Hello sweetie! Thank you so much for letting me slip into your inbox today. I’m going to leave it with a smile and a handy tip or two. This is what I heard in my coaching sessions last week, which prompted me to write this blog:

She: “I feel really bad about my English because I can’t give a good presentation.”
Me: “How often do you use English, actively?”
She: “Never. Only the day before I have to give a presentation.”
Me: “Oh.”
***
He: “I can’t write a powerful song in English.”
Me: “How often do you use English, actively?”
He: “Only when I need it. When I have to write my lyrics.”
Me. “A….ha.”

Do we see a pattern here? Can we connect the dots dear? Saying things like this is like saying “I feel so bad I didn’t win the Formula 1 race (although I always go by bus and actually never drive until the day of the race).”

If you want to win Wimbledon, what are your chances if you only pick up a racket the day the tournament starts?  If you want to run a marathon but just started running the day before, what are the chances of you even crossing the finish line, let alone winning?

Use it or lose it, people!

Today I’d like to give you 5 quick and easy tips on how to keep your English active on a daily basis. No more excuses. Here we go:

  1. Set your radio alarm to BBC radio. The first thing you’ll hear every morning is English, and that will stay in your head for the rest of the day. (Have it as a button on your car radio too, for that matter.)
  2. Sign up for the ‘Word of the Day’ mail at www.dictionary.com – try to use this word at least 2 times during the day.
  3. For every new word you learn, try to link it to a synonym – a word that means the same. And then try to link it to an antonym – this is a word which has the opposite meaning. (www.thesaurus.com is an excellent resource for this.) For example = important = essential ≠ insignificant. A=B≠C. If you remember these 3 new words as a little triangle, your vocabulary will triple before you know it! Put each word in a sentence of your own, and then try to put all 3 into 1 sentence! (Extra karma points for that one!)
  4. How should you organize your new words? Get an old-fashioned address book. Put all the new words for ‘computers’ under ‘C’, and new phrases for meetings under ‘M’ (or any other way that works for you). Throw your address book in your laptop bag, keep it on your desk…always have it with you when you learn a new word!  Another option is to download the free (and awesome)  dictionary.com app – you can make your own ‘Favorites’ list and refer to it as often as you like, because this fab app works offline too!
  5. Go to www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish and take a quiz, join a forum, do the “6 Minute English” exercise, or anything else that strikes your fancy on this fantastically helpful site.
  6. (Have to sneak this one in here…) Take 5 minutes and test your grammar knowledge on my site – and check your answers. Got them right? Great! Then you can skip those chapters in Rock Your English! 🙂

Now get out there and get in the game. No one ever scored a touchdown from the sidelines. There’s a Formula 1 trophy waiting for you. I’ve just handed you the car keys. Fasten your seatbelts, and let’s roll!

See you next week!

Wit lof from buffi x