BALTIMORE, USA – Do you play golf?
Neither do I.
Not enough explosions.
But I read something interesting about golf yesterday.
Did you know that when amateurs practice they spend most of their time on the driving range? This is because 1) they want to hit the ball far and impress their friends, and 2) it’s fun.
But what does the pro do?
He spends most of his time on what’s called “the short game.” It’s more difficult and not as fun, but it’s where most of the game is played and small improvements here will have bigger improvements on the score card.
This is such a great metaphor: it’s so true in so many areas of life.
But we’re here for English, so the question for you is, what area of English are you not practicing enough? What skill will give you the greatest results?
Most students will say “speaking.”
But I would then ask, Is speaking most of conversation?
I mean, when you’re with a person, or in a group, are you speaking 80% of the time?
You shouldn’t be.
The short game of conversation is listening.
And guess what? When your listening improves, so does your speaking.
This is the secret weapon of babies.
Adults look at a five-year-old American kid and get depressed because he can speak better. But the adult wasn’t listening to English every day for five years.
Linguists call this “the silent period.”
Polyglots like Steve Kaufman, Oly Richards and Lydia Machova consider it part of their daily routines.
Here’s Konrad Jerzak Vel Dobosz, who speaks 10+ languages, “If we want to learn to speak a language well, we need to listen to it a lot.” (The Secrets of Polyglots)
And if you’d like a step-by-step plan to understand native speakers, as well as advanced techniques to understand every accent, the correct way to watch English TV, and solutions to the six most common understanding problems, now you can inside my new advanced course.
Click the link below to learn how to get it.