Why I Don’t Teach Private English Lessons
How many English lessons have you taken in your life, either in a classroom, online, or with a private teacher? A couple? Dozens? Hundreds?
Yet, if you still struggle to speak after allof those lessons, have you ever wondered why you aren’t fully fluent yet?
When you were first interested in learning English, there’s a good chance you started searching for English classes. Or maybe you had to take English lessons in school. But however you begin learning, the reason most English lessons won’t get you to fluency – no matter how many lessons you take – is because they’re incomplete.
Sure, you’ll learn a lot in these classes, which is why you can now read, write, and likely pass some English tests. But live online classes and private, or small group, lessons – even with native English teachers – use traditional language learning methods that are inappropriate for learners who want to speak.
So, to help you achieve fluency as fast as possible, let’s look at why even private English lessons typically fail students who want to speak, and what you should do instead if you want to express yourself like a native speaker.
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Why Private English Lessons Can Hinder Fluency
While private English lessons may appear to be the best idea to accelerate your fluency, they have some serious drawbacks that can actually STOP you from speaking.
1. Teachers Intentionally Speak Slowly
Have you ever had an English teacher speak very slowly to you, with the hopes that you’ll fully understand their words? This is a common teaching method – speaking at a much slower pace than native speakers typically do.
The problem with this method is that native speakers rarely slow down their speech in real-life situations.
So if your teacher only speaks slowly in an effort to emphasize words, lessons are creating a “gap” between classroom English and the language of the real world. So you’ll likely still have trouble understanding the often fast and unclear speech of native speakers in actual conversations.
You must also be exposed to examples of fast speech, blended or slurred speech, and even examples of people who don’t speak clearly.
This is one example of what I call Naturally Varied Review. And without these varied examples, you will probably find it difficult to understand conversations in real life.
2. Insufficient Exposure to a Variety of Native Speakers
Just like the previous issue about speech speed, fluency also requires exposure to many different accents, dialects, and speaking styles.
Recall how you learned to speak your native language. You heard many people say the same things in different ways, like your mother and father both telling you to “Wash your hands.” And you learned different ways to express the same ideas or situations, like “ready” and “good to go.”
This is another essential kind of Naturally Varied Review.
Unfortunately, private and classroom English lessons are usually only taught by a single teacher, limiting the exposure needed to understand a wide range of native speakers and unlock fluency.
Without exposure to a variety of native speakers, you will likely remain unprepared for the nuances of the English language that are key to achieving fluency. Even a great teacher must be complemented by many other native speaker examples. This is the main reason I don’t offer private lessons, even though students ask me for these classes every day.
3. Vocabulary Doesn’t Reflect Native Speaker Communication
Typical language lessons often prioritize formal or textbook vocabulary, which is far from how most native speakers speak in their daily lives. Again, this vocabulary is fine for writing, but it’s really a different language than you’ll hear in spoken communication.
4. Limited Lesson Frequency
Most people only attend private English classes for one hour per week – that’s only four hours per month! And even if you attend more sessions than this, you’re probably not getting enough exposure to the real language, or spending your time well – with the right method (which I’ll explain shortly).
So more of these kinds of lessons will likely not help you, in addition to taking more of your time, and costing you more money for less progress.
5. You Are Learning English as a Second Language
The foundation of every lesson is the teaching method itself.
But most private English classes with a native teacher still teach you English as a second language. This means you learn through textbook instruction, grammar rule memorization, and some translations.
Basically, these lessons stop you from understanding English like it’s your first language. And because how you learn is how you speak, you will then think about grammar rules and translations in conversations, instead of speaking fluently.
I teach English as a first language in my program, Fluent For Life. It’s the only course that GUARANTEES fluency for intermediate to advanced English learners because it erases the doubts and worries that stop you from speaking.
How Native Speakers Build Fluency
Native English speakers learn English as their first language, and the great news is you can learn it this way, too!
You won’t see native English-speaking children sitting in a classroom repeating words and phrases from a list in order to increase their fluency. Sure, native-speaking children go to school. But their ability to speak fluently develops long before they begin formal education, and grows even if they never attend any classes.
Children are out in the real world learning words and phrases and their natural context. For example, a child learns the word “hot” by touching something hot, not by studying “heat” in a chemistry textbook.
Every situation children encounter offers a new way to understand the world around them and automatically helps children remember the English words used to express things. Plus this way of learning is FUN, unlike most English classes!
Finally, it’s important to understand that native speakers build fluency by listening to many different speakers even before they start speaking. This is how they develop a deep understanding of words and grammar, which gives native speakers confidence that they’ll speak correctly, and the depth of understanding necessary to speak without hesitation about almost anything. If you want to see the difference between learning English as a first language and learning English as a second language, watch this video.
What English Learners Really Need to Become Fluent
If you’ve read this far, you now understand why even private lessons with native speakers are incomplete for learners who want to communicate fluently. And you also know that you should learn English as a first language if your goal is confident speech.
So if you’d like help doing this, I’ve developed a program called Fluent For Life that will improve your English in just minutes a day. The best part? You can do it by yourself, anywhere in the world!
And because lessons are easy to understand and remember, you’ll stay motivated with the progress and confidence you can FEEL.
Ready to get started? Get Fluent For Life.