If you’re stuck in the house all day it can be hard to motivate yourself to get going. But then at the end of the day you might think to yourself ‘I’ve just wasted a whole day! I could have done something useful with all that free time’. As we’ve all got a bit more time on our hands than usual at the moment, this could be the right time to get serious about learning English. But how do you make a start?
The first thing to do is to give yourself a routine. Instead of saying ’I’ll start studying English seriously starting from tomorrow’, make a study plan. Give yourself a set time every day to focus on learning English. Some people work best in the mornings, so why not learn English with a cup of coffee after breakfast? Other people work better in the quiet of the evening, so why not schedule a regular study time after dinner? The important thing is to give yourself a fixed time and stick to it.
Once you’ve decided not to put everything off until tomorrow, the next thing you have to decide is how much time you are going to spend on learning English. This depends on how busy you are, but it’s better to study little and often; don’t say to yourself ‘I’ll skip my studies today but do ten hours on Saturday’. An hour or even half an hour a day is enough to build up your language skills step by step. If you develop a regular study habit, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you will learn.
It’s also important to remember that even if you are studying at home, you are not alone! At ELA we are developing a mobile app that can support your learning with a graded course covering the most important aspects of English grammar and word-building.
One really good way to motivate yourself is to keep a study diary. This will help you keep track of your progress and help you keep the right balance between grammar, vocabulary, reading, listening and so on. It will also help you decide what you need to focus on next. Perhaps most importantly, it will mean that at the end of the day you can say to yourself ‘I’ve done something useful today!’
Your study diary is also a useful place to keep a note of questions you would like to ask a teacher; it’s then a simple step to book a video lesson with an experienced, native English-speaking tutor.
Here is an example of how you can organise your study diary, and some of the activities you can do:
|GRAMMAR||Learn about the Past Continuous using the ELA phone app lesson 12|
|VOCABULARY||Learn combinations of adjectives and prepositions using the ELA phone app lesson 19|
|READING||Read a recipe and try it out|
|LISTENING||Learn the words to my favourite English song|
|WRITING||Write a diary|
|SPEAKING||Call a friend and speak in English|
|WHAT I WANT TO DO TOMORROW||Learn useful vocabulary for online shopping|
We hope this has convinced you that it’s not too difficult to find the motivation to keep learning English while you’re at home. Just promise yourself that you will study a little bit every day, at a regular time, and remember that studying English at home doesn’t mean that you are studying alone. And if you need some creative ideas for activities you can try to make your learning fun, have a look here.