How To Keep Improving Your English at Higher Levels
Reading time: 2 minutes
Is your English good but not as good as you’d like it to be?
Do you feel you’re not making as much progress as you used to?
The same happened to me.
When I got to a high level of English, everything slowed down and it felt like I was not advancing anymore.
Yes, I could communicate well and make myself understood. Yes, I could participate in conversations and understand others, native speakers included.
But I wasn’t 100% happy about my English. There was still something I hadn’t mastered that made me think that my English was somehow incomplete.
Maybe you’d like to use more idiomatic language instead of always using the same old words. Maybe you can’t build sophisticated sentences.
Perhaps you can’t come up with the most accurate word when having a conversation and get stuck.
In my case, my Italian accent and my relatively limited vocabulary were the two main things that kept me awake at night.
I wish I’d known this little formula to keep improving my English:
further progress = specific problem + focused practice
Translated, this means that if you’re not very specific about what you want to improve, you can’t direct your focus toward specific actions that will help you make further progress.
Be vague about what you would like to improve and you’ll be likely to waste your time doing things that won’t actually contribute to the achievement of your goal in any considerable way.
Let’s say you want to be able to write longer and more expressive sentences.
This is a very specific goal.
What would most help to accomplish it, participating in general conversation classes or spending time analyzing beautifully crafted sentences you’ve come across in a book that you like?
So hone in on 1 area you want to improve and stay laser-focused on that only.
Want to grow your vocabulary? Make this your sole priority. Everything you do must aim at growing your vocabulary. Forget about pronunciation or grammar.
For example, if you know you’re going to have a conversation in English, set yourself the goal of coming out of that conversation with at least 1 new expression.
Watching a movie? Set yourself the goal of having at least 5 new expressions noted down by the end of it.
Direct all your actions and energy towards 1 single language goal.
Proudly ignore all the rest.
This is one way to keep improving at more advanced levels. I talk about this in this YouTube video on my channel.
Another way is to do a SWOT analysis of your English.