I have been teaching private English language lessons in New York and Boston for the past 5 years and I have noticed that there are two types of English learners. The two types are complete opposites. This week, my English student in Boston and I talked about the problem that many students have with perfectionism. They will not speak English until they feel that their skills are perfect. On the other hand, some English learners prefer to be spontaneous with their English and they believe that the world is their classroom. To them, every encounter with a native English speaker is a chance to improve. Which type of English learner are you? Keep reading to find out.
"My English isn't good enough, so I can't go out and speak yet"
Perhaps you believe that your English level needs to be perfect before you can speak with people. You might feel like you are always on stage when you are speaking and you feel upset when you make a small mistake. The good thing about your style of learning is that you work very hard to get a thorough understanding of English. However because you rarely take the chance to use the language in a spontaneous situation, it's hard for you to reach a high level of fluency.
Is this your style?
It's great that you are concerned about getting the correct grammar and the perfect vocabulary words but to get to the next level, it's time to use those skills! It might help to join a meetup group or a small English conversation circle where you can practice with a few other English learners and you won't feel under pressure.
"I need to go out and speak because my English isn't good enough yet"
You know that learning a language does not occur only in a classroom. You take every opportunity you can find to work on your English. You can be found chatting and improving your fluency with a native speaker next to you on a bus ride, in a waiting room or in a grocery store check-out line. You welcome spontaneity. Maybe you make grammar and pronunciation mistakes often, but you learn from each mistake. You main goal is to communicate with people in English.
Does this sound like you?
You are heading in the right direction to improve your English fluency. But remember, when you engage in a casual conversation with native speakers, many times they will not correct your mistakes because they don't want to discourage you. You might want to consider adding some structured conversation practice in a private English language lesson to be sure that you are using the correct grammar and pronuncation in your daily conversation practice. Keep speaking!
You define success and failure
Maybe you are a combination of both of these types of learners. Perhaps it depends on your surroundings, the people you are with or the topic of conversation.
In this post we have seen that people approach English learning in many ways and to each person, success is something different. Every English student has their own goals. Success and failure are standards that each person defines for themselves. So try to set English goals that are right for you instead of comparing yourself to others. Choose goals that challenge your learning style and allow you to see real results with your English.
photo credit- Lorenia