want to be great at English? To communicate with people around the world? For personal satisfaction and just feeling good about yourself?

 

If you first define your purpose clearly, the method will become easier and easier to see.

 

ACTION STEPS:

1. Answer the question: Why am I learning English?

2. Think about what activities you can do that are directly in line with your purpose. If you need help selecting an activity, please email me and I can suggest some for you.

3. Do them everyday for 5-15 minutes for one week and then re-evaluate. If the activity is not well-suited for your goal, try a different activity.

 

Example: I want a higher TOEIC score so that I can get a promotion at work and increase my salary. I will read one article everyday from cnn.com and take notes.

 

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below!

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11 Responses to The Most Effective Method to Improve Your English is…

  1. senri at #

    こんばんは。
    1 私は、大好きな英語の歌を理解したかったのと、
      共通の趣味を持っている海外の方と話したかったからです。

    2 お勧めのアクティビティがあれば教えてください。
      よろしくお願いします。

    3 今は文法のテキストを中心に毎日やっています。

  2. alsensei at #

    Dear senri,

    コメントをありがとうございます。あなたのゴールはすばらしいと思います!

    言語について歌はちょっとユニークだと思います。歌詞が分かっても色々の意味があるかもしれません。僕もよく分かりません!理解出来るためにその歌手のインタビューを何回も見たり聞いたりしたほうがいいと思います。歌手の考えが分からないと歌詞もわからないはずです。だけどもし歌詞を知りたいんだったらたくさんのホームページがあります。Google–>”(song title) lyrics”。 もし言葉が分からないんだったら辞書で引いてノートを書いてください。

    話すことについて話すアクティビティをしたほうがいいです。まずその趣味の単語や表現を調べて自分で勉強して練習してください。一人の時に1-2分のスピーチをチャレンジしてください。止まらないで1-2分にそのトピックについて話します。録音のデバイスを持ってれば自分の声を録音してください。一日5分で出来ます。もちろん海外の人と話すことが一番いい練習です。このビデオを見てください–>https://alsensei.com/episode-6-%EF%BD%9C-5-ways-to-create-speaking-opportunities-for-free/

    頑張ってください!

    AL

  3. Hideko at #

    Hi,AL-sensei
    I often get that quetion…but I’m not sure..what exactly my purpose of learning Eng is …

    I have experience staying at host family in NZ when I was teen for about a year and we still keep in touch..so I want to communicate with my family in NZ..
    This is the first reason of it…

    And also I have some frends who speak English, and I want to communicate with them as well. But I can’t explain what I want to say….less than half..I suppose.

    When I’m stuck for asnwering in Eng…I get so frustrated..
    So not to be frustrated of talking to my friends in English is also my purpose..I think..

    to me, Speaking English is a tool to communicate with people from many places..
    I just do tweeting or write a comment on Facebook in English to practice it..
    I know it’s not enough to study…but I’m not sure what to do..

    Oops! sorry my long sentence!!
    Thanks for reading. 🙂

    Hideko

    • ALsensei at #

      Hi Hideko!

      Thank you for your message!
      As I read through it, I see many clear signs to help you move on to the next level.

      Here are the key sentences:
      “I want to communicate with my family in NZ.”
      “I want to communicate with my friends who speak English as well.”
      “Speaking English is a tool to communicate with people from many places.”

      I always look for “want to” sentences and NOT “have to” sentences.
      This usually tells me about the student’s true purpose.
      I’d say your purpose is pretty clear: to communicate with people, specifically your host family and friends, from around the world.

      Now, we need to think about how to best study and practice to reach that target. Tweeting and writing on Facebook are good ways to start because you are doing Output activities. If you can increase your Speaking practice as well, that would be helpful.

      When you can’t express what you want to say, there are usually 3 possibilities. 1. You don’t know the vocabulary. 2. You know the vocabulary but don’t know how to express the feeling naturally. 3. You don’t have an idea. If the problem is no.3, only you can figure that out. For no.1 and no.2, I can help you. Basically, you need to observe native speakers more and learn how to think in English by learning Functions (e.g. how to ask for permission, etc.). Translate ideas and pictures rather than words. I am working on a full training course for this so more will come later.

      Anyway, I appreciate your comments. Thanks for taking the time to write your ideas here. Do a little bit everyday and I’m sure you will see improvement.

      Take care,

      AL

  4. Hideko at #

    Thank you for answering me,AL-sensei!

    That’s really esay to understand and now I can see what my pourpose is.
    I envy your students,
    they have teacher like you who know and point their problems exactly!

    As you say…no.1 and no2 are the key to me. Especially…no1
    There are not may English words in my dctionary(in my brain!)
    and also prepositions.. still ..can’t figure them out…I mean can’t chose them correctly.

    I haven’t done much studying as a input… even I’ve been feeling that I need memorize
    more words and study grammar…

    I think I start reading some English grammer book and try to get new words through it little by little…and also get natural expressions from your tweets as well !
    And try to use the new ones in front of people! (to practice of speaking)

    Then, I’ll be able to become a talkative one as a person who speaks in English sometime. 🙂 How about that?! xD

    Thanks again!

    Hideko

    • ALsensei at #

      Hi Hideko,

      I’m glad to hear from you again!

      Yes, it’s important that you have enough vocabulary to express what you want to say. However, there is a point when we can have too many unnecessary words and phrases in our brain taking up valuable space for more important things. For example, if you’re studying for the TOEIC test, you probably need a lot of vocabulary to get a good score but in reality, you might never use many of those words.

      As for prepositions, I would advise you to start thinking differently. What I mean is, as long as you understand the basic function of what they are in grammar (Ex: the difference of nouns, verbs, prepositions, etc.) and you understand the meanings of them (Ex: up, down, around, etc.) you are fine to move on. And I think you are at that point! If you get too involved in the construction of individual prepositions (Ex: how to use them and combine them with other words), you will just cause a lot of stress for yourself. The point is, observe native speakers and note contexts, situations, and bigger blocks of phrases and you will be able to use prepositions more naturally without thinking so hard about how to construct them.

      From your posts here, I think your grammar is wonderful! Now just add the “natural” piece to your English puzzle and you will be a fantastic speaker!

      Cheers!

      AL

  5. Armando at #

    Hi, Al sensei!!

    This is my first time that I write to you, I hope do it more frecuently to try to improbe my English. as you see I´m so bad to write but I´d like to be a better day by day.

    Actually I work in a Korean Company, obviously I need to speak enough english to do it my dayli tasks.

    What do you reccomend me do to improbe my little english…

    Thaks in advance

    Armando

    • ALsensei at #

      Hi Armando!

      I’m glad to hear from you. Thank you for your message.

      So you are working at a Korean company? Sounds like a great opportunity!
      Where are you located now and where are you from originally?

      Your English seems ok to me here but there are always things to improve.
      First, I think you should have separate plans for writing and speaking.
      Maybe, focus on one per day or per week.

      Next, think about HOW you need or want to use English. For example,
      if you type a lot of emails for work, target email writing more. If you
      meet with foreign clients, focus on welcoming people and showing them around.

      Also, make sure to do our Global English Course where you will pick up
      and master “Real World” expressions you can use.
      https://alsensei.com/category/global-english-course

      If there’s any other way I can help you, just let me know.
      Good luck and take care!

      Al

  6. avantika at #

    Hi

    I think my purpose of learning good English is that I want to communicate effectively to my friends in an unbroken manner. I think my grammar is decently in place. Its just that when I try to put a thought across, I get short of words and sometimes my spoken language goes for a toss. Is there a way of overcoming that?
    I have been watching a lot of American TV shows off late and also pay good attention to the way they speak. I do try to speak in English all the time, but till now haven’t seen much improvement. Am I doing something wrong?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks!

    • ALsensei at #

      Hello avantika!

      Thank you for sharing your goal with us here.

      Judging by your post, your written English is excellent. I think you are doing a good thing by watching American TV shows and paying close attention to how they speak. Of course, getting into situations when you can speak English a lot is also very good to do. If you’re doing these things and still struggling, I would wonder about where the problem is occurring. Since your written language is quite good, perhaps there is just a problem with confidence. In spoken situations, I would try to use simpler words for awhile to build up your fluency and confidence. Make sure that you are practicing with people who value what you are saying and make you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts. Once you feel better, start to add more challenging vocabulary. If you have a native speaking friend or teacher, try to get honest feedback from them.

      If you have any other specific questions, I’d be happy to answer them. I hope this is helpful for you.
      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with us!

      Al

  7. I personally want to learn more to communicate better with English speakers, and using this skill to learn other things and enjoy it in the process.