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How to Use a SWOT Analysis to Keep Improving Your English

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

In my previous blog post (read or listen to that first otherwise this one won’t make any sense to you), you learned how to do a SWOT analysis to take stock of your English skills. 

What now? 

Now you need to implement your SWOT analysis to keep improving your skills. A SWOT analysis is useless if you don’t act on its results. 

Here’s how to do it:

Look at your strengths. Those are things you can already do well, so don’t spend time on them. If you are as fluent as Barack Obama, please don’t take fluency classes.

Now look at your weaknesses. Number them according to how urgent they are for you. Number 1 is the most urgent, number 2 the second most urgent and so on.

Then look at your opportunities. Promise yourself you’re going to take the relevant opportunity to transform one of your weaknesses into a strength.

If you don’t feel like taking the opportunity you came up with when you did the analysis, this might be a signal that the opportunity is not realistic. 

If that’s the case, come up with a better one.

After that, look at your threats. Choose one and start thinking like an Avenger. Here’s how Avengers think: Whatever scares me, I’ll go do it so it won’t scare me anymore.

Three characters from the movie The Avengers

Choose a threat from the list and go on a mission: face the threat until you feel it’s not a threat anymore. When you get to that point, cross it off the list.

For example, if you never tell stories in conversation because you’re scared of talking for long periods of time (this is what I was afraid of when I was an advanced learner), the next time you find yourself having a conversation, tell a story. 

This will make it less scary. 

Do this over and over again. Keep facing the monster until it no longer looks like one.

***

Treat it like a game. The aim of the game is to turn all your weaknesses and threats into strengths by taking opportunities. 

Work on 1 weakness and 1 threat at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Language learning is already hard as it is.

The game ends when you have crossed off all your weaknesses, threats and opportunities, and find yourself with a longer list of strengths.

That’s when you can start a new SWOT analysis and play a new game.

That’s how you’ll keep improving.

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