The biggest excuse in today’s day and age is “I did not get time to do it.” This versatile excuse can be used to explain every task or project that you were unable to do. It applies to learning a language too. So many students tell me that they seriously want to learn English, but fail to do so because they are caught up in one thing or the other. It may be work, college or other chores around the house.
How should one make time to learn a language in such a scenario?
How to learn English while doing other things?
I’ll give you the mantra to learn English: Do not kill time, kill the urge to waste time. It’s quite simple actually. You have to master the art of harnessing moments from your busy schedule. Not sure of what I mean? I’ll explain.
Look at it this way:
Scenario 1: you’re going to work, you’re in the Metro and have nothing to do. So you kill time by listening in to other peoples’ conversations, by observing their behaviour and so on. These are unimportant things. Why waste your time on these when you can do something constructive?
Do any of these instead:
- Open the dictionary app on your phone (download it if you haven’t already!) and learn a new word with an example.
- Listen to the podcast of a topic you find difficult to understand.
- Watch videos that cover important grammar topics like nouns, verbs, sentence formation and so on. Once you understand the basics, the language will be much easier to learn.
- Read the newspaper and underline difficult words to be learn later. This helps you be updated with the current affairs as well as learn English.
- Listen to English songs – with subtitles to understand the lyrics and usage of certain words and phrases native English speakers use.
Scenario 2: You’re at work and you have a coffee break. What do you do? Engage in mindless chit-chat. I agree that you have to socialise, but gossip does not help in any way.
You should do one of the following instead:
- Play a word game. This will help you relax as well as polish your vocabulary.
- Catch up on the news (in English)!
- Writing and coffee go together perfectly. So get all the practice you can!
- Call up your friend- no, not for gossip but to practice speaking in English. (You can do this with your colleagues if they are learning too)
- Read a book. Children’s books work best, but you can select the book according to your level.
Scenario 3: You are at home doing your day to day chores like dusting, washing and so on. Usually you would put on some music to lift your mood as you work. Try these instead:
- Play a lesson and repeat what is being said for speaking practice.
- Learn new words as you work.
- Name all the things that you come across (in English!). In case you are unable to name some of them – find out what they are called later.
- Join spoken English classes on Phone – like Genlish. Talk to your trainer as you work and get all the practice that you need!
I hope I’ve been able to answer your question to some extent. Follow these English speaking tips to learn faster!