Self-study: Getting habits in English to learn on your own

Speaking a foreign language with fluency requires long hours of using the language. Notice that you only mastered your native language after years of childhood, when you listened to other people talking to you for endless hours. How many hours were they in total? Do you think you can learn English properly just by taking a few hours of English lessons a week?

Just by attending classes, doing homework and studying for exams you can gain much vocabulary and grammar, but not fluency and confidence. You need to speak and listen your target language for as long as you did with your native tongue, in order to reach the same level.

Is it realistic to think you can do it through hard study? No way! You would burn out, and it wouldn't make any sense at all. The only way to get through such long hours is not by studying but through entertainment and being social. What if you switched all the activities you do in your own language to English?

Certainly you can't make all your friends and family members speak English all of a sudden, but you can change the language of the books and blogs that you read, or the films and TV shows that you watch. A large share of our communication nowadays is not with other people but with media, and the Internet makes it really easy to access a lot of content in English.

In the following posts we'll look at the main four language skills, and what habits you can take up to improve these skills with no studying but having fun. Don't be lazy and take up some of these habits!

Reading habits in English.
Writing habits in English.
Listening habits in English.
Speaking habits in English.