7 ways to make time for learning English

7 ways to make time for learning English

Do you find it difficult to find the time for learning English?

With a job, family, hobbies, and social life it’s very easy to feel we just don’t have any spare time for anything else. I know I feel like this sometimes.

And I’m not going to pretend that I never waste time, because I most certainly do some days!

I know that I sometimes spend too long on social media, and that research on the internet can take me a lot more time than I anticipated because there are just so many excellent reference websites online! On the other hand, if you’re enjoying how you spend your time then it’s not really wasted 🙂

However, if we really want to learn something new then we’ll make the time, and make it a priority. And we need to have strategies and tools that help us use our time wisely and be as productive as possible.

When I was studying for my degrees I had three small children and a job and it was difficult to make time for reading course books and writing my essays. My strategies included reading my course books while sitting in the bathroom watching over my children at bath time; studying while they were napping, or at night when they were asleep; and getting up early to grab half an hour to read before they woke up in the morning – I even bought an electric dishwasher so that I could save the half an hour a day I spent washing the dishes, and use this for studying instead!

If you can make just a small amount of time every day for learning English it’s suprising how it can help you make progress: 15 minutes a day equals over 91 hours in a year – that’s a lot of learning. And if you can do more some days, then that’s even better.

Here are a few things you can do to make more time for learning English…

7 ways to make time for learning English1. Start by keeping a detailed diary of your daily activities. Include everything and write down how much time you spend on each activity.

You’ll be able to see when you might be wasting time, how much time you could save, and times and places when you could learn some English.

And from this you’ll be able to start creating an action plan and schedule that’s perfect for you and your lifestyle.

Use a calendar to write down the days and times when you are going to do specific activities: e.g. Monday and Friday evenings could be for speaking practice with an online language buddy; half an hour each Saturday could be your time for grammar or vocabulary work.

2. Learn the tips and tricks for independent language learning. You’ll find lots of that here 🙂

3. Make it as easy as possible to learn by having your resources and tools organized and and easily accessible.

For example, create a space to learn at home if you can; have your favourite English websites bookmarked so you can find them quickly and easily; have your favourite English apps and podcasts on your phone/iPhone if you have one; and have your favourite grammar or vocabulary book and a notebook in your bag or rucksack in case you have time to read or make notes when you’re out.

4. Avoid procrastination! We all sometimes put things off until tomorrow when we know we should be doing them today, but avoid this if you can. 

If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin. (Ivan Turgenev)

5. When you’re surfing the net, find an online language partner instead and use your time online to practise your spoken English. If your spare time is very limited and you only have time for one thing, making time for speaking English is the very best use of your time. Learn some new phrases and jump in and start speaking!

6. Do you spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest etc. when you’re online?

Think about how you could use that time for learning English.

There are interesting and useful Pinterest boards with lots of resources to help you learn (here’s mine); Facebook pages where teachers share lessons, and Facebook groups with learners just like you. On Twitter there are English teachers sharing lessons and students practising their English; and on Google + there are busy communities of English learners and teachers where you can ask questions and share resources.

7. Become expert at doing two things at once!

If you go running or visit the gym – listen to English podcasts or music while you exercise. If you commute to work by train or bus – read a book or newspaper in English or listen to an English podcast while you’re travelling. If you’re watching a film (movie), turn on the English subtitles. If you’re at home doing housework – listen to the news or radio programmes in English in the background.

So those are just a few ideas to help you start thinking about how to make time for learning English in your everyday life.  How do you find time to learn new things? I’d love to know what strategies and tips you have 🙂

 

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Angela Boothroyd

Angela Boothroyd

English language teacher at Botanical Linguist
Hi, I'm Angela, the Botanical Linguist, and I show learners of English how to become successful and self-directed or independent language learners. If you want to improve your English accuracy and fluency and learn everyday strategies and activities that will help you learn English without spending a lot of money on lessons, subscribe to my free newsletter here.
Angela Boothroyd
Angela Boothroyd
Angela Boothroyd

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Comments

  1. Hi Angela,

    I loved your ideas to help spend your time wisely. It’s amazing how 15 minutes adds up 🙂
    Anita recently posted..The blessing of my gardenMy Profile

    • Thank you very much, Anita 🙂 I know, I surprised myself when I worked out how much 15 minutes a day adds up to over a year – it doesn’t seem like much, but it just goes to show how useful it could be 🙂

  2. heyy!!!

    indeed a very nice share.and great ideas you have shared.

    While English is one of the most widely spoken languages, particularly in the western hemisphere, it is also one of the most difficult to learn ..

    I think this is the perfect guide for beginners and also for those who are really dedicated to learn English,..Thank you so much for sharing these great ideas ..

    keep up doing good work.
    God bless U!!

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