4 Stages of learning a skill; 4 steps for Learning to speak English. Plus 4 short-cuts

Most Learning happens when we are kids, it does not mean that we stop learning after a certain age. In fact we grow to become aware of what we want to learn and what we don’t want to learn and progress more-or-less systematically on the path in a Step-by-step method. What are the stages of Learning and steps to learn to speak in English as a second language of communication. In this post let us discover the stages of Learning, the ‘can do’ statements as defined by experts and are there any short-cuts. (some teachers of English as a subject may-not agree with the shorter routes, nevertheless they help an adult learner reach the destination faster. They come from my personal experience as a communication skills trainer :-)) 

4 Stages, 4 Steps and 4 Tips

“Four Stages for Learning Any New Skill” was suggested in early 1970 and it has not only stayed but gained popularity

4-stages of Learning and acceptance over a period of time, in very simple words they are:

Need to learn a skill –> ‘I don’t know’ but want to learn –> I understand –> I can do it!

Learning English with TricksFor example we were discussing ‘Juggling’ in our class the other day where some people had ‘not heard about it’ (Stage 1), others knew about it but had little information on ‘how to do it’ (stage 2) . Still others may understand what it is and what it takes to learn it (stage 3). An expert juggler is undoubtedly at Stage 4 – He/she can do it with confidence and ease.  All of us agree that ‘Learning to speak English is easier than juggling’

While Learning to do conversations in English,  most of the time is spent between Stage 3 and Stage 4. The surest route is practice ‘more’ in the presence of speakers who know the language well and have the ability to correct your mistakes. The simple steps as illustrated in the picture are from words to composition of sentences and then to speak them in the context. All that grammar (or rules) does is to help you add the required details so that you can ‘Tell a Story’. 

Some short-cuts or Tips that help you save time when you do the required practice are:

  1.  Learn one ‘small portion of grammar’ at a time – make it interesting. For example: if you are practicing to speak your likes/dislikes or habits in ‘simple present tense’  stay with it until you are comfortable to speak in public.
  2. Do not shy away from asking questions from the trainer if you are not clear on the basics (wrong practice can waste a lot of your time) Do some practice in the Lab in front of your trainer.
  3. Understand what stage you are at and prepare your mind accordingly – advisable everyday in the morning. See my post on ‘Can learn’ and ‘Can do’ statements.
  4. Speak more & more in English to Learn to speak with confidence and ease.

The amount of practice required can be different for different people and depends on your learning style and learning pace. DO NOT compete with others – Learn at your own pace. As a back-ground material you may like to read this article from British Council : How Young children learn.

Stay motivated to do well in the class practice and keep up your inspiration to become a good speaker of English as a language – remember its easier to speak than do juggling 🙂 


4 thoughts on “4 Stages of learning a skill; 4 steps for Learning to speak English. Plus 4 short-cuts

    • We have also not seen your smiling face for a while :-)… You have to attend classes if you want to be in ‘mass communication’. Do catch-up fast…

      Learners of English: Even the short-cuts or Tricks involve regularity of practice. At the least ‘being in the English zone’ for 1-2 hrs/day. If you miss the class buy a CD, listen to English, read the blog -reply to the posts with comments. More sentences you make the better it is FOR YOU.


  1. sir, today I read this post and I also agree that “Learning to speak English is easier than juggling” (juggling means throwing and catching several objects simultaneously).


    • Thanks Savita for your agreement and addition… yes, Juggling does involve throwing with one hand and catching with the other as simultaneous actions. (good observation and usage of a rather difficult word)…. Note a correction done in your first sentence above. I will speak to you on this…

      To others who are following this Discussion: “Speaking in English is tougher than swimming”… comment and How much practice do they both involve?


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