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Do a SWOT Analysis of Your English


You’re an advanced learner of English. You made it to a level that most learners of English will never achieve.

You have enough vocabulary to discuss a wide range of topics, and chatting with native speakers doesn’t intimidate you like it used to. Yet you still want to make progress because you love learning English and you’re one of those people who either does something well or doesn’t do it at all.

But it’s hard to keep improving at this stage, isn’t it?

Noticing incremental improvements is something that only beginner and intermediate learners are able to do and you’re not one of them anymore.

When I was an advanced learner of English, my best strategy to keep advancing was to take English exams such as IELTS and Cambridge C2 Proficiency.

This is an option, but it’s not the only one.

A simple thing you can do right now to make further progress is to do a SWOT analysis of your English. Business people love SWOT analyses and I hope you’ll fall in love with it too after reading this article.

What’s a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis is a brainstormed list of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It requires you to take a few minutes to reflect on what you can and can’t do with the language, what opportunities you have to keep improving and what threatens you.

It’s easy. Let’s do it together.

Get a sheet of paper and divide your page into 4 sections: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

Like this:

an example of how to do divide page for a swot analysis

Then brainstorm. Aim to have at least 3 items in each section.

Here’s an example.

Strengths – This is what makes you feel like one of the Avengers:

  • I can understand most movies without subtitles.
  • I have almost no problems understanding podcasts.
  • I can speak as fluently as Barack Obama.

Weaknesses – This is what makes you sweat:

  • I still can’t express some ideas as precisely as I would like to.
  • I get a headache every time I have to write something longer than a text message.
  • I need to drink 2 cups of camomile to calm down after every phone call I make in English.

Opportunities – This is what you could do to stop sweating:

  • I could note down what ideas I struggle to express and do some vocabulary research to communicate them better.
  • I could start writing longer texts such as personal stories or articles with the help of a teacher.
  • Before I start a phone call, I could prepare myself by predicting some of the questions that I think the other person might ask me.

Threats – This is what you tend to avoid because you’re somehow afraid:

  • I don’t dare to start telling a story, an anecdote or a joke when I’m speaking in a group because it’s too frightening for me to be the center of attention.
  • I’m afraid of making mistakes when I write emails so I get someone else to do it.
  • I tend to be quiet if people around me can speak better English than I can.

Once you’ve done your analysis, don’t run away. Doing a SWOT analysis is only the first step to improve.

You need to take action now. I’ll talk about this in my next post. 

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