Do you study English?
Have you ever been bored with your studies?
Do you sometimes check Instagram and Facebook when you just can’t stand what you’re doing anymore?
How do you even know if you are studying in the “right” way? Is what you’re doing working?
I help others learn and study the English language in the right, fun and active way because I was taught how to teach this way. I am no magician, but a student myself who wants to share what I have learned.
I want to help you eliminate the boredom of studying and help you become an active learner.
Here are some of my best strategies to solve some common problems that you may have while studying. These tips will help you to become an active learner. My goal is to make learning more fun and help you progress faster.
Why Is It So Hard For Me To Focus When I Study?
Because you’re doing it all wrong!
If you are only studying in a traditional way, like reading textbooks and trying to memorize rules, STOP!
Not only are these methods very boring, but they are also less effective than the new style of studying, being an active learner.
Don’t get me wrong, you should still read books. I’ve written about the importance of reading. But while you are reading you can be an active reader.
Don’t worry I’ll explain how.
You are not a sponge soaking up knowledge, and teachers are not the givers of all knowledge.
If you just sit and listen to a new word told to you by a teacher, you are way less likely to remember that word and its meaning than if you wrote the word in sand, sang the word and applied other fun multi-sensory activities (I’ll give some more examples later).
What I mean is, you have to use the knowledge you have learned, not just memorize it and hope you won’t forget it.
Have fun with it.
Have an experience you won’t be able to forget!
How Do I Study Like An Active Learner?
Everyone learns differently. Everyone also has a different learning style. So, there are a few answers to this question.
There are only 5 ways for our brains to receive information. Our 5 senses. How you use these senses to learn new information will determine your relationship with that word.
Using your senses in an active way is what this is all about. If you just read a text, that is an inactive or passive way to learn. Consider the old way reading textbooks and memorizing facts.
Being an active learner is reading the book out loud, or writing down difficult words and spelling them out.
Doing something with what you have learned rather than just reading or listening and hoping to memorize it is one way to be active.
This is the “right” way to learn.
Some people prefer to draw pictures of the words they have learned or about the book they have read. That’s being active too. That’s helping your comprehension. It’s all active learning.
There are auditory learners, visual learners, and kinesthetic learners (learn by touching and doing). These covers 3 of our 5 senses and you can use these senses to be an active learner. You can also combine these senses for a multi-sensory (and best) way to study.
Some people like only 1 way or learning, others prefer a combination or all 3. Do what works for you, but take risks and try other ways of learning.
You normally won’t learn by smelling or tasting the English language, but sometimes even these senses can help you learn a new vocabulary word like a tasty food or a good smelling flower.
Which Senses Are Best To Use In Active Learning?
All of them! But mainly hearing, touching and seeing.
If you really want to be an active learner, use more than 1 sense at a time.
Let’s say you have a new vocabulary word. You can write it (touching) you can listen to it and say it, (hearing) and you can read it (seeing).
No longer are we taught to just memorize words. You should be active with the word!
Draw it, sing it, act it out!
Do what makes you happy. Learning shouldn’t be boring or passive. It should be active and filled with fun activities. Not just sitting and listening.
What About Speaking?
I’ve covered a few ways to become an active learner while reading, but what about speaking?
Isn’t that always active? Well, sort of. You are speaking and listening, but you can do even more!
If you really want to activate different parts of your brain and create a stronger association with words and phrases you can write out your sentences to make it a multi-sensory activity.
You can record your conversations, and listen back to yourself and your partner.
Listen for mistakes and pronunciation errors.
What Else Can I Do To Be An Active Learner?
You can mark words with different colors in books. You can write and draw the definitions of new words. You can do anything that uses more than 1 of your senses at a time.
Seek out active learning opportunities such as joining language meetups and video chatting with friends in English.
The more active you are in your learning the less bored you will be and the more fun you will have.
Just picture it. Which sounds better?
Sitting and listening to a teacher read and having to memorize the spelling and meaning of the word?
Or, reading an interesting story out loud with different character voices, underlining new words in your favorite color and drawing out the definition for the word?
I think the second option is not only more fun, but more memorable, leading to a better experience which has shown leads to true understanding or learning.
Do You Want To Learn More?
If you enjoyed reading this article leave your comments below. If you have other ideas about how to be an active learner, please feel free to share them so others can learn too!
Share this post with your friends and family and help them learn English in the right way too!
See you soon for my next tip!