Letter #13: Meet new friends (not just) to practise English

Hi Peter,
how are you?

One of the most valuable actions we can regularly take to improve our English is practising speaking and interacting with other nice people. 🙂

The important fact that I have realised after months of running English the Smart Way blog is that our community has quickly grown to hundreds of active fans.

So I started thinking: “hmmm, we need some safe place to get to know each other better. A place, where we can make new friends and enjoy the progress of becoming fluent English speakers together”.

Today, I am excited to invite you to join our newly created English the Smart Way Community group. 🙂

English the Smart Way Community group is a closed Facebook group where you can:

  • connect with like-minded people & find English-learning friends
  • arrange Skype / Google Hangout calls with other members and practise English
  • get the latest news from me (and the most important) have fun! 😉

Join our growing English the Smart Way Community group today:

And of course – membership is free for all subscribers.

Looking forward to seeing you inside the group Peter! 😉

Have a fantastic week,

P.S. When you click the link above, you will land on the community Facebook page. Then you only need to click the Join button and I will approve your membership. 🙂



Letter #12: English Success Story: Interview with my friend Massimo from Italy

Hi Peter,

just a quick announcement.

The 3rd episode of English the Smart Way podcast is live. 🙂

Click here to listen to it right now.

And what is this episode about?

Me and my friend Massimo got on Skype together recently and recorded an interview for you.

Massimo is a neurosurgeon from Italy who used to struggle with English speaking in the past.

Today everything is different – Massimo is a fluent and confident speaker who actually enjoys English. 🙂

If you are interested in what Massimo did to finally get where he is now with his language skills, click here and listen to the interview now.

In more detail, you will learn:

  • How Massimo finally overcame his issues with public speaking in English (6:14)
  • Massimo’s favourite tools and sources for English learning (17:44)
  • How our identity can affect our English learning (25:14)
  • Massimo’s number one tip for English learners around the world (32:05)

Have a wonderful week Peter and enjoy English!  🙂

P.S. When you finish listening to the interview, feel free to let me know what you think.



Letter #11: That was a hard lesson to learn…

Hi Peter,

how is your English learning going? 🙂

When I read the emails from you – my dear subscribers – there’s one common difficulty that many English learners seem to be having.

Most English learners I meet have perfect or very good English writing. They can read English articles easily and they also understand English when they are listening. But…

…when it comes to speaking – when they are about to talk to someone in English, they get stuck and nervous.

They are unsure and they can’t say a word or they are speaking slowly with many pauses. But what’s more obvious – they feel uncomfortable, sometimes even scared.

The foreign language anxiety I just described is one of the top reasons why we – English learners – have so much trouble when it comes to speaking in English.

If it sounds familiar or you can relate, read on. 🙂

When we are afraid of speaking, we basically prevent it. We try to get out of every situation that could potentially include speaking. And what it does, is, that, when we are not speaking, we are not improving our speaking skills.

The english language speaking anxiety has almost nothing to do with your English knowledge. It is mostly psychological thing. It is a matter of our focus.

To tell you the truth – I suffered from foreign language speaking anxiety myself.

And to share with you my personal experience, I have recorded for you the whole story in the following podcast:

Listen to the story and see what I did to finally overcome the fear of speaking in English:

And after you finish listening the podcast Peter, feel free to share your thoughts or experience with speaking anxiety in the comment section.

Thank you so much and enjoy English 😉



Letter #10: Download your free English audiobook today!

Hi Peter,

I have found that listening to audiobooks is a very comfortable and effective way of learning English.

Apart from practicing listening skills and widening your vocabulary, you are also enjoying the book of your choice. Plus, your eyes won’t get tired and you can exercise, travel or do any other physical activity while listening. So it saves time too! 🙂

But, where can we get audiobooks? 🙂

And how can we get audiobooks for free?

I am answering these questions in the following blog post:

Check out the article and listen to your desired audiobook today 🙂

That is for now Peter,

have a nice day and enjoy English, 🙂



Letter #9: Why we don’t reach our goals and what to do about it

Hi Peter,

when we make a new decision in life – set a goal or make a resolution – we start an adventurous journey. Everyone says the first step towards reaching our ultimate goal is important. But as you can guess, not just this first step is enough to take us where we want to be.

Once, I got excited about a new goal I set to myself:

”I am going to do a simple physical exercise every morning to become more energised for the upcoming day!”

– that is what I was willing to commit myself.

Well, what do you think happened in reality?

I exercised two or three days in a row, then on a third day I went to bed late at night. As a result I was unable to get up early the next morning and do the exercise. After several days I completely forgot about my new goal. The initial excitement disappeared and there I was – back at the beginning of my journey.

Can you relate? Have you experienced something similar in your life?

One of the reasons we are unable to reach our goals is the lack of consistency. We get excited, we do the first step and then… It’s over.

Luckily, there are several tips you can do to stay consistent with your actions whether we are talking about English or any other area of your life. Here are 6 tricks I use myself:

1. Take some action NOW! – In the moment you decide, take some action in the direction of your goal. Don’t wait. It can be a simple action like calling your friend and scheduling a meeting, or writing down your plan on piece of paper, or booking a learning course – anything that is simple, quick and related to your goal.

2. Visualise – Dedicate at least a few minutes each day to describe and visualise your goals. Imagine your goals like if they already happened. What would you feel? What would you have? What your experience will be when you finally have what you have always dreamed of? 🙂 Set aside the time for yourself and your dreams.

3. Don’t worry if you miss a day – Don’t get discouraged if you can’t work on your goal each and every day. Sometimes we get sick or something more important arises. That’s ok. Just continue with your actions the next day.

4. Schedule – If you decide to do something, put it in your calendar right away. Whether you use traditional paper calendar or electronic one on your phone / computer, make sure you dedicate your time to your goals.

5. Remind yourself what is important – Make sure you see your goals everyday. For example, I have a whiteboard on the wall above my working desk. There I write all the goals and plans I am working on so I can read them each and every day. You can also use sticky notes or reminders on your phone. That way it is almost impossible to forget what is really important in your life. 🙂

6. Trick yourself to do just a little – Sometimes we can feel lazy and not willing to do anything. When this happens, trick yourself, and do just a little bit of work. For example if need to read a book, read just one page. If you need to do some physical exercise, start just walking. If you need to write an email, write just one paragraph… The chances are that when you start the activity, you will continue with it even you didn’t feel like doing anything before. 😉

Enjoy English and your life,

P.S. The next email tip will be all about English audiobooks and how you can get them for free. 🙂



Letter #8: Don’t memorise new words. There’s an easier way to improve your vocabulary

Hi Peter,

how was your week?

One of the top questions I get from English learners is this one:

„How can I learn vocabulary and not forget the new words?“

We all know how vocabulary is important when it comes to speaking. And it seems many people struggle with learning and remembering new words.

That is the reason I have decided to dedicate one special blog post just to share with you the tips I use to improve my vocabulary:

If you are curious what you can do to:learn the new words and keep them in your mindmake sure that you get the new words from your memory right when you need them check out my blog post:

That’s it for today. 🙂

Have a wonderful week and enjoy English Peter,



Letter #7: Thank you, Peter

Hi Peter,

how was your week? I hope it was wonderful. 🙂

Today’s email is a bit different.

It has been several weeks from the time you got the English the Smart Way ebook when you joined this newsletter. I believe it has helped you on your way of mastering English as it has helped other readers.

I would like to thank you so much for staying with me for all this time.

When I started building my little blog, I had no idea that one day I will be connecting with so many nice people from almost every part of the world.

It has been one of the most fulfilling experiences in my life. And I probably wouldn’t have accomplished all of this without help, support and inspiration of my dear friends, family and you of course. 😉

And to move things further, I have decided to run a quick but very important survey.

I would like to discover what you really need so I can serve you in a best possible way.

Click here to tell me your biggest challenge with English

Completing the following survey shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes and it will make an enormous impact on the direction I take English the Smart Way.

Your response will be a primary factor in shaping the future of what I do, what gets published, what the site looks like and ultimately your experience with English the Smart Way.

Click here to complete the survey

Thank you so much for your help, Peter 🙂

Have a great week and all the best to you.

Speak soon,



Letter #6: The One “Weird” Technique to Start Thinking in English

Hi Peter,

how are you doing?

Can you imagine yourself thinking in English as if it was your native language? How would that feel? 🙂

What if English became your “primary thinking language”? And what if you could choose the language you want to be thinking in?

When you think in English it feels almost as if English was your native language because thoughts coming to your mind are the English ones! 🙂

You may ask: “Ok Ivan it all sounds great, but what if I have never been thinking in English? What if I always translate sentences from my native language to English in my mind? How can I start thinking in English?

Here’s a simple technique for you Peter. Let’s call it Talking to yourself. 🙂

The only instruction of this technique is:

Describe your daily activities and situations in English.

Let me explain the technique on a simple example:

When you are sitting in a chair working on your computer, you can tell yourself:

“I am sitting on a chair and working.” 🙂

Or, if you are on a walk in the forest, tell yourself:

“I am walking in the forest.”

Or, as you are now reading this email you can say:

“I am reading the email and learning a new language learning technique.” 🙂

Simply – describe the activities you are doing at the moment. You can just think about the action or you can even speak out loud what you are doing. (preferably do this when you are alone) 😉

At first it may be difficult to find the right words to describe the activity, but with a little bit of practice you will get better soon.

After using this technique for a while, you can make it more challenging by talking to yourself about your future / past activities.

For example:

“I am going to do the dishes.”

and so on… (by the way, I love washing dishes! 🙂 )

Got the idea? 🙂 I hope so.

Look, I know it might sound ridiculous to talk to yourself, but it is really effective method I have used myself to start thinking in English.

So try it for yourself today and have fun! 😉

Feel free to hit the reply button and tell me what you think about this technique. I would love to hear from you.

Have a wonderful week,
Ivan 🙂



Letter #5: Is there anything you want me to write a blog post about?

Hi Peter,

how are you? I hope all is well. 🙂

This week’s email is short, but it’s very important. I would be very grateful if you could answer one little question for me:

Is there anything you want me to write a blog post about?

To be honest, many blog posts I published and also the ebook English the Smart Way were a direct response to the questions of my readers. One of these posts is for example How to overcome the anxiety of speaking a foreign language? (you could also find this topic in the last chapter of the English the Smart Way ebook).

If you have something in your mind that you haven’t found answer to yet, I would love to hear your suggestions. I will do my best to answer as many questions in actual blog posts as I can.

All you have to do is reply to this email. 🙂

Thanks again for your support Peter, and I hope to hear from you soon.


P.S. In the next email I am going to share with you the technique you can use to think in English as if it was your native language. 🙂



Letter #4: 5 simple tips I use to get more from watching movies in English. The Number 2 is my favourite!

Hi Peter,

I hope you are doing great. 🙂

Watching movies in English is without a doubt a great way to improve listening skills and widen your vocabulary.

Today I would like to share with you 5 simple tips you can use when watching movies to learn English even more effectively. Here they are:

1. Use English subtitles
If you are reading this email I bet your reading skills are quite good. So I suggest to use English subtitles for the movies you watch. It will definitely help your English much much more than if you were watching movies with subtitles in your native language. 🙂 It will allow you to think in English which is very important in order to become a fluent English speaker.

2. Start with children movies
Some movies are difficult to understand because of the vocabulary or strong accent of actors. Always choose the movies based on your current skills. When you are watching a movie and feeling that you don’t understand most of it even with subtitles, just move to an easier movie. If it means you end up watching children movies, don’t worry! Children movies are fun! 🙂 And there’s nothing to be ashamed of. You can always watch a more difficult movie when you get better.

3. Watch with a friend
We all like to do things together and share our experiences. Invite your friend or sibling to watch a movie with you. You will have more fun and can discuss the movie and used language.

4. Watch the same movie again
Every time we watch a movie again, we understand more. If you like some movie so much that you would watch it once more – do it. The second time you watch the movie, try to turn off subtitles.

5. Do some sort of physical exercise while you are watching
Watching movies is mostly a passive activity. So why don’t use our precious time more effectively and do some physical exercise at the same time? It can be something really easy like lifting weights for example. 🙂

That’s it. 🙂 I hope you have enjoyed these 5 simple tips. Have a wonderful week and stay tuned for the upcoming newsletter.

Enjoy English,