Give yourself an ESL LEARNING break

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(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2kfVoUI)

As with hard working teachers, students are also hard working and need a break. Here are some suggestions on not where to go for your break, but exactly how to spend your time so that you don’t totally lose everything you learned:

Firstly, if you can leave your city try to do these things:

  • Try a new native English speaking environment
  • Take friend with you who doesn’t speak your native language, that way you will be forced to speak English together
  • Don’t put too much pressure on trying to make perfect English conversation, just use it to get by. You may be surprised exactly how much you have retained.
  • Take the opportunity to catch up on your missed American blockbuster movies (all in English of course)
  • Give yourself a few days where you don’t speak any English at all, or engage in anything related to English language learning

The last point is very important. One thing we forget is that our brain also needs a break. Constantly taking part in a classroom situation and then trying to use it outside the classroom can become very tedious particularly when we are at the lower levels of learning, so your brain needs a break too.

Whenever our body gets a chance to take a well earned break, when you go back to study one or two weeks later, you’ll be surprised at how easily it will absorb new information.

So next time you take a break – if you want to continue pursuing your English, that’s great, but taking a complete break from the language can also have its benefits too.

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2 thoughts on “Give yourself an ESL LEARNING break

  1. Great points! I especially like the last one, taking a few days where you don’t speak any English at all. Last year I took an online course called Learning How to Learn on Coursera, and one of the things they stressed was the importance of the “diffuse mode” in learning. The diffuse mode is what I like to think of as “daydreaming mode” (See, mom? I really was learning, after all!) and it’s when you completely stop thinking about a problem you want to figure out, and go do something else. It’s also crucial to learning anything! Your brain uses the diffuse mode to categorize and organize all the information you’re learning so that you can access it later on. Leaving English alone for a little while gives your brain a chance to go into diffuse mode and even while you’re not thinking about English, your brain is still humming in the background, cementing those ideas you’ve worked so hard to learn so you don’t lose them!

    Of course, we can’t use that as an excuse to go weeks or months between English classes! If you only have English class once a week, and you don’t really have much contact with English between classes, then your brain is probably getting all the diffuse mode it needs, and adding more isn’t going to help! But if you study English every day, then taking a break for a few days every few months can actually be very helpful.

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