Filed Under: MEFA, Mindset
January 14, 2021
By Julian Northbrook

“Is it raining out?”

“No — for once! Everything’s wet, but at least it’s not falling from the sky!”

This was a conversation I had yesterday evening with a woman in my building as I came back from the shop.

A very typical conversation.

But you know what?

The me of 15 years ago would have panicked that my hair looked greasy and therefore looked wet. I would have worried and felt stupid.

To be fair, my hair was greasy.

I didn’t get around to showering that morning… but that almost definitely wasn’t the case (and if it was, who cares?)

The point is, how we interpret situations is largely to do with what’s going on in our heads.

We make assumptions.

And we associate (connect) current experience to previous (normally negative) experiences.

Someone says “pardon?” after you say something in English, so you instantly assume your English was wrong (but maybe they just didn’t hear?). You make a mistake, and you assume that everyone thinks you’re stupid (but they probably didn’t even notice). You go for a job interview and get rejected, so assume you’re shit and no good (or maybe the interviewer is a racist prick?).

… and on and on and on.

Over the years I’ve identified 10 “Mental Baggages” that many English learners have. These come as a result of bad experiences, as well as believing things people say without ever considering he valid that is.

You have some of these “Mental Baggages”.

Probably all.

And they hold you back from speaking great English.

Big time.

So if you want to move forward, you’ve going to have to identify the mental baggage, the assumptions you have and the bullshit you tell yourself… and learn to REASSOCIATE the things happening RIGHT NOW with positive ideas, not negative.

This is the second Accelerator:


Suddenly a mistake becomes a spring-board for improving in English faster. A rejection becomes a chance to avoid something that wasn’t right for you anyway. And a “Pardon?” becomes a chance to say something again, in a different way.

It’s not easy.

It’s uncomfortable.

And it’ll take time.

Which is why we start this right from Week 1 and 2 of the MEFA course (which, of course, implements all 9 of the Accelerators ー though not in order; they’re built into the 12 weekly sessions).

If you want a place in the next group, go here:

https://doingenglish.com/MEFA

Enjoy,
Dr Julian Northbrook


Filed Under: MEFA
January 8, 2021
By Julian Northbrook

Years ago when I still had an office job, I took the same route every day on the train, transferring to a different train every day.

Then one day I had a day off and decided to go do some shopping.

I took the same train, changing at the same station halfway: but I was supposed to go a different way from there, and get on a different train to the one that took me to my office.

Was supposed to.

Because what I actually did was walk the normal way and get on the normal train.

The wrong train.

Chances are you’ve done something like this before.

Why does it happen?

It’s simple, really: habit.


MEFA Information Here.

Habits are one the ways the brain saves energy, and where it can it will always prefer to kick-in an automatic routine — a habit — and let things just flow. Certain things trigger these habits (like getting off the train I always got off) and from there they just go on autopilot unless you stop them.

This is the same for both learning and speaking English.

When you say, “good morning” to someone, that’s a social habit and it’s a language habit (the neurons in your mind are fused together and when you say, “good…” your the habit pulls the rest into “morning”). The mistakes you keep making are also habits.

And when you panic, feel fear or get embarrassed, yup, those are also too.

Well, the first stage of building confidence is re-wiring your bad habits. And as Rytas, a recent MEFA graduate said to me last week, we’re all FULL of these “bad habits” that are holding us back and stopping us from performing in English properly. Some are performance habits. Some are language habits. Many are thinking habits. But left unfixed, they’ll make progress very, very difficult.
Which is why you need to REWIRE those habits to change from counterproductive, too productive so they push you forward with your English, instead of holding you back.

How do we do that?

Well, that’s for me and my boys and girls in MEFA to know, and for you to wonder about.

But we start the process of right from Week 1.

For information, go here:

https://doingenglish.com/MEFA

Enjoy,
Julian Northbrook


Filed Under: MEFA
September 16, 2020
By Julian Northbrook

In the last few parts of the Accelerator Model, you’ve seen that mastery comes from:

  • Fluency
  • Naturalness
  • Confidence

Without fluency, your English will be slow and awkward. You’ll translate in your head and overthink everything. Without naturalness, your English will be messy, chaotic and disorganised with is hard for the listener. And without confidence, you’ll constantly doubt yourself.

Over the next 9 videos, I’m going to discuss the 9 Accelerators: the steps my clients take to develop fluency, naturalness and confidence.

But what does it mean to be a master of English?

That’s what this part is all about:


Mastering English doesn’t mean being perfect.

And it doesn’t mean knowing everything there is in English. That’s impossible. There will always be more to learn.

Native speakers aren’t perfect.

They make mistakes, pronounce things wrong and fail to explain things well.

Native speakers don’t know everything, either. Indeed, on average they only know around 2.5% of the words in English.

I define English mastery, or indeed mastery in any language, as speaking so well that you forget that English isn’t your first language. It’s when you are able to focus fully on the task at hand, and just do it without thinking about your English. And it’s when you’re able to speak without hesitation and communicate your ideas clearly so that the person you’re talking to doesn’t think about your English either.

In a nutshell, it’s when your English stops being a barrier to the things you want to do.

If you want my help transforming your English, add yourself to the MEFA waiting list – I open to a new group of 15 students on the 24th of every month.

Best,
Julian Northbrook


Filed Under: MEFA
August 25, 2020
By Julian Northbrook

Speaking English well means a balance of fluency in English, naturalness, and confidence in using it in the real world.

If you’ve got only one or two of these things, your English will be imbalanced.

In this article, we’re going to look at what happens when you lack the “confidence” part, and, of course, what you need to do to fix the problem.

Watch this video:


Get Julian’s Help Transforming Your English — Go Here.

Best,
Julian Northbrook


Filed Under: MEFA
August 6, 2020
By Julian Northbrook

Speaking English well means a balance of three things: fluency in English, confidence with using it in the real world, and naturalness when speaking.

If you’ve got only one or two of these things, your English will be imbalanced.

In this article, we’re going to look at what happens if you don’t have fluency in English: what it looks like, why it happens, and most importantly, how to fix it.


Get Julian’s Help Transforming Your English — Go Here.

Fluency does not mean proficiency.

Really, all fluency is efficient processing in your brain.

And native speakers achieve this by speaking in chunks of English, not words and rules. What this means is, if you want to speak as they do, you’ve got to learn in the way they speak. In chunks. Not words and rules.

Unless you’re already in (or have graduated) MEFA, you might want to consider putting yourself on the waiting list: we open for a new group on the 24th of every month.

The place to go is here.

Enjoy,
Julian Northbrook

 


Filed Under: MEFA
July 29, 2020
By Julian Northbrook

You might have fluency in English, but is your speaking clear, orderly, and natural?

If not, don’t worry: I’ll show you how to fix your messy English.

Speaking English well means a balance of three things: fluency in English, confidence with using it in the real world, and naturalness when speaking.

If you’ve got only one or two of these things, your English will be imbalanced.

In this article, we’re going to look at what happens if you skip the “naturalness” stage, and just “talk talk talk” your way to fluency.

The Problem with “Talk Talk Talking” your way to fluency

Generally, people who learn this way have a lot of confidence: they are outgoing and extroverted.

And yes, having a lot of confidence in English is a good thing.

But it can also be a double-edged sword.


Get My Help and See Results in as Little as 90 days – Go Here.

On the one hand, this confidence is very much a good thing.

A confident person will make use of the opportunities that come their way, and improve as a result. People who have no confidence won’t (and if that’s you, there’s an article here). On the other hand, someone who’s very confident won’t care much about their mistakes and messy English enough to fix it. They go out there, throw themselves into speaking English and do an OK job… but as a result, they get stuck at a weird level where they’re able to communicate very well, and fluently. But never go past that.

Yes, they tend to build fluency in English pretty well.

But the naturalness side of things lags far behind, and they end up speaking fast, but very messy and chaotic English that is hard for people to understand.

The Solution

Improving in English in a balanced way requires two things to happen:

  1. Focused learning using high-quality materials.
  2. Extensive relaxed “doing”.

True mastery is always going to come from BOTH of these things happening again and again.

If you don’t know how to do this, I’ve got a free training here that can help.

Best,
Julian Northbrook