What Should You Improve First In English?

If I asked you what you should improve first in your English, you might say “Everything!”

Or you might say “You tell me – you’re the coach!”

Both answers are equally correct – but neither address the real problem.

The real problem is time. If you believe, like me, that learning a language is a journey rather than a destination, then you need to prioritise what to improve, based on the time you have available.

Too much to do = No action taken

Have you ever written a long list of things to do and felt so demoralised and overwhelmed by the list that you ended up doing nothing?

This is what it’s like when you realise you need to improve your English. There are so many things you could spend your time on  – exercises, drills, vocabulary lists to “memorise” – that it’s easy just to give up and tell yourself that you can never do all of that.

And you’d be right. You can’t do all those things unless you dedicate your time 100% to improving your English.

But what you CAN do is be selective about what you spend your time on. Work on one, small improvement at a time. These small improvements add up to a much bigger impact over time.

How does this method work in practice?

Three of the biggest areas to make small improvements in are:

  • grammar
  • vocabulary
  • pronunciation

Can you think of  ONE, small aspect in each of these three areas that you consistently get wrong, or get confused by? For example, the preposition that goes with a particular verb; a synonym that you could use to occasionally replace a word you always use; or a sound that you find difficult.

This is your first 1% coaching exercise! 

Spend a few minutes every day working on this small problem area. Write a few example sentences, work out how you can use the correct form in your everyday English. Try it out for a week and let me know how you get on!

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