3 Lessons Most English Students Learn Too Late in Life

Teaching 6 min read

Young learners, middle and high school students, college/university students, and adults. I've worked with every type of English student you can think of, so I'm familiar with how they progress.

Today, I'm going to share with you three lesson many students learn too late in life.

The sooner you learn these lessons, the sooner you can improve your English and even your life experience.

Youโ€™ll notice two points come up often, your attitude and effort. That means, what you believe and what you actually do.

Always keep these two points in mind when thinking about your development. They are important to process.

Table of Contents:

๐Ÿ“ŒYou're Always Responsible for Your Learning
- What Does It Mean to Be Responsible?
๐Ÿ“ŒFailures and Making Mistakes in English are a Part of the Learning Process
- What to Do With Failures and Mistakes?
๐Ÿ“Œ There Will Always Be New Challenges Waiting For Us

English students in a class watching the teacher.
Photographer: NeONBRAND | Source: Unsplash

๐Ÿ“Œ You're Always Responsible for Your Learning

โ€œShe didn't tell us this homework was due today, so I didn't bring my book. And because I didn't bring my book, I didn't finish my homework and now it's affecting my grade. Sheโ€™s such a horrible teacher.โ€

Drama is expected in high school. And today Christina stormed into the classroom with fresh drama for our English class in Spain.

She was furious at what her teacher did (or didn't do).

"It's because of her I can't turn in my assignment!"

I patiently listened to another frustrated high schooler. I understood her concerns and could see why she was upset.

She thought a co-teacher was ineffective and because of that Christina's English, or actually her English grade, was suffering. She also had evidence to support her thoughts.

I asked her, โ€œAt the end of the day, is it your teacherโ€™s English or is it your English?โ€

Of course she knew the answer. It was her English.

I continued, โ€œIf itโ€™s your English, then you still have power to develop what you need.
At the end of the school year, you and your teacher will separate. You two will go in different direction. And you will still be left with your English skills.

Regardless of how good or bad other people are, in the end you are responsible for your English learning. There is power in that."

She was a smart young high school student, and from her smile I know some of my message resonated with her.

What Does It Mean to Be Responsible?

As I told her, remember โ€œYou are always responsible for your learning.โ€

Not the teacher, not your parents, not the college or university. It's your English. Itโ€™s your life. Take ownership of it.

You must take personal responsibility.
You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.

~ Jim Rohn

When I say responsible, I mean โ€œYou're always able to respond to improve your English.โ€

You're always able to take an action. That action may empower you, or disempower you. However, that choice is always yours.

There are thousands of ways for you to develop and improve your English skills.

Thatโ€™s what this site and community is for. Itโ€™s to help you create empowering beliefs about learning English, and build the right mindset and attitude.

So when you are facing a challenge, remember, you always have the choice to choose the empowering response. You always have the choice to take positive take action.

Donโ€™t give up or lose hope.

Rather, take ownership of your English development and ask yourself,
What am I able to do? How am I able to respond? Is this response empowering?

Young English learner reading at sunset
Photographer: Aaron Burden | Source: Unsplash

๐Ÿ“Œ Failures and Making Mistakes in English are a Major Part of the Learning Process

Often times learners don't try something or don't make an effort because they're afraid to fail.

Another similar problem is they want their practice and performance to be perfect with no mistakes.

Unfortunately, this stops their progress.

Great learners know failures and mistakes will happen. And when they happen (not if, but when they happen) they have the right attitude and get back to making an honest effort.

They also know failures are okay because they are part of the learning process. Matter of fact, this is the process.

What to Do With Failures and Mistakes?

Your focus needs to be on how you respond to your failures and mistakes. Notice and develop how you manage your effort and attitude during mistakes.

When a failure happens, it's okay to be confused, angry or thrown off balance. However, don't stay there. It's not helping you or anyone.

Ask yourself, โ€œWhat can I learn from this mistake? What can I do so it doesn't happen again?โ€

Make it a game of how quickly you can get back your learning process with the right mindset. Don't let setbacks stop your process. Rather, get back to the process of making an honest effort with the right attitude.

It's okay to make your mistakes and failures. Afterwards, use them to make them work for you.

Also, know that this is a shared human experience. Everyone before you who has made it past this point, has come to this point.

This is part of the journey they made it past, and so can you.

The quicker you learn this lesson of managing your mind during failures and mistakes, youโ€™ll start to learn more quickly.

Have you ever had the feeling that your next challenge looks like a huge mountain in front of you?
Photographer: Eila Lifflander | Source: Unsplash

๐Ÿ“Œ There Will Always Be New Challenges Waiting For Us

When you started studying English, you were excited, and you made progress very quickly. That's because it was new. Many of the challenges were fairly easy and didnโ€™t take much effort.

However, as you learning increased so did the challenges.

English is like any other skill. No matter what level you are at, there's still another challenge ahead of you.

You're going to be learning for the rest of your life.

It doesn't matter the skill; if your focus is learning a language, managing finances, or having better relationships. They all take effort.

If you want to get better at them, you have to be searching for new ways to apply your effort.

It will be there for the rest of your life.

For some learners, that can be daunting and frightening.

For other learners, hopefully like you, you will recognized that this is one of the rules of life and change your relationship with effort.

You'll see it as a joy, and know that because there is so much to learn you'll never be bored or disinterested. There is always something stimulating waiting for you.

With these lessons in mind, your English learning will be more effective.
Photographer: Kiyun Lee | Source: Unsplash

Conclusion: A Recap of the Three Lessons


  1. You are always responsible for your own learning. This means, you're always able to respond. You get to choose the response. Choose the empowering one that helps move ahead.
  2. Failure and mistakes are a major part of the process. Learn to manage them and learn how to find the meaning that helps you.
  3. There'll always be a new challenge waiting. Learning is a life long process. Find the joy in this. Set your goal, then focus on the next small step in the process.

Remember, it is your English. It is your life.
I know that you can make it awesome.

There are many lessons I've seen my students learn later in life, but I only shared three.

What are some English or Life lessons you think you've learned too late in life? Share them with the community and comment below.