In the last twelve years of my working as a Motivational Speaker, if there is one fiery need that I have identified across School / College campuses in Asian countries- it is that of improving English, both spoken and written. As the world becomes more global, this need becomes more pronounced.

I wish this need were limited only to the students/ youth only. Unfortunately it is not. People in the corporate sector; at the end of my corporate training will silently / secretly want to get answered the same question.  🙂

If you are interested to know the ‘Real Secret’ behind becoming better at English speaking / writing skills in just a few months’ this is the blog post for you!

 

Our mother tongue is Hindi but  unfortunately  it becomes increasingly difficult to make any kind of progress — be it a career progress or a progress even in the relationship with the opposite gender; if you do not bring with you- the charisma of a hygienic English.   ‘Good English’ gives one the confidence of a notorious kind. Women with good vocabularies, feel all the more beautiful carrying themselves. Men, on the other hand- feel more powerful — when they speak ‘Fluent English’. 🙂 MACHO MEN!! ‘Ye to bada Toing hai type feeling 🙂 ‘ . I know – sad but true!

People, with good English skills — have 1) either been good readers in their school/ college days or 2) have had a great public schooling background.

The lesser mortals thus shall need to work out this improving English problem – else very soon a strange feeling shall start creeping in their minds. A feeling of diffidence – which only grows with time. This shall be an unfortunate situation then. Don’t worry. As long as you are here, Dilwale dulhaniya le gaye hon, but Angreziwaale Dulhaniya nahi le jaa payenge 🙂

Read very carefully next:-

No ‘English Guru’ book series/ English improvement Coaching classes etc are going to help you. All these are marketing gimmicks. They only help KAPIL DEV (Rapidex English Course… Remember!!) Very few of them contain substance. What to do now!! 

Of course, no other way but to do it yourself. And don’t you fret. Improving English on your own is very much doable.

Whatever I tell you next; you have to do for a minimum of 6 months.

A sexy Guitar – I got one on my b’day & paid for the BEST Guitar classes in the city. Three things I can do :-

The BEST thing : Be disciplined in the classes for 6-7 months and LEARN it out…(Pain involved)

2nd Best THING : I do not GO to the classes at all (even after paying the money). I accept it !!!

Worst THING : – I do not GO/ Go irregularly ; but keep on feeling GUILTY about ‘Not Going’…

Ditto for MOST other things in Life …  ; including improving English. Take strong, firm decisions and LEAVE the Guilt behind.

Your English improvement will take a minimum of 6 months. The sudden jump happens one fine day; and you don’t even realize that it has happened. You feel ‘WOW’ that day. It happened with me in Guitar classes too. I have seen it happening with thousands of people who improved their English; because they had the persistence to stay put and take the ‘impotent’ type feeling of the first 5 months. There is no other option but to be patient and to just ‘Lagey Raho’.

Karna kyaa hai ? :

Do these 3 things religiously for the next 6 months and that’s it:-

1)  Get yourself disciplined to seeing / hearing a very good English News Channel for a minimum of 60-90 mins daily.

We learn the maximum from our environment. Don’t we?

It is very difficult to get better at anything; until we surround ourselves with people; who are better than us — at that thing. Let an NDTV, CNN IBN, Headlines Today etc keep on playing around you. Even if you are working on something else, you just switch on the TV and let them keep on speaking (the news readers) .

‘90 mins — just let the TV run. You don’t need to do anything. 

What will begin to happen is — ‘You will begin to learn subliminally and inadvertently’.

Researches in Multiple Intelligences / Experiential Learning have proven the above concept. Even the weakest of the guys have shown brilliant improvement in his Body language, energy in voice, speaking confidence etc; after 6 months of disciplined ‘English News Channeling’.

 2)  One hour of proper ‘Reading English’ is the next thing to be done. You may do it with a Newspaper or with a novel.

Get stubborn that even if you understand less. If you have not remained a good reader- ‘start with a book which is from your area of interest/ comfort zone’. Do 3-4 books from your interest areas and then shift to other areas.

No newspaper is bad. Pick up any and just make sure that you do the front page & editorial page compulsorily. You may even do magazines or online journals etc.

You may not understand many Vocabulary words; while you do this.  Try and understand the meanings of those words in context; rather than going to a dictionary every time to know the meaning of each word and end up getting irritated.

You may also want to check out this guest post I wrote for the Motivation Grid: 6 Simple Ways to become a More Confident Speaker

 3)  Vocabulary is not very important to do separately; if you are doing the above two things. However, if you can do- ‘nothing like it’.

A lot of us start- do note down words here & there & then somewhere loose those notes. The trick is to snowball your effort by doing it at one place only. I recommend a big, fat, thick register- something you think is going to stay with you for a lot of time. It shall be your repository of words. Your- one point of contact for all your efforts in Vocabulary.

A register has a left hand page & a right hand page. On a single side —do not make notes of more than 2 or 3 words. I mean — give due respect to the words you are choosing to remember.

It is very important to maintain this register for improving English vocabulary. You will never be able to remember it fine — if you do not write. In a way , you are making your own little dictionary in that register.

On any day — do not try to write/ learn more than 6-7 words (If you are doing 3-4; it is perfectly fine).

I strongly recommend that you take words only from the day’s newspapers. I would not recommend novels because they shall not provide fresh & contemporary associations for remembering. A newspaper would; on the contrary give a fresh example with the sentence- which is likely to get remembered.

WHAT NEXT FOR VOCABULARY?

Start picking up words from the newspapers & start filling the registers. Next- when you choose a particular word- go to a good dictionary & transcribe / write all the meaningful stuff from the dictionary to the register.

Connect the word to people, places, events & things around you. Think — this word can get associated with whom? It is a patience game. Go slow. Enjoy your slowness. For fast acting relief- ‘Try slowing down’.  E.g. if you are doing a word e.g. ‘CORPULENT’ — it means fat. Link it up with a very fat person that you know e.g. Chadha aunty. The trick is to connect the new information with an old information that already exists in your mind. The same reason- why we ask for landmarks.

Then leave 4-5 lines blank. This has a purpose. Whenever you will revise this word- write a sentence / use that word in a sentence in that space. If you have used that word in 3-4 sentences after 3-4 revisions- it is likely that the particular word becomes a part of your active vocabulary.

IMPORTANT TO REVISE / FREQUENT:

Remember the first day of your college. Did you know all the people in your class? No- I guess. How is it — that you know , most of them now? This is because- you frequented them — met them again & again, noticed peculiarities about them. The same is the case with words- the more you meet them, the more they will be yours.

If you cannot do all this for Vocabulary ; then an easy thing to do would be to — press ‘LIKE’ on the ‘Vocab Dhaba’ at FB. This is Asia’s biggest community on FB for Vocabulary / Grammar. Here are a few memory keys that we use there to learn words. You decide for yourself, whether they create a lasting memory on you or not!

‘Munni IGNOMINIOUS Hui; Darling tere Liye’ ,

Chikni Chameli = UNCTUOUS Jasmine

Jalebi Bai = CIRCUITOUS Bai (in shape)

The Dirty Picture = The RIBALD picture

 

To look at more such memory keys, we also have the Vocabulary Premiere League for you. Yes! that’s right. 3 crazy blog posts with 70 words done in the most fun, bollywood -drama style. So that you don’t ever forget them. If this does not help in improving English vocabulary, what will?

In order to aid you with more content for helping work on your English skills, I have a huge list blogposts which can be viewed HERE. And for your spoken communication issues, you may want to check out the blogposts listed HERE.

You could do 3 things after reading this post:-

1) Subscribe to my blog so that you don’t miss out on the posts in your busyness. I promise I won’t spam your inbox.

2) Tell your friends that ‘English is not a difficult language at all !!’ by sharing this post with them. The sharing options are at the left and at end of this post.

3)  We have created two powerful events on Communication Improvement: ‘Bindaas Bol’ & ‘Bolly-Vocabulary’. Have felt very glad doing these two events at some of the Top colleges / Schools names in India in the last 17 years. In case you wish to get them done; at your School / College — in a FEST / otherwise — get in touch with us HERE.

The ways to improve your English that I have written above, have been proved to be quite useful over the years, first to me and then to my students. We have successfully experimented with this tips and tricks to improve English writing skills and grammar even for competitive entrance exams like CAT, WAT (written ability test for IIMs and other B-schools), UPSC, GMAT, GRE, Bank PO exams, SSC, NDA, CLAT, CSAT, XAT essays and many more. These are simple, functional and very doable steps. Do definitely give them a try!

Akash Gautam

 

About Author

Akash Gautam is a Motivational Speaker & Corporate Trainer in India. Hundreds of Top Corporates like Google, CIPLA, Vodafone, McKinsey & Co., Maruti, HDFC, RIL, M&M & premier colleges like IIMs, IITs, SRCC etc go to him whenever they need a refreshing, big bang impact. Write to usWrite to us to know how he can transform your Team.

  • Shivam Srivastva

    Seriously AMAZING , ULTIMATE , ASTOUNDING , SPLENDID , SUPERB 🙂

  • Absolutely Fabulous as usual..:):)..One of the best Blogs till date!!

  • Sumanbajaj Sxc

    Truly amazing 🙂 I am all set to get a ‘phodu’ vocab 🙂

    • Soubhagyasharma

      its really amazing day for me 🙂 i learn a lot ……..
      its katil,phodu …..session

      • Mani sharma

        really………..amezing and new thoughts as always

  • Neena Chaudhary

    awsum…vry practical to implement..i’ll try fr sure…:)

  • Roopam kelley

    wow! i am still learning words ..:-P…thank you

  • Divya :)

    Thank you sir!

    I found it really intresting.. I did this before, I’ve collected many words but left doing it 🙁
    And now I really regret because I lost my word power.. But yeah I will start it again and will follow your steps to learn wow english 😀

  • Fab as usual 🙂

  • rick verma

    while executing the point number 2 should we read silently or should we read in a manner so that we can hear our own voice…matlab man hi man padhe ya zor zor se padhe??

    • Akash

      Do not VOCALIZE. Vocalization reduces ur speed … Eyes and Lips have no role to play ; when you read. It is the mind which reads…

  • PRIYA

    THNKS A LOT SIR 🙂

  • Parul Geete

    Tum WORDS Ko Izzat do,Who tumhe Izzat denge,aur time aane pe Doosron se dilwaayenge.. these lines i mean it sir.. aisa hi hota hai.. i had experienced them.. and your blog is nice as always but aur bhi better ho sakta tha.. its not upto the AKASH GAUTAM standard.. and the video was icing on the cake..

  • Mohit Grewal

    PADHU,MAST,GADAR…..

    Thank u sir for this padhu blog.

  • Bhuwanjoshi97

    sir aapka blog padhke hi bahot motviation milta hai….or out of box thinking b badhti hai

  • MADDY

    Dulhaniya be ready hum ANGREZI SIKH KAR aa rha hai..

  • MADDY

    Ultimate,fabulous sir as usual..:):)

  • Sidra_frq

    AWESOME as always!!!:)))

  • Ila Jain

    ur blogs are not jes worth reading but also applying.. as fab as ever.. 🙂

  • sir ye mast hai!!! thank you!

  • i agre with Aasish 🙂 FAB as usual 🙂

  • Jimit Kcapl

    ekdum Zhakas… Dhinchak. Aakash great Going.
    Jimit Vakil, CL – Ahmedabad.

  • Chhavi

    Akash Sir,
    Undoubtedly, your post is going to help every single person who implements it with pure tenacity!

    I had a suggestion, thought it might help!

    As you mentioned, it is really very important to be surrounded by an atmosphere of the type one wants oneself to be indulged in, and that’s why I strongly feel that people should never hesitate in conversing in English,with their friends. It not only helps them practice what they have learnt but also helps in stifling their fears of making mistakes ( making a mistake in front of an understanding friend would never bring embarrassment and thus would never discourage ).
    Furthermore, by discussing the current happenings (issues that people will come to know about from the newspapers) with the friends , they will nourish their reason and would become even more confident in taking part in discussions and in substantiating their talks with relevant day to day examples.
    It is just because there is myriad of people who, despite having a decent vocabulary, find it difficult to stand up and speak confidently, I suggest the above mentioned solution.

    Hanging around with friends would become so much beneficial and the learning graph might just become steeper!

    Also, I feel, a little care is necessary to keep a check on the quality of language, though not at initial stages but after a point, it is must. Sometimes, even big newspapers make big grammatical mistakes that go unnoticed but that might home in some learner’s mind forever as “correct” usage.

    Though, being a daughter of a “hindi literature lover cum laser scientist” mom, I am of an opinion, that hindi (or,any language for that matter), when used in its purest form can leave as great an impact as done by english! ( I have often heard people talk in pure, not ancient, hindi, and believe me it is music to ears and magic to mind!)
    But ya…the sad truth is that English is inevitable when it comes to our ‘career’, and yet sadder truth is that we indians are badly fettered by, our very own, HINGLISH (whose blatant usage is a major impediment to our learning process of the correct and pure form of language)!

    But, let these sad truths be. ..the post definitely offers, we readers a sanguine view of the problem!
    I’m sure, people who really want to change their lives, would accept this challenge with alacrity and see the difference themselves!

    🙂

    Chhavi

    • Nitin chandra

      Very nice.

  • seriousely good one..must read it…….

  • Ankit deshwal

    fantastic, fantabulous

  • sagar rastogi

    really magic

  • Pradeep Rajput

    sir..
    as u have mentioned the 3 points to have command on english that comprise of 1. reading newspaper 2.watching news and3. way to learn vocab… all these are realy fab…

    but one thing that struck on my mind is that , what about speaking… what and to whom and which ways should i speak please suggest me..

    • Anonymous

      Hi

      Speaking will come only by practice … Sit with a group of friends and discuss on issues. It shall not only keep care of content ; but also help the spoken english part

      Akash

      • Pradeep Rajput

        thank you sir for d reply … i am following all steps writtten above.. to have the command on english…

  • aarzoo gupta

    hello akash,u were awsm 2day….
    and this english seekho funda totally rocks yaar……

  • Manish Saraf18

    Sir you said to listen to news channel daily for an hour but what will we do who live in hostels and can not gt TV..what will we do instead of an hour news..

  • Mohak Pachisia

    very useful post,i really hope people read it and benefit from it. . .:-)

  • Nikhilnair21

    Rhapsodic Blog…Thank you so much Sir.
    Full of motivation!!

  • Akash Sir ,

    Waiting for some more Bolly Vocab..
    It was awesome

  • Sumitjha89

    vocab ki dhan te nan… 🙂

    i have kept all the words which i have learnt on few charts and i have pasted those in front of my bed. so every morning when i wake up and every night when i have nothing to do than to just watch at those words and say them hi, hello, how are u…, i just do that till i meet everyone of them and ask their well being.
    this really helps . i have now some 1000+ words pasted in my bedroom and we are friends.

    i got inspired by attending “vocab ki dhan te nan” in Dehradun, when i was a B.Tech. student there.

    all thanks to Mr. Akash Gautam.
    🙂

  • Anuja Sharma

    your ideas are really helping people to learn English

  • Pradeep Rajput

    hello sir,
    i m preparing for one of the exam that contain english paper which comprises of writing essay, and precise writing. as i m not good in writing skill . plz suggest me how to prepare for writing skill . i need your help sir and i waiting for your suggestion
    thank u

  • Anamahmed05

    i recently attended ur seminar wich was held at our college st.xavier’s in the recent management fest. i gotta learn so many new things dat m literally dying to attending ur nxt seminar.

  • utkarsh srivastav

    awesome presentation by akash in audi of united
    really got inspired, and started doing as he said
    ………………………………….. utkarsh , prashant( united allahabad)

  • Shreyas

    awesome sir…great seminar held in ucer audi and kanha shyam…really got inspired and feeling much more wiser than before…thank you sir…

  • Jhony Deep89

    Sir really great and sir you know I used to learn English at a coaching & I was putting my best effort and I know you from that time,just because of my sir’s work hard towards me & your Inspiration I can speak English well & even where I’m taking tuition of competitive exam,there I’m solving doubt of student about English,it feels good when we impart our knowledge.

  • Pragya1312

    Amazing sir it was gr8 to read the blog……it is going to help me for sure…….thanks sir for ur such helpful thought……….

  • Surabhi Khare

    Sir thank u soooo much..! i m very much impressed and inspired by attending ur seminar Bolly-vocabulary on 28th july 2012 conducted by CL bhopal..! m a student of CL bhopal nd m very glad of it..!

  • shivani

    hmm….its very difficult for me to remember the english words….so for me vocab is still a big problem… 🙁

  • keshav

    <3 superlike <3

  • Vedita Rai

    just awesum…:)
    vil definetly do sumthing TEMPESTOUS after dis….!!!
    thank u so much sir..!!!

  • ready to follow above thing !!! excited gr8 fun :))

  • Mohini magar

    its jus tremendous sir my oculous are still looking for the more words……..

  • Ashish Sharma

    amazing post sir,now i’ll start for speak english abhi ki abhi and check after 6 months….

  • hiiii akash. i like the way as you motivate all persone after seeing your wapsait we learn too much spcial…….

  • Saurabh

    Really stupendous work..Sir could you please upload more bolly voacbulary

  • i am speechless…..will surely follow whatever you said….as getting perfection in english is my ultimate target for now……..you are simply awesome akash…….i just started reading your blogs since yesterday and now i have gone mad over them……..thanxx ……

  • Soumya Parida

    Sir u just rock n awesome… Its 4 sure your blogs gonna help millions… Gr8 job sir… and u are a gr8 teacher too

  • Jaya Dixit

    This was a truly amazing post Sir!!!

    I’ve always been working around to learn English and improve my vocab via various tactics..
    But when I began, I started with listening to English Songs with lyrics which is still helping me out to improve my vocabulary and pronunciation as well.. 🙂

  • Ansh

    The last word in video”Redolent” – according to various dictionaries has the meaning exuding fragrance, or Aromatic
    Is this word misspelled in the video?

  • Sakshi

    Awesome blog Sir, nd the video is just mind blowing :):):):)

  • prabhat

    This
    is quite unfortunate that i hadn’t got chance to see this article before .If I
    would have seen this before .I must have been a very good English speaker .By
    the way, Very informative and most important different from useless trends is
    being followed just to make money .

    Thanks
    you are great .please continue this for other benefit.

  • Akhilesh

    What an amazing post… Thank you for the all the positivity about my English

  • pradip

    I just wana say technically superb…

  • Avinash Yadav

    gazab …mast blog I have ever seen ab to english ki aisi ki taisi 🙂

  • neha tamta

    Ew r simply a maestro…ew md d day today in pntngr…thnx a lot sir

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