Improve My English Quickly
In our hurried and hassled lives we often need fast solutions to help us get what we want. As regards learning English, the phrase ‘fast solutions’ is a little misleading; what we really mean is the best and most efficient solution to get us from where we are to where we want to be.
If you read through a standard English language course guide for groups of students (whatever size the group may be), you will see that interesting and topical themes are chosen because they can be linked with areas of language skills and systems. These themes are usually called ‘contexts’ by us English teachers. For example, a context of ‘Your Horoscope’ is ideal for using verbs to talk about the future. The frustrating problem is finding a course which includes contexts which will mean something to you and which will also cover the specific English language problem(s) you want to improve.
If you a) want to improve your English b) have plenty of time c) are willing for the course’s teacher to eventually solve your language problems and d) are happy to have only a share of the teacher’s time spent just with you, I strongly recommend that you go on a standard, group- based course at a language school or college.
But, if you a) want to improve a particular aspect of your English , b) have limited time, c) want the teacher to help you to solve your personal language problems, d) want contexts which are useful for and meaningful to you and e) want to have 100% of the teacher’s time or , as I wrote earlier, if you want ‘the best and most efficient solution to get us from where we are to where we want to be’, I strongly recommend that you pay for a one-to-one English course.
One-to-one language learning can even be written as a mathematical formula:
A clear, realistic personal target + thorough and expert assessment, planning and preparation + a skilled teacher + your commitment to do the work = you will get where you want to be.
You will notice that ‘when’ is missing from my formula; this is because ‘when’ is related to your goal and to where you are now, both of which are unknown. I say, with total confidence, that the ‘when’ will come much more quickly with a one-to-one course than it ever will with any of the alternatives.If, however, you invest some of your time on parts one and two of my formula with a one-to-one English teacher, you will easily and quickly be able to see from the teacher’s responses if you are going to get good value for your money and hit your target .
I must be fair too and say that English courses for groups of students obviously do work: the market for them would not exist if they didn’t; good teachers do stunning work to make sure that individual students in their groups learn as much as possible within the limitations I have already covered.
Finally, here are three questions you should ask the person or place you are considering investing in to help you improve your English. Listen very carefully to the answers to them before you decide which type of course is the best and most efficient solution to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
- How much time will I get to discuss my personal learning goals and my current language ability with my teacher? (emphasise each ‘my’).
- How many of the courses’ contexts can be chosen by me?
- How much exclusive contact time will I have with my teacher?