“Learning English is boring.”
If you’ve ever felt this way, welcome to the club.
But if you believe this is why you aren’t good at English, think twice. Millions of people have become fluent in English, and you can be sure that most of them did not learn it out of love, but out of necessity!
So, dear reader, there’s hope for you even if you don’t like English, and here are three simple steps to get you started.
1. Shift Your Mindset
The first step is to change the way you see English. Try not to view it as a subject in school or the language of Shakespeare. Just see it for what it is: a tool.
Yes, English is a tool, and like any other tool, you’ll only learn to use it if it helps you achieve something else. Just think back to how you learned to ride a bike, drive a car, or use a computer. All of these are tools that you probably weren’t particularly interested in.
But you learned them because they helped you achieve other things that you were interested in. For example, the bike and car helped you get around town to see friends or buy snacks. And the computer allowed you to play games or watch movies online.
So instead of seeing English as something you need to be interested in, try to see it as a tool to help you achieve more important things in life, like talking to people from other countries, boosting your career, or pursuing your hobbies and interests.
We’ll focus on that last part today. After all, not everyone needs a foreign language for career reasons, but everyone could benefit from making their English studies more fun through their hobbies and interests!
2. Consider Your Interests
So your next order of business is to take your hobbies and interests into account when deciding on a study plan. This might sound like an unnecessary waste of time, but skipping this step leads to frustrating situations like the following:
- A friend recommends a science fiction novel to you. You give it a try, but even though you’re an advanced learner, you are quickly overwhelmed by the vocabulary, not to mention the plot.
- You’re a beginner. You download a famous app, and one of the first few lessons introduces you to the names of twenty animals. You have trouble memorizing them all, lose motivation, and end up giving up on English.
An easy way to prevent this sort of disappointment is to think carefully about your likes and dislikes. For example, if you don’t read science fiction in your native language, why do it in English?
Now, keep in mind we’re not discouraging you from exploring. After all, studying a new language often leads people to new interests. But for the time being, why not start with content you know you will enjoy? (At least until you become a bit more comfortable with English!)
Research has also found that allowing students to learn with materials they’re interested in improves their performance in a foreign language. For example, there are studies that discovered that selecting reading materials based on learners’ interests improved their reading comprehension and that interest even affects students’ performance on standardized exams!
So don’t feel a need to do things just for the sake of learning English. Instead, let your interests guide your learning.
3. Use English to Pursue Your Interests
Now that you have a list of interests and hobbies, figure out some ways to pursue them while using English in some way or other.
If you live in an English-speaking country, this shouldn’t be hard at all. For example, if you like dancing, find some dance classes to join. If you like football, go to a local pub and watch football with other fans.
And even if you’re not in an English-speaking environment, the internet gives you plenty of options to explore. For example:
- If you like cooking, look up recipes in English.
- If you like fashion, follow English-speaking fashion bloggers.
- If you like chess, watch games by famous chess players with English commentary.
- If you need help finding interesting materials for your level, take a look at our library of free materials.
Just make sure you’re not just passively consuming content in English. Try to also interact with people. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Follow pages on social media and join online discussion forums (like Reddit, Stackexchange, etc.) that focus on your hobbies and interest in English. Some live streaming sites, like Twitch, can also help you find communities of people who share your interests.
- Attend conferences on your topics of interest.
- Play video games like Among Us which allow you to interact with players from around the world in English.
- At Engoo, we have thousands of tutors around the world, and you can search for tutors who share your interests. Sign up now and you’ll even get a free lesson!
So whatever you like doing, there’s definitely a way to incorporate English!
Now Go Have Fun with English!
We hope this piece has helped you realize that you don’t need an interest in English to learn it, but you sure can bring English into any of your interests.
Now go harness the power of your interests to master English!