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New Year's Resolutions

In this week's blog post we're taking a look at New Year's resolutions and suggesting what you can do to improve your English in the coming year.

2012 is fast disappearing in the rear view mirror and as we drive headlong into 2013 many people in Britain are taking stock of their lives and using the beginning of the year to set some goals for themselves.  It’s very much a part of our culture to try to be good and have the best of intentions for the New Year.  Sometimes we’re successful; sometimes we’re not, but every year we feel compelled to set ourselves resolutions.  For example, I have decided to do the following: 

  1. Go dry for the month of January.
  2. Run 500 miles in 2013.
  3. Relax and stop worrying about the small things I cannot change.

The first two are very measurable, the third one is less so.  This is quite common.  I’m not alone in setting New Year’s resolutions and many of my colleagues are doing the same.  In this week’s blog post, I spoke to some of the trainers here at The London School of English to find out what resolutions they have made for 2013 and what goals they suggest you set yourself to improve your English.

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions?


"To drink less alcohol (most people choose this one as the Christmas holidays do involve a lot of partying!) and to start running again.  I want to spend my free time more productively, for example, by making chutneys instead of watching Hollyoaks."


“I don’t really set myself New Year’s resolutions, but I have decided to stop whingeing about stuff as much as I do.  I also want to tone down my emphatic language – I think say “Oh My God” too much when I react to things people say!”  It’s true, she does this a lot, but I think it’s quite funny!


“I’ve failed completely, but I’m going to try again in February to cut down on caffeine!”


“Not really.  I just want to save money as I want to buy a house this year”.

What would you suggest a learner of English should set themselves as a New Year’s resolution?


“Once a week you should try to start a conversation with a stranger.  It could be in a café or at the bus stop, it doesn’t really matter where.  Many students who spend a long time studying forget to do this and it’s so valuable for improving your fluency.  Another idea is to use English news websites to find out what’s going on in the world”


“I think you should revise new vocabulary on a daily basis.  You should also read something in English for 15 minutes every day and at the weekend try watching a film in English (with or without subtitles)”.


“A good idea is to arrive at school on time!  When you’re reading an article, try not to check every unknown word in your dictionary.  It depends on the student, but you could limit yourself to just five or ten checks depending on the length of the article”


“When I was learning Spanish I set myself a goal of learning 30 new words a day and I always went through my corrections every night before I went to sleep”.

I hope you find our trainers’ advice useful.  Why not try them out and let us know how you get on?  What New Year’s resolutions have you set for yourself?

Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year.

By Andy


rear-view mirror – (adj.+n.) the mirror you look into when driving to see what is behind you

headlong - (adv.) to so something quickly or without delay

to take stock - (idiom) to think what is positive and negative in your life

intention - (n.) something you would like to do in the future

resolution - (n.) a promise or determination to do something, usually for yourself

to go dry - (idiom) to avoid drinking alcohol

measurable - (adj.) capable of being measured 

productively - (adv.) in a useful or positive way

Hollyoaks - (n.) the name of a very bad English TV soap opera

whingeing - (n.) complaining

to tone down - (phr.v.) to do something more quietly or less frequently

emphatic - (adj.) adding expression or significance

to cut down - (phr.v.) to reduce

revise - (v.) check and test yourself on the things you have been learning

on time - (idiom) at the right time; punctually 

Image from voxxi.com

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