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Rule 6: Use real English materials. Stop using textbooks

Shari

:: 7 Rules For Exellent Engish - Rule Number 6

Hi, this is A.J. Hoge, director of "Effortless English", and today we have rule number 6 to speak excellent English. What's rule number 6? Rule number 6 is to use real English materials. Only use real English materials. Now, before I told you: stop using textbooks. In fact, I told you to throw away your textbooks. I told you to burn your textbooks. I hope you did it.

Alright. So now you have no textbooks. They're all burned up or in the trash. So what should you do? How can you learn now? Well, I want you to use real materials. What do I mean with real materials? Well, I mean English materials that are for native speakers or that are very similar to native speaker materials. For example, when you read, don't read textbooks. Textbooks are terrible things to read, you don't want to use those. If you want to read English, and reading is great, you should read easy English storybooks. Easy English novels. And in... in later e-mails, in some of my bonus e-mails, I'll tell you exactly how to do that and give you some suggestions for good books to read. But you wanna read easy English books that you enjoy. Imagine that! right? Pick something you enjoy, something that's interesting, maybe a romance book, maybe an adventure story. Something like that. It's easy, it's fun. That's the best kind of reading.

So, you know that you should focus on your listening. Your listening should be 80% of your learning. So what should you listen to? The same thing, you should listen to the easy English that you enjoy, about topics that you enjoy. You should enjoy the speaker, you should enjoy their voice, you should enjoy their energy, you should enjoy the topics. So you don't want to listen to textbook CDs, those are terrible, you know: - hello, how are you? - I'm fine, and you? Oh, terrible, terrible, terrible. You don't want to listen to actors, ok? do not listen to actors. Listen to people who are speaking more naturally. Just like these videos are good to listen to, actually. You can just practice by listening to me talk.

I also have a podcast. Podcasts are great. Now you can get on the Internet, you can find a lot of real English listening material. Podcasts are perfect. I have a podcast. You can go to effortlessenglish.lybsin.com and you can listen to me talking about English, talking about learning, talking about my ideas, and it's free, it's easy. You can just listen, listen, listen, a lot of real materials. I'm just talking, and I'm a real native speaker. I'm not acting. And there's a lot of other podcasts out there. You can pick, you know, English learning podcasts, but you can also pick a podcast about any topic you like. If you like sports, find English podcasts that talk about sports. If you like cars, find ones that talk about cars. If you like to exercise or health, find podcasts about that.

You can also find audiobooks. Audiobooks are another great way to practice your listening. An audiobook is just a book that someone's reading and they're recorded, so instead of reading the book, you listen to the book. Again, choose audiobooks that are easy. You may need to start with children's storybooks. That's ok, you know. Enjoy them, it's more fun than a textbook. I guarantee that even listening to a storybook is more interesting and more fun than some boring textbook. As you get better, when your level is higher, you can listen to audiobooks for young adults or for older children. And you just keep listening, listening, and when it's too easy then you choose something a little more difficult and you listen, listen, listen more, a little more difficult, a little more difficult. Eventually, when you are advanced, you can listen to CNN or the BBC or American movies, British movies, Australian movies, etc. But that's at an advanced level. In the beginning, start with the easy stuff.

So you're always choosing these real things: audiobooks, podcasts, movies, TV shows (they can be children's TV shows, that's ok). Not textbooks and not textbooks CDs. This is so important because when you listen to real English materials, you get real spoken English. Textbooks don't teach you real English, they teach you formal English. They teach you written English, in fact. The vocabulary in textbooks, the grammar, the style, it's all for writing. Even though you're listening to these conversations they're not normal conversations. But when you listen to real materials (audiobooks, conversations podcasts, anything that is real) that's the real English we use, Americans, Canadians, British, Australian, that's how we really speak. Those are the words we use in normal conversations. That's the pronunciation we use.

So, real English materials only, not textbook CDs, OK? It's again a very simple, easy rule. And now we have the Internet, it's so easy to find these real materials. Just do a Google search. And if you keep getting my e-mails, you'll actually get more suggestions from me. I'll tell you how to find podcasts, how to find easy listening.

OK. So that's rule number 6. I hope you enjoyed it. Tomorrow rule number 7, our last rule. Alright, I'll see you tomorrow. Have a great day. Bye-bye.

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