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How To Be A Good Learner

At school, we are told that if we work hard we will do well and pass our exams. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? However, learning requires more than just hard work. In fact, a lot of your hard work will be wasted if you do not know how to learn. Below are some tips on how to be a better learner so that all your hard work is not wasted.

 

Know yourself. Not all learning methods are equally effective for all students. Some people learn best by listening, some by doing and some by seeing. We use all three of these to learn, but most people find one method more effective than the others.

 

Take risks and experiment with language. This is very important. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Everyone does. Mistakes are a natural part of learning for both children and adults.

 

Be organized. Set yourself realistic targets and don’t try to do too much at once. Organize your notes and review your lessons.

 

Be positive. It’s very hard to succeed at anything when you have negative thoughts in your head. Learning is difficult for most people, and there will always be times when it seems you are not making much progress. Learn to be patient and realistic. Remember, it took you many years to learn your own language!

 

Don’t study all the time. Your brain needs time to absorb and organize new information. It cannot do this effectively if you study 16 hours a day! Relax, but also try to practice the things you have learnt in class, with friends outside the classroom.

 

Be an independent learner. Your teachers are there to help you but they cannot learn for you, and they cannot be with you all the time. Practice outside the classroom as much as possible.

 

Ask questions. If you are not sure, ask! Good teachers always ask their students questions to check if they have understood. Asking your teacher (and even other students) helps you to get the most out of lessons.


There are many websites which offer advice on learning. Here are two you might want to look at:
http://esl.fis.edu/parents/advice/good.htm
http://www.southampton.ac.uk/cls/resources/key.html 

Pacific Tree has a special course on study skills and being a good learner. Check our Courses page for more information.