TRY THIS: I will... I will... I will...

Have you ever wondered why, at the beginning of every episode of "The Simpsons", Bart Simpson is trapped in a classroom and has to write a specific sentence over and over again?

Writing a sentence fifty, one hundred or two hundred times used to be a very common way of trying to teach school children not to misbehave or do things that would annoy the class. Psychologists now know, however, that this is also an extremely effective tool to get people to visualize positive change in their lives and to make themselves believe that something is true. The more times you hear something, the easier it is to remember it - and if it's easier to remember something, you're more likely to do it.

So if you're having problems keeping your focus or staying motivated....TRY THIS:

Think of a positive sentence (something you might want your teacher to tell you, for example) and write it down fifty times. Take a clean piece of paper, write the sentence at the top of the page in red ink...then take half an hour to an hour and keep writing and writing and writing the same sentence over again.

Here are some examples of sentences you might try:

* I don't need to translate from Spanish to English: my English skills are good enough.
*I will get excellent marks on my exam.
* When I go to (name city here), I will not have problems speaking English. I can understand and be understood.
* Learning more slowly does not mean that I will never learn English!

This trick also works well with words or structures that you have problems remembering, like not putting the modal verb in the IF- clause in a conditional sentence. (You probably don't need to write it fifty times, however...ten or fifteen times is probably enough.)

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