We thought that the natural progression for the following blog post should be that we talk about the different ways that you can learn English seeing that we’ve covered the importance of learning a second language and how long it takes to learn a second language.
First things first, divine inspiration doesn’t work!! Speaking in tongues is not English 😉 Now that we’ve got that out of the way we can look at a few of the different ways of learning English.
The first ones we will look at are classroom-based lessons. Now a lot of different categories fall under this one. Two of the most common are the direct or sometimes called natural method of language learning or the grammar-translation method of learning a language. Both of these have their merits and seeing as each person is different one method or the other will fit them best. Phew!! Wouldn’t the world be a boring place if we were all the same! Imagine everyone looked like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 😉 With the classroom-based lessons you have a set timetable where you turn up and hopefully learn. The good thing with this is that it provides you with a structure, you know exactly when you have to go for your lessons. The bad thing is that it doesn´t provide you with much flexibility, and if you are run off your feet with work it can be hard to find the time to fit in your lessons into this rigid schedule. Both of these methods, the direct method and the grammar translation method are great and no one should ever tell you this one is better than the other, as what works for somebody else may not work for you! But what they both have in common is that you are normally in a class with other people. A teacher is present to clear up any doubts, motivate you as you move along and you also get to make new friends with your fellow classmates or maybe a nemesis, a bit of classroom rivalry can spice things up. 😉
Of these classroom-based lessons we can look at the two different types we mentioned before in a little bit more detail. First of all there is the direct method, this method lets you learn a language through doing everything in the target language that you are learning and you are taught grammar inductively. Primarily you do a lot of speaking and listening. It’s pretty much how kids go about learning a language. It tries to teach you useful everyday expressions that you will build up and add to as you go along.
Next up is the translation-grammar based method. Here you are taught grammatical rules which you then apply to the language you are learning and translate it. Have any of you studied Latin? Well just like that, remember the old rosa, rosa, rosam, rosae, rosae rosa?? Oh the memories!!! Some people find this method perfect for them as it is very structured. The method lets you know where you stand once you know the rules, and more importantly the exceptions!! Not many in English!! 😉
The next way of learning English would be through self-study with books and DVDS and in the past CDS and cassettes. This method can have great results if you follow the course book and instructions correctly. Most are interactive and keep you fairly engaged and above all provides you with flexibility if you have a busy schedule. However, you don’t get any feedback as to the mistakes you might be making and above all learning English in any situation requires a lot of self-motivation and when it’s self-study even more! So tempting to put your feet up once you get home and say, “I’ll study tomorrow”.
The last category that we will talk about is online learning. The great thing here is that just like self-study, learning online provides you with flexibility, most places have some form of Internet connection available so you can more or less study anytime, anywhere you want. If you are learning online via Skype then the fact is that most of the time it’s just you and the teacher. This means that you can make the most out of the lesson and hopefully improve a lot faster as you can focus directly on your mistakes and problems. The cons are that you don’t have any colleagues with whom to talk things over with and the lessons are a little bit more expensive, but as we said before it’s just you and the teacher so you have their undivided attention.
At the end of the day deciding which method is best for you is a question of trial and error and seeing what really works for you. If you want and feel that learning online is the way to go because of the flexibility and the fact that the lessons are one on one then get in touch with us at www.enunciateonline.com for your English lessons via Skype and we will be more than glad to give you a hand in learning to communicate in English.