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Do what you love




Do what you love...that sounds so cliche, doesn't it? And what on earth does it have to do with learning English, or any other second language? Well, quite a lot actually. If you follow my blog, you'll know that I am a broken record and I always say the same thing: find something you like doing, and do it in English. You'll have more fun learning! Today's post is going to take that idea and go just a bit deeper. I'm going to let you in on the changes happening here behind the scenes with me, as well as challenge you to apply this "method" to your own learning journey. Ready? Here we go.

 

Changes in my business


I've been teaching for a long time. Literally half of my life. But I've only been running a teaching business for 2 years. At the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing. I still don't really, but what I have learned over these past two years is what I'm excellent at, what I'm okay at, and what I suck at. These things are directly proportionate to where my passions and interests lie. I'm not going to get into too many personal details, but just to give you an example:


I absolutely love teaching children, and I'm excellent at it.

I don't mind teaching adults, and I'm okay at it.

I hate dealing with numbers (a.k.a money), and I suck at it.


A tiny bit of personal info - during these past 2 and a bit years, I've found myself burned out, exhausted, stressed and sometimes wanting to give everything up and just go and find a normal job in a normal school. But then when one of my young students tells me, "Claire your lessons are so fun!", I understand that I don't want to just give my business up, but I do need to make some changes to it.


I've made a choice, and that choice is to benefit my students, myself, and my business. My choice is that from January 2024, I am going to focus 100% of my business (aka my time, energy and money) on teaching children. I am not doing any favors to my adult clients if I am not dedicating 100% of my energy to them. I've offered them solutions to continue learning English, I'm not just dumping them on the side of the road, if you will, but I need to focus my time and energy where I really want it to be. If you're interested in following my progress, you can follow me on Instagram at claire_teaches_kids. I will continue writing this blog, but from the New Year, there will be another shift in my language. I'm going to start focusing more on writing to parents of young children, rather than directly to adults learning English. If that's not you, please don't feel bad if you unsubscribe or don't want to read my posts anymore. I totally understand!

 

Okay, tangent master Claire, and my English learning?


Okay so I needed to give you this premise before I give you my final piece of advice for the year. It's quite simple, there's no rocket science going on here, just simple, adult to adult advice. It can be applied to all areas of your life, not just learning a language, but I'm no psychologist or life coach, so I'll just tell you how it can help your language learning.


If you hate studying English, but you need to improve your level for work or personal reasons, take a minute to answer these questions to yourself.


Do you hate studying English, or do you hate the way you're studying English?

Maybe you're studying alone, or just trying to memorize grammar out of a book, or doing group lessons. Is that the right study method for you? Ask yourself - how would you really like to be learning (alone, 1-1 or group, in presence or online, conversation or grammar, etc. etc.)? Maybe your answer will surprise you. And if the way you would really like to learn isn't what you're doing, then CHANGE it. Now.


Do you feel like you're "bad at English" or "not making any progress"?

I hear this ALL THE TIME from my adult clients. And I always try to remind them how far they've come, but it's not always easy to get someone else to see their progress, especially because progress in learning a language is not always tangible. If this is how you feel, you need to go read this post on setting goals, because more likely than not, you've set some kind of unrealistic goal for yourself (even subconsciously)! If you set realistic goals that you are able to achieve in short amounts of time, you will definitely regain your motivation and confidence in yourself!


Where do you want to be on your English learning journey in 12 months?

Imagine yourself at the end of 2024. What would you like to have completed in relation to your English learning? PLEASE DON'T SAY, "I want to speak perfectly" or "I want to be 100% fluent" or "I want to speak like a native". Those goals are too general. Think about more concrete, tangible things. For example, "I want to have passed this test so I can get this position at work", or "I want to be able to read my child bedtime stories in English and have good (not perfect!) pronunciation", or "I want to be able to order a coffee in a bar in the U.K. when I go in May without feeling like a dumbass". These are realistic goals. Once you've got that image, now all you need is a plan to get there. Read this post if you missed it on how to achieve your language learning goals.

 

That's all from me today...and forever! Haha just kidding, I'm not going anywhere, but as I mentioned earlier, the focus of this blog is going to change, so if you are an adult learning English for themselves, I hope some of my posts have helped you (I'd love to hear from you in the comments if so!). If you have kids, keep following me, and if you don't, I wish you the best of luck on your language learning journey. Remember, perfection doesn't exist, and there is no such thing as "speaking perfect English".

 

Glossary


  • a broken record: an expression used to refer to a person's constant and annoying repetition of a particular statement or opinion

  • behind the scenes: in this context, an expression (taken from theatre or cinema) to talk about what happens out of the public eye

  • to run [something]: to be in charge of something, to manage, to direct

  • to get into something]: to start talking about something

  • to suck at [something]: not vulgar, but almost - synonym for "to be bad at something"

  • to be burned out: in this context - to be so tired that you want to give up doing something

  • if you will: used to say that a particular expression is one way of saying something, especially to suggest that some people may not choose to say it that way

  • more likely than not: a fancy synonym for "probably"

  • dumbass: a not so nice way to say stupid



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