How do you start to learn English? The first step for being a highly effective business person.

How do you start to learn English? The first step for being a highly effective business person.

(Updated on 2020/12/06)

Today’s objective: Start to learn English from where you can and use English ALL THE TIME.
I will teach you about some free leaning sites and apps.

I often think about what it means to be a highly effective business person and how to become one.
I believe being able to use English is one of the easiest ways to do so.

Of course, I need English skills if I want to attract any foreign customers.

It would be great to have so many customers across the globe!!

Recently, Japanese companies require you to be able to use English to get promoted.

I guess some people think they don’t need to get promoted. Their work may be stressful as it is, and they don’t want to add on the responsibility for a higher position, which could be stressful, boring, bothersome, and demanding.

I can understand those opinions. But they should ask themselves why their job is so stressful. The answer is that they are struggling in their life since they don’t have enough information.

Anyone can search jobs and read the listings regardless of their nationality, but obviously one needs to be able to read the listing in the language it is written in. There are stress-free jobs with a good work-life balance out there, but the problem is finding them. So I think learning English can be a big help in finding the perfect job.

For those just beginning to learn English, I think they should start with this simple method: constantly expose yourself to English and try to pick up on vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.
I know it can be difficult getting started, but if you work at it you’ll find it getting easier and easier.

So, how should one get started learning English? And how much should it cost?

I recommend learning English for FREE, or alternatively for a very small amount with paid services. It’s very easy to find free or cheap materials, especially in the Information Age.

Here is a basic path to follow.

  1. Find fun activities using English and get rid of your aversion to English
  2. Know your level of English ability
  3. Find some good study materials
  4. Start learning
    Work on grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation all at the same time. But if you want to follow some order, I’d recommend pronunciation into grammar into vocabulary.

Find fun activities using English and get rid of your aversion to English

Some people just don’t like having to use English. But, I think there must be at least one thing they do like that requires it, like watching foreign shows on TV, YouTube, or Netflix. Or maybe their hobbies include reading, listing to music or podcasts, or singing karaoke. Even trips to the museum or simply meeting new people can become an opportunity to use English.

Learning English is much more enjoyable if it’s as part of a hobby one enjoys. But, if introducing English to a hobby is uncomfortable, I can suggest another method.

Know your level of English ability

For those people who don’t know their level, I’d suggest taking a TOEIC practice exam. It’s a good way for learners to assess their ability. Knowing your ability is important. Without knowing the level, it’s hard to find suitable study materials. Also, the score from other index exams like TOEFL and STEP (Eiken) can be translated into ability assessments at the URL below.

各資格・検定試験とCEFRとの対照表 – 文部科学省

CEFR対照表 – 旺文社 教育情報センター

Find some good study materials

Any materials are fine as long as they have the correct information. (By the way, if you’re not sure if your study materials are correct, feel free to drop me a message on the contact form or to my twitter ID!)

In fact, it might be better to invest some time into finding good materials. It will not take long, as the internet is full of free guides on learning English. Also, if you like learning English from books, I’ll upload an article on some recommendations soon, so look forward to that!

Recommend materials

It’s fine if your study materials are in Japanese, but it’s even better if they are in English.

If you received a score under 300 for the TOEIC (honestly, my first score was 345), you can start with the lowest level materials. Please have the confidence to learn English. The only way to go is up!

: Free English Grammar Lessons | Oxford Online

: English Grammar | British Council

  • Get an English dictionary (English to English dictionary is the best)

You have to have an English dictionary book or a site or an app with audio. Audio is necessary because you can listen to the correct pronunciation. Listening to the original pronunciation and mimicking it is fundamental when learning a language.

英辞郎 on the web( EOW)

APP is available

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

APP is available

Start learning

You can start learning either way you like. But my recommendation is to go from pronunciation to grammar to vocabulary.   

  • Grammar

Study from just one source. After finishing, move on to the next step’s material. You can advance from one level to the next!

It takes a little bit of time and you have to keep it up.

  • Pronunciation
  1. Listen to native English vocabulary or speech.

A sentence with three words is a good start that you can build from.

  • Pronounce as close as you can and record yourself
  • Listen to your voice
  • Correct your pronunciation by listening to the correct native voice
  • Vocabulary
  1. List the things in your room in English, write them one by one on sticky notes, and stick them on the thing itself. (Example: Put a sticky note that says “book” on a book) After that, while spending time in the room, when you see the word, pronounce it. (It is good to check the native audio source once to imitate when practicing your pronunciation)
  2. Buy a vocabulary book that suits your level and memorize it. When memorizing, look up the word in an English dictionary and listen to the pronunciation.
  3. Read a simple English book and take notes if you come across a word you don’t understand. You can then look it up in an English dictionary later.
  4. Write a three-sentence diary in English. You need to look up the words you want to write so it’s a good way to learn vocabulary.
  5. Read an English article and list the words you don’t understand. And you can look them up in an English dictionary later.
  6. Listen to English podcasts and YouTube to list and look up unknown words.
  7. Actively use English vocabulary that you have newly learned.

My recommendation is use English that produces output, such as writing and speaking. The brain recognizes that the English you are using is necessary and tries to memorize it.

Learning English is quite hard at the beginning, but when one is first learning they necessarily have a narrow point of view. You may only see the tip of the iceberg right now, so let’s look underneath the surface!

At the end, you’ll be able to see the wide world in English. What kind of view will be there?



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