As so many of us, I’m also a self-confessed (autonomous) #learnaholic.

And if I had to isolate just ONE ‘hack’ that has made the biggest impact on my development (academic, linguistic, personal) over the years (…decades… –yikes) it would be my conscious effort to seek out opportunities where I could kill MULTIPLE birds with one stone …where I was either getting PAID or that were very CHEAP.

1) Paid:

If someone else was paying for my development at the time, i.e. an employer or clients, this often created real win-win situations where we were ALL learning something (or in many cases many things, including #transferableskills).

Teaching things to keep practicing them while deepening my own knowledge / skills (or discovering new facets of both) has created lots of meaningful SHORTCUTS to my growth over the years.

For example, 

• I improved my ENGLISH by teaching it (when I was 16).

• I improved my EXAMS awareness by preparing students for them, then writing them.

• I became better at WRITING by teaching (academic) writing.

• I got to really understand SKILLS teaching by training teachers to become better at it. 

• I learned a lot about BUSINESS by teaching business English (…then writing it).

• I gained a lot of experience of CURRICULUM PLANNING by writing my own courses as well as others’.

And nowadays I’m really enjoying deepening my Enneagram knowledge by COACHING clients who want to ‘tame’ the ‘difficult’ students (people) in their lives. 

Einstein (might have :D) said that ‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough’. So I consciously work on making my teaching and content LEAN.

2) Cheap:

The second most important (=affordable yet impactful) learning hack of the last 7 years of my life has been my AUDIBLE membership.

While audiobooks tend to be more expensive than regular (e-)books, they’re well worth the investment, in my opinion.

If we zoom out, we can see that they’re actually the cheapest university / therapist / (meaningful) entertainment option out there, for about $10 USD per book on average.

‘Listening with my ears’, as I like to call it, has freed up the rest of me (i.e. not just my eyes) to do other things while learning about the world. I get to putter around my home, cook, or (my favorite), walk (in the jungle) for hours while fully immersed in a good book.

Thanks to this hack I’ve been becoming a more and more well-rounded human, picking and choosing amazing ‘reads’ (listens) in my favorite genres including memoirs, business, coaching and psychology.

I’ve been learning directly from, and staying inspired by the best in various industries while killing many birds, e.g.

improving my comprehension, vocabulary and fluency in 3 languages,

as well as 

other added SERENDIPITUOUS learnings e.g. that #learningstyles are indeed bullsh*t because whatever you do more of, the better you’ll become, including listening. (In other words, newsflash, no you aren’t a ‘visual learner’ after all…).

What is YOUR favorite learning hack? Is it CHEAP? Or completely FREE?

#CommunicativeLanguageTeaching #ELTassessment #SELinESL #Enneagram #coaching

— —

Hi. I’m Fatime. I’m an ELT teacher trainer, author, item writer, academic manager and SEL coach. 

Check out my 

–> IELTS teacher training courses

and message me if you need 

–> an AUTHOR in

Exams and Item Writing

EAP and Academic Writing

Teacher Training

Business English and ESP

Social Emotional Learning

Curriculum Planning


–> 1-to-1 Enneagram (SEL) COACHING to better deal with the ‘difficult’ people in your life. 😉