Why is my English getting worse?

Is Your English Getting Worse?

After 2 weeks in Japan and being quite immersed in the language, I quickly started to lose confidence. I wondered why I was getting worse. Getting worse is a common feeling when learning a language, so let’s look at why that might be and how you can overcome it.

Why Am I Getting Worse?

Simply, you’re not! So don’t worry.


I had some of my own ideas, and also some ideas from people I asked online, so I’ll share them here.

Sometimes you feel like you’re getting worse, but actually, you’re just getting used to speaking in English and you’re no longer impressing yourself. At first, it’s very exciting, but after a while your English knowledge becomes normal and you take it for granted.

Another reason is that your skill level increases very, very slowly, but your expectations increase very rapidly. This is especially true if you are in an immersion environment.

It’s also not helpful if you’re constantly comparing yourself to native speakers. That’s never a good idea! It’s always good to remember not to compare yourself to anyone (apart from the past version of yourself).

Finally, as you learn more English, you have more knowledge of how vast the language is, so this brings up this common quotation:

The more you know, the more you realise you don’t know. 

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7 thoughts on “#55 Why is my English Getting Worse?”

  1. Thank you for great insights! I’m really struggling with my english right now, but I’ve finally found explanation to that in your podcast!

  2. hi Micheal,
    this is Ernesto speaking, firstly,i’d like to express how great this podcast is, also how great you are. i especially like your British accent; there is no doubt that British accent is charming, decent and attractive. the topics you talk in every episode are quite useful, but maybe lack some energy, i mean it sounds kinda like some sort of English types from school text books. and your accent, i don’t know,is that the RP or RP like? you speak in a nice tone, with a slow pace. though it’s nice to hear, yet it’s easy to lose contraction, maybe that’s my problem. hopefully in some episode you would talk in the accent you use everyday, after all, or with some british idioms or British slang. hey, you can use british idioms, while explaining it maybe. that must be useful and more fun because we know what british idioms and slang mean might be very different with they look like. oops, it seems i say too much about my personal opinion; i really love this podcast and appreciate your work about your this podcast, your websites, your Youtube channel. i hope this show could really be on fire!!!

    1. Hi Ernesto, thanks so much for taking the time to leave a nice comment. It always makes my day to see kind words such as yours. In regards to lacking energy, that’s just my way of talking. I don’t really make any special efforts to slow down in the podcasts – it’s quite similar to how I talk in my daily life too. I do think slow English can be really beneficial, but I also think that hearing natural English is most important and ‘textbook’ English is only really useful at beginner levels. If you met me in real life, you’d find that I’m generally quite a slow talker anyway. The only difference is I might use fewer slang terms on the podcast than I would with my friends.
      RP accent isn’t so common these days. I certainly don’t have RP, but I don’t think I have a particularly strong regional accent (it’s always hard to judge one’s own accent).
      I do plan to cover more topics on accent and pronunciation in the future, so hopefully, those episodes will help!

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