Well hey there I'm Emma from mmmEnglish!
Today we're going to talk about
leveling up your English.
Taking your English to the next level,
from intermediate to upper-intermediate,
from upper-intermediate to advanced
We can all agree that becoming fluent in a language
has its highs
and its lows.
Some are you further along in your language journey
Some of you spend more hours practising every week
and some of you work harder than others
to improve your English. Am I right?
But I've got a question for you.
Do you feel like you've reached a point in your English
where you've plateaued?
You've made lots and lots of progress
in the past
and now it feels a bit flat.
Your progress has really slowed down.
You've lost energy and momentum.
You're not improving as quickly as you want to.
But perhaps this is how you're feeling right now.
The feeling of being stuck with your progress
is really, really common. Most language learners,
regardless of the language,
they can relate to this feeling.
But what we need to do together is
from intermediate level
to upper-intermediate, to advanced, fluent English.
But how are we going to do this?
Well I've got a few useful tips to help you push through
and keep climbing that mountain.
But before we get started, if you have a friend
who's been feeling miserable
about their English progress.
And you think they would love to level up with you,
then please share this video with them too.
It's always good to have a friend with you
to keep you accountable and to practise together.
Tip number one.
Expand your vocabulary.
Expand it, make it bigger.
This may seem like a really obvious tip
but it can be really, really easy to get stuck
using the same words over and over and over again.
It's what's comfortable and it's what's easy.
And hey, if you can
communicate your message in English,
do you really need to learn more?
Well if you're happy with your current level of English
then maybe not!
Maybe what you've got is perfectly okay.
But if you want to take your English to the next level,
then you do need to improve your vocabulary range,
which can seem like a bit of an overwhelming task.
Where do you start?
Actually using the new words that you learn
is the key to acquiring new vocabulary.
So make the new words relevant.
Make sure you use them.
Look for interesting, new practice materials.
New shows on Netflix or
TedTalks or different podcasts.
Our world is so full of information and opinions
and ideas, and most of them can be found at any time.
In your pocket!
Look for new, interesting content
Don't get stuck watching the same shows, listening
to the same things, over and over again.
If you love talking about food,
don't just watching cooking shows.
But search for podcasts where people are discussing
topics and issues about food.
Or even better, join online groups or communities
that discuss ideas and trends about these topics.
Even if you're not ready to participate
in these discussions in these groups,
you can see what other people are talking about,
what they're chatting about.
This is an endless supply of new ideas
and words and topics. And they're real, they're current,
that will help you to keep motivated and interested
in learning and practising your English.
You won't even notice that you're studying!
So tell me
what topics are you most interested in?
What conversations do you love to have in English?
Can you add them in a comment below this video?
Who knows? I might even be able to
recommend an online group to join about this topic or
perhaps someone else who's watching
might even be able to recommend one for you.
Now I shared some tips on learning
new vocabulary in this lesson right here.
You might want to check that out next.
But before we move on,
when it comes to vocabulary,
as you're watching a Youtube video,
take notes of the new words that you hear,
turn on the subtitles and rewind the video a little
so that you can really understand
how the words are used.
By the way,
I write all of my own subtitles on mmmEnglish lessons,
so you can see exactly what I'm saying
if you ever need to check the subtitles.
And you can turn them on just down there.
Okay, next tip.
Get used to different English accents.
Now, hands up if you've ever experienced
You just start feeling
confident with your English-speaking skills,
and you're feeling pretty chuffed with yourself, right?
And then suddenly, you find yourself in a conversation
with someone that has an English accent
that you're not used to.
Or someone who speaks really fast.
There is nothing that leaves you feeling more deflated
and miserable, right?
In the U.S, Australia, England,
people speak English with different accents.
There's Scottish and Irish accents,
and South African, Canadian, New Zealand.
But then, there's everyone else
who's learned English as a second language
which is by far the majority of English learners.
English is spoken by about
twenty percent of the world's population
which is about one point five billion people.
But only about twenty-five percent of those
one point five billion are native English speakers.
And since English is the most studied language
in the world,
there will be many, many, many more
non-native English speakers in the future.
So you really need to get comfortable
listening to English in different accents.
Search for videos and lessons from teachers with
Watch movies from different
English-speaking parts of the world.
Don't just watch American movies.
And speak with people who have
different English accents.
Find a speaking partner from Iran or from Brazil
and practise speaking with them.
Oh right! The next tip is: use English filler words.
Learn them and train yourself to use them.
Filler words are meaningless words
that can be used when you're
pausing or you're hesitating while speaking.
It helps other people in a conversation
to know that you haven't finished yet.
But you're just thinking about
what you're going to say next.
So you'll likely have these filler words in your
own language as well but they're probably
different in English.
Okay.. um.. well..
Pausing or hesitating in conversation is normal!
Especially when you need an extra moment
to think about what you're going to say next.
And since we use filler words without actually
really thinking about them,
your instinct or your habit will be to use
filler words from your native language.
But instead, I want you to think about these
English filler words
and next time you can't think of a word,
try to use them instead.
Try to get into the habit of using words and sounds
that are natural in English.
Now it's important not to overuse these filler words.
example... I actually... like,
you know... awful!
Try not to do that!
I sounded really unsure and confused and
not very confident there when I was speaking.
But when used correctly,
filler words can actually
help to join your thoughts together.
And make your speech flow a little more naturally.
I mean, if you think about it,
filler words can be, well,
well they can be really helpful sometimes!
Now English speakers use tons of phrasal verbs,
you'll hear them everywhere!
Especially in spoken English.
Phrasal verbs are really, really common.
They're a nightmare to try and learn, aren't they?
Phrasal verbs are a verb followed by a preposition.
Or an adverb.
And together, that creates a new meaning.
Often a completely different meaning
to the original meaning of the verb.
Now I've got a whole playlist up here about
phrasal verbs with tips to help you study them
and use them, so definitely check it out at some point.
But let's look at a few examples, right here.
Please come in.
Please come up with the answer to this question.
Please come forward
with any information that you hear about the crime.
See what I mean? These three sentences have
totally different meanings.
'come in' means something different from 'come up'
and something different from 'come forward'
and all of those meanings are different
from the original meaning of the verb 'come'
Now we know that phrasal verbs are tricky to learn
and it's so, so important that you're learning them
So what's my recommendation?
Set a goal to learn and to use one new phrasal verb,
every day. Just one.
Train your tongue.
You can have perfect listening skills
and perfect grammar,
but if you can't communicate your message
clearly with your mouth and your tongue, well,
it's really difficult to feel
positive about your speaking skills.
Good pronunciation is definitely one very, very
important part of pushing your English to the next level.
Now think about it this way, if you want to improve
your arm strength or your leg strength,
what do you do? You exercise!
You hit the gym. You workout.
We train our muscles to be stronger.
Now the tongue is also a muscle
and it can also be trained.
There are some English sounds that just don't exist
in your native language. It's a fact.
So of course, it's normal if your tongue
just can't make those sounds at first.
But it doesn't mean
that you can never make those sounds.
With a little bit of training and a little bit of hard work,
your tongue and your mouth
will be able to make those sounds.
Now firstly, you really need to know which sounds
are difficult for you.
Which are the sounds that you really need to practise?
Maybe the 'th' sound.
Maybe the 'ch' sound is really hard for you.
And perhaps you say 'shicken' instead of 'chicken'.
So find video lessons that
focus on the sound that you need help with and study it.
Then choose a word that has that sound
- a tricky one, right?
And say it over and over and over again.
Say it until you can't say it anymore
until your tongue is really tired.
And it will feel tired, just like your stomach's
going to feel tired after you do a hundred sit-ups.
But better still, what if you practised pronunciation
while you were exercising?
As you train your tongue muscles,
those tricky words and sounds will become easier
and easier to make.
It just takes a little practice, consistent practice.
So, they're my tips to help you level up in English.
And I want to know
if you've got any others that you want to add.
Please share them in the comments below.
If you're an advance level English learner,
how do you push through the difficult times?
Times when you almost gave up.
How did you take your English to the next level?
Can you share any advice
with the other English learners
who are here watching today?
Here are the links to some of the lessons
that I talked about during this video.
So I'll see you in the next lesson!