In this article, we will discuss the most effective ways of learning a language, as evidenced by research. Maxwell, a psychology scholar, has dedicated a considerable part of his career to developing a more efficient language learning method after witnessing first-hand how commonly utilized methods result in slow and unreliable progress.
Before we dive in, we must recognize that language is a skill and must be practised (Merriam-Webster).
In short bites
Plenty of investigation was done into human's learning ability and habits. Most of that research (Johnston et al., 2002) indicates that repeated practice is the best solution to learning skills. The only way not to burn out, in this case, is to have short impulses of considerable intensity to further both your skill and motivation.
This brings forth a conclusion: a pleasant daily conversation is actually the best way to practice the language.
Writing has been proven time and time again (Horbačauskienė and Kasperavičienė, 2016) to be the most effective way of learning a language. It is an act of practising the language that you are conducting at your own pace. The time you dedicate to such writing is when your brain is fully involved in the process – coming up with the structures and thinking of the best ways to express your thoughts.
Learning language often
A daily dose of exposure is absolutely the best way of acquiring any information – that is, until the burnout kicks in. It is improbable that burnout will happen when you engage in a conversation to discuss your interests. However, we still suggest limiting the EnglishBuddyPal to a single month so that you have little rest before you decide to come back.
Practice over learning (Wiklund et al., 2021; Fisher and Frey, 2019)
Different studies (and think back to your public school English classes) show that learning words and grammar points from the book are never the answer when it comes to language learning. That is, of course, because language is a skill and not knowledge in any manner. A good example would be the least knowledgeable person – many of our great grandparents (most of us never met them, sure). They didn't have much in terms of education (something like three years of school) but could express themselves clear enough so that their common folks would understand them. That language ability did not come from the three years at school – it came from practice.
First-language instruction is harmful, and constant practice helps (Schmid, 2017)
When it comes to the second language, however, it is essential to practice it properly. When you rely on your first language for instruction, you reduce your engagement and turn practice into learning – which is ineffective. Hence the target-language instruction and the minimal requirement towards your level of English. Intermediate is generally considered sufficient to have a regular daily conversation. However, understand that the discussion is always only limited by your ability.
Learning is better in the online form.
Comfort is the key in our case. Your English ability will be tested daily; that is enough stress, so it is only desirable to be somewhere cosy and relaxed. It is a daily routine, and thus it is only a month-long – we want the result, not the process.
Thus, EnglishBuddyPal was born.
Maxwell, a psychology scholar and educational practitioner, is the mind behind the program. He created EnglishBuddyPal by condensing all the best available language learning ideas (as discussed above) into a straightforward truth – short daily language practice sessions are worth a lot more than a classically structured course.
EnglishBuddyPal engages you daily in a conversation – via texts throughout the day and 30 minutes video calls at the time of your choosing. It is designed to fit your schedule – however, packed it is. You will receive structured feedback between the sessions; the common mistakes and issues will be covered there. It is always personalized and only applies to your current level of English knowledge, just as you are free to change the direction and the focus of the sessions at any moment.
Fisher, D., Frey, N., 2019. Practice Makes Learning Permanent. Reading Teacher [online], 73 (3), 381–384. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=139350378&site=eds-live
Horbačauskienė, J. and Kasperavičienė, R., 2016. Writing Assignments as a Way of Enhancing Foreign Language Proficiency at University Studies. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 232 (14), 130-135.
Johnstone, K.M., Ashbaugh, H. and Warfield, T.H., 2002. Effects of Repeated Practice and Contextual-Writing Experiences on College Students' Writing Skills. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94 (2), 305-315.
Merriam-Webster. Available at: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/skill [Accessed 16 May 2021].
Schmid, H.S., 2017. Entrenchment and the Psychology of Language Learning : How We Reorganize and Adapt Linguistic Knowledge. American Psychological Association: Washington.
Wiklund, H.C., Stillesjö, S., Andersson, M., Jonsson, B., Nyberg, L., 2021. Retrieval practice facilitates learning by strengthening processing in both the anterior and posterior hippocampus. Brain & Behavior [online], 11 (1), 1–9. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=148280446&site=eds-live