Lesson Transcript

Hey everyone, welcome to the Monthly Review!
The monthly show on language learning.
Where you discover new learning strategies, motivational tips, new study tools, and discover new resources.
By the way, all the free lessons and bonuses you’re about to see can be downloaded on our website.
Click the link in the description right now in to sign up for your free lifetime account.
Okay, today’s topic is:
A Brutally Honest Way to Improve Your Language
You’re going to learn:
One: Why Tests Are Actually Crucial for Language Progress
And Two: How You Can Put Yourself to the Test.
So, if you’re learning on your own and feel like you’re not making any learning progress, it’s likely you’re taking it too easy. You’re not reaching your full potential. So, an outside motivator, like a test, can and will fire up you up to get better. You’ll discover how in just a second.
But first, listen up. Here are this month’s new lessons and resources.
First — Can you talk about your home?
WIth the brand new “My House” PDF Cheat Sheet
You’ll be able to talk about your home and everything inside - furniture, the different kinds of rooms and much more. Download it for free right now.
Second — If you love travel, then you’ll love this. The brand new travel words and phrases PDF eBook. Learn all the must-know travel phrases with this ebook. Download it for free right now.
Third — Useful Bank Vocabulary
This 1-minute lesson gives you all the must-know bank vocabulary, so you can start talking about money in your target language.
And fourth — School Vocabulary
Can you talk about your school? And the degree you have? This 1-minute lesson will teach you to do just that.
To get your free resources, click the link in the description below right now. They’re yours to keep forever. Ok, let’s jump into today’s topic:
A Brutally Honest Way to Improve Your Language
So, if you’re learning a language on your own, do you ever feel like you’re just coasting through without making real progress?
Then it’s possible that you’re taking it a bit too easy.
So, what should you do?
Part 1: Why Tests Are Crucial for Language Progress
So, the quick answers are: one: Tests give you an honest assessment of your language skills and, Two: Motivation.
But let’s break these down in full.
So, If you’ve ever enrolled in a language school or took a language class, you have to take a placement test. And based on your results, the teachers see where you stand and place you into an appropriate class. So, you can learn what’s appropriate for your level.
Plus, there is ongoing assessment: Like weekly quizzes and tests every month. So, what’s the big deal about tests and quizzes? Even though some of us don’t like tests...
...tests give you an honest assessment of your language skills in specific ways. If you fail the listening part, you know your weakness is there. If you forgot a grammar pattern, now you know you need to practice it more.
But if you were learning alone, you might not get such an opportunity, right?
And, you may not even know the mistakes you’re making in your studies right now. You don’t know what pieces you might be missing. But tests give you an opportunity to check your actual language skills. And they give you a brutal reality check.
Now, the second benefit of tests is motivation. Think about it. As a self learner, no one else is going to push you to do your best.
And for most people, we like to take it easy. So, when you’re wondering why you’re not fluent yet… but you’ve been coasting along, learning words here and there, without actually testing your limits… well that’s the thing: you haven’t been actually testing and pushing yourself at all.
And that’s what tests do is, they give you that challenge. That urgency to improve. That motivation. There’s a specific date and time of the test. You have to be ready by that deadline. Just think back to a night before a test. You felt the urgency back then. You were motivated to pass.
So, this is exactly why a lot of self-learners, take a proficiency test. It gives them something to aim for. Something to be motivated about. Something to achieve.
Now, tests are NOT the complete answer to language learning, but they do give you a way to assess yourself, and give you a challenge.
So, what can you do as a self learner?
Part 2: How You Can Put Yourself to the Test
But first, before you worry about failing, it’s not about passing or failing, this is about getting an honest assessment of your progress.
Now, the first and most obvious thing you can do is… sign up for a language proficiency test. There are many kinds of proficiency tests available so you can pick the right one for you. By signing up, you now have the added pressure and motivation to improve. Something that’s hard to do on your own.
The 2nd way is, if you’re a Premium PLUS member on our website, then you get weekly assignments that put you to the test. These assignments are graded and you get feedback from your teacher, so you know what to do to improve and how.
The 3rd way is to come back and review.
Once you’re done with a lesson or a pathway, download the dialog tracks, and review them at a later date. See how much you can understand. This tests your listening, plus your vocab and grammar. For speaking, record yourself with our voice recording tool and compare yourself with the native pronunciation.
Remember, you can always self-test by coming back and seeing how much you understand.
The 4th way is to test yourself with a harder lesson.
Think of it as trying to lift a heavier weight at the gym to see if you can do it.
You can do this for reading, speaking and listening. Simply go to a higher level, like Intermediate or Advanced... and try a lesson.
With reading, you can also try our higher level Extensive Reading Books.
Again, remember, with all of this, the goal here is NOT a pass or fail result. The goal is to get an honest assessment of your language skills. What you know and what you don’t know.
If you realize that you’re mispronouncing a certain word, now you know how to correct it.
If you can only understand 50% of a lesson, well that means is, you should review it, until you get to 100%.
If you don’t understand a lesson dialogue at all - which is where most people get intimidated - make it a goal to master the dialogue. Give yourself a goal to aim for.
And if you can’t read as smoothly as you had hoped, all it means is that you should give it a few more tries, until you’re better.
All right everyone, in the last monthly review, we asked you to submit a video or audio file of yourself speaking the language -- introducing yourself or talking about your country in the language.
So, thank you to all of you that sent in submissions! You’ve all received a Premium PLUS subscription as a reward.
Now let’s take a look at some of the videos!
So, which entry did you like the best? Leave a comment below.
Or, do you think you can do better?
Here’s the challenge for you. Yes, everyone watching this.
Record a 30 second to 1 minute video or audio clip.
Tell us about where you are from,
...and you’ll win a 1 month Premium PLUS subscription!
To submit, click on the link in the description.
Sign up for your free lifetime account.
Then fill out the form.
Attach the audio or video file.
And press submit.
We may feature you in next month’s episode. So, a lot of learners will see you and your progress, and will hopefully get inspired to improve and master the language.
To submit a recording, click the link in the description and follow the instructions on the page.
So, thank you for watching this episode of Monthly Review
Next time, we’ll talk about:
The 7 Minute 7 Second Rule to Language Learning Success
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And, if you’re ready to finally learn language the fast, fun and easy way and start speaking from your very first lesson, get our complete learning program. Sign up for your free lifetime account right now. Click the link in the description."
See you next time! Bye!