English via Skype with a Native Speaker. Pros and Cons. Part 2


Who Should Not Learn English with a Native Speaker?

If you are still a beginner, it will be difficult for you in a Skype class. There is a misconception that a native speaker is "cool", better than a local teacher. In general, students are rather sceptical about their teachers: "They are boring, they have been teaching the language for 15-20 years with obsolete textbooks, they do not master modern vocabulary".

After hearing this, beginners insist on studying with a native speaker. They do not take into account the fact that a foreigner does not speak their native tongue. As a result, during the first lesson, it turns out that the teacher and the student do not understand each other, and the gestures alone are not enough for full-fledged education. There is no positive effect from such studies, moreover, after a bad experience, students are sometimes disappointed not only in their studies, but also in themselves. Remember once and for all: Learning English with a native speaker from scratch is inefficient.

Start with your local teacher, and when you reach the Pre-Intermediate level, try working with a native speaker. To find out whether you can deal with him or her, register for a lesson with a local tutor, and he or she will be able to objectively assess the level of your knowledge and determine whether lessons with a foreigner will be effective.

As for the myths about local philologists, they have no right to exist. Teachers make progress with authentic textbooks, constantly improve their language skills in travel, exchange programs, etc. In addition, they watch news, films, read literature in English, replenishing vocabulary with the newest expressions and slang.

In addition, American or English teacher is unlikely to be able to teach the language via Skype to children under 10 years old. In general, teaching language to a child is something completely different. A highly qualified English-speaking tutor will be able to find an approach to your child. But small children are not always assiduous, they are often distracted and do not listen to the tutor. In addition, their vocabulary is small for communicating with foreigners, the child may feel uncomfortable with this lack of knowledge.

There is also a polar opposite opinion about teaching English to children with a native speaker. Some philologists recommend starting the study of a foreign language with a native speaker, explaining this by the fact that children will form the right pronunciation from the very beginning. If your child is plodding and knows the language at least at the Intermediate level, try an introductory lesson with a local teacher. Ask him or her to assess whether the child will be able to deal with a foreigner. At the same time, you will see the structure and atmosphere of the lesson.

Peculiarities of Classes

Of course, lessons with different teachers are different. Foreigners have different thinking, upbringing and mentality. Therefore, we decided to tell you what are the peculiarities of studying with foreigners. After grasping them, you can finally decide which tutor you will be comfortable to deal with.

1. Specific Logic of the Exposition

Foreigners are often optimistic and energetic people. With such a tutor, you will definitely not be bored, but it may seem that the lesson lacks some consistency, and after it, there is confusion in your head. To avoid this, be curious about the program in advance.

2. Grammar Is Given Less Time

Such a tutor is capable of breaking the language barrier, but foreigners have their own approach to the presentation of grammar of the language. Native speakers prefer teach students grammar in practice, explaining everything in plain language. They focus attention not on how to formulate this rule or another verbatim, but how to work out the skill of its application to automatism, to fix it in memory with the help of bright memorable examples. It is interesting, but this technique is not suitable for everyone. Some people like learning the rules by heart, and after the material is well established in memory, proceed with examples.

3. Ignorance of Your Culture and Language

A native speaker cannot compare the grammar of your mother tongue with English grammar. They will not tell about the difference in behaviour of your compatriots and English-speaking citizens in business negotiations, in travel and life. These examples are very interesting, and you may need them, if you are planning to go abroad or to an international conference.

4. Difficulties of Translation

It often happens that a student has got a good vocabulary, grammar at the level of a confident Intermediate, but they still lack competence in speaking. Naturally, such people tend to enrol in a lesson to a native speaker. On the one hand, that is possibly a right move, on the other hand, if your conversational skills are completely bad, you can experience real stress. You will need to spend a lot of energy choosing right words.

Your mother tongue speaking tutor can ask you what you want to say and help to formulate the sentence correctly. A native speaker will not be able to do this. If you are completely constrained in communication, and the language barrier is not just a barrier for you, but a high wall, it is worthwhile to think about classes with local teachers.

5. American or British English?

You probably heard that there are two versions of English: British and American. A teacher from America will help you learn the most modern slang, accurate expressions. He or she will teach you the American manner of speaking, as well as a kind of pronunciation. With a tutor from the UK, you will learn expressions and idioms of the UK, learn to speak with a classic British accent.

Don’t you know whom to choose? First, it all depends on where you want to go to study, live or work. If you are going to America, you should opt for an American teacher, otherwise, your British speech will seem to be slightly prim. Are you going to live in London? Classes with a British tutor will be effective, because you do not need Americanisms in England. Secondly, think about the following: with the residents of which country you often have to communicate about work, study. Any option will turn out to be useful for you. Residents of both countries communicate without an interpreter, so they will easily understand you.

We believe that our arguments have convinced you to seriously think about the possibility of studying with an English-speaking teacher. If you are not sure yet about which tutor to choose, sign up for a free introductory English lesson with a native speaker. All online English schools provide this opportunity.  During the very first lesson, you will understand whether this way of learning is suitable for you.

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