Written by guest contributor Gabby Wallace, of Go Natural English
Learning English is a lifestyle choice. Adding English to your current morning routine will provide huge improvements to your English language skills!
The following 5 things will become habits for strong, confident English. Like brushing your teeth, they should become a non-negotiable part of your day.
Start with one or two suggestions and work your way up to doing all five.
1. Upon waking
As soon as you wake up, read these phrases aloud to train your brain for learning with a positive mindset. It is important to begin with the right mindset because it will help your brain to receive information.
Don’t accept common myths like “it is very difficult for adults to become fluent in English,” or “mistakes are bad and should be avoided,” or “some people are naturally talented at languages, but most people are not.”
These are myths. Let them go. Try reading these positive ideas aloud instead. You’ll be amazed at your fast improvement!
- You improve everyday. You learn everyday.
- You have good intentions and should therefore always be confident in your words and your actions.
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone except the person you were yesterday.
- Today is a great day to make mistakes!
2. In the shower
Listen to music in English while you get ready. Put it on while you shower and get dressed.
By listening to music in English, you will benefit in three ways. First, you are immersing yourself in the sounds of English, which you need in order to become familiar with new sounds and words. Second, if you listen carefully, you can improve your listening skills and vocabulary. Third, you can discover new music you like and even learn about some pop culture.
Sing along for added fun and to improve your pronunciation and vocabulary!
To find suggestions for your playlist, try these sites:
Billboard top 100
3. Eating breakfast
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so don’t skip it! You will not want to skip it now, especially if you use the time to eat and improve your English.
Listen to, watch, or read in English while you eat breakfast. By watching programs in English, you will benefit in many ways: listening comprehension, vocabulary, phrases, and even grammar. Consuming media in English will immerse you in the language and culture. No matter where you live, you need to expose yourself to lots of English.
You probably already check the news in the morning, and why not do that in English?
Try these sites for news by level:
Advanced English speakers – BBC
Intermediate English speakers – VOA
Upper beginner English speakers – Breaking News English
If you’d rather watch direct English learning tips, watch Go Natural English on YouTube.
4. Commuting to work
Do you drive, take a train or bus, or walk to work in the morning? Make use of the time you spend going to work (or anywhere). Immerse yourself in the sounds of English with audio on your smartphone or mp3 player device.
This is a great opportunity to explore another form of media in English. Try downloading free podcasts. Put on your earphones and enjoy. There are two types of podcasts you should download: English-learning podcasts and authentic English podcasts.
First, download free English-learning podcasts – like the Go Natural English podcast on iTunes for IOS and Stitcher for Android – that will directly improve your English skills. Episodes give you clear and practical English learning tips. With unconventional strategies and native-speaker phrases, it is not like a typical English class!
Second, find authentic English podcasts (for native speakers of English) on topics that you enjoy. Do not search for “English” and do not search in your native language. Search for categories or keywords of topics you enjoy in English. Keep in mind that these podcasts are meant for native speakers. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything – that’s normal. Just try to understand the main idea.
It’s a good idea to listen to a variety of materials. Listen to materials at a variety of levels of difficulty and listen to materials on different topics. That is a great way to build your vocabulary. This way, you will be able to talk about a variety of topics.
5. Plan your day in English
You usually make a plan for your day, right? Make the effort to think about what you will do in English. You’ll benefit even more if you write a to-do list for the day in English.
Do this task as you would in your native language. Use as many words in English as you can without looking them up in the dictionary.
It’s okay if you don’t know how to express everything you want to. Try to write it in another way in English or just use words in your native language. The important thing is that you are using English as a tool for success in your daily activities. For whatever you don’t know how to say, make a note of it and look it up later. Stay organized and keep your to-do list at your fingertips no matter where you go using an online list or app like Trello, Asana , or Wunderlist.
Put these five suggestions into your morning routine. You will feel the power and benefits from putting your English improvement first in your day. It’s a great feeling to know you did something for yourself before you go to work. If you can add some of these suggestions to your morning routine, you’ll see your English will improve quickly.
Here’s a pro tip: Wake up 30 minutes early and have an online lesson on Verbling before you go to work. Scheduling a lesson for the morning will motivate you to wake up early and to use English throughout the day.