It marked the start of a journey that saw me record 42 videos within 25 days learning 50 new American English phrases, expressions, collocations and grammar constructs.
A few facts about this 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission:
- All American phraseology acquired during this mission has been sourced from GONE series dystopian fiction;
- I was recording 2 daily videos – one in the morning and the other one in the evening. The morning video got published on my Easy Idioms blog while the evening one went live on my Accent Adventure website.
- I was using my own Fluency Gym Coach Program and its Action Plan to set the overall goal and organize my spoken English self-practice sessions;
- I was making sure to use those newly acquired expressions also outside my video recording activities (extra self-practice sessions and also speaking with my work colleagues during the day) thus imprinting them into my active vocab permanently!
And here are the videos published on this blog where I’m using all those newly acquired American phrases:
What I’ve Gained From FGC Goal #1 Mission
Gain #1: I’ve acquired a great deal of new English idiomatic expressions – FIFTY, to be more specific!
My vocabulary gains are by no means limited to just those 50 phrases however; almost each and every single one of those expressions can be used in a number of different ways which means in reality I’ve availed of a whole lot more than just those 50 phrases in purely technical terms.
Let’s take, for instance, the following American English grammar construct I learned on May 17: TRY + AND + VERB.
As you can imagine, there’s virtually no limit to different variations where this particular grammar construct can be used:
TRY AND SEE
TRY AND DO
TRY AND FIX
You can basically stick just about any English verb at the end of this phrase which means you can use it in virtually any life situation!
Gain #2: I’ve taken my English fluency to the next level!
I’ve been engaged in incessant spoken English self-practice during this mission. Not only have I been speaking with myself while recording the 2 daily videos; I’ve also spent a great deal of time using all those new American phrases while speaking with myself while commuting to work, walking my dog and being engaged in other mundane activities.
All that has been done on top of my daily conversations with other English speakers at work, so as you can imagine I’ve spent an entire month of my life speaking in English NON-STOP!
No wonder my fluency has improved as a result of all that, and it just goes to show that English improvement is a lifelong process.
Gain #3: I’ve improved my American pronunciation!
Half of all videos I recorded got published on my Accent Adventure blog which is all about improving native-like English accent and pronunciation.
This mission was all about American phrases, so it goes without saying that I worked on my American pronunciation exclusively during this mission and I have to tell you my friends – my pronunciation did improve significantly!
SIDENOTE: If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’ll know that I’m not one of those English perfectionists demanding perfection in terms of pronunciation. It’s quite the opposite – I can clearly see that fluency isn’t the same as perfect pronunciation and it’s totally possible to speak fluently with a hard foreign accent. My Accent Adventure blog is merely a way of showing the world that a foreigner can choose to speak with any accent he wishes – foreign, American, or British, for that matter!
What You Can Learn From My 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission
Lesson #1: Regular spoken English practice works!
No matter which way you look at it (you may think it’s totally idiotic to speak with oneself – but I couldn’t care less because that’s EXACTLY how I’ve achieved my English fluency!), self-practice is one of the BEST WAYS TO IMPROVE ENGLISH FLUENCY.
Sure enough, if you’re surrounded with English speaking people 24/7 (your partner is a native English speaking person, for example) you mightn’t need any self-practicing for the simple reason that you wouldn’t have much time for it and your spoken English would improve quite naturally while speaking with others.
STILL I would argue that you would improve much FASTER if engaged in some self-practice because of the following:
When you practice with yourself, you eliminate expectations of your conversation partner and you can totally REMOVE THE STRESS FACTOR FROM YOUR SPEECH!
Also, you simply can’t imprint a lot of speech patterns into your active English vocab as quickly and effectively; if I were to learn all 50 new American phrases during the day while being at work I simply wouldn’t have had enough opportunities to use all those English expressions!
Bottom line: spoken English self-practice works and for best results you’ve gotta speak all the time!
Lesson #2: It’s important to set specific goals for the best fluency improvement results!
I set myself a very specific goal: to learn 50 phrases within 25 days.
Please bear in mind this goal is specific in two ways – in terms of volume and also time (it’s all looked at in the Fluency Gym Coach Program’s Action Plan), and that’s exactly what you have to do when improving your spoken English.
If I were just to learn 50 American phrases, most likely it would drag on forever. Human nature is well known – why do something today if it can be put off till tomorrow? If you set a specific deadline, however, everything changes. You simply have no choice – you have to learn 2 phrases a day no matter what, and that’s the type of attitude I embraced during this mission.
Also bear in mind that in reality you can learn more than just 2 new phrases a day. In my case I was limited to 2 phrases because of the videos I committed to record for each individual phrase but in reality there’s no reason why you can’t learn 12 phrases in a single go (just check out my last video in the mission where I accomplished just that!)
Lesson #3: You have to use your hobbies and interests to drive your English fluency improvement!
If I were to learn some abstract English phrases – do you think I’d be as successful at learning them and incorporating them into my speech?
I don’t think so!
You see, the simple fact that I took all that American phraseology from my English fiction ensures that I was ENTHUSIASTIC about them!
I plain love GONE series books, so this mission had a very personal touch. Each phrase went back to certain scenes in the fiction (which is yet another proof that we, humans, are all amount mental associations!), and I’m 100% certain that it made it easier for me to remember all those phrases.
You can do the exact same thing:
- Choose your hobby or some area of your life that you take a keen interest in;
- Follow an industry blog, read a book, buy a magazine related to that aspect of your life – anything really that would contain a lot of English content;
- Write down all new vocab (remember to write it within CONTEXT – never learn individual words!!!) and phraseology;
- Engage in self-practice sessions and discuss your hobby using those phrases!
If you follow this foolproof formula, you’re almost guaranteed to succeed – just like me when doing this 50 American Phrase Acquisition Mission based on English fiction I love reading!
It’s possible to do an awful lot in a limited amount of time, my friends.
I’m a family man, I have 9 – 5 job, I have all sorts of duties and responsibilities, yet I could pull this mission off. I could record 2 videos a day for almost 25 days straight and I could engage in endless spoken English self-practice sessions. I simply had no choice – I had committed to the goal, after all, so if you want to achieve a lot in terms of your fluency development or generally in life, you may as well follow in my footsteps! Set yourself a goal, and off you go!
You may also want to look into my FGC Program which would help you achieve just that!
Spaced repetition and contextual learning works – there’s no shadow of a doubt about that!
If you repeat an English phrase a good few times over a number of days and you do it within different context every time, that speech pattern is going to imprint itself into your brain, simple as that. Moreover, if you do it in an intelligent and streamlined fashion, you can learn an impressive amount of English phraseology within a relatively short space of time, and the English Harmony System de Luxe Edition is going to help you achieve just that!
I’ll definitely do more such missions in future!
I can definitely see a benefit in engaging in such and similar missions in future, my friends! It’s challenging, it’s hard, and I won’t deny I wanted to abandon the mission on more than just one occasion. Now that the mission is over, however, I have an incredible sense of achievement and it by far outweighs the inconvenience of earlier-than-normal mornings (I used to get up at 5:40 AM to record my morning videos), anxiety (which is almost inevitable when you’re hard pressed by deadlines) and having less free time. After all – I’ve taken my English fluency to the next level, and that’s what matters to me most!
Now, is there anything holding you back from doing something similar?
To your fluency improvement,