To learn English, or any other skill, follow “The Mastery Formula”.
What is the mastery formula? Well, I follow a very basic “mastery formula” whenever I’m determined to truly master a skill. For example, I use this formula for Business, for Music, and for Health.
Here’s The Learning Formula for Mastery:
1. Find an OUTSTANDING coach, mentor, role model, or teacher.
2. Practice “CANI” (Constant And Never-ending Improvement)
3. Learn Intensely
(Alternate & Repeat 2 and 3 forever)
That’s it! Very simple but extremely powerful!
The first step to mastering anything is to find a truly outstanding coach or role model or teacher. This is actually not easy. Most teachers (by definition) are mediocre or “average”. In fact, I’ve found that in every field of study I have pursued, 99% of the teachers range from bad to mediocre to “good”.
Obviously you don’t want a bad teacher… but neither do you want mediocre or merely “good”. Such teachers tend to all use the same methods and the same materials. They have the same basic ideas about teaching English (or anything else). With English, you find this everywhere: teachers everywhere using the same textbook-based methods of teaching… the same drill, exercise, memorize methods.
But it’s not just English. With music, I found the same thing. Most guitar teachers, for example, use the same basic methods. It took me one year to find a truly outstanding bass guitar teacher. This is normal– it takes time to find an OUTSTANDING teacher,… you need to search patiently.
When you evaluate teachers, it’s important to remember that Teaching is a separate skill from Performing. In other words, just because someone is a native speaker and has a Phd. in English does NOT mean they are a good teacher. I found this with guitar teachers– there are a lot of great guitar players who are terrible guitar teachers.
Teaching is a distinct skill. Look for a teacher that has their own powerful teaching system… not just a collection of textbooks. Look for teachers who are very energetic- who make you feel excited about learning. Psychology is 80% of success, so you need a teacher who will inspire you and keep your motivation strong!
Once you have found your truly remarkable teacher, you should employ two different learning approaches. One is called CANI (Constant And Never-ending Improvement). This is the same as the Japanese idea of “kaizen”– it means focusing on making very tiny improvements constantly– every day. This is a very easy, gradual, and consistent approach to learning. Basically, you practice/learn for an hour a day and each day you try to make at least a tiny improvement.
CANI/Kaizen is very powerful over time. You start with a few tiny improvements, and keep improving a little bit each day… and suddenly you build momentum… and the improvements grow larger and faster. Its a very powerful process.
However, slow & consistent improvement is not enough. Occasionally we also need to learn very intensely. For example, every 3-5 months do a 4 week super-intensive– where you study/listen to English for 5 or more hours every single day. The goal is to overwhelm your brain with English… but only for a short 4 week period. After 4 weeks, you return to a more gradual “CANI” approach.
And that’s all you need to do: Find and Keep your OUTSTANDING teacher. Then alternate between periods of steady and gradual study (CANI) and periods of very intense learning (Intensives).
Learn English using the Mastery Formula and you will learn much faster and will enjoy your learning more.