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Will You Forget Your English?

December 13, 2018 , by Dr Julian Northbrook

Mastering a language takes time and effort.

There’s no getting around this.

But what if you were just going to forget it all anyway? Would it all be a total waste of time?

This is a common concern.

And the short answer is: no, not at all.

It’s been more than 3 months since I came to Ireland. And yes, my Japanese proficiency has dulled somewhat. Instead of being lightning-fast and as smooth as a baby’s bum, I feel like I’ve got a slight hangover every time I speak it.

But honestly?

I’m not concerned at all, because I understand WHY it happens.

Perhaps you lived in an English-speaking country and you’ve just gone back to your home country, either temporarily or permanently. Perhaps you were working in an international company and used English on a day-to-day basis there and you’ve now left that job and gone to something different, in your native language.

Whatever the reason, you might find yourself in a situation, where suddenly you’re not exposed to English on a day-to-day basis.

You’re not using English as much as you used to and you feel like you’re going to forget everything.

As I said, this is something a lot of people worry about.

First, don’t worry too much. You never actually forget something that you’ve learned. This dulling of your proficiency is a result of the way the brain manages multiple languages. Languages are always switched on in your head. And this drains a lot of the brain’s energy. So what it does is, if you’re not currently using one, it puts it to sleep. You haven’t forgotten it (even if it feels like that).

Rather, you’ve just got to wake it up again.


By using it, simple as that.

And of course, you can make things MUCH easier for yourself by not letting yourself completely lose touch with the language.

Watch films in English, read books, and of course…


And if you’re not sure what the best things to do to keep your English sharp are, grab a copy of my best-selling book, Master English FAST.

It’ll show you step by step everything you need to know to take your English from “OK” to “amazing”, and, of course, what to do if you’re not using the language day in day out (the place to go is here).


P.S. If you like, you can read the first chapter of Master English FAST for free (here)

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