A good English learning plan is specific, achievable, and tailored to your needs, and that’s exactly what we are going to deliver today. After doing extensive research, we have found that working for 5 hours a week for 12 weeks in total will significantly boost your English level. After just three months, it will mean that you have practiced for an additional 60 hours! We will guide you through the program, telling you exactly what you need to focus on each week for the highest chance of success. Let’s have a look at your 3-month study plan!
Who is the 3-month study plan for?
Disclaimer: while you may follow this plan without a SpeakUp subscription, your chance of following through is substantially higher if you do.
First of all, this plan is created for intermediate level students (CEFR B1 students). When you’re at this level, you have a good basis of grammar and you can only express yourself in familiar situations. Talking about travel or hobbies feels possible, but talking about hypothetical situations or describing a political ideology less so! When someone talks to you, you usually understand parts of what they are saying as long as they don’t speak too quickly.
We then need our students to be aware that this 3-month study plan requires a weekly commitment of 5 hours at a minimum. We will help you to make it as easy as possible to commit to those 5 hours by including topics you can easily work on with our SpeakUp program.
The last requirement is that our students trust the process and commit to three full months of work. Learning English requires effort, but here at Magoosh we make sure it never feels painful! If you commit consistently for three months, you will notice that by the end of that period, your level of English will have improved a great deal!
The 3-month study plan
*Note: We’ve opened a few of the lessons from our premium product for you to experience in the plan below, at no cost to you. If you would like to try the lessons that remain gated, we invite you to access them (and try out some live sessions!) through a free 7-day trial of SpeakUp.
Week 1 (5 hours)
- Learn how to express an opinion by reviewing this lesson on how to express likes and dislikes. Make sure you practice the structures out loud in the speaking exercise at the end.
- To make sure others understand you more often, learn about syllable stress in this article and take this lesson, being sure to complete the practice exercise.
- Focus on syllable stress in mimicking exercises: repeat after a recording of a native speaker, focusing on where they stress each word.
- Take this lesson on prepositions, being sure to complete the practice exercise, and supplement it by reading this article. Practice using these with native speakers in your life for 10 minutes each day.
Week 2 (5 hours)
- Learn how to sound more natural in this lesson on the Schwa sound, complete the exercise, and review by reading this article. Making a list of 50 words that contain the schwa sound.
- Time to make sure you pronounce the -ed correctly, starting with a lesson on this here. Review by reading this article. Your past tenses will be understood so much better now!
- Try to watch 10 minutes of a show or movie you really like, but make sure you watch it in English. It’s ok to use subtitles, the important thing is that you hear native speakers talk.
- Now that you’ve learned more about syllable stress, it’s time to tackle a lesson on sense stress (or sentence stress). Review by reading this article on sentence stress. Did you know that there were so many ways to say one sentence?
Week 3 (5 hours)
- Continue learning about stressed and unstressed syllables in this article. Record yourself reading a paragraph of your favorite English website, magazine or book out loud. Can you hear your stressed and unstressed syllables?
- Being able to engage in small talk is an important skill to have, and this week we will polish your abilities a little further in this lesson and practice exercise? Review by reading this article. Why not try and use these skills immediately on an acquaintance, or try it out live with someone in a SpeakUp lesson?
- Today is a great day to review your knowledge about comparatives, when you want to say how A is different from B. After this, compare your high school experience to the experience of students currently in high school.
- Find a news article on a well-respected news source without a firewall such as BBC.co.uk or theguardian.com and try to read it. Did you get the main idea? Which new words did you find? Add them to a flashcard app like Quizlet to test your memory later!
Week 4 (5 hours)
- Let’s start this week by finding more ways to link your ideas together. This lesson will help you connect your ideas more clearly so that people will understand you better. This article also provides many ideas on linking words you can use
- Today you will learn a bit more about intrusive sounds, necessary sounds that will help you become better understood by native speakers. Try to record and listen to yourself afterwards saying “how are you” and “she is”
- For many English learners, their “th” sounds at times sound like sh, d, t or f. Any idea if that happens to you too? Let’s take a closer look at that in this lesson and review by reading today’s article. How do you say “this thin thing” now?
- Have a look at the last message or email you sent in your native language. Try paraphrasing the content in English.
Week 5 (5 hours)
- The American R sound is tricky to consistently make for many students because their native languages use a different sounding R. If that’s the case for you too, this lesson and exercise on American R’s will help you become easier to understand for native speakers! Review by going over this article.
- Phrasal verbs can seem intimidating when you just start learning about them, but practice really does make it easier. Today we will have a good look at phrasal verbs. Why don’t you try to create 2 sentences for each of those verbs you learned today?
- A lesson on collocations will help you to understand spoken English even better. So do yourself a favor and get started. Read this article on collocations to review.
- Watch an interview with an English speaker you admire. It’s ok to use transcripts or subtitles, whatever you need to understand what your person is saying. Usually students start to understand interviews better when they listen to each section multiple times, we absolutely recommend that too! We recommend the YouTube channel called English Speeches with English Subtitles.
Week 6 (5 hours) – Halfway point of the 3-month study plan!
- Let’s start this week by looking at some frequently mispronounced words in our lesson on minimal pairs. Afterwards, check out this article on minimal pairs to review. Can you say some words that are part of a minimal pair and let a native speaker repeat back to you what you just said?
- As you already know, to say that English is not always pronounced in the way it is written is an understatement! Let’s make sure we perfect our pronunciation of words such as boy, toy and noise this week.
- Do you sometimes accidentally still say things like “tomorrow I go to school” and “they play tennis next week” without thinking about the future tenses you should be using? This lesson will help you feel more confident about the future tenses you should be using. Why not try to explain what you hope to do tomorrow? Check out this article to review the grammar.
- Listen to the best kind of English spoken album or playlist you can think of while reading the lyrics at the same time. Many students say that they get a deeper understanding of the meaning of the lyrics when they try this, see if that’s true for you too. Here’s an example of a song analysis that could get you started!
Week 7 (5 hours)
- Just like it became easier to talk about the future after last week’s future class, it is important that you know how to use the past. Let’s have a look at the simple past, and see how it’s different from the present perfect. This will be very useful if you want to tell someone about that great book or movie you’ve just finished. Try to explain a plot in English now and check out this article on the simple past.
- Have you ever noticed that certain words on paper do not seem to have the same number of syllables when said out loud? Let’s find out more in this lesson on how to pronounce words like family and chocolate.
- Does your “ng” sound ever sound like a n or nk? It’s a good idea to practice this a little so that you can say “the baby was grabbing her long finger because she was getting hungry” without any problems.
- Let’s be a little nostalgic this week: think about a cartoon you absolutely loved as a child. Now try to watch one episode or part of this movie in English this week. You can use subtitles if they are available.
Week 8 (5 hours)
- Helping verbs such as modals are hugely important in the English language, but do you know when and how to use them? Let’s solve that mystery by learning more about this in this lesson Review by reading this article. Try to think of 5 sentences about your favorite hobby that all use a modal.
- Speaking of verbs, let’s make sure our irregular verbs are in great shape. Today’s article will help you with that.
- Let’s also have a look at when to use your vocal cords when speaking in English and when not, as this is not always intuitive for English learners. This lesson from our pronunciation crash course will help you with that.
- Homework: Listen to a podcast in English about a subject you enjoy. If you’re not sure what to pick, you can always pick a podcast about learning English! Try to memorize at least 3 new words or expressions after listening – be sure to add them to Quizlet to test your memory later!
- Sometimes you’ll need to talk about what someone else has said, which is called reported speech. Be sure to try the exercise before finishing up with a review with this article on reported speech. After this class, try watching an episode of an English TV series and use reported speech to communicate what 3 characters said.
- Not sure when to have a rising intonation when you’re using tag questions? We will have a look at that in this lesson. Afterwards, come up with 3 tag questions that could either be real or rhetorical questions depending on the intonation.
- Let’s make sure you can express the similarities and differences between certain places, things and people by taking this lesson. Give it a try and compare your hometown to New York City. Review this article in review.
- Homework: Listen to a speech of a famous English speaking politician, such as Barack Obama. Do you hear that not all words are stressed in the same way during that speech? Some words are said faster than others, did you notice that? Try this lesson on pausing and see if you can notice 5 moments when this happens during the speech.
- This week we’re going to look at the kinds of words which are useful when you want to refer back to another word: relative pronouns. Once you finish this class, try to write 5 sentences, a few with defined and others with undefined relative pronouns.
- If you’re learning English, it can be helpful to know about conditionals. This lesson will teach you how to use the second conditional properly to express unreal situations. Afterwards, come up with one conditional for each of the tenses.
- Hearing a sentence in the passive voice is considered more difficult to understand than a sentence in the active voice. In this lesson, we will learn the basics so that you can use it at the right times.
- Homework: Try to meet a new friend and have a 10 minute conversation with them. There are several places online where you can find people trying to improve their English. SpeakUp has a beautiful community of English learners that are happy to try out their English speaking skills with other language learners.
- Did you realize that there are two ways to pronounce words ending in -ate? After reviewing this content from our pronunciation crash course, it will forever be clear how to pronounce each version. Try out this lesson and the speaking exercise so that you will be better understood by native speakers.
- The next lesson will focus on our pronunciation of words with schwas in them, in this case in the words ending in -inal, such as medicinal and seminal. Try to repeat 10 of the words after class in the right way and add them to Quizlet for future review. Record yourself while you do it and listen back to your recording.
- How would you pronounce a sentence like “We could go”? Would you be surprised to hear that we don’t pronounce the “ld” as such but that it becomes a “g” sound? In this lesson on assimilation you will learn more about this phenomenon. After class, try to think of a type of assimilation that really surprised you. Make 2 sentences using this type of assimilation.
- Homework: Watch a short clip in which a native British person speaks, like this one. Do you notice any sounds that are different than what you would expect in an American accent? Write down 5 words that are pronounced differently.
- Your last week of the program! Let’s polish your pronunciation even further. Let’s have a look at the differences in s and z sounds, as some surprising words have z sounds that you may not expect. After this lesson, write down 10 words that have an unexpected s or z sound.
- Let’s also have a look at all the different ways a t can be pronounced. This lesson will help you identify when you need to use which kind. Afterwards, make one sentence in which all 5 types of t can be heard.
- Our last lesson on this program is a lesson about compound nouns, when two words become a new noun when placed together. You’ll learn more about which words are compound nouns and how these should be stressed in this lesson.
- Homework: Reflect on what you’ve learned in the past 12 weeks and prepare a little 2-5 minute presentation about this. Mention what surprised you, what challenged you and what was easier than expected.
So how does Magoosh SpeakUp work exactly?
In short, you will become part of a welcoming and safe community in which you have the chance to practice your listening and speaking skills in multiple lessons a day.
You sign up to SpeakUp, where you will immediately feel welcomed as a valued member of our student community. You will have the chance to choose from a wide-range of lessons that are offered 6 days a week and suitable for all time zones.
Classes are structured in such a way that you will have the chance to speak as much as possible. Most classes have only 2 to 4 students, so you will receive personalized attention from our experienced teachers throughout the lesson. Our teachers have been selected based on their experience, qualifications and ability to make you feel at ease. You can be sure that they want to see you succeed!
Students can also choose to be active on our dedicated Slack platform, where many choose to get to know each other better, comment on classes or ask each other questions. We would love to see you there too!
After joining, students frequently comment on how quickly SpeakUp feels like it has always been part of their lives.
How to make sure you execute the 3-month study plan
To make it as easy as possible for yourself, join SpeakUp! We will be happy to welcome you personally. We reply to each of our new members within one business day, creating a tailor-made program just for you based on your needs. This will make it very easy for you to know what you should be focusing on first for maximum results.
You will immediately notice the wide-range of classes that are on offer that week, so you can go ahead and select your first few. Your new classmates will welcome you with open arms and will love to hear what your reason is to improve your English further. These classes are great opportunities to speak with people who are at the same level as you. Because of how the classes are structured, you can be sure to feel supported in every class and never criticized for any mistakes you make.
Having accountability partners that check in with you weekly
The best way of staying engaged when following a 3-month study plan is by having people who care about you check in with you weekly. Although it could be any friendly person in your life, you will get the best results when you have accountability partners that are either doing the same as you, or are professionals.
An easy way of finding people who will check in on you, is when you decide to join SpeakUp. In this way, you can stay in touch with your classmates and teachers on our dedicated Slack channels after class to practice your written English as well as your reading skills.
It’s almost too easy to succeed when you combine our 3 month English learning plan with SpeakUp!
What happens if you fall off?
Of course, we are all human and life sometimes surprises us in ways we couldn’t foresee. It happens occasionally that a student can no longer commit to the hours that they thought they could originally for that 3-month study plan.
The most important thing is to remain kind to yourself. You signed up to the program in the first place, so you know that you are dedicated to improving your English. All you need to do is keep going as you were doing before as that will give you the results you are looking for. Students who have found themselves in this situation have extended the 3-month study plan timeline. You could add another month or more to your program to make sure that you finish what you set out to do.
Some students have told us that they set up a system of treats for themselves when they manage to meet their goals. For example, you can go on that fun day trip if you complete all the planned lessons every 4 weeks. Other students like to scare themselves into going to class: If you don’t show up for class, you’re not allowed to eat any chocolate today.
Usually, however, we find that our students like coming back to class so much that they soon forget about their own reward and punishment systems!
Why not give the 3-month study plan a try?
We have multiple daily lessons on business days and frequently, weekends as well. As our students are based all around the world, from the U.S.A. to Germany to South Korea, we always offer classes that are right for your time zone too. Why not take a class in your lunch hour, right before you start work or at the end of your workday today?
We are excited to welcome you to our SpeakUp community!