Do you find it difficult to remember what you have learnt? Have you studied English but later you feel like you have forgotten it? Do you worry that it was a waste of time and money?
I learnt French at school but I find it very difficult to remember it now. I don’t remember the grammar rules at all and I can’t find the words I want to make a sentence. A strange thing happens when I try to read though. I understand a lot more than I expect to. This suggests to me that my French knowledge hasn’t gone completely but at least some of it is still there at the back of my mind.
I’ve taught students with a similar experience to mine and often their English comes back with practice. Don't worry! It doesn’t take nearly as long for it to come back as it did to learn it the first time.
Many years ago, I went to South Korea and I met up with some of my former students. Two of them stick in my mind in particular. They had both reached a similar level of English when they were studying in Cambridge but when I met them in Korea, a few years later, one spoke English even better than before whereas the other couldn’t say much at all. Why?
Simply, the first student was using English every day at work and the second had hardly used it at all for a few years. Of course, there was some luck involved. Not everyone can get a job in which they can use English. But there are things you can and should do to remember what you have learnt and avoid forgetting it all.
Even students who study English every day have some problems remembering everything. They complain that they learn new things one week and then can’t remember them a week later, especially vocabulary. If you feel like this, you are not alone! You might like this post on how to learn and remember vocabulary.
If you do an English course, here are some things you can do when it ends:
If you are doing an English course right now:
And if you need some more motivation, just remember all the time and all the money you spent learning English! You don’t want it to go to waste!
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