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1. Love Words

I learned a new word today. Gigil (Tagalog): The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute.

I found this on a list of 300 words to describe emotions.

The point of the list is that if you have the vocabulary to associate words with your feelings, your emotions are less out of your control. Less frustrating. Less harmful. It’s a serious message – wrapped in a lovely, fun list.

The premise of this list is comparable to learning a new language as having fun with vocabulary is just one way to keep the frustration out of English learning.

However you are currently learning, it should have an entertainment factor. Make it enjoyable at the time, and in the future, having positive associations with words will accompany you during the process of speaking – even during the stressful times.

2. Identify Stresses in Advance and Rehearse

There’s obviously a huge difference between practising language skills on holiday & trying to express yourself in a life-changing context. Using a second language as your principal means of communication brings a whole wealth of frustrations (which lessen as you master the language).

You can keep the frustration out of English learning by identifying those situations in advance and rehearsing them.

If you are in a language training program, your teacher should simulate professional conversations with you – so that when they happen, you are rehearsed, less stressed – and not short of words when you need them most.

3. The Right Teacher can Keep Frustration out of English Learning

The right teacher is critical – English learning is incredibly hard to maintain by yourself (if languages are not already your speciality).

Everyone has different language learning needs, but happily, thanks to the online revolution – the one-size-fits-all approach to adult language teaching is over. Now you can match your English needs with the perfect tutor – for you.

For example, at Blue Noun, we specialise in coaching internationals in English for Creative Careers.

For artists & makers, describing their own artwork in a second language can be the most frustratingly difficult thing to do – and yet it’s the most important.

I specialised in this because of my Fine Art background, my interest in helping artists in their careers and my experience as an art college tutor.

Likewise, many online English language coaches combine their own professional expertise with English language training skills, meaning you can find English training for almost every career.

4. Celebrate Your Wins

Keep frustration out of English learning by regularly looking back at what you have achieved. Keep track of your progress, and feel proud of it. (Don’t obsess about how much more there still is to learn).

5. Enjoy the Liberty

It’s likely that there are always going to be frustrating moments (in all honesty, you are probably not trying hard enough if there aren’t), but with the right mindset, the process of learning can also bring joy, opportunities and feelings of liberation as you go.

Love the liberty of speaking with new people, reading new magazines, travelling – or whatever else brings you joy.

Language gives you wings! Be open to it NOW (not just on your next trip abroad).

6. Find the Best English Training Programme FOR YOU

Know what kind of English you want to learn – and for what purpose. Do you learn best in a group? Autonomously? In situ? You need to find a programme that is built around YOUR needs – both your objectives and your learning style.

For example, I help artists share their vision with the world. (Art careers are international, so English skills are a must). I have built whole courses around this objective.

Many artists and designers don’t just need certain English words – or even specific language skills, they actually need a different style of engagement for learning. Artists & creatives need English Language Training (ELT) adapted to them. (Up until now, they had to adapt to it (frustrating for everyone involved).

My courses are designed for artists. Because of this, I take much of the common frustration out of English learning – and even replace it with joy.

You can find further information on English training types here.

Give an Example: What Style of Learning Do Creatives Need?

  • Artists & creatives tend to be physical, practical learners that need a lot of variety in the supports and resources to retain their interest (many artists & designers do not have traditional academic learning skills, like the ability to sit and listen to a lecture).

  • Artists & creatives need aural components that they can listen to whilst getting simple studio tasks done.

  • Artists & creatives need exercises & language that make English relevant to their practice.

  • Artists & creatives need real sources, not fake ELT supports (that repels them).

  • Artists & creatives have a strong spirit of individuality and do not like to feel like a number or in a chain of service. For learning, they prefer a small, personal company to a large chain.

  • Artists & creatives need practice language situations that mimic the conversations and situations that they MOST need their English to perform in – ie; professional settings & talking about art & design.

  • Artists & creatives need resources that are visually & intellectually stimulating.

7 Choose Your Gurus Well

If you are learning English online by following different people on Instagram etc, know that this approach will only get you so far. The English training market is quite saturated, so there are a lot of people trying to shout important messages about mistakes to get your attention. It’s ultimately a bit stressful and fragmented to learn well this way. Any English tips you do learn this way come at the price of your attention.

Instead, if you can’t afford an English learning programme, find sources you like and follow them – read their blogs, find them on Insta by all means, but do not let yourself be bombarded! Unfollow anyone whose approach is stressful or who you feel is ultimately not empowering your learning.

Online English Help

I love helping second-language English users share their vision with the world. It fills me with gladsomeness (the feeling that comes when good things happen to the people we are fond of).

Having fun with language can start with vocabulary – try it & see!

And above all, match your needs to the right coach & programme. We can help with this.