Learning a language is difficult! Absolutely nobody will disagree with this statement. Language learning takes dedication, effort, and TIME. The most common complaint I hear from my students is ‘I don’t have time to study English’.

The most effective language learners I have met have all been very busy people. They do not have hours of free time to spend studying English. Instead, they are the students who establish a set language learning routine for themselves. They are self-disciplined, and jump at every language learning opportunity.

Even if you don’t have a lot of free time, you can set up a routine that will work for you.

FIRST…

Be honest with yourself about how much time you have. Block out the hours that you can actually spend studying each day. If you really want to learn English effectively, this means sacrificing certain time-wasters like TV series or YouTube time. Wake up 30 minutes earlier every day if you have to or take a shorter lunch break. Language learning is like exercise, if you are really dedicated to learning, you will find a little bit of free time in each day.

NEXT…

Get organized. Buy yourself a notebook and divide it into sections that work for you. For example, you could have different sections for new nouns, new verbs, new phrasal verbs, new expressions, etc. This notebook should go everywhere with you. Why? Because we encounter English all around us, in adverts, in school, at work, and on TV. The best language learners don’t miss these little opportunities to keep practicing.

Some students prefer flashcard apps like Quizlet.com for revision, but most still prefer their pen and paper. The most important thing is to find what works best for you. Then, revise what you’ve learned recently at a set time every day. Even better, revise it several times a day!

FINALLY…

Immerse yourself.

This doesn’t mean you have to go abroad (although if you can, it’s a great idea!)

Experience English at every moment that you can. Read the newspaper or a book in English. Watch a TV series or a film in English. Change your computer or phone settings to English. Find yourself a conversation partner, whether in person, or online. There are a million ways that you can get English language input throughout your day. Find all those little opportunities and take them.

You’ll see your English level improve in no time at all.

What routines do you use to learn English? Leave a comment below!


Aimee Enders es nativa de EE.UU. y tiene un Máster Oficial en Lingüística Aplicada de la Universidad de Barcelona. Trabaja como profesora de inglés desde el 2007. Ha vivido en Sevilla, Buenos Aires, Ciudad Ho Chi Minh, y Barcelona. Puedes seguirla en Twitter or leer más en su blog TEFL Adventures.