GTL in English (and not only): a new look at the study of foreign languages

    It is no secret to anyone that knowing one (or more) foreign languages ​​opens up new opportunities for people to find work. The world is changing rapidly, and more and more companies are opening offices in different parts of the world. They need people who are not only experts in their profession, but who can easily communicate on working (and not only) issues with foreign colleagues. As for economics, marketing, programming, it is simply necessary to know English for specialties from these areas, since most of the literature related to them is published just overseas. We add here tons of unique content from world-famous English-speaking experts, which can be obtained "first hand" and used for the benefit of their own development. This, of course, provided

    Failed to learn a foreign language, but want to work in large international companies? Do you dream to get to Google, Facebook and others like them? Or maybe you are a freelancer or an entrepreneur who wants to expand his client base and collaborate with foreign partners? Then this article will probably be useful to you.

    On our SmartProgress blog, we have already published articles on both motivation and procrastination. These two phenomena are inextricably linked with most of the goals that we set for ourselves. Therefore, today we would like to consider them under the prism of learning languages ​​- a task that many cannot manage to do, despite the time and effort spent - and how our service can help you in this difficult task.

    Years of study and no result? Yes you are a lazy dog, my friend!

    The overwhelming majority of people with whom I talked said they had to devote years (!) To learning a foreign language. It usually went as a prologue to the final: “But I still don’t speak it. I would like to know a foreign language, but ... " And then, as a rule, there are a number of excuses why a person was not lucky enough to overcome at least one language. Believe me, for many years I had a chance to hear them more than you can imagine: there is no good teacher, no time, I can not find a suitable textbook for myself, the methodology does not fit, I get tired at work and much more.

    Simple arithmetic: counting a “clean clock”

    And if you have studied a foreign language for several years (at school, at a university, at a course), but still don’t speak it, then, I'm sorry, you’ve been garbage all this time. No need to fool yourself. You did not devote enough time to training (effective time, not sitting out pants!) And did not approach him responsibly. But the most important thing is that you could not find enough motivation in yourself and did not catch on to the idea of ​​knowing a foreign language.

    After thinking carefully, from all your “years of hard work” you can approximately calculate the number of productive hours of training. If your goal is spoken language, then we consider an hour of conversational practice (with a passion and a desire to learn) for an hour of productive work to achieve our goal. In this case, the grammar will have to be considered with a "half" factor. As for listening to music in a foreign language, these “efforts” go to zero (for example, my grandmother and grandfather of the “Beatles” respected me very much - they never had a chance to learn a word “in English”). Audio books and reading literature without a detailed thoughtful analysis of the material is more of one of the methods to keep oneself in good shape than the possibility of effective training. This approach will help dispel myths about the complexity of the language and many other excuses, with which people tend to cover up laziness mother. Let's look at a couple of examples:

    Example 1

    So, let’s say that at school you were fed with two academic hours of English-French-German for five years in a row (I don’t remember that besides this there was something else in honor). If you were not interested in learning a foreign language, and you only taught “to pass and forget”, then all your 270 hours are reduced to zero - you, in fact, did not work, and therefore you know the same amount.

    Example 2

    Imagine that you work “with a drive” and spend an hour daily learning a language. In this case, you give five hours a week to what is more priority (for example, colloquial speech), and two to writing and grammar (here we count them with a coefficient of 0.5). Then we get 6 hours of work weekly, which bring results and stay with you.


    As a result of simple calculations, we get that 270 hours for five years can fit in ten months of not very hard work. Devoting twice as much time to learning a language, it can be dealt with in less than six months - this is real for everyone. As a rule, if a person has something “corny not enough time”, this means that he corny cannot manage it and plan his day (we'll talk about this later too).

    But then what is the problem?

    All excuses are usually intended to show how the forces of the whole world, including the cursed grammar and vocabulary of the chosen foreign language, began to learn it, rather than elementary human laziness and lack of motivation.

    Oh well. Suppose we admit that our unwillingness to learn is to blame. Or, as a self-critical reader proudly wrote in the comments on one of the previous posts: I am lazy, and that’s it. The next step is logical: to deal with it, if you want to achieve anything at all. Yes, it’s easier said than done ... The only question is how not to fool yourself with an additional portion of completely convincing, but empty excuses? From the experience of my polyglot friends (as well as my own), I can assure you that without proper motivation in learning a foreign language you won’t cook porridge.

    It is very important to fall in love with the language or what is connected with it. Find yourself an idea that would make you treat learning as your favorite hobby: anything that you associate with the language and makes working with it pleasant and desirable. The ubiquitous Internet will help you learn more about the countries whose languages ​​you study: their traditions, culture, history, literature, art and much more. It is possible that you will be able to find something inspiring for yourself. Draw an analogy. Want to get a job at HP, but you need to learn a language for this? Then for you, HP and knowledge of a foreign language should be identical. Do not separate them.

    Studying English, I just fell in love with my teacher - this gave me an incentive at first, and then I fell in love with everything related to the language - from English literature and music to vivid phraseological units and magnificent British pronunciation. With such a fuse, six months was enough for me to learn how to speak English fluently, read foreign literature and watch films in the original (although I admit that there is still rowing and rowing before perfect language proficiency).

    If we want to find motivation for learning a foreign language, then it's time to start looking for reasons for this (so that later you do not have to look for excuses for your own insolvency in this field). Each of us will have our own list, but I will present to you a few that will suit most of us.

    Why is it worth learning foreign languages?

    1. Work or business abroad, cooperation with foreign partners, etc. I would also include the possibility of faster career growth due to the very fact of knowledge of the language and access to foreign literature and other educational resources related to the specialty.
    2. Learning a language helps to improve memory and concentration. Stir your brains now, and this can save you from cognitive impairment in old age, my friends!
    3. The opportunity to find friends in other countries, expand your own borders, meet new people and cultures, learn new countries.
    4. Knowledge of foreign languages, as a rule, inevitably entails a wealth of professional experience, well-read, experience in communicating with people from different countries, travel and many other things that will contribute to becoming you as an interesting person and an entertaining interlocutor.
    5. The ability to read books, listen to musical compositions and watch movies in the original language, which is always incomparably better conveys the essence and beauty of the work than any, even very talented, translation.

    Get things done

    Try to love the language as your hobby, which gives you joy, but at the same time treat it as a serious working project with clearly defined tasks, plan and deadlines. Take the time to create a reasonable schedule that you will adhere to. Do not deviate from it, do not build excuses, do not engage in procrastination. Think of it as a daily job trip. You do not argue every morning, go to your office or still "do it tomorrow"?

    So I’ve been transferring Japanese for about three weeks now from day to day. But I have a cool excuse: now I have found a new super-interesting hobby for myself, to which I give every free minute. And the truth is that in two weeks of well-planned daily work I achieved much greater results than in two months in the “how it goes” mode. However, as you understand, my Japanese do not share my new hobby at all, and learning the language is in place - this is wrong.

    Which schedule is most effective? It all depends on how much time you are willing to devote to the language. The bigger, the better. But the most important thing is systematicity. It is better to learn for half an hour daily or an hour every other day than three hours, but once a week. The best time for mental activity: morning hours up to 12 days. I understand that not everyone has the opportunity. I at one time tried to get up early to learn (5-6 in the morning, then I had a couple of hours for this). If you are not capable of such heroism, then find the most convenient time for yourself. And one more thing: two hours a week is too little if you want to achieve tangible results in a short time.

    Try this as follows: set the deadline dates. For me, this method has proven to be very effective. When I was learning my second foreign language, I immediately bought a stack of textbooks: from zero to level B2. I counted the number of lessons in each (as a rule, the lessons in the textbooks are balanced - they occupy approximately the same number of pages, the same attention is paid to grammar and vocabulary, etc.). Then I decided that I would be pleased with myself if I mastered a certain number of lessons in a week. The first week was experimental and proved that I can easily cope with such a volume. And this meant that in half a year I should finish work with the last textbook, if I will consistently carry out what I have outlined (micro-deadlines, if you wish).

    In fairness, it is worth noting that the process dragged on for a couple of extra months, since fiction was added to the textbooks (which, in turn, helped me maintain motivation and contributed to enriching the vocabulary), and at some stage the plan had to be rebuilt. Do the same! Calculate a reasonable deadline, sketch some time for the buffer and boldly go to your goal!

    Learning Languages ​​and SmartProgress


    If you follow our blog, then you know that the service is a convenient tool for setting goals and maintaining motivation at the proper level. This is undoubtedly very important for any undertakings, especially such as learning a language. And many of our users successfully use it precisely for these purposes. Learning a language is a long-term project, so it’s quite possible to lose the fuse along the way. Yes, it is possible to learn a foreign language at a high level and in three months, but taking into account more realistic expectations, this takes on average up to six months. We will help you make a reasonable training schedule, set adequate deadlines and not lose motivation thanks to our mentoring system and communication in the online community. Our task is to help you reach your goal on time. Good luck

    SmartProgress - Achieving Goals

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