How To Improve Your English With An Integrated Learning System
Most English students use only one method of study and develop only one major skill which means that even though they can read fairly well, they don’t understand what they hear in English or have trouble speaking.
But to truly communicate clearly in English, you need to develop all of these primary and sub-skills:
So, I want to teach you a simple yet effective way to develop all of these skills simultaneously.
I call it an Integrated Learning System, and all you need are…
2 Simple Tools To Learn And Improve Your Language Skills
Yep, you don’t need to run out to buy expensive or fancy English books to get started. So, what do you need exactly?
1. Audio – to listen to and practice your pronunciation
2. Text – to see how the words are written and look up the meanings
And if you have the translation of that text in your mother tongue it is helpful because you can compare it to what you are studying. But it’s not absolutely necessary.
So, where can you find these kinds of magical resources to improve your English with the Integrated Learning System?
7 Resources To Get Audio & Text To Apply The Integrated Learning System
ESL Lessons – Most language learning materials already include audio and texts. So, you can immediately put old material from past English courses to use.
Podcasts w/Transcripts – Podcasts are audio recordings of people talking on the internet. And many of them include a written transcript on their blog.
Music w/Lyrics – Most people already enjoy listening to music. You can listen to the audio while following along with the lyrics.
Movies & Series w/Subtitles – And almost everyone likes watching movies. You can listen to the actors speaking and follow along with what they say with the subtitles.
Audiobooks (Kindle Unlimited) – Audiobooks are recordings of books that were first written. So, you can listen to them while following along with the text in the book. And you can often find a translation of the book in your mother tongue. You can listen to thousands of narrated books in Kindle Unlimited.
Bible – This is a form of audiobook, but we’ll put it in its own category here. You can download a version in your mother tongue and the language you want to learn. And use the audio to listen along. You can use an app like Youversion on your cell phone.
Mini-Stories – And of course, last but not least, you can listen to the mini-stories that I have written for my ESL students over the years. Many are on my youtube channel and others on Gumroad.
These are nice for beginners and low intermediate students because they are short and focus on specific vocabulary and grammar topics. Also you can use the questions and answers to develop your speaking skills.
So, pick any one of these resources that you have readily available and let’s get started on improving your English skills with the Integrated Learning System.
Let’s talk about how the Integrated Learning System works so you can start using it to improve your English.
You will need a way to play your audio files, and I highly recommend the VLC Player because it has 2 very useful features for English students
* A/B Looping – which allows you to focus on short sections of your audio
* Slow Down The Audio – which allows you to develop your skills easier
There may be other good audio players out there, but this is the one I use and it is free. So, if yours doesn’t have these two options, you can…
So, go ahead and get your audio, open it up in your audio player of choice and follow along with the text.
Now, let’s go ahead and talk about…
How To Apply The Integrated Learning System To Improve Your English Skills
You’re going to focus on each of the primary skills and sub-skills mentioned earlier, but not necessarily in their original order.
I’m going to tell you my preferred study structure, but you can mix them around and find what works best for you. You can also, focus more time on specific skills that you have trouble with. There is no one right way to apply the Integrated Learning System.
Just remember to continue cycling through each skill so that you develop your English skills in a balanced way so you can communicate effectively.
Here is my preferred order for studying audio and text with the Integrated Learning system.
Step 1: Reading – Read the text see how much you understand
Go ahead and read through the text 3 – 5 times. See how much you understand. Don’t worry about the entire text at this time. Break it down into smaller, bite-sized sections.
Step 2: Vocabulary – Underline the words that you don’t understand
As you read the text, underline the words that you don’t know or understand.
- Bold – Words you’ve never seen before
- Underline – Words you’ve seen but don’t remember what they mean
- Highlight – Words that you know, but don’t fit the context you learned them in
Step 3: Expressions – Learn words in context
A problem English students often face is that they learn random new words out of context and then don’t know how those words fit together
- Idiomatic Expressions
- Phrasal Verbs
Step 4: Listening – Listen to the text 3 – 5 times
Now, listen to the audio to learn the pronunciation of the words and phrases that you were reading. This will help you learn to say them correctly and reduce your accent in English.
Step 5: Grammar – Focus on the sentence structures
As you read and listen, pay particular attention the way the words are organized and used because this implicit learning is one of the best ways to learn English grammar. But feel free to look up any grammar questions or verb conjugations as needed.
- Sentence Structures
- Verb conjugations
- Question words
Step 6: Pronunciation – Practice To Reduce Your Egnlish Accent
Now that you’ve read and listened to the text, it’s time to practice your pronunciation to be a better speaker. Use the A/B looping feature on your audio player to focus on specific phrases.
- Listen to your audio while you read the text
- Repeat what you just heard and use your text prompt as needed
- Listen to the audio once again
- Repeat the phrase again to correct your pronunciation
Step 7: Writing – Transcribe your audio and compare the original
Listen to the audio and write the phrases that you hear. Slow down the audio and use the A/B looping to go transcribe the audio. This will help you focus and pay attention to the sounds you are hearing.
Once you finish transcribing a section of the audio, compare what you wrote with the original text. As you correct your own text, you will learn to spell the words correctly and write better in English.
Step 8: Speaking – Talk to someone and summarize what you learned
Fantastic! Now that you’ve learned the words and understand the text while improving your pronunciation, it’s time to put everything that you have learned into practice. It’s time to actually go out and speak in English.
Find a friend and tell them what you studied. You can summarize it for them and have them ask you questions about it. Or if they don’t speak English, you can teach them what you just learned.
The important thing is that you practice what you are learning so you don’t forget it.
Slides On Google Drive
Do you have questions?
If you have questions or feedback, let me know in the comments below.