What do you need to do to become able to speak English?
この投稿は日本語でもご覧いただけます。This is a rough translation of a post I wrote in Japanese a while ago.
I believe that spending over a year and a half, everyday, doing things in English is very important. That thing called “immersion”, right?
Reading lots of books and listening to a lot of audio will allow you to drastically progress in any language you study. Things like listening to music and watching dramas will make that feeling of wanting to understand the words a lot stronger, and if you keep it up, you will one day wake up fluent.
Why a year and a half?
Based on my experience of learning Japanese, it took about a year and a half for me to become able to understand and to start speaking Japanese (I’m still by no means perfect though aha!). Oh, and this guy also used the same method and apparently became fluent in Japanese after 18 months.
We only have his word that he was fluent after a year and a half but the Japanese that he speaks in this video is absolutely amazing.
There’s also this person, who also used the same method and ended up becoming amazing at Japanese.
“Okay okay, yeah these guys are good! So? What am I supposed to do?”
Here are the 6 guidelines to follow
- Believe in your success
- Do fun and interesting things in English
- Create/put yourself in a English only environment (this is important)
- Listen to over 10,000 hours of English.
- Read as much English written material as possible
- Take 10,000 example sentences from your favorite books or TV shows and then studying them using an SRS (for example Anki).
The rules of choosing content
When choosing content to listen, to read or to study, the first thing to do is find something that you can understand the contents of.
- If the content is boring, move on to the next.
- If the content is too hard, move on to the next.
- If you’re not learning from native content, move to native content.
If you follow these 3 rules, you can naturally pickup English in a fun manner and without learning bad grammar or getting a weird accent.
I will just say this. Normal study methods will increase your English level, but they are so slow. Like seriously, way too slow! Oh and study sucks! You don’t need that o(｀ω´ )o! Just read whatever books come to your fingertips and find and dive deep into what you love doing in English. Don’t worry about other people’s opinions. You don’t need people telling you that “You need to study this content”. Choose your own stuff to read, it’s perfectly fine to learn English HOW YOU WANT TO! Language learning requires an enjoyable experience. You can try studying without that element of enjoyment, but it’s just going to get painful for you. That is no benefit to you at all.
Proceeding with immersion may be difficult, but you should definitely try it.
I believe that this is the only option if you want to improve your level of English quickly.
Sites you should check out
Thanks for reading!
Here are some of my favorite tools and sites for learning Japanese
Thank you for reading this blog post, which I hope you found useful for learning Japanese. Here are some of the most useful websites that I’ve found for finding Japanese content to use for immersion as well as some really useful learning tools to help you through your Japanese studies. Some of these are affiliate links which just means that if you decide to use these sites by clicking the following links, then I will earn a commission. But honestly speaking, these are the sites that I use and recommend language learners, even my friends, to use anyway.
Anki Tools: To get started, I really like Migaku for Anki. By itself, Anki is already a super useful tool for language learners but Migaku allows for integration with websites like YouTube and Netflix, allowing it’s users to create flashcards from the shows and videos that they are watching, as they are watching them. If you use my link you can get an extra month for free.
Speaking Practice: For this I absolutely love iTalki. There are thousands of Japanese teachers on the platform that are available at all times of the day to have conversations with you, in Japanese. Some teachers take a more traditional approach while others are just there to chat, these are the ones I would recommend if you are looking to improve your conversational Japanese. Lessons start from just $5 and there’s no long term commitment, I highly recommend them.
Immersion: I’ve used a lot of different earphones / headphones over the years but by far the one that has come out on top is the NENRENT S570. This is a singular in-ear earphone that matches your skin tone to keep it discrete, meaning you can listen to the language you are learning while at work, or school. For a full list of tools and gadgets I recommend for maximizing your immersion time, check out this blog post.