Stop trying to ‘think in English’

If you search for ‘think in English’ you’ll get almost 3 billion results (3,000,000,000 – that’s a lot!) Everyone thinks you must think in English in order to speak English better. But I say no. I think this is the most useless and unhelpful advice in the world.

Can you grow your mind?

Do you have a talent for languages, or maths, or music or knitting? Do you believe you are born with that talent, or do you believe you can grow a talent? You might have heard of ‘growth mindset’ and  ‘fixed mindset’.  A fixed mindset believes that the talents and abilities you have you were bornContinue reading “Can you grow your mind?”

Have a day off.

This post is going to be really short. Because you need a rest. Research shows again and again that our brains need rest, holidays and vacations in order to process memories, work out problems, refresh and become more motivated. In one study from Harvard Business School, researchers tracked the habits of employees from a consultingContinue reading “Have a day off.”

A sign of bravery

A popular statistic that there are more English learners in China than English native speakers in the whole world is often bandied around to prove how popular English is. But actually there are probably more English learners in the world than people in China now, it’s predicted that there’ll be nearly 2 billion learners byContinue reading “A sign of bravery”

This one’s for the failures

Are you a failure? I do hope so. Statistically you have failed many times in your life. I give you this meme: Basically toddlers can’t do anything, they suck at walking, can’t feed themselves and they can’t even speak! But they persist. They pull themselves up again and again. They shove their food in theirContinue reading “This one’s for the failures”

The magic of persistence

This video has been trending lately. In it a guy teaches himself to back flip in six hours. Watch the video hereI found it really inspiring. He doesn’t spend six hours reading a book about back flips, or watching other people back flip. He spends six long, hard hours turning somersaults, landing on his head,Continue reading “The magic of persistence”

Learning a language is like being on a diet.

What do language learning and diets have in common? I’ve been reading a lot recently about motivation and discipline and also willpower. Did you know willpower is finite? And flexible? Sometimes you have a lot of it, sometimes you don’t. Willpower is used to motivate dieters and language learners, but it’s not the best wayContinue reading “Learning a language is like being on a diet.”