The English Learners MARATHON, your TRAINING will be like THIS

marathon

(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1VKqe3I)

Everyone knows that learning English is a lifelong thing. The ultimate goal is to become so competent at learning English that you may even be considered a ‘native speaker’, and there are plenty of Europeans these days who seriously, though they are truly bilingual, really are natives in both languages…amazing.

But for those that start from the very beginning here is a breakdown of what to expect at each and every level (at our school anyway):

Level Emotion Training equivalent
Elementary 1 High emotion and excitement to use the English as soon as possible in as many places as possible You are working out on the treadmill and starting to do some minor cross training
Elementary 2 Drunk with the success of the first level attainment, you are ready for an increase in pressure as the subject you know has to get more difficult. You take on one other machine at the gym (other than the treadmill) and focus on mastering it
Elementary 3 Satisfied that you have successfully moved to the next level and managed to understand some more complex concepts, you hit a minor road block. The level introduces some concepts that will ask you to really understand what you learned in the previous two levels. If you just scraped through the first two levels – get ready for a traffic jam here. You are suffering sore muscles and though you want to take a break, know you can’t.
Elementary 4 There is a sigh of relief that you have made this level but a little scared as you are now starting to find that you mind is getting a few more technical pieces of information on English, you are just hoping you will be able to remember all these as you move on through the later levels. You are getting a bit caught up in the numbers on the machines and scales, hoping they alone will help you.
Pre Intermediate 1 You hit your first mini high. You are out of the Elementary levels and are now able to play with the big boys. You can converse to a certain level but realise there is still a lot to learn. You begin to see the first signs of health and fitness, toned muscles and loss of a few kilos
Pre Intermediate 2 You are ready to take on the more complicated ‘grammar rulings’ and know they must be mastered. You find a second wind of energy. You start thinking about becoming a fitness trainer in the future, as you are feeling so strong and fit, though you know you still have a long way to go.
Pre Intermediate 3 The first serious fear hits as you realise that English is not easy and has many complex elements to it. You know if you can master this level you are on your way to hitting the ‘native’ zone. You suffer a second bout of fatigue as your whole body feels like it is going to shut down if you continue, you have to make a pledge to yourself that you have to break through this difficult phase if you want true fitness
Intermediate 1 You hit another high. You are not only playing now with the big boys, you are almost entering the mature zone of English. Where you are let into the secret society of ‘exceptions to the rules’… a scary but maturing moment. Now you are able to run longer distances and talk with your friend at the same time.
Intermediate 2 Ready for the next onslaught of complicated vocabulary usage, are suffering another bout of ‘English fatigue’. You begin to fill yourself with your ultimate goal of IELTS – this carrot is the only thing that keeps you going right now. The pace is on and you now cannot talk when you run, you just run but know it will be better for you in the long run.
Intermediate 3 Completing this race is all you can think of here – IELTS is the finish line, though you do have moments in your life when you realise how good your English has become, but so desperate for it to be even better. You see only that half marathon goal ahead of you and start taking this fitness thing very serious so you can begin at least complete the race if nothing else.
Upper Intermediate 1 Moving into the final phase of the programme brings confusion and impatience. Some which to jump straight to IELTS, others know that they need this extra input. The result? Frustration, yet determination. You start doing the maths on your likelihood of completing the half marathon, you realise it is possible and so want to get it done as soon as possible.
Upper Intermediate 2+3 If you are still taking these classes, you have almost given up on the IELTS, and are now taking these courses purely for the love of English. You wonder why you are continuing. You have decided not to do the half marathon because you are afraid you may not complete it, so just keep running for fun. Your interest in being a fitness trainer has now gone.
IELTS Preparation At last you are settling into the very level you had set out to get to. You are excited, but frightened, you have been told so many things about IELTS and want to know if they are true. You find out something you never knew before – even natives are frightened to sit IELTS in fear that they wouldn’t pass. You realise it takes not only good English but intelligence to pass. You are warming up for your half marathon and realise that this whole running thing is all about psychology not just fitness. You get yourself into the zone
IELTS exam The moment of truth – how good really are you at English – you long for that 6.0 and get the 6.0. You are satisfied but were hoping you would at least surprise yourself with a 6.5. But it is at least enough to get you to the next level You run the half marathon, it’s hard but you finish. You are satisfied and wonder what is next.
Post IELTS exam You understand that the course is finished, you have what you were after, but the real test is now for the rest of your life. It feels daunting but you just shrug and say ‘that’s life’. You begin working on your full marathon.  It seems impossible, but you know it can be done
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