Living in the 21st century, we constantly have to cope with the problem of a vast variety of options. Where to go, what to wear and how to study? It is not a surprise then, that such a great choice could bring us to a dead-end where it is hard to understand what to opt for.
I have been studying English as a second language since I was ten and at different stages of this path, whether it was attending group classes or sessions with a tutor, or a third option, I did all at the same time. Having been teaching English for over 10 years already, I have looked at the whole process from the opposite point of view. So, I hope my finding will help you to make up your mind if you are thinking of taking up a new language.
One together and all for one
Nothing can be more fun than finding yourself in a group of likeminded people… all with the same goal immersing ourselves in a new language. Also, in a group you can develop your speaking skills as you have a great chance to converse not only with the teacher but also with your group mates. Traditionally, such classes are very dynamic, full of discussion and disputes.
Unfortunately, the drawback can be the pace at which the course is covered. If you are one of those who grasps and absorbs new material quickly, most likely you will consider it an advantage that you will even benefit from. Do not feel demotivated if you are prefer taking your time studying new topics… just try to make some extra time in your routine and dedicate it to doing some activities in the target language.
The key is to find the right professional that you will enjoy working with as in the class there will be only two of you. Basically, you will be the one the whole class is spinning around. To clarify, all offered materials to study will be tailored to satisfy your needs… moreover the teacher’s attention will be concentrated on you alone. Such classes are worth taking in case of preparation for an international exam or if you are working a schedule that makes it difficult to fit formal classes into, or you may not feel comfortable studying in a group.
The downside is that you will have to communicate only with one person and it is your teacher. In such an environment you should not worry too much about avoiding mistakes, as the majority thinks that the only thing the teacher will do is to tell them off. Ultimately, such thinking causes nothing but a language barrier, which is what we are trying to overcome in the first place. As a teacher I must tell you that we teachers do look for mistakes but only because those mistakes help us to evaluate our students’ progress and give us hints as to what topics need more thorough coverage.
I always say that modern technology was created to simplify our lives and to some extent make it more entertaining. There are vocabulary games, grammar lessons, storybooks and audios and are easy to access. With the help of educational apps, you can brush up your language wherever you are and whenever you have some free time to kill.
The down side of this breakthrough is the inability to substitute a real teacher. From my experience as a teacher, I see these apps as great supplements to variegate your study routine and are quite helpful in developing proficiency in a foreign language.
The bottom line
I am sure that we are lucky to live in the technological age when you can actually take classes from a professional or a native speaker who might physically be miles away from your location. Also, 2020 has proved that real borders vanish once we go online. And who said that we should opt for only one way when we can successfully combine several means of studying in order to get better results. So, it is a matter of personal convenience to take advantage of what’s available, but the key is to focus on getting to where you are aiming for!
Stay tuned as more posts are coming on what mistakes to avoid while searching for a tutor and how to take up reading authentic books. Enjoy your coffee!