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How to Learn English Faster

Kevin Naglich
Founder, Deliberate English

If you've studied English for a long time, can read it well, understand it okay, but still struggle to speak and have a conversation, you're probably in English intermediate purgatory. Chances are you want to know how to learn English faster.

I know how frustrating it is to have all of these thoughts and ideas that you can't express because you don't know how. It makes you feel like you're a 3-year-old trying to have an adult conversation. ūüĎ∂

This happens because we keep trying to use the same techniques that helped us get to an intermediate level over and over. The problem is that those techniques that worked when we were beginners are now part of our comfort zone. We've gotten used to them; they don't challenge us anymore.

To get out of English intermediate purgatory and learn English faster, you need to challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone. The best way that I know to do that is to repeat sentences out-loud, from memory. ūüí™

Repeating sentences works so well because when you repeat a sentence that a native speaker says, you force yourself to use new words, sentence structures, and expressions that you wouldn't have thought of yourself. It forces your brain to pay attention to details that you typically ignore.

In this video, we're going to do a repeating sentences exercise together. As an example of what it's all about, take a look at this sentence: 

After all these years, I'm finally confident that I can improve. I'm looking forward to your next class!

Close your eyes, and try to repeat the sentence out loud. Saying it in your head or mumbling won't help you improve your English.

The hardest parts to remember are probably expressions that you never use, new vocabulary, or details like prepositions and word order that you're not comfortable with.

Take, for example, the expression all these years. It's a common way of emphasizing how much time something has been happening or how much time passed before something happened.

That said, there is a difference between all these years and all those years. 

  • All¬†these¬†years means that you are talking about something that is still happening now.¬†
  • All¬†those¬†years means you are talking about something that stopped or no longer happens.¬†

Which one do you think you'd use here? 

Now that I graduated, I can't believe that I spent all those years worrying in school. 

Here we use those because you don't go to school anymore. You graduated. You used to worry when you were in school, but you are no longer a student. 

Which one fits in this sentence? 

After all these years, I still love my wife. 

Since we're saying, "I still love my wife," this means it is an action that is still happening. You are still married, and you have been for years. 

We also saw the expression, I'm looking forward to. 

I'm looking forward to is one of the most common ways to let someone know that you are very excited about something that is going to happen.

If your friend asked you, "are we going to the movies next week?", the answer is "yes," and you're excited about it, you could say: 

Yes! I'm looking forward to it. 

It works with other people too. What would you say here? 

Is your sister going to college this year? Yes, she's looking forward to it.

Let's see if you remember what the sentence was. Close your eyes one more time and try to say the original sentence from memory.

After all these years, I'm finally confident that I can improve. I'm looking forward to your next class!

There are two more workout sentences like this in the video. With them, you'll learn even more expressions, new vocabulary, and identify patterns that will help you make fewer mistakes and sound more natural.

The best part about this exercise is that not only will it help you learn English faster, it is easy to do anywhere and very flexible. You can choose which sentences to repeat, ideally, those that interest you and ignore the others. You can also repeat the sentences as much or as little as you'd like. So long as they feel like an accessible challenge and aren't boring you, they're worth doing. 

You can learn more techniques to help you learn faster by using the form below to grab my FREE 3-step eBook: 3 Steps To Confidently Express Yourself at Work. These are the same exercises that I used to improve my Spanish fluency, and they'll help you do the same in English. They are designed to be the perfect challenge, not too hard but not too easy, and they'll fit your busy schedule. 

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