Do you often regret not having spent more time on English when you were still in school? Language learning experts want to dispel that myth by assuring that the best time for learning English as an adult is “this very moment.” By engaging yourself in continuous learning, you’ll be able to build your confidence and find new inspirations in an otherwise static and monotonous lifestyle.
You might find yourself without an environment in which learning is the only objective now that you’re out of school, but if you think carefully, the time you actually spent learning and absorbing knowledge may be far less than you believe.
Turn the challenges you think you face into advantages. With your mature mindset, motivation, and economic freedom, now is the perfect time to reengage in English learning. One step at a time, reach your goal of advancing your career or speaking freely while traveling abroad.
Now that you’re an adult free from the demands of schoolwork and exams, English learning has become a gateway to better confidence and a life of fulfillment.
Is it too late to start learning English? Experts: Adults have more advantages than you imagine
Hiromi Kikuma, English Professor and longtime English instructor for large corporations in Japan, once noted that while helping countless career men and women rebuild their confidence in English learning, she has often been asked, “My memory isn’t what it was, how will I be able to learn well if I’m starting this late in life?”
Kikuma says that, based on her experience, younger students may have lots of time, good memories, and be full of energy, but most of them only want to pass their exams and have no idea how they can benefit from the language proficiency they have acquired. They have no sense of purpose and easily lose track of their own learning progress, meaning they are unable to hold on to what they have learned.
Adults who are pursuing their careers think differently. They may be working towards a promotion, or want to feel greater confidence when interacting with their customers. Whatever the objective, they have greater motivation and determination to learn and apply what they have learned purposefully and effectively.
English abilities can be a stepping stone at all stages of your career
According to 104 Job Bank, English abilities have become a “basic requirement” for businesses seeking new recruits. For fresh graduates entering the job market, the only thing that stands between them and their dream job may be their level of English proficiency.
Dr. Chao-ming Chen, Chair Professor of the Department of Applied Foreign Languages at Shih Chien University says that Taiwanese corporations want to expand into the global market. Therefore, their employees need to be able to frequently communicate with partners and clients based overseas.
Many of these people rise to mid-level managers or senior executives in their 40s or are stationed abroad to manage overseas branches and subsidiaries, and they often begin polishing their English skills before promotions are earned to make sure they don’t miss any opportunities that come their way.
People preparing for retirement and who have a more flexible schedule should also engage in learning so as to maximize their personal potential, because with new perspectives come new opportunities. What better way to start a new chapter in life than by acquiring the necessary language skills so overseas travel becomes ever more convenient and enjoyable?
Good English abilities open more doors for you in every stage of life!
Topical learning: turning every blessing into an advantage
English learning not only equips you with the right tools for forging a career, but can also open new doors you never even knew existed. As an adult that knows exactly what you want out of life, you can choose the learning method that best suits your individual needs.
“Happiness comes from engagement.”Han-ni Peng, sports psychology counselor who has worked with athletes of Taiwan’s national teams at many international sporting events, says that English proficiency allows her to engage in exchanges with other athletes and trainers when she’s abroad for competitions. She’s not only able to make friends, but moreover learn from the experiences that other athletes have undergone so she can share their stories and takeaways with her colleagues and counterparts in Taiwan.
Happiness can also come in other forms. Judy, an office worker who works at a telecommunications company, says, “I’m not afraid anymore of traveling on my own.” She used to have to tag along with other friends who speak good English or join tour groups, sacrificing the fun of spontaneous travel. Now that she’s no longer afraid to speak English, she is finally able to travel on her own and explore the world at her own free will.
English for every stage of life: resetting your approach to English learning
Adam Malster, Senior Teacher for Adults at the British Council with over 20 years of experience teaching English in Taiwan, says that to reset your mindset for learning English as an adult, you should first set a goal that you can actually achieve, and then plan the steps you need to take to reach that goal.
Adam Malster believes that the process of internalizing your English abilities is one that requires a well-paced schedule free of stress and worry. Mostly importantly, there are no shortcuts to be taken. Setting appropriate goals for every stage of the learning process will help you build self-esteem and expand your perspectives and horizon. You will not only become more creative, but have greater confidence in meeting all the challenges that life might throw at you.
English for every stage of life is a sort of “pursuit of the self.”
You should be able make the correct judgment calls on what you need at any given stage in life, and to plan your learning schedules and goals accordingly without completely disrupting your daily routines. In other words, it’s a form of “dynamic learning” that is not for the purpose of passing exams or getting into good schools. If you grasp the golden opportunity of starting “right now” and reset your life at this very moment by creating a learning plan that’s tailored to your needs, you will find that life is much more fascinating than you think!