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Rule 3: Learn with your ears, not with your eyes

Shari

:: 7 Rules For Exellent Engish - Rule Number 3

Hi, I'm A.J. Hoge, the director of "Effortless English", welcome to Rule Number 3. So rule number three is very simple, so easy, and yet very, very powerful. In fact, I usually say this is the number one suggestion, the number one rule, the most important rule, and so easy, and it is this: learn with your ears, not with your eyes. Ok? If you want to speak excellent English, you gotta learn with your ears. Listening, listening, listening and more listening is the key to speaking excellent English, it's the most important thing because if you listen a lot, you're gonna learn vocabulary, you will learn grammar, you will get faster and you will understand better.

Listening is kind of the magic key to great English speaking. There's a lot of research about this and it all shows the same thing: listening is the most important thing you can do. So this tells us one reason you probably have some trouble with your speaking. Why? Because again, when you learned English in school you probably learned mostly with your eyes. Most English schools, middle school, high school, university, private English schools, most of them focus on textbooks in the classroom. I'm sure this has been true for you also. So textbooks, textbooks, textbooks.

So that's the problem. In school, basically, you learn with your eyes, and basically, in school, you learn to write English. You also learn to think about English. So you know a lot about grammar rules. In fact, you know more about grammar rules than most Americans, most Canadians, most British people, 'cause native speakers don't study that stuff very much. Native speakers learn to speak English with their ears, by listening, listening, listening. And that's what you must-do if you want to speak English quickly, easily, automatically, correctly, just like a native speaker.

So, let me be a little more specific about listening because it's important how you listen and what you listen to. The most important thing is you must listen to easy English. It must be easy. What do I mean by easy? Well, you should understand 95% [percent] or more without stopping, without a dictionary. So that's quite easy, right? You want a lot of easy English listening. Now, you might try the children's programs. You might try children's audiobooks. Or maybe audiobooks for, you know, teenagers, like Americans who are 13, 14, 15 years old. If that's too difficult, find something easier. You can listen to programs for very small children.

Now, if something's more difficult you can still use it, but you usually need the text, you need to be able to read it. So that's also useful, you can get, errr... an audio article or a speech, or a lesson's even, and you have the text, so you can read and listen at the same time. That's ok also. But listening is the most important thing. Listen, listen, listen. Every chance you have. Get an i-pod, you know, get an MP3 player or an i-pod. Listen to English all the time. Listen in the morning when you get up, listen when you go to work, or when you're at home, listen when you're at lunch, listen when you're coming home from work, listen in the evening. Lots and lots and lots of English listening. Lots of easy listening.

That's your number 1 key: listen to podcasts, listen to my videos. I have a free podcast, listen to that. Listen, listen, listen. OK? So it's simple, it's easy and it's super-powerful. Please, do this, focus on listening, not on textbooks, not on learning with your eyes. Learn with your ears, it's the most powerful rule. Ok? so that's rule number 3. Tomorrow you'll get the next e-mail: rule number 4. I'll see you then. Bye-bye.

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