Once you have found English that’s understandable, you need to focus on it.
Good learning material must be interesting. Why is it important to study interesting English, and what's the problem with boring English?
Reason 1: Attention
First, interesting things hold your attention. Attention is very important for learning. If you spend time studying, but you don't pay attention, you are wasting your time. But, if you deeply pay attention, then your learning time is highly productive.
Time x Attention = Productive Learning
Learning new things requires careful attention. But, careful thinking can be difficult. Our modern life has a lot of not-so-careful thinking: scrolling through pictures on Instagram or reading headlines on a news homepage. If you have recently spent time scrolling, then it will be difficult to pay attention to anything. You might feel all study is boring. You should push through a little boredom.
But, when the material does not connect with your needs or your interests, you will stay bored. If you study something for more than 20 minutes and you think, “What’s the point?!” That’s probably bad boredom.
When you are choosing the English you read or listen to, choose topics, speakers, or formats you find interesting.
Reason 2: Energy
As we discussed in the blog about easy English, studying takes energy.
If you are spending your energy trying to stay focused, you will run out of energy after a short time.
Some days, you will be busy. Work or family life can be tiring. If your English study takes a lot of energy just to start focusing, then you will skip study time. But, if your study material is interesting, then you can use it to take your mind off stressful things. You can use it to recharge.
Reason 3: Memory
Interesting English is memorable. If you think about the topic even after studying, then you are even more likely to remember it.
Interesting English is easier to do every day. Some days you will be tired or stressed. If you enjoy some aspect of English, you'll still want to study, no matter how you feel. Then you will improve over time.
The big challenge is to find English that’s both easy enough to understand and interesting enough to keep you focused. You have to balance those things.
The English you study may not be perfect in both areas. If it’s very interesting but a little difficult, that’s okay, but you will have to study harder to remember the new language. If it’s the right level but not very interesting, that’s okay, but you will have to spend more energy to focus.
If you can find easy, interesting English—great! For many students, it takes time to find the right material. Ask your teacher to coach you through it.