wake up. shower. coffee. run to university or work. eat something. go to the gym. go home and walk the dog (or play with the kids). make dinner. do more work or homework. answer messages. watch Netflix. fall asleep on the couch. go to bed. repeat.
Does this sound something like you? Would you like to insert "study English" into your hectic schedule but you just can't find the time? Or do you already study English but don't feel that you're improving? Then keep reading. This post is going to give you some tips on how to fit English into your busy schedule, even if it's only a few extra minutes a week!
Where there's a will there's a way...
My mom always uses this phrase, and it basically means if you want something badly enough, you'll find a way to get it, no matter how long it takes. But just wanting something badly doesn't necessarily mean that you'll get it, you have to act, and unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in the day and that means we often have a very limited amount of time that we can act upon our hopes and dreams - work, family and social obligations usually come first. So that's why I'm going to give you 5 ways to get some English into your every day routine, and they all take less than 5 minutes!
Use apps like duolingo , Busuu or MyWordbook- there are many free apps that are designed to help you learn, and you can spend as much or as little time using them as you want! Remember, 5 minutes every day is a great place to start.
Listen to a song (in English of course) while reading the lyrics. If you like singing, maybe try singing along! The level up to this exercise would be writing down (in your notebook or in your phone) all the words you don't know and then looking them up in the dictionary.
Need to cook something? Look for a recipe in English! This is a great way to learn new (and often strange) words that might not come up in your English lessons or work conversations. Don't worry, you don't need to follow English or American recipes, haha! GialloZafferano is now also available in English! If you really do want to follow an American recipe, check out this website: MyRecipes.
Games are for kids only? Absolutely not! This game is so much fun, and it only takes 3 minutes. But I bet you'll keep challenging yourself and end up playing more than one round: WordShake.
Do you commute? Do you feel like you're just wasting your time in your car or on the bus, metro, etc.? This last idea is longer than 5 minutes but it's still a great way to get some extra English into your routine: instead of trying to schedule an hour lesson (in person or online), why not schedule a 30 or 45 minute "phone call" in English to have while you travel to or from work? You can of course ask your English teacher if that's something they do (I have lessons like this with my busiest students), or you can use websites like iTalki where you can schedule in advance or even last minute, making it very comfortable when you have a crazy schedule that is constantly changing.
It's really that simple! If you have more time to dedicate to your language learning or are just looking for some extra motivation to incorporate English into your life, then this post has a few extra ideas. Remember, where there's a will there's a way, so challenge yourself and see if you can start with 5 minutes per day, then move up to 10 or even 15 you can!
hectic: crazy, frenetic
level up: videogame slang for "to do something better"
come up: phrasal verb for "to happen/occur/appear"
commute: to travel to work or university (verb) - can also be used as a noun - "she has a long commute to work every day".