Blog This one weird trick will boost your English fluency

This one weird trick will boost your English fluency


Excuse me, can I have your attention please! 

What's your attention on now? Is it fully on this post? Do you think you'll be able to read to the end without being interrupted (someone interrupts you) or interrupting yourself (something takes your attention)?

If you're a parent and your children are small and active, it's a battle to keep your attention on one thing at a time. But if you're alone and you want to concentrate on one thing, can you do it?

Attention! Attention! Ping goes your messages, Brinnngg! goes your email. Ring ring goes the doorbell, or the phone, or the microwave or a hundred other things that need your attention NOW!

Here's a picture of some competitors at the World Memory Championships. The competitors are all memory champions. They can take random information and memorise it quickly. At the championships, there are various challenges - memorising a list of names, the order of a deck of cards, remembering 100 numbers in 100 seconds, and more. What do you notice about the competitors? The headphones and sunglasses, right? Half the battle with your memory is paying attention in the first place.

So attention is vital for memorising, not just decks of cards but English vocabulary too. Even these memory champions need some help with focus and concentration, so how about you? If you want to focus, what do you do?

Here's some tips in a handy list

  1. Before you start, decide what you're going to do, and what app, book, or tools you're doing to use.
  2. Make sure you're not hungry, thirsty, in need of the toilet, or have anything else scheduled at the same time.
  3. Put your phone on sleep mode, so notifications can't pop up all the time
  4. If you're using a computer, close all other programs and windows, if there's a do not disturb mode, switch it on.
  5. Use noise-cancelling headphones or just normal headphones with brown or white noise.
  6. Tell family/ friends to not disturb you for 10, 20, 40 minutes, however long you want to focus for.
  7. Do your study!
  8. Don't worry if your attention does wander, bring your focus back to your study again, and again.
  9. Afterwards, evaluate - were you using the right tools, was the time enough or too long, did the white noise work?
  10. Repeat!

Try it this week. Open up your favourite English app and practice learning some new vocabulary. Concentrate with your full attention on the app. It doesn't have to take a long time. But you have to focus fully. When you're having your English lessons, or chatting in English focus entirely on your lesson, on the person you're talking to. Pay attention to their words and yours. 

Let me know what you did and how it went!


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About me

I'm Abbie and I'm an English teacher and English event organiser. I've been teaching English for over 15 years. I'm British and I live in Japan with my husband two daughters and a lot of crafting supplies.

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