You may think that passing the exam is the ultimate goal in your STANAG English story. But is it? What to do next after you have successfully passed your exam?
Well, first of all, you should take time to celebrate! It is an achievement and I bet you put a lot of time and energy into your preparations.
And then, you start a new chapter. Because the exam is only a stage in your language journey, or at least it should be if you want to maintain your English in a good condition for a long time and develop it even further.
There are at least 5 reasons why it is a good idea to keep in touch with English and STANAG English even after you’ve passed the exam.
You may need to re-certify your exam. It means that you will have to take the whole exam again to prove you are still on the same level after some time. It may happen if you apply for a certain position in the NATO structure or diplomacy, you would like to be deployed to serve abroad, take part in international courses or exercises.
You may want to pass the next level some time in the future.
You need English for work.
You may need it for work one day.
It would be a pity to let all that hard work so far go down the drain and let your English get rusty.
So, what can you do? Here are a few suggestions.
DO THINGS IN ENGLISH
Do things that interest you professionally or as a hobby in English.
Read in English (books, e-books, blogs, social media, newspapers)
Listen to things in English (radio, podcasts, audiobooks, music)
Watch in English (films, series, documentaries, YouTube, Social Media, news, comedy)
Write in English (start a diary, blog, social media channel, write a novel, short story, a poem)
Play computer games in English.
Use English learning apps.
Take part in meetings in English (e.g. online courses on other subjects, discussion groups, speaking clubs, public speaking meet-ups).
Learn other things in English. (e.g. through tutorials, YouTube videos, online courses)
CREATE SITUATIONS IN WHICH YOU NATURALLY USE ENGLISH
Whenever you have an opportunity to take part in a situation in English, use it!
Take a foreign guest for a tour around the city.
Make friends with an English speaking neighbour or co-worker.
Take part in online forums or discussions in English, etc.
FIND A LANGUAGE BUDDY
Form a group of people with the same goal, and meet regularly to practise using English, exchange information and ideas. You can meet online and take turns to organise those meetings. An international group would make things even more natural when English is your common language.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY OCCASION TO USE ENGLISH
Volunteer for tasks at work which require English.
Use English when you travel.
MAKE A PLAN
Make a plan for small things you can do regularly in English.
Make it your new habit to do a tiny thing in English every day. Make sure it is easy to do and pleasant.
Remember that you lead a busy life and this little thing in English shouldn’t be an additional burden – think of something that can be an easy and fun thing to do.