Feeling Stuck in Your English? Here’s Why & How to Fix It.

Jan 18, 2017 | 38 comments

Do you agree with any of these comments and feelings about English?

  • In English, “the language is stuck in mouth, I cannot express myself to people.”
  • “I’m afraid that my English level isn’t enough to speak fluently.”
  • “When it comes to talk, I start searching for my words and lose my confidence.”
  • “I can’t learn, I never remember new vocabulary.”
  • “My English is frozen. What can I do?”
  • “I’ve been studying for many years but i feel that i need more practice to maintain my level and also to increase it from intermediate to advanced level.”

If you said yes, sometimes you feel the same about your English, it’s okay. These are comments I’ve received from students all over the world. Feeling stuck is frustrating and discouraging. Sometimes, you might want to give up.

Here’s the good news: I can help you fix it.

Today you and I are going to speak honestly about why you might be stuck at your level in English. I’ll give you 3 of the most common reasons for getting stuck. And then you’ll learn real strategies for success to help you advance your English.

Whether you want to have conversations with your neighbors more easily, present information in business meetings successfully, talk to your international colleagues on the telephone without thinking too much, or build your phrasal verb vocabulary… whatever your goal might be, these strategies will help you.

And then, as a special bonus, I’ve also shared with you some tips from students who have made serious progress in their English.

Recently I asked the question: “What is your number tip for improving your English?” And many students answered with what has helped them the most in their English. Use these tips for ideas on how you can begin to move forward.

If you’re feeling stuck in your English today, let’s fix it!

How to get unstuck in your English. Step-by-step.
Lesson by Annemarie

Now that you’ve watched the video, I’d like to know: what is the number 1 reason you’re stuck in English? And how can you fix it?

Share with me your ideas. You can tell me about it in the comments section below. I’d be happy to help you take a step forward to advance your English and get unstuck!

Get Unstuck in English: Advice from other Confident English Students

If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at these ideas and pieces of advice from students who have made serious progress in their English.

Over the past year, many in the Confident English Community have made significant progress in their English. I recently asked some of them for their number 1 tip to help you improve your English.

Take a few minutes to read their advice. You might find a great idea to help get you started so you can break free of feeling stuck in English.

Tanya: In my opinion, the only effective thing to achieve or improve English fluency is practice. You need to make English a part of your everyday life! The most important thing is to practice regularly, just for 10 or 15 minutes but every day. I use every free minute to do something in English. For example, I listen to different English podcasts every morning while I’m walking my dog. I have a tradition to read something in English before I go to sleep. I usually watch something in English while I’m running on a track.
Olga: “I can’t offer any new or original tip to make your speech more fluent and not to feel stuck – only practice! The more the better! Reading is the best activity to boost vocabulary, listening helps you to understand people and improve pronunciation, and speaking transforms your theoretical knowledge into practice. I’m sure if you get this “cocktail” every day even in little “portion” you’ll breakthrough.” 🙂
Emilia: After 5 months living in the US, I think practice every day has helped me. If you don’t have a partner, read out loud to practice the pronunciation, you can also listen to podcasts and try to record yourself talking about what you understood. It’s important to do activities that challenge yourself, for example, record yourself talking in English and then you can see what you need to improve if it is grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation!
Rafif: For me, I have noticed that I need to engage in a class to learn new things, what I mean by learning here is to get to know new vocabularies and grammar and to fix them in my memory. After that, I need practice (speaking, listening, writing) to use what I have learned in a good way.
Maria: Well, my tip is – binge-watch as many series as you can, of course, if you have plenty of free time. 🙂  But do it without subtitles, coz when you have subtitles you always try to read and follow them and that’s too easy and very bad for your eyes! So, try to get everything with the help of your ears (don’t know how to say it in another way, sorry! We’ll look it up later) and that way you will sharpen your listening skills plus you will get the real language, the one natives speak! It’s what you need! And if you don’t know some words or don’t get some phrases, it’s ok, you can make a little break, it’s the internet;), and try to find the words or phrases in your dictionary, again try to catch the phrase by ear (found!;) and then look it up! In 80% of cases I find it, so will you! There is a great chance you will remember the phrase, coz of all the concentration and desire you have to know what they are talking about in the movie!!
Michaela: At the very beginning, I decided to learn English because of music lyrics. Today I am still the biggest music fan 😉 and I am still learning new words from lyrics of songs I love. For me, it is like I don’t even learn, it is fun for me. And because new words I learned from lyrics are used in sentences, it is always easier to remember them. So, if I am not counting down Anne Marie Fowler’s fluency challenges, today, learning lyrics are the coolest way to learn something new for me.
Anastacia: There are a lot of tricks that I use. But I want to share my top tip. If you learn a new word, a new phrase or some grammar, you should use it the same day. For example, maybe write a comment on Facebook or an email, tell your friend or relative about it. You should connect with this word, phrase or idea emotionally. It will stick to you very soon. And revise it a couple of days!!!

For example, I knew the phrase embrace the suck before. Recently, I saw it again. I wanted to share it with you guys. I wrote about it. Anne Marie Fowler, you wrote the comment, “It is very impressive that you know this phrase.” I had a vivid connection with this phrase. It sticks to me. Now when I feel like I do not wanna do something. I just said to myself. Embrace the suck and the job should be done!!! hahaha.

Reem: I agree with Olga, these things are the best way to develop. And also I think teaching others [can help]. From what I have learned it is a good idea. It will let you look for more and to communicate with native speakers so they can help you. And you can develop yourself if have the desire to do that.
Thank you, Olga, Reem, Emilia, Rafif, Tanya, Maria, Anastasia, and Michaela for sharing your Number 1 Tip, the strategy that has helped you make the most improvement in your English. I appreciate your courage in sharing and I’m impressed by your hard work in English!
Now, I’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to share with me what you’re doing now – in English – to advance your fluency. What has helped you get unstuck? Share with me in the comments below.

As always, you can also ask questions or leave your feedback in the comments section below.

Thank you for joining me for your Confident English Wednesday. I’ll see you next week!

– Annemarie

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