Students often ask what steps they can take to become better at English. Of course there is no single answer but if I were pressed to give one, it would be to simply “use” English every chance you get. Though there are not millions of native speakers in Japan, there are a lot of people including a lot of foreigners from non-English speaking countries who you can speak with for a few minutes on the train or anywhere. You have to break the proverbial “ice” and just speak. It is the only way for you to give “life” to the English you are studying.
In the following linked video I give some advice to Japanese students. Using my rough Japanese I explain a few steps that all students need to do. Being a teacher in Japan these simple steps become very clear as you work with your students. I know that some students read the Smith’s School of English Soapbox, so some of my posts are as much for them as for teachers. Enjoy!