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Teacher Talk

3 most common MISTAKES!




I've taught thousands of students from different countries and noticed some very common mistakes that makes students learn so much more slowly.  See if you are making any of these mistakes and try to fix them.

1.  Spending more time on reading and writing than on listening and speaking

So many students spend most of their study time alone reading from a book.  I've seen students trying to memorize new words and they get frustrated with their terrible spoken English.  Reading is good and so is learning new words, but make sure that you spend at least 50% of your study time either listening or speaking.  I've seen many English majors who speak terrible English even after they graduate.  This is the mistake many of those students make.

2.  Thinking that total amount of study time is more important than quality of study.

I've heard students ask each other, "how much time do you study every day?" or say something like, "I want my English to get better so I'm going to study for 3 hours per day."  It's the amount of useful learning that matters, not the time studying.  Doing 40 minutes a day of focused reading and listening is enough as long as you are listening to the right stuff.  Podcasts are the best if you can find one at your level.  Native speakers teach slang and real life topics.  It's way better than what is in most textbooks.  

3.  Not writing down what you learn.

I often ask people to tell me one thing they learned after studying and sometimes people can't tell me anything.  They say they forget after reading it.  If you learn something that you think is useful, write it down in a notebook and make some example sentences with it that you can actually use in your daily life.  This will make it much easier to remember new words and phrases.  I do this when I study Chinese and it really helps.  It sounds like an annoying habit if you are like me and hate keeping a notebook, but it will really help you if you are serious about learning quickly and efficiently. 

I have a lot of free podcasts I make with my younger brother.  We're Canadians living in Shanghai and you can have fun while you learn.  Check out our ESL podcast

01:04 PM Jul 21 2010 |

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Thx i agree with that

08:24 PM Jul 21 2010 |

just a person

United Arab Emirates


10:02 PM Jul 21 2010 |

Memory zhu


I couldn't agree with u more!The first mistake is mine!So now listening and spoken English is so poor that I don't know how to learn !

05:38 AM Jul 22 2010 |



I know many english words, but gram is catastrofi! I need learn gram…. And it would bi nice find some one english man and speak with him- live…. It is sumer nad many english has come, but I dont know How approach them…  

06:25 AM Jul 22 2010 |

aml mounir

aml mounir


yeah you are right i was doing this mistakes but now i take course but not depend on it i listen to english songs and movies and try to repeat what they are say

10:52 PM Jul 22 2010 |

aml mounir

aml mounir


yeah you are right i was doing this mistakes but now i take course but not depend on it i listen to english songs and movies and try to repeat what they are say

10:53 PM Jul 22 2010 |



what you say is totally right! these are very common mistakes that people learning some language make, just like me!Cry

04:35 AM Jul 23 2010 |




Practice makes perfect :) , keep your eyes, ears, mind open, and somethings great will come to you

01:35 PM Jul 26 2010 |



Viet Nam

oh write new words in my hand ,what do you think about this way

02:15 PM Jul 26 2010 |