Hey there! This is TOP episode 117. I’m Bored With English! What Now?

My name’s Ola and I am an English teacher. My goal is to help you start speaking English with confidence and get rid of speaking barriers. I believe it is achievable for you and it’s time you started speaking English fearlessly! Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Happy learning! 

What’s the difference between a  person who has learned English and a person who still struggles? The first was learning and most probably is still doing it. It’s as simple as that. Not talent, not privileges like money or supporting environment – parents for instance, not luck, really. You can have all of these and more but if you don’t do the work… If you don’t do your English daily you’re not gonna get there. No money in the world can get you there. 

Welcome back or just welcome! I hope this episode will plant a seed and you’ll give this topic a thought and take away an actionable solution. I do hope I can help you here. 

If you feel like you’d like to support my work please tell somebody about the Teacher Ola Podcast and share this episode somewhere on your social media platforms if possible. Become a member of TOPeople, receive worksheets right into your inbox. Go to teacherola.com/newsletter. 

Today we’re looking for a solution to being bored. The solution to the problem you created. I’m bored. I’m sorry to say that, but I gotta be honest with you. I love you so much, I care about you, I’m here because of you. You need to hear this. You won’t like it, but it’s a made-up problem. Fabricated problem. You’ve made it up! Well, your brain did it. 

Steven Pressfield calls it Resistance, with the capital ‘R’. The Resistance that stops you from doing your work. In the show notes at teacherola.com/117, I’ll leave the link to an interview with Steven Pressfield so that you can find out more about his insights. I’ve sent it to some of my students and they really liked it, found it beneficial. It’s like an… eye-opener. 

We are kinda good at telling lies to ourselves. I can’t afford a private teacher, I don’t have time, I’m not good at languages. This is all crap! Pardon my language, but this must be said. Out loud. These are silly excuses. There’s this famous quote by Richard Bach, an American writer and philosopher who wrote a great short story ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’. He said: The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. Amen. 

Today we’re talking about one excuse. Very sneaky and sly. I’m bored. I’m bored with this English. It’s a bogus excuse like I said before. It’s a lie. Something else stops you from achieving that fluency and freedom and ability to speak with anyone anywhere in English. What is it? I’ve no idea. You can figure it out but actually, I recommend something else. I’m not saying it’s not useful and freeing to know why you stop yourself from speaking English but doing that don’t forget to learn English, to speak English every day. If you don’t, you might lose lots of time. You can search for these answers for ages and still end up with our language blockade. 

Let’s clear up this mess. Let me give you clarity on this. I have a short and sweet, easy-to-memorize step-by-step plan on how to get over boredom. How to overcome this obstacle and get to that fluency. The plan has five totally actionable steps. It doesn’t get any clearer than that. Ok, but first. Let me tell you one more thing. Let’s be honest. Listen and tell me later, is that you? 

You decide to finally start speaking English. You choose your method. Ok, you tell yourself, I’m going to watch YouTube vlogs from all over the world and learn how people actually speak. Ok, I’m excited I’m gonna do this! Are you still with me? Does it sound familiar? It can be anything. I’ll do ‘Grama To Nie Drama’ or any other book for English learners. Doesn’t matter. You pick something. What happens next. Well, you get bored. 

You start to think that it really is tiring, doing this every day, well others learn so much faster. Pffff they don’t learn at all, they are talented! Not like me, I can’t learn it, it’s not working, it’s not worth it. Ok, I’ll try again, but not this anymore. I’ll stop watching those YouTube Vlogs because apparently, it’s not a good method. I know! I should learn with an application. Or, well, uhm, Adam’s friend’s cousin learned English beating popcorn and watching Netflix. I’ll go for it. Do you catch my drift? It goes on and on! It’s a vicious circle. You keep jumping from one method to another and constantly stubbornly persist in blaming those methods. 

Hasn’t it occurred to you that maybe there’s nothing wrong with those methods? YouTube, Netflix, Ted, podcasts, books, teachers, song lyrics aren’t guilty of your inconsistency. And here we are. Consistency. This is the key. 

Ok, my dear friend, let’s break down your plan. Well, I gotta add that in fact, I’ve already created a clear plan for you. It’s all laid out in episode: 76 ‘Buy A Notebook And Do This For 10 Min A Day’, and episode 80: ‘What If I Don’t Have 10 Min A Day?’. But there I gave you a blueprint, a path, a schedule you might say, an agenda on how to learn English with THIS particular podcast. Now I’m going to give you a universal plan for learning English with any source you decide to pick. Here it goes:

Number one. Figure out the goal. What do you want? Well, there are many reasons for learning a language, you need to answer on your own. Try to vocalise it. Say it out loud. I want to know grammar well, I want to expand my vocabulary, I want to speak fluently, I want to move abroad, I want to improve my pronunciation, I want to find a new job I can go on forever but you gotta figure this out on your own. Don’t overthink it. What would you like to achieve? Why? 

Number two. Choose materials. Make a decision. Try to adjust your materials to the goal you have picked for yourself. Learning with music, with an app, with tv series, with youtube, with ted, online course? Pick something. Make a decision. 

Number three. Commit yourself. Tell yourself for how long you’re gonna do this. It’s up to you but I suggest at least a month. If you really want to test the method you picked, you need to give it a chance. Ana is learning with a tv-series and has great results? Do you wanna give it a go? Brilliant, but be specific. Give it a month. Four weeks. Tell yourself when, where, how often, how long it will take. For instance: I will learn English With a TV series for one month and I’ll see what happens! The fun thing to do is to record yourself. Record yourself describing episode one, at least one scene. After a month you’ll have your ‘before’ to compare it with your ‘after’. But, coming back to your commitment. 

Tell yourself: I will learn English with this TV series for one month every day, for 30 minutes, in the morning, at the kitchen table before my breakfast. Wow! Now that’s one sharp plan. Now I feel I wanna do it too! Guess what, it’s even better, I mean it feels even better when you complete this plan. Oh my god, this is pure happiness. You will feel on top of the world and capable of anything. But let’s continue. 

Four. Stick to your plan and monitor your plan with some habit tracker. Listen. All this excitement will fade away. It will fade away quickly. You’ll get tired, you’ll get lazy, you’ll get bored, you’ll forget your goal, you’ll lose your motivation. But that’s ok. Because we know it happens. It always does! Motivation comes and goes. But we’re here and the goal doesn’t go anywhere either. That’s ok because we have the plan. Yey! We’ve got the plan. So the only job is to stick to it. Use a habit tracker to see with your bare eyes you tick each day. 

Don’t search for new exciting, sparkling and shiny ways of learning. You have picked your materials, so stick to them like your life depended on it. When the month passes you will choose what to do next. But as for now. Learn your new favourite words: consistency, perseverance, dedication, determination, repetition. Is this gonna be boring? Probably. Is this gonna be monotonous? Hell yeah! Will it even work? Well, I guess there’s only one way to find out!  

Five. Draw conclusions. When you finish your plan. But only then! Record yourself describing one scene of the last episode and compare it with the first one from a month ago. It’s just an example. Generally, find a way of evaluating your progress. How did it go? Was it extremely tough for you to stick to this commitment? Had it been that horrible for 90% of days? Change your method. Go back to point one. Had it been terrible for only 20% of the days and the rest was fun? You don’t need to change anything. Unless you have zero progress. 

Ok! I have a new topic now to talk to you about and that will be ‘how to measure your progress with English’, but that’s a story for another time. 

Maybe you think to yourself that it’s easy. The plan I proposed sounds easy. It really is. It’s that easy. You either do it or you don’t. End of story It’s like Yoda said in Star Wars: Do or do not, there is no try. 

I can never let you go without practice so let’s get you speaking. Listen and repeat:

No money in the world can get you there.

I hope this episode will plant a seed and you’ll give this topic a thought and take away an actionable solution. 

You’ve made it up! 

You can search for these answers for ages and still end up with our language blockade. 

Let’s clear up this mess. 

How to overcome this obstacle and get to that fluency. 

It doesn’t get any clearer than that. 

Does it sound familiar? 

You keep jumping from one method to another and constantly stubbornly persist in blaming those methods. 

Hasn’t it occurred to you that maybe there’s nothing wrong with those methods? 

Try to vocalise it. 

Don’t overthink it. 

Try to adjust your materials to the goal you have picked for yourself. 

All this excitement will fade away.

Well, I guess there’s only one way to find out!  

Well done! Now, download the worksheet I’ve sent you today and complete the worksheet with translations. If you’re not a member of TOPeople download the worksheet at teacherola.com/117 and become one. It’s free. 

If you find this episode useful, tell your friends about this podcast and thank you so much for doing so!

I’d love to hear from you! Let me know. Does it happen to you? Do you get bored with studying English? What do you do when it happens? Have you pointed a finger at your goal? What is it? Tell me, tell me please! What’s your goal?

Thanks for listening and I’ll see you next Wednesday! We’re going to learn some more English with song lyrics. Be here next week!  Happy learning. Take care! Stay fearless and say it out loud! Bye!