Many English learners complain about not making much progress in learning English. One question they need to ask themselves first is: Have I kept a balance between input and output? Input means listening and reading; output means speaking and writing. For some learners, input is an issue. To learn English well, we need to read a lot and listen a lot. How much reading have you done? How much listening do you do every day? If you are an ESL/EFL student, you probably go to school twice a week or more. In your English class, you listen to the teacher, you do in-class reading, but there are other activities in class. Your English language input is probably only a few hours a week. This is not enough input to learn English well. Do you know how many new words an English student learn in a year? According to research, a full-time ESL student learns 2,500 new words a year in average. That sounds like too many new words. However it means only about 7 words a day. If you read in English, I’m sure you come across more than 7 new words a day. Therefore, don’t think you cannot learn 2,500 new words a year. You can. The problem is that in order to know how to use the word, according to research, you have to see the word being used in different contexts 7 to 9 times. This gives you some idea of how much reading and listening you must do. In-class time is simply not enough. You need to do a lot of reading and listening out of class in order to know how to use the new words and how to use the language.