Let me ask you some questions:
- Are you always distracted while doing your English learning exercises?
- How many times have you experienced getting bored while studying English?
- Do you keep opening social networking sites instead of focusing on your English learning?
- Do you feel frustrated for what very little you have accomplished with your English learning? Do you always tell yourself you were going to follow your English study plan and yet you did not?
If you answer YES to all the questions above, it’s time to introduce you to another learning strategy.
Today, I am going to show you how to employ the time-management method called the Pomodoro Technique.
A lot of people find English a very difficult language to study. But with the right method, you will be able to improve your English skills in just a month!
Are you ready to learn more about this technique?
If so, let’s start!
1. Do you study English in the right way?
Learning a language is something that does not happen overnight. Learning English, specifically, takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication.
However, the main reason tow why a lot of people quit in the middle of English learning is not because of its difficulty. Most of the time, it’s because they lose motivation.
The problem is, it is quite hard to find the right activity that suits one’s English skill level. Doing something too easy could get boring. In the contrary, doing something too hard could be discouraging instead of challenging.
According to studies, the best way to learn is to concentrate yourself on a single task. Better if you are able to do it regularly. This means that being ‘focused’ and ‘consistent’ is the key to effective learning.
Aside from this, many students believe that time is crucial in learning a language. A fluent English speaker did not become one after just one day of practice.
You probably might have heard about the 10,000-hour rule. It states that you have to practice for the entire duration of that time to be able to see significant improvement to your skill.
Then again, even 10,000 hours of practice will not help you unless you are focused and consistent. A lot of students complain about not getting the results they want after a certain amount of time studying English.
Always remember that the quantity of learning time should always be accompanied by quality studying. Do this and notice the improvement yourself.
2. The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is one of the best methods to improve your English skills. It is developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. If you’re wondering, “Pomodoro” is actually Italian for “tomato”. The name was inspired by the tomato-shaped timer he utilized to keep track of his work when he was still studying in the university. It helped him stay “focused” and “motivated” – the two things many English learners find to be a challenge. It will surely help you, too!
The Pomodoro techniques is simple. All you have to do is break down the work into short and timed sections, also known as “Pomodoros”. Space them out with short breaks to give yourself some time to relax and absorb the new information.
This technique will train your brain to concentrate. It will help you meet the deadlines or learning milestones. It is applicable to large tasks or a series of English learning exercises.
3. How the Pomodoro Technique Works
The Pomodoro Technique is one of the best strategies to improve one’s productivity not only in English learning but also in other things. For this technique to work, all you need is any functional timer.
You can use your wrist watch if it has that feature. You can also use the stopwatch application on your phone.
To guide you through the Pomodoro technique, here is the list of the steps you should follow:
- Step 1: Prepare a piece of paper. Write down the particular task that you want to work or study on. Also write the time, status, and notes. We will call this the Pomodoro task sheet. At the end of this step by step guide, I will attach an example to show you how it’s done.
- Step 2: Identify all possible distractions and try to eliminate them. For example, if the area around you is noisy, you can put on headphones to minimize the noise. If your social media accounts take up a lot of your learning time, log out or deactivate for a while. If you keep getting irrelevant notifications from your phone, put it in silent mode or better turn the device off.
- Step 3: Using your timer, set an alarm due 25 minutes from now. Place the timer in the far side of your room.
- Step 4: Work your way towards finishing your planned task or what we call as your “Pomodoro”. As much as possible, avoid stalling. You must not stop working until the alarm from your timer goes off.
- Step 5: Stop working on your task when the alarm rings. Mark your paper with a check and just walk around the room. You placed your timer far away from you so you have no choice but to stop your work to disable it.
- Step 6: Give yourself a short break. This usually lasts for at least 5 minutes. Use this time to do some stretches. Think about other things while relaxing.
- Step 7: After your break, set the timer again for another alarm after 25 minutes for another task or Pomodoro. After every four Pomodoros, you should take a longer break, usually for at least 20 minutes. What’s important is you should be really refreshed during these longer breaks.
Your Pomodoro task sheet should look like this:
|8:00-8:25 AM||Learn vocabulary words||Completed||Learned 5 words and their definition|
|8:30-8:55 AM||Word Stress||Needs Review||Having trouble with three syllable words|
|1:00-1:25 PM||Listen to podcast||Completed||Should listen to it one more time|
|1:30-1:55 PM||Listen to another podcast||Completed||Too difficult. Find a different podcast to study.|
4. Why the Pomodoro technique helped my students improve their English skills by 3 times?
The Pomodoro Technique helps improve your English by 300%, so you’re probably thinking why it’s very effective.
To answer your questions, I prepared a list to tell you why the Pomodoro technique can improve your English skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening by 300%.
The Pomodoro technique is effective because…
- It helps you focus on each individual English learning goal. Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking is not as efficient as concentrating on one task alone.
- It also trains you to make a habit of limiting your usage of social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube takes away a lot of learning time. Instead of browsing your news feed during work, do it during your 5-minute break time instead. Discipline is key. Your internet friend can wait!
- This technique maximizes your attention span and time management. Learning English for 25-minute intervals is enough to prevent boredom. A 5-minute break is long enough to refresh your mind and prepare yourself mentally for another study session.
- You will avoid stressing yourself too much. This technique decreases the probabilities of burning out.
- It successfully eliminates distractions. You cannot stop doing your learning exercises to check for your phone
5. Set 30-Day challenge with the Pomodoro
Your goal is to develop the Pomodoro Technique into a habit.
The best way to do so is through a 30-day Challenge. All you have to do is use the technique every time you engage yourself in English learning exercises.
As much as possible, employ the technique every day. Do this successfully for 30 days, and your productivity will drastically improve!
To begin, write down your target goal in learning English each day and don’t forget to set your timer. Keep in mind that you have to eliminate distractions to focus on your learning goals.
At the end of each day, always put a check mark on your paper for every accomplished Pomodoro learning session. Keep track of your activity and stay organized.
Again, do this on a regular basis until it becomes a habit. I assure you. You will get the improvement you want to see!
The final thought
Learning English requires a lot of focus, motivation, and time. If you find that you’re missing these three things, the Pomodoro technique is the solution to your problem.
It may seem so simple but this method is a sure-fire way to improve your English skills. I must say that the simplicity of this method made it the best strategy to improve English skills. You will see significant results in just four weeks while having fun doing it!
Did you enjoy reading this article?
I hope we were able to help you learn another great technique to improve your English skills.
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See you soon in the next post!