How to Recover Your English after a Break

“A different language is a different vision of life.”
– Federico Fellini

I’ve added this chapter in on special request. Learning English is a lifelong adventure. You will go through many periods of learning and then often long periods where you don’t learn or speak any English. In those moments when you haven’t spoken English for many months and you suddenly need or want to get back into it, there is a faster way.

Perhaps you are going on holiday in the UK or USA, or you are about to do some business or study in a native-English speaking country. Perhaps you simply want to start practicing again. Maybe you used to live in London for one year and during that period you got really good at English, and then you returned to your home country and stopped speaking English and you feel like you’ve gone backwards.

Well, don’t worry – you still have English in your brain. It’s almost always possible to return to a former level of English fluency in as little as two weeks if you follow the right steps.

Firstly, you should really aim not just to return to your previous level, but to immerse yourself in learning again. To progress to a higher level than you were at before. This aim will excite you more and get you motivated. You have a clear goal to achieve and smash through.

The key to recovering your old level of English quickly is to firstly focus on lots of passive exposure. Aim to spend 2 weeks of passive exposure to English, for two hours a day if possible.

During those two hours watch English movies with English subtitles, read English comics or simple books. Listen to English a lot, using the resources in this book. And start looking at old notes. Look at phrasebooks and grammar reference books.

After the first week, you will feel the English coming alive in you again. Ease your way back into speaking the language. Get a considerate conversation partner. Start speaking a little every day.
Slowly at first, you want to feel good about your progress. Don’t focus on what you can’t remember, it will all come back in time. Instead, focus on what you still can say and understand, and congratulate yourself for it.

After the two weeks is up, throw yourself right back into studying and speaking English as much as possible, using all the techniques in this book and always aim to get better than you ever were before. You’ll soon achieve it!

And of course, the best way to make these moments of returning to English easier is to not have breaks that last too long. To maintain your level of skill in English, you need regular exposure to it. Fortunately this is easy enough as there is so much English on the internet and all around us. Just make sure you’re always getting a little taste of it and you will never lose this incredible skill.