When a few years ago my niece told me that she wanted to be a YouTuber I must confess that I didn’t really get what she meant by that. I was at that time a frequent YouTube user but saw very little value in following people and watching them talking about what back then I had considered loads of nonsense.
Thank God, I kept my mind opened and at some point, my friendship with YouTube went to a completely new level. I don’t know, maybe the videos started to get better, maybe more people saw YouTube as an opportunity to promote their ideas, maybe I finally found the channels I really enjoyed.
I have picked up 3 of my most favourite ones to share with you.
#1 Living big in a tiny house. The channel is full of inspiring stories of downsized, eco-friendly living. A real gem!
#2 Pick up limes. The lady who runs this channel has won me over. She is so gentle and softly-spoken that it literally melts my heart. Plus she talks about things I love dearly: fruits and veggies.
#3 Inc. I must say that it was a tough choice as it normally wouldn’t be in my top 3 but since I would like to show you a bit of diversity in my subscription choices I’ve decided to include Inc. here. The channel gives you loads of info and advice on business topic ranging from sales and marketing to management. Plenty of short videos to broaden your knowledge.
My choice is very subjective and might not be to everybody’s liking but this is not the point of this post. The point is to encourage you to find your own channels to follow. The closer they’re linked with your interests the better. They need to be some sort of your guilty pleasure, but the one with benefits. And what are the benefits - first of all, you have some contact with a contemporary, daily language. Also, your vocabulary range should increase; your listening skills become stronger and there’s a chance your pronunciation improves as well. But, I guess, the biggest benefit is that you’ll be able to talk about your areas of interest with confidence.
I recommend starting by picking up 3 channels to follow. I don’t think I need to say that the channels need to be in English :) You don’t need to choose channels run by native speakers but make sure that the quality of the language is good. For example, I used to love watching Jenny Mustard. She is a Swedish vlogger and I absolutely adore her food video recipes.
Choosing your channels should make you happy; watching them should be relaxing. By increasing your positive experience, you increase your motivation. And you know, your motivation can take you higher than you have expected.
When we ask people how they are we often hear the word BUSY.
I guess we all love to be busy, or at least say that we are. It definitely sounds better than lazy. This “busy-ness” is the number one excuse in our learning process.
And today I’d like to talk a little bit about what you can do with your learning when you are really busy or really lazy. The method I present requires some planning but once you get a hang of the preparation phase you can be literally unstoppable.
So, without further ado let me begin by asking you a few simple questions.
Let me for a moment assume that you are not the cleanest person in the world and you keep your daily cleaning teeth to an absolute minimum. Based on this assumption I can quickly calculate that you spend at least 6 minutes a day brushing your teeth. Let me also assume that you purely focus on the activity and there is no multitasking going on here.
As a result of this quick deduction, I have figured out that you have at least 6 minutes to spare every single day. The precious minutes that you can use up to brush up your English!
Of course, we can come up with many ideas what to do with this time now -you can listen to a short podcast, revise the words on Quizlet, practise speaking in your mind etc. All these ideas are good but I guess they require a tiny weeny more prep.
My idea is to start simple. On a post-stick note/s write down 1 word/phrase. Bend the paper note and write an explanation, a synonym or your translation on the reverse side. Stick the note/s to your mirror. Make sure you don’t use more than 5 - you don’t want the post-ins to clash with your interior design, plus your brain may be too reluctant to process too much info in such a short time :) You can also prepare spidergrams containing only initial letters of the words (excellent idea for more advanced learners). Once our preparation phase is completed, we can start our learning phase. Each time you are in your bathroom brushing your teeth go over the notes, repeat, come up with examples. Do it over and over again, repeatedly until you feel you know the word inside out. Then remove the note from the mirror and substitute it with a new one.
This method is super simple; requires minimum preparations and makes use of your passive time effectively. It might not be the fastest one, but it should give you some sense of progress, especially when finding time for learning is a struggle. Try it out, I am sure it can bring a totally new dimension to your cleaning routine and who knows - maybe it will inspire you to look for new learning methods.
Written by Agnieszka Kansy