Dear ‘English Language Coaching’ blog-reader!
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(Downloadable PDF version + MP3: At the bottom of the article you’ll find a PDF version + MP3 audio of native delivery of text which contains a glossary explaining the trickier and less-common words/expressions in the article)
Hello…hope you are very well!
In this educationally entertaining series of articles we are going to discuss the following question…
Why is it so important to know how to reach an advanced level of English in order to actually reach an advanced level of English?
To be honest, if you read that question and thought…
But, it’s obvious that knowing how to reach an advanced level of English is important for actually reaching an advanced level of English!
It does seem like common-sense that you need to know how to do something in order to do it.
Do you actually know how to reach an advanced level of English?
Now I really, really don’t mean that in a reproachful way 🙂
I mean to be honest, I understand that it is probably not the sort of thing most people do think about and for many years it was definitely not something I really thought about!
But, if you are someone who is in the process of trying to reach a more advanced level of English but, despite your efforts, feels stuck and unable to make progress, I just want you to consider this…
Is the fact that you are not sure how to reach an advanced level of fluency, possibly the main reason why you haven’t reached an advanced level of fluency?
Here’s my opinion…
My opinion: Lack of an effective English advancement strategy is one of the main reasons why a lot of people fail to make that shift from upper-intermediate English to advanced level English.
Again, doesn’t sound like a big revelation.
But, since founding the company in 2009, the majority of people we meet in our free 20-min online consultations share the following characteristics:
1. They want to reach an advanced* level of English
2. They had been trying to reach an advanced level for quite some time before contacting us.
(*Note: If you grade the level of most of the learners we meet in our consultations using the typical academic assessment criteria of English language examinations, language schools etc., then at least 90% of those people actually already possess a strong ‘intermediate’ to ‘advanced’ level of English. However, they measure their proficiency against native speakers and the English used in their working lives in ‘real’ contexts. The conclusion? An advanced level determined by ‘academic’ criteria is different from the ‘real’ advanced level we help people push towards).
But, even though most English learners we meet want to reach a more advanced level and are actually in the process of trying to advance, they normally share two more characteristics:
1. They have not been following any particular ‘plan’ of action for reaching an advanced level.
2. They do not really think that much about how to actually reach an advanced level.
Since founding the company in 2009, nobody has ever said to us in a consultation:
‘I contacted you guys because I want to learn how to reach an advanced level of English’
Most people usually say something along the lines of:
I want to improve my English
I want to speak English at a more advanced level.
And one nice lady actually said…
I am so %$£”!!!!!! off with my English!
(Note: Just to reassure you she used the ‘p’ word not the ‘f’ word. And she said it just like a native speaker. It was a beautiful moment)
This is totally normal. And fine.
(Note: Not the using the ‘p’ word. We mean we think it is fine that most people are not contacting us specifically to find out how to reach an advanced level; even though we think it’s pretty important).
Because being honest, it is not the sort of thing people think about.
We understand that people just want the result (i.e. the advanced level).
The ‘knowing how to reach an advanced level’ part?
Erm. Not so important.
But, here’s the thing….it is important.
Because whether or not you reach an advanced level will essentially, at some point, come down to your efforts as an autonomous learner.
Sure, we can help you.
We offer more than a bit of ‘assistance’. Work with us and you’ll see that the advancement of your English literally becomes our project. We are proud of the results we have achieved with the people we work with.
But, obviously you will not work with us forever.
(Note: Technically, not 100% true. Potentially, depending on our availability over the next few millennia, you could work with us forever. But, that would be a bit weird. For you and for us)
And we know that some skills and areas take a bit of longer-term refining.
The good news is that a lot of these areas and skills which require a bit more long-term work can be improved by yourself if you have the right strategy.
This is why, while upgrading your English during the coaching process, we also set you up with a longer-term strategy to be applied by yourself after you have finished working with us.
So, yes, anyway, let me sublimely bring us full-circle to the main point of this article by unskillfully plonking the main point in front of you again…
Lack of an effective advancement strategy is one of the main reasons why a lot of people fail to make that big shift from upper-intermediate English to advanced level English.
So, I’ve said that about two or three times now (or maybe more).
If I say it again, you’ll get impatient.
And maybe a bit frustrated like that nice lady who used the ‘p’ word (not the ‘f’ word) in our consultation.
So…no more faffing about!
In part 2 of this series of articles we will start getting a bit ‘deeper’ and look at the following two things:
Thing 1: What is an ‘effective English language advancement’ plan?
Thing 2: Why is having an ‘effective advancement’ plan so crucial?
That’s it for today.
See you in part 2! 🙂
P.S. Interested in finding more about how we can help you reach a more advanced level of English fluency?
1. Arrange a free consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Download our PDF info-pack: ELC (Info-pack)
We look forward to meeting you!