3 Surprising English Learning Strategies Proven to Boost Your Skills, Confidence, and Job Prospects

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In this video, I'll share three 3 strategies with you to hep you boost your English communication skills and confidence. These strategies are based on the latest research in second language acquisition, and they've been proven to be effective. We'll also talk about how to implement these strategies in your daily lives.

Hello, Advanced English Explearners. Welcome back. Have you ever wondered why some people seem to pick up English faster than others or why, despite all of your efforts, you're not quite reaching the level of fluency that you desire? Well, today we're going to unravel the mystery and reveal some surprising strategies to boost your English skills, confidence, and job prospects.

So, buckle up because this lesson could be a game changer for you. Let's get to it!

Most of us have been taught that the best way to learn a language is through comprehensible input. This means that exposing yourself to English that's just a little bit above your current level. It's like learning to swim in the shallow end before venturing into the deep end. But what if I told you there's more to the story?

I wanted to point out an intriguing study that I came across by Lydia White, which challenges the input hypothesis, a theory of second language acquisition that states that learners acquire language by understanding input that is slightly beyond their current level of knowledge. So White argues that the input hypothesis is not supported by the evidence.

She points out that learners often make errors that are not comprehensible and that they do not always learn from comprehensible input. 

She also argues that the input hypothesis does not account for the development of grammatical confidence. So how do we do that? How do we dive into the deep end and start swimming towards fluency? Here are some actionable strategies that you can start using today. 

Strategy number one, challenge yourself.

Don't just stick to easy conversations. Push yourself to discuss complex topics, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. This will stretch your language skills. and help you to grow. It's like training for a marathon, right? You need to push your limits to improve, to be able to run the marathon. For example, try discussing a recent news article or a book that you've read in English.

And please don't worry about making mistakes. They're a natural and needed part of the learning process. And remember, it's not just about making conversation. Try writing essays on challenging topics or even giving presentations in English. The more you challenge yourself, the more you're going to grow. Because it's not just about speaking.

Strategy number two, engage in active listening. Don't just hear the words. Try to understand the ideas behind them. This will help you to think in English, not translate from your L1 native language. Remember, we are not about translating, especially at the advanced level. So it's like learning to read music, not just play the notes. For instance, when you're watching a movie in English, try to understand the plot and the character's motivations. Not just the individual words and sentences. And don't stop at movies. Listen to English podcasts like ours. Watch English news broadcasts and listen to English music.

Try to understand the messages, the themes, and the nuances. All the subtleties in between. This will help you to think in English and it will also help you improve your understanding of English culture and idioms, which is very important for fluency and social fluency. 

Strategy number three. Practice, practice, practice. The more you use English, the more comfortable you'll become. And guess what? The more confident you will be. So, take every single opportunity you have to speak, write, read, and listen in English. It's like practicing a sport.

The more you play, the better you get at it. So, try to incorporate English into your daily life as much as possible. Read English books, watch English movies, listen to English music, and speak English with your friends and family. And remember, practice isn't just about quantity, it's also about quality.

Try to practice in different contexts with different people and in different ways. This will help you to become a more versatile and confident English speaker.

The more you use the language, again, the more comfortable and confident you will become. A study by Robina Shaukat and her team found that traditional teaching methodologies and inflexible attitudes were barriers to teaching English speaking skills. So break away from the traditional methods and practice English in a modern, flexible way.

To implement this strategy, you can start by setting aside a specific time each and every day to practice English. This could be during your commute, during your lunch breaks, or even before bedtime. Use this time to read English books, listen to English podcasts, or practice speaking in English. You can also write in English, such as keeping a daily journal or writing emails in English.

And guess what the best part is? You don't have to do this alone. At Explearning Academy, we offer multiple live workshops every week, where you can practice these strategies in a supportive and friendly environment. You'll get to interact with other advanced learners, share your experiences and learn from each other.

At Explearning Academy, you'll get to interact with these other members and with also me.

And it's not just about learning. It's about an amazing community.

Joining our community can help you decrease anxiety, boost your confidence, and bring you one step closer to social fluency in English. So why wait? Start your journey with Explearning Academy today and let's conquer English together.

And you can sign up for our free webinar plan by going to academy.explearning.co. We would love to have you.

Now, let's dive into some fascinating studies that can further enhance your English learning journey. So, I'd like to draw your attention to a study called Using Challenges to Enhance a Learning Game for Pronunciation Training of English as a Second Language by Tejedor-García et al. And so this study describes a novel learning game for foreign pronunciation training in which players can challenge each other.

So native Spanish speakers performed several pronunciation activities during a one month competition using a mobile application designed under a minimal pair approach to improve their pronunciation of English as a foreign language. And this game took place in a competitive scenario in which students had to challenge other participants in order to get high scores and climb up a leaderboard. Results show intense practice supported by a significant number of activities and playing regularity, so the most active and most motivated players in the competition achieved significant pronunciation improvement results.

The integration of automatic speech recognition, ASR, and text to speech, TTS, technology, allowed the users to improve their pronunciation while being immersed in a highly motivational game. So the researchers found that a competitive learning game for pronunciation training significantly improved the pronunciation of participants who were active, and motivated.

So the takeaway here is challenge yourself and see the improvement. But if you're wondering, how can you implement this strategy? Start by setting a goal for yourself. It could be something like discussing a complex topic in English once a week. You can find a partner or a group who can join you in this challenge. You can use online platforms or local language exchange groups, or you can join our community and we have a conversation partner program where you can find your conversation partners and interact with them right in our community.

Make sure that you choose topics that interest you. This will make the process much more enjoyable and less of a chore.

Alright, great. Let's take a look at another study. English as a Second Language ESL Learning Setting the Right Environment for Second Language Acquisition by Hashim and Yunus. This study intended to investigate the influence of school settings and routines on ESL learning among secondary students. And a qualitative method is used in this study as data were collected through the method of observation and interviews.

Based on this study, it was proven that there are correlations between the school setting and routines on ESL learning among secondary students. And it was found that school settings and routines do influence ESL learning among secondary students. 

Alright, and I want to take a look at another study, The Influence of Happy and Sad Background Music on Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency of Second Language Speaking, by Varnosfaderani et al.

So this study investigated the effect of happy and sad background music on complexity, accuracy, and fluency of L2 speaking among intermediate learners of English. A between groups design was used in which 60 participants were randomly assigned to three groups with two experimental groups performing an oral L2 English retelling task while listening to either happy or sad background music, and performing the task with no background music. So, the results are really interesting.

The results demonstrated that the happy background music group's significant outperformance in fluency over the control group. In accuracy, the happy background music group, also outdid the controls.

Error free clauses, correct verb forms. Moreover, the sad background music group performed better in accuracy than the controls, but in only one of its measures, correct verb forms. The researchers found that happy background music significantly improved the fluency and accuracy of English learners.

So why not try watching an English movie with happy background music or listening to some upbeat English tunes? 

So to implement this strategy, you can start by choosing English movies or TV shows that you enjoy. Watch them with English subtitles to help you understand the dialogue. And then try to focus on the overall story rather than the individual words.

You can also listen to English songs and try to understand the lyrics. This will not only improve your listening skills, but also your speech patterns, your pronunciation, your prosody, your intonation, and your vocabulary. Not to mention, your listening comprehension.

 These studies provide valuable insights into the process of learning English as a second language. They highlight the importance of challenging yourself, engaging in active listening, and practicing regularly. Like I say, consistency is key. They also emphasize the role of a supportive learning environment, a community like Explearning Academy, and also on the influence of background music on language performance and the need for modern teaching methodologies.

So, keep these findings in mind as you continue your English language learning journey. Remember, mastering English communication is indeed a journey. We're less focused on the destination and more focused on the actual journey. Every single step you take brings you closer to your goal.

Keep practicing, keep challenging yourself, and keep believing in your potential. You've got this! 

And, if you want to practice these strategies, come to the Explearning Academy, because mastering these skills isn't really about watching a video or two.

It's about consistent practice. And that's where the Explearning Academy steps in. Picture it as your English gym. A place where you flex your language and communication muscles, improve your speaking and communication skills, and build up your English fitness. And you can start with our free webinar plan and then for as low as 10 a month, you get to put the strategies from these videos into practice, get real time feedback, connect with like minded learners across the globe, find speaking partners and access our library of web courses, all designed to transform your English communication from good to extraordinary.

 Well, that's it for me today Advanced English Explearners. I hope you found these studies and strategies helpful. Keep up the amazing work. Before we wrap up, if you had an AHA Eureka moment during this lesson, make sure to smash that like button. And if you're not already a part of our Advanced English tribe, then be sure to hit that subscribe button. We're a community of enthusiastic learners striving to become the best communicators we can be.

And remember, sharing is caring, so share this lesson with someone who you think could benefit from these communication and language learning strategies. You've got this. I'll see you in the next one. Bye for now and Happy Explearning everyone.