Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

Conversation English Lessons | Learning Through Real Communication

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Wed, Sep 21, 2011 @ 04:57 PM

conversation English lessonsIf you are taking private conversation English lessons for the first time in New York or Boston, you might be comparing your experience to the English classes that you took many years ago in your home country.

Teaching methods have changed over the years.

While the old method for learning a language was grammar drills and repetition, now a lot of ESL teachers are using a conversation based method called the communicative approach.

Keep reading to find out how conversation English lessons can help you learn to communicate in real life situations in English.


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The problem with the old method


 conversation English lessonIn the past, the main goal of language acquisition has been correct grammar and students learned to use correct grammar by repeating sentences in grammar drills.

Did this work for you?

In my opinion, the problem with the traditional methods of language learning was that they did not encourage independent thought and students were not taught how to use the language in natural, everyday conversations.



The communicative approach and how teachers use it today


Today, the goal is to communicate and interact using the English language.

Most teachers believe that students can learn so much more by actually speaking the language rather than repeating grammar drills or writing them in a workbook.

In today's ESL classes, most teachers use role plays, real life conversations, discussions, debates and interviews to help students acquire real and useful English skills.

In conversation English lessons, students also learn how to change their vocabulary from formal to informal and they acquire new local expressions and idioms.


 What does this mean for you?


If you are living and working in New York or Boston, you know that English skills are important for your life in the US and for your career.

But maybe the idea of taking an English class makes you think of grammar drills and repetition- the old way.

In your conversation English lessons at English and Culture, your tutor will create a lesson for you based on the goal of communication.

You will learn how to interview in the United States, how to discuss an issue in the news or how to make a business telephone call in English.

You will learn these skills by participating in role plays and constantly using the language in your lessons.

You will gain confidence in your ability to speak in different situations, you will become more motivated and you will be able to use your new skills immediately.


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photo credit:vancouverfilmschool    P Shanks

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