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How to get back to learning English after a long break

In my work, I often meet people who want to challenge themselves again and get back to learning English regularly after years. The problem is that they often have absolutely no idea how to go about it, where to start or what to do to stick to their commitment this time. In spite of their sincere desire and enthusiasm, they feel resigned and frustrated right from the start...because they are afraid that after some time their motivation will drop and another attempt will fail.

What may surprise you the most, for example during your individual lessons after a long period of no contact with the language, is ... the number of words that have completely vanished from your head and the moments when you feel like shouting "but I used to know that!". Well, if the vocabulary or a grammatical topic has not been properly consolidated and on top of that, a lot of time has passed since you had the chance to speak English, it is no wonder that you have forgotten even the basic vocabulary.

Fortunately, I also have some good news: all this knowledge can be retrieved! Because it is somewhere in the recesses of your long-term memory.

Start from the Beginning

First of all, think carefully about the reasons why you interrupted your studies previously. Was it due to lack of time? Lack of visible progress? Or perhaps the methods you were using or the type of classes you were taking no longer suited you? This is not surprising, because as you get older, your preferences for learning a foreign language may change.

Get rid of old notes, half-filled exercise books or other textbooks you used before the break. This will make it easier for you to set your mind to the fact that something new is coming.

Set a goal

Goal-setting is one of the most effective ways of working with a language. Without a well-established goal, you will not know where to go and will lose motivation quickly. Write down these goals!

Get into a routine

Routines are really important because they provide productive structure to our days and help us feel productive as well as stay focused.

Start small

You don't have to go on an intensive language course straight away to get back on track with your language learning. Don't buy tons of textbooks, dictionaries and so on, it's better to focus on one book and possibly a cross-curricular grammar book at the appropriate level and one, maximum two apps. Why? Because in this case, the more is not the better.

Online tools are only an additional aid to learning, not the basis of it. You won't learn a language just by tapping on your phone screen!

Find yourself a teacher

Let me tell you frankly, many of my students were full of enthusiasm and hope after finishing the course that they would now study and repeat the material themselves. However, the initial enthusiasm sooner or later wears off and you are back to square one.

I am very happy to see my old students back. I greet them especially warmly and support them further in improving their language skills. :)

Regular classes with a teacher will not only ensure regularity but will also help refresh your memory - there is no better and more effective way than doing it under the guidance of a professional. In addition, such meetings will automatically set the direction of your learning and you will feel that you are moving towards a specific goal - believe me, this is much more difficult on your own, at least at the beginning. When it comes to returning to learning after a break, I really don't recommend tackling the subject alone, especially if you don't want to get discouraged again after a few weeks or months.

Hence, it is important to find someone from whom you can get regular feedback and who will be monitoring your progress.

So what are your experiences of returning to learning English and what have you had the most trouble with?

Be sure to let me know below in the comments.

Happy learning!


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