How to Study or Learn English as a Second Language PLAN

First step " Choose your Goal" for learning English as a Second Language

Goals are your motivation. Goals can remind you of purpose and direction. Why do you need English as a second or third language. What do you wish to accomplish with English as a second language? Studying ESL requires thousands of hours of real effort - you need motivation and endurance to be able to study or work using the English language with native speakers.

Top 15 Goals for studying English as a second language

  • Immigrate into an English speaking country
  • Get hired at a first job
  • Be hired at a better company
  • Be promoted in your company
  • Sell and market your products to English speaking countries
  • Be able to operate a business completely in English.
  • Publish an authoritative business, scientific journal article in English
  • Be admitted and study in a North American university.
  • Be admitted and study in a North American university graduate program.
  • Travel independently in English speaking countries.
  • As an Artist, perform for English speaking audiences
  • Enjoy entertainment produced by English speaking artists
  • Use English instructions for computer applications. Surf the net in English
  • Score 950 on the Toeic test or 280 on the new Toefl exam
  • Study English Literature in the original text

Second step: "Select the best Learning Methods" - how you learn most efficiently

Examples of questions to determine "how you learn best"

  • What English can you learn the most while studying alone?
  • What English can you learn the most studying in a group?
  • Can you listen once and remember the pronunciation and vocabulary?
  • Does it help to see pictures of nouns or action verbs demonstrated?
  • Do you have to write and repeat words to memorize vocabulary?
  • How many times and ways must you use a word to "know" its proper context?
  • How often do you have to repeat lessons?
  • Can you create and use mnemonics to remember lists
  • Can you benefit using accelerated English language learning methods
  • Does music or games help you to relax making learning easier?

Third step "Form a Plan" use the best learning stages to reach study Goals

An example of a two year study plan with four stages to learn English:

  • (First stage - 6 months)
    Start with picture dictionaries to begin vocabulary, use the ESL in Canada 1000 most used word list as the initial core vocabulary, start to study pronunciation by watching English TV, listen to taped conversations, for 1 - 2 hours each day.
  • (Second stage - 6 months)
    Add grammar, see the ESL in Canada Grammar Blog for 10 most important English Grammar points, start to study English punctuation, spelling, vocabulary studies, start to read newspapers/magazines, begin a vocabulary diary for 1 - 2 hours each day
  • (Third stage - 6 months)
    Add one hour of English conversation classes everyday for 6 months, review grammar and vocabulary, add to vocabulary diary each day.
  • (Fourth stage - 6 months)
    Travel to Canada for 400 hours of English conversation classes, perform some volunteer work, take a special interest course and travel using English.
  • (After the Two Year Plan)
    Continuing ESL education program with one English conversation class per week or start your own English Conversation Club, watch English News on TV, read English newspapers

Fourth step "create a Cost & Benefit Analysis for your Plan"

  • What FREE English learning resources are available on the internet?
  • What FREE English learning resources are at the library, community or cultural centers?
  • What FREE English Learning clubs offer conversation classes?
  • What FREE English Language exchange clubs offer conversation classes?
  • Compare the costs of books, texts, tapes, Cd's for self-study.
  • Analyze the cost of instruction by tutors in a small group of 3 or 4
  • Analyze the cost of instruction at local English schools
  • Analyze costs of foreign travel and accommodation to study English abroad.

Fifth step "Start your Plan"

Link for help with free learn English resources and to plan your trip to study English as a second language in Canada {or USA} use our registration form to tell us what you require.


Need help with your Plan?

Use the following chart and Answer questions with a %
How do you like to study?
By yourself
One partner
Small groups
Large groups
What learning materials do you like to use?
audio CD's or cassettes
DVD's, videos or television
CALL and interactive computer programs
picture dictionaries
ESL workbooks
regular subject text books
newspapers, magazines
Conversation Practice
group pronunciation drills
Conversations with native speakers
Low structure ESL student conversation
High structure ESL teacher talk

Link for help with free learn English resources and to plan your trip to study English as a second language in Canada {or USA} use our registration form to tell us what you require.

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