Rule 4 For Excellent English: Learn Deeply


Hi, I'm AJ Hoge, one of the teachers of Learn Real English. Welcome to day 4 of our video course. Secret 4, Rule 4 is this: learn deeply. Learn deeply. So what does that mean? Well, of course, deep, if you think of water, like the ocean, deep means something goes down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, very, very far. The opposite of deep is shallow, meaning does not go down far, it's just a short little bit.

So what does that mean when we're talking about learning? Well, you need to think about like your mind, your brain. So if you learn something deeply, the idea is that it goes deep, deep, deep. It goes into your brain very far, meaning that it's part of you. You'll never, never, never forget it. You totally master it. It becomes simple and easy and automatic. That's the idea of learn deeply.

See, you need to think about speaking English like a sport. You see, English learning, it's not like math or science. It's not just something that you memorize. It's actually a skill that you need to use, right? You need to perform. It doesn't matter how much you remember. What matters is can you do it when you're talking in a real conversation. Can you understand instantly and quickly what the other person is saying? When they ask you questions, can you understand the question instantly and respond, answer immediately? When you speak, can you speak easily and automatically without stopping, without thinking, without worrying about grammar rules, without all of those problems, without feeling nervous, right?

It doesn't matter what you remember for a test. What matters, what's important is what you can actually do in a real situation. If you're having a job interview in English, can you do it? Can you actually do it? It doesn't matter what happens on the test. What matters is when you're facing that other person, how well do you understand? How well do you speak? How relaxed do you feel? How confident are you? Right? That's what you want.

You want to actually be able to do it. And that's more like a sport. And so you need to start learning English like you're training, like you're preparing for a sport. And that's why learning deeply is so important.

Let's imagine this. Let's imagine, let's say a basketball player. Now basketball players, they have to be very, very good at the basics, the most important parts of playing basketball. That is the most important thing. If you ever watch interviews with the really great basketball players, the top ones, they will always say that the basic skills are the most important. Now these guys can do very advanced, amazing things.

But if you listen to these interviews, they always say that mostly what they practice are the basic skills, the basic skill of shooting. They will practice that basic skill of shooting, shooting and shooting, thousands and thousands and thousands of times. Even though they are already one of the best in the world, still every day they practice that basic skill again and again. Or dribbling, which is bouncing the ball, right? And passing it, those super basic skills they continue practicing them forever.

They practice those skills thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of times. So that they never have to think about them, so during a game they just shoot. They don't think about their arm and what they do with their legs, no. It's so automatic. They've practiced it so many times. It's so deep in their brain that they just do it. It's totally without effort, super easy, same with passing, same with bouncing and dribbling.

Well that's what you need to do with English. You need to have that same feeling that when you speak, there's no effort, there's no thinking. It just comes out easily and automatically. And the only way you do that is by focusing on deep learning. It means you totally master something. See, this is the problem in school. In school, teachers and schools are always trying to make you go faster, faster, faster, more, more, more, more.

You never learn anything deeply, right? They'll teach you the past tense, for example. And maybe you'll practice it two, three, four weeks. And then take a test. And then you go to the next chapter and they teach you, y'know, the past progressive or, y'know, the present perfect, or some other verb tense. And you study that one for a few weeks. And then they teach you another one, and then another one, and another one.

But you never really learn the past tense deeply. And so you're getting all these verb tenses and all this grammar and this vocabulary, but you never learn any of it deeply so that you can use it automatically without thinking. It's always more, more, more, faster, faster, faster. That is the opposite of deep learning.

What you need to do is slow down and repeat more. Repetition is the mother of skill, that's a Tony Robbins quote and I love it. It means if you really want to be skillful at something, you really want to be able to do something well, you have to repeat it many, many, many times. That means, for example, with the past tense, you need to hear that thousands upon thousands and thousands and thousands of times correctly so that it goes so deep inside you that you just feel it. You know when it's correct. You know how to use it and you never have to think of it.

Of course, when I speak English and use the past tense, I never think about grammar rules at all, or any verb tense. I don't think about them, because I've heard them so many times. And especially when I was a child nobody forced me to study advanced grammar rules. Nobody confused me with that. Instead I listened to lots of simple language, lots of simple basic language, basic sentences, basic grammar, from my family for several years. And I didn't learn that advanced stuff until much later, until I had totally mastered the basics.

So that's what you need to do, too. You need to really start focusing on repeating more. So that means that when you have a lesson, for example, let's say you're using one of our lessons. Instead of just studying it a couple of days and then going to the next one, and then study that one a few days, and then going to the next one, and trying to go very fast, you'll do the opposite. You'll take one lesson set. You'll listen to it every day for one week or two weeks, maybe even longer.

You will keep listening to it every single day, maybe one hour a day, until you totally know it deeply inside and you can use it easily. So that when you're listening to that lesson you understand all of it instantly. No thought, nothing, it's super easy. And then you'll still listen a few more days. And that's how you will get deep inside of you so that you can stop translating and stop thinking and just use English automatically, effortlessly.

So learn deeply means repeat everything a lot, many, many, many times. So you want every audio that you listen to, every lesson set from us that you listen to. You want to listen to it for at least seven days and two weeks is even better, every single day for 14 days, or every single day for seven days, between that amount of time. So that at the end of that you totally and completely know it very well.

And in every one of our lessons, we're going to repeat the basics, the most important parts of the language again and again and again. So when you go to the next lesson, you're still going to get a lot of repetition. And when you go to the next one, you'll get a lot of repetition. And in this way we train you, we teach you to not only know English for a test, but to actually use it correctly and easily every time. And that's what you really want.

And that's it. That is Rule 4: learn deeply. Alright, we'll see you again tomorrow. Have a great day.