26. Are you a good learner of English?

Plenty of advice about the right attitudes and habits for learning English effectively.

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Hello everyone. I’m really glad so many of you liked my Notting Hill Carnival video. I’m planning some longer ones which I will produce and upload soon. Before I do that, I hope you enjoy this one which is about being a good learner of English.

I was thinking about all the learners I have met, and what made some of them ‘good learners’. I realised that it was their attitude towards learning, and towards life in general, that affected how they learned the language. I thought it would be good if I wrote some statements that a good learner of English might say. You can just think about these statements. Can you relate to them? Are they true for you? Try repeating them to yourself. It will help you if you really believe them! It’s good for your attitude, and that’s good for your English.

Here are the statements I wrote, and which I read out in the podcast. Thanks a lot, and keep listening!

1. English is not just something I know, it’s something I can do. It’s no good if you can just learn words, and just understand what people say – it doesn’t stop there. English is not just something I know, it’s something I can do.

2. I love using new words that I’ve learned. New words to me are like golden coins which I collect and then use later. (cheesy!)

3. English is part of my personality. There is no separation between the English language, and me. We exist together. It’s not separate from me, it’s part of me. When I use English, it’s my language too.

4. I might not think in English every day, but I know that English exists in my sub-conscious and it helps me to understand and to communicate effectively.

5. I feel like a better person now because I can do more with English.

6. I know that I don’t need to learn everything in one go. I’m becoming a good speaker of English every day, bit by bit, step by step.

7. English gives me the freedom to become a different person when I use it.

8. I love to really listen and investigate the English that I hear. When I study something in English, I feel like a detective solving a puzzle.

9. Because it’s a mental challenge, learning English is a really good way for me to keep my brain fresh and young.

10. English gives me an opportunity to take risks, and I know that when I take risks I learn more quickly.

11. English is frustrating sometimes, but I enjoy the challenge. And what is life if it isn’t a challenge?

12. I like to ask questions because if I don’t ask, I don’t learn.

13. I don’t just need English. I’ve learned that I want English too.

14. We’re all individuals, and we have our own unique ways of learning English. I like discovering my own particular learning strategies and then using them.

15. I am a bit embarrassed by my mistakes sometimes, but I see them as a great opportunity to learn.

16. I like learning English with others, because it makes me feel like I’m part of a group of people who are sharing the same experience as me.

17. I love the variety, colour and history of the English language. It’s amazing to see how people in history have used it for so many things, and when I use English I become part of that long tradition.

18. Speaking English is a physical action. I don’t just use my mouth to do it, I use my whole body.

19. The culture of the English language is different to my first language. So it’s fun to think and act in a new way when I speak English.

20. English liberates me. It gives me the freedom to communicate with everyone, and connect with the whole world.

21. Oops – I missed this one! I got the numbers wrong… It should be: I know that if I had the time, I could master this language.

22. I enjoy finding out about things I love in English. I use the internet to help me to do this. I watch YouTube videos and listen to podcasts in English, for fun.

23. Sometimes English is confusing for me, but I can make sense of it if I have time.

24. The journey is the best part, not just the destination. This is true in English, but also in life.

25. Actually, I do use English well and I do communicate in English every time I use it. So, really, I’ve already started speaking English and I’ve already started communicating in English effectively.

26. I’m a brilliant, and special person because I listen to Luke’s English Podcast, and I know that Luke’s English Podcast is probably the best way of learning English in the whole world!

I realise that some of these statements are quite cheesy. Cheesy is quite a difficult word to explain. Here’s a list of explanations of what cheesy means:

-it has been said many times before and so now it sounds quite silly, boring or tiresome
-it is too sincere, and so it sounds ridiculous
-it is old-fashioned, or out of date
-it is over-emotional, or sentimental

Here are some examples of things that are cheesy:
-The emotional happy endings of Hollywood films
-The predictable things that Hollywood heroes always say, like James Bond making a joke about killing a bad guy with a telephone cable, and then the telephone ringing, and Bond saying “I’m afraid he’s a little tied up at the moment”, or when Arnold Schwarzenegger says “I had to let him go” after he drops a man off a building
-80s rock bands with big hair and spandex jump-suits (e.g. Van Halen)

Actually, the word ‘cheesy’ is such a big concept that I could do a whole podcast episode on it!