How I can keep attention high?

Goldstyles said

I have a question. Currently I am walking through a bad “learning” period.
My question is, how I can keep attention high. I believe my English doesn’t grow up.
And this situation make me depressed and sad.
Do you have any advice?

Julian’s Recommendation

Great question.

And one which I have a lot of experience with. Or rather I should say, this is something I have struggled with a lot of in the past.

In this article I’ll discuss how the brain works regarding motivation and ‘mental energy’. I’ll also talk about HOW you can keep yourself motivated (and have more mental energy). Finally, I’ll recommend some great resources (that I have used).

I’ll start by talking about the reason why intermediate ~ advanced learners just “stop” improving…

But first, a small quiz. Fill in the blanks:

“The _______________ I do, the _______________ I get done.”

You can use any combination of the following three words: ice-cream | less | more

You can use each word as many times as you like. And you don’t have to use all the words.

Really think about this. Because it’s important. I’ll tell you the answer later in this article.


A common problem all intermediate ~ advanced English learners have is feeling like they have just ‘stopped’ improving.

Why English Is Like a Lego Tower

doing english plus members only

Further Reading/ watching

If you want to know more about this topic…

I recommend this course by Ryan Levesque and Dr. Beverly Yates.

I’ve been through it myself (twice, actually), and it’s made a huge difference in my life. In fact it’s the reason I started running every day… among other things.

It’s not free. But it’s definitely worth checking out. You’re learning will never be better than your brain’s limits. So if you want to do a lot of good quality learning… it’s worth extending your brain’s limits.

Ask Julian

Every week I answer one of your questions in detail. Have a question or a topic you want me to discuss?

let me know here.

If you’re a member, you must sign in to see this content. You can sign in here.

Stop Translating English in Your Head

Last week Marco asked how he could stop translating in his head.

This is a great topic.

A lot of people have problems with this…

And the feeling of being “slow” and “awkward” because of translating.

Luckily, the solution is quite simple.

But first… you’ve got to understand WHY it happens.

So I wrote this article

Which goes into detail about:

[+] Why you translate in your head (hint: imagine an old-fashioned set of scales)

[+] Why language is NOT like a light-switch that can be turned on and off (it’s actually more like Christmas lights)

[+] The difference between “strong” and “weak” languages (and why it matters)

[+] How to stop your brain to stop translating (it’s much easier than you think)

You’ll only be able to read the full article if you’re a Doing English+ member.

(However you do get a sample for free.)

The reason I’m sending this out to everybody…

Even if they aren’t members…

Is because I know a lot of people are interested in this topic.

So I want to let you know that this article is there. Just so you know.

This is also part of a new “Ask Julian” series…

… and you are, of course, welcome to ask questions (there’s details about this in the article).


That’s it.

Here’s the link again:

Speak without translating: Is it possible?

Speak without translating: Is it possible?

Question of the Week:

translateI’m talking about a usual problem in language learning, I suppose. Translating in your native language everything you are listening to.
During last year I’ve listened to a lot of English conversations / audio (Youtube, TV shows, Movies; Julian lessons :)) .
I think my listening skills are improved and now I can catch many more words, and maybe many more chunks.
But, I can feel that there’s always a little “delay” between sound and understanding. It’s translation time thas has never gone away.
I’m wondering if can come a moment in time where you will not need translation no more.
A sort of “Aha!” time.
Maybe it’s a dream or an utopia.
Should I resign myself to this?


Julian’s Recommendation:

Hi Marco,

Good question.

No. You shouldn’t just resign yourself to it. Translating from your native language is a common problem. Well, it’s not really a “problem”. It’s really quite a natural part of being bilingual. However it will slow you down.

The solution is quite simple…

doing english plus members only

OK. That’s about it. Let me know in the comments below if you have any question.

Further Reading/ watching:

Also check Two Step Speaking Module 8. Especially Part 2 (fluency = ‘familiarity’) and Part 4 (an exercise which pushes you to think faster).

Ask Julian

Every week I answer one of your questions in detail. Have a question or a topic you want me to discuss?

let me know here.

If you’re a member, you must sign in to see this content. You can sign in here.