My English exam preparation – February

This is the second post of a series where I’m sharing with you how I’m preparing, month after month, for an English exam (CAE).

Let’s see in detail what I did during February and what I’m going to do during March…

 
My English exam preparation-February

 

My English Exam Preparation In February

How did I work my English during the second month of the year?

1. Speaking skill…
I feel that I’m really doing a step ahead. I’m starting to understand how English speaking works. My speaking level is still quite the same but now I feel that I really understand the basic rules of speaking English. My personal decision was to concentrate on the American Accent.

I’m now aware and understand how works:

  • Syllable stress in words
  • Word stress in sentences
  • Intonation (Fall and Rising intonations)
  • Contractions
  • Liaisons / Linking
  • Though groups
  • Consonants sounds
  • Vowels sounds (These are pretty difficult)

As I already told you it’s easy to understand and to fell this concepts but it’s not that easy to apply them to my own speaking.

2. Writing skill…
I’m still working my writing skill. Now I’m just checking basic writing rules. Once I’ll have the basics I’ll start to prepare for specific work that will be asked in the exam.

3. Informal work…
As I already told you in my January report I keep doing informal work. I keep reading the news in English and I listen to English materials whenever doing my household chores… I have introduced English passive learning in my daily life. I maybe don’t have time to sit on my cough and comfortably read or listen to English stuff but I can read and listen to English materials while doing my daily tasks.

 

Achievements And Failures While Improving My English

1. Tenacity…
I’m keep working my English seven days a week, no matter what.
I’m happy about this fact because is not an easy task to work my English everyday even if it’s only for 30 minutes, depending on my free time.

2. Studying general English instead of focusing in the exam…
I’m currently learning general English instead of focusing on working for the exam. I think it’s not a bad strategy because I do need to improve my English level. Although in future months I’ll have to concentrate and focus in my training for the exam. I’ll do specific tasks as the ones I’ll find in the exam.

3. Improve all English skills…
I have to always keep in mind that I have to work all skills and share the few time I have between my ListeningReadingSpeaking and Writing skills. Now that I’m concentrating on my speaking I don’t have to forget the others skills because time flies and I have to make the most of the little free time I have. It’s easy to fall into the trap of working a skill you enjoy and just forget the other ones.

4. Being very critical about the materials I use…
I have to be very selective with the materials I work with. If something works for me I keep working with it until I fell I’m done. Whenever I feel that a material is not helping me anymore I leave it as soon as possible.

5. Being demanding about how I’m working my English…
I also have to be very self critical. I have to always check if what I’m currently working is helping me, if it doesn’t work for me I have to give up and go for another strategy. I have to be very demanding on how I’m working and the results I get. I have to change my strategy as much as needed to always be on the right path.
I recommend you to check my post about…The key to your learning English success

 

What I’m Going To Do In March

1. Speaking skill…
I want to keep working for another month this skill because I feel that I’m starting to achieve the basics of English speaking. I want to secure the basic pillars of my English speaking skill. I’ll also try a technique called “Shadowing” in order to improve my accent. I’ll share with you my opinion in my next report.

2. Writing skill…
I’m going to work for another month the basics rules of English writing. Afterwards I’ll start to work specific things like the ones I’ll find in the exam.

3. Starting to learn Phrasal verbs and Idioms…
I will start to learn from 3 to 5 Phrasal verbs and Idioms every day. I will try to memorize them and write sentences using them in order to increase my vocabulary and English knowledge. In the CAE Exam there is a paper (part) about the Use of English where you need to show a good knowledge of phrasal verbs and idioms. Furthermore, In the others parts of the exam I’ll have to show a good English level and Phrasal verbs and Idioms are an important part of the English language.

4. Gathering specific information about the exam…
In January I gathered some very basic information about the CAE exam. During March I’ll make a deeper research about the exam characteristics.

 

That’s all for February. More about my improvement in the next post…

 

And Remember…

My English exam preparation-February_

– If you are currently preparing for an exam…
– If you want to take an exam in the future…
… All your comments are very welcome!!!

Go To: My English exam preparation report in… January, February, March

Copyright © Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com, (2012-2016).
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited.
Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The key to your learning English success

I bet that you often work your English without any direction or prior thinking.

Ask yourself the next questions…

  • The work you are currently doing is really helping to improve your English?
  • Are there better strategies to reach your English goals faster?
  • Are you checking if your English skills levels are improving?

In the past I used to work my English without any direction. As a result I worked a lot and get very little results in return.

Let’s look at an easy strategy to increase your learning English success

 

Your Learning English Success In 4 Basic Steps

How to assure your learning English success

I’m going to show you 4 basics steps that you can follow in order to make the most of your work.
Your main goal is to improve as much as possible your English with less work from your part.

Let’s take a look at the 4 steps…

  1. Define your Goal
    Before starting to work you need to clearly know what do you want to achieve.
    As an example, a specific and clear goal would be:
    I want to improve my English vocabulary in the field where I work.”
    Avoid too generic goals like “I want to read in English”
  2. Plan a strategy
    When you know your goal, before starting to work, it’s time to plan a specific strategy in order to reach it.
    As an example, If you work on marketing and want to improve your vocabulary on this field you are going to read articles or podcasts about marketing.
  3. Work Towards your goal
    While studying never forget your goal in order to work in the most efficient direction.
  4. Check your progression
    When the work you planned is done or whenever you feel it, you have to check if what you are doing is helping you.
    If you reach your goal or feel that you are improving…You are in the right direction!
    If you are not improving, go back to step 2 and reconsider your strategy.
    Never give up because when you make a mistake you are just a step closer to your goal. You only fail when you do nothing at all.

 

A Personal Example Of How I Use This Strategy

Step 1: I define my goal
I want to improve my English speaking skill which is by far my weakest level.
I have to concentrate on reducing my accent and improving my pronunciation of lots of words that I don’t even know how to pronounce.

Step 2: I plan my strategy
I’m going to concentrate on two main focuses in order to reach my goal:

  1. I need to know how I can reduce my accent while talking in English. I also want to learn some basic pronunciation rules. I’m going to look for materials that can help me.
  2. If I want to improve my speaking I do have to speak in English on a regular basis. Then I’m going to talk almost daily with my English friends in order to practice what I’m learning about accent reduction and pronunciation.

Step 3 : I work
I’m currently working on what I planned.
I’m listening and watching accent reduction and English pronunciation materials.
I’m speaking in English on a regular basis.

Step 4: I check my progression
I’m checking my work every now and then to make sure that I’m on the right path.
Of course my English accent and pronunciation is not going to improve overnight.
But I think it’s wise to check for new materials whenever I fell I’m not improving anymore.

 

And Remember…

I share with you an infographic that is going to help you to visualize the whole process in order to assure your learning English success!

 
How to assure your learning English success_1

 
– Do you think twice before deciding how are you going to work your English?
– Are you going to use this strategy?
– Do you know others strategies?
…All your comments are very welcome!!!

Copyright © Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com, (2012-2016).
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited.
Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How to improve your English reading level when you…

I’m writing this post for those of you who don’t have time to read common books in order to improve your English.

For English learners with no free time who:

  1.  Don’t even dare to start to read a book.
  2.  Try to start reading books but always give up and let them unfinished.

By the way, if you have enough time to read books then I suggest you to check a post about How to really improve your English by choosing the right books to read.
I also recommend you another post that gives you Some tips to don’t give up in the first pages when reading a book.

If you are still here reading my post then you are between the ones that are short on time. Then let’s go to find a solution to improve your English reading level…

 
How-to-improve-your-English-reading-level-when-you-don’t-have-time-to-read-

 

Why Is Reading So Important In Order To Improve Your English?

Reading is important because if you want to improve your English you do need a good basis of the English language. You are going to acquire this knowledge mainly by reading and by listening .

When you read you learn:

  • Words (Vocabulary)
  • Sentences (Grammar)
  • Spelling (Orthography)
  • English culture
  • Slang
  • …among many others

As you can see reading is a must and you can’t avoid it if you want to learn English and reach a good level.
Of course you still can learn English only by listening but I think that reading is complementary and a basic pillar in your English learning process.

 

How To Improve Your English Reading Level?

It would be ideal to have enough free time to seat in your comfortable couch to read and enjoy awesome books while at the same time your English level improves even without noticing it.

If it’s not your case I recommend you to forget about common books until in the future you are maybe going to have more free time.

You just have to look for English materials that match your time availability:

  1. If you have a lot of free time then go for common books.
  2. If you have very little available time then go for VERY short materials.

As you can see there are no excuses to don’t read.

What kind of materials do I recommend?

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • News
  • Very short stories
  • Magazines
  • Jokes
  • Interviews
  • …among many others…

Keep in mind that the key to improve your English is not “How much do you read?” but “How often do you read?”.
It’s better to read very short pieces of text for 5 minutes every day than reading for 5 hours in a row one day and then no more reading for a whole month.

 

My Personal Experience

In periods of my life when I don’t have very much free time (It’s most of the time) I follow some rules that help me a lot.

  • I only read books and materials that are written in English.
  • I ALWAYS carry with me some English materials to read just in case some unexpected free/wait time appears.
  • I usually use printed materials or just read them on my cell phone.
  • I read them whenever possible…
    • When waiting for the bus
    • When stuck in a traffic jam
    • while shaving
    • while eating
    • While in a waiting room
    • …and so on…

Reading a page long article per day is going to be 365 pages at the end of the year. It’s like reading a 365 pages long book. Not that bad!!!
Think about this: Accomplishing a lot of small tasks mean a lot of work done at the end of the year!

 

And Remember…

How to improve your English reading level when you don’t have time to read_

– How many books do you read per year?
– What do you do if you don’t have time to read common books?
– All your comments are very welcome!!!

Copyright © Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com, (2012-2016).
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited.
Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.