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The limits of language teaching

As we know, language needs to be discovered. It cannot be taught to an unmotivated learner. Becoming a better language learner depends on you and your personal determination, not on schools or teachers.

It’s important to understand that language teachers are dedicated to helping you improve, but they cannot make you fluent.

You have to acquire the language yourself. The teacher can stimulate, explain, and provide the best possible language resources.

After that, you must take charge and pursue your own learning, according to your own interests and nature. If you do that you will learn, naturally and without stress.

Learn a new Language with LinguaLift

The language classroom is too often an artificial environment where the emphasis is on teaching the language according to a timetable imposed by the curriculum. The expectation is that the teacher will impart language knowledge or skills in a certain order.

As long as the textbook is covered in the prescribed time period and test scores are positive, the assumption is that the language has been learned.

Unfortunately, the results in terms of fluency are mostly disappointing. The language classroom can be stressful. The learners often dislike having the teacher correct them in front of others, and are frequently frustrated at their own inability to speak properly.

There is an underlying expectation that the students should perform correctly, rather than just communicate. The students could also feel threatened or annoyed by their fellow students, depending on whether their classmates are more or less proficient at learning the new language than they are themselves.

In the most effective classrooms it’s not the language that is studied, but some other subject of interest to the students. In studying another subject the learners absorb the language, and are less self-conscious about their own language difficulties in their enthusiasm to communicate about something of interest to them.

After the learners are exposed to a sufficient amount of interesting content by listening and reading in the language, they gradually become aware of the need for correct structure and word use. Then they are motivated to work on these aspects of the language.

It’s best if the learners ask for help as they need it, rather than having to respond to the timetable of the teacher. The teacher is able to correct the students privately or on written content and to offer relevant grammatical explanations as required. The classroom can be a useful learning environment if it’s used in a flexible way which puts the learner and not the teacher in control.

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