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The Secret Sauce to my English Improvement Method

in The Doing English Blog

This morning we start the second run of my Accelerator course.

I won’t lie.

MEFA is a bit “weird” for an English improvement course.

And Week 1 is especially weird. The first time I ran the MEF Accelerator course, I actually debated whether or not to even include it.

I knew I should.

But I worried people might get confused.

You see, the topic of Week 1 has got nothing to do with English. Or even really language learning. Actually… it’s more of a science lesson than anything else.

BUT it’s also the secret sauce to my English improvement methods.

The reason the rest of the programme works so well.

As Kyoko and Deniz both said:

“It has changed my fundamental attitude towards language learning”

Keeping the unusual topic in Week 1 was definitely the right thing to do (while you’ll know if you were on the first. MEFA has been my most successful course to date. My most enjoyable too, I’d say.

If you’re on the second run of the course, see you at 11 am Ireland time for the first session (the recording will be sent out shortly after).

If you’re not on the course, sucks to be you.

You can (and should) get yourself on the Priority Notification List for when the course next opens.


P.S. If you are already on MEFA…

Nothing is broken. I used to re-write my daily emails for course members. In an attempt to save time and streamline my work (I’ve got a PhD thesis to write) I’m now sending the same emails to everyone.

“What would you do if you had more money than you could spend in a lifetime?”

in The Doing English Blog

I often have trouble sleeping.

My mind is like a gerbil on amphetamines at the best of times.

And it likes to pose interesting questions…

… right as I’m trying sleep.

So last night I’m lying in bed, about to drift off, when my brain suddenly calls out:

“Hey, Julian. You sleeping?”

“Yes! So shut up,” I reply.

“What would you do if you had more money than you could spend in a lifetime?”

Bloody hell, here we go.

Because now I’m wide awake and thinking about this particular scenario.

What would I do?

The conclusion that I came to was as simple, and probably very unsatisfying for anyone other than me. First I’d buy a nice house, and employ a chef and housekeeper. I’d build a library equipped with enough bookshelves to hold Amazon’s entire Scandinavian crime fiction collection (an obsession of mine for about 5 years now).

Next, I’d equip said library with the biggest, best screen and sound system money can buy and I’d call up Amazon Video and offer them a million quid to give me permanently, lifetime access to every film they have (past and future ー none of this having to mess around renting stuff and watching within 48 hours).

Then I’d spend my days alternating between reading and watching every film ever made.

Pure bliss.

Luckily for you, my dreams of becoming a complete hermit aren’t likely to come true very soon. Which is why you can (and should) click here and add yourself to the MEFA Priority Notification List for next time.


P.S. As always happens…

… I’ve had my inbox filled with emails every day asking if I’ll make an exception and let them join MEFA now. The answer’s no.

You’ll have to get in next time…

… and the best way to do that is to add yourself to the MEFA Priority Notification List.

The Tomorrow Gene

in The Doing English Blog

Recently I read a book called…

“The Tomorrow Gene”

… honestly?

It was OK.

But not amazing.

If you plan to read the book, you should probably stop reading this email now. Because I’m going to ruin it. You have been warned.


The book is about a beauty treatment that makes people young again. At the end of the book it turns out actually the company doing the ‘Tomorrow Gene’ (the name of the beauty treatment) actually couldn’t get the treatment to work at all. Instead, they’re creating younger-clones and transplanting memories from the originals before disposing of the older (but original) version.

BUT ー the memory transfer isn’t perfect.

And people in the know can tell the difference between the originals and clones.

You see, the clone ends up with missing memories and holes in what they remember. So in a sense, the clone, although younger and more beautiful, is a lesser, reduced version of what the person once was.

Funny thing is, this is exactly how many of you describe yourself in English.

Like a badly made clone.

You look like you, but as soon as you open your mouth, something lesser comes out.

In your native language, you’re smart, funny and confident. You’re witty and always shining like a bright light, drawing people’s admiration.

But then in English, you feel clumsy, dull and shy.

Wit is replaced with dry, flavourless ‘textbook’ English, and instead of smooth, sophisticated phrases, you speak in slow, awkward mistakes and errors.

Many of my new MEFA members described themselves like this.

But you know what?

In 90 days from now, they’ll be in a totally different place and describing themselves in a totally different way.

The question is, will you?

If you wanted to join MEFA, it’s too late (we’re full).

You can (and should) put yourself on the Priority Notification List for next time, though.


P.S. When will MEFA be opening again?

I haven’t decided.

But the people who get first chance next time will be those on the Priority Notification List.

So add yourself.