I have been teaching English for over 11 years, I’ve taught over 15000 individual lessons to over 1500 people. Here are some of the biggest mistakes the vast majority of my students make:
99% of my student use bilingual dictionaries
Nobody is using monolingual learner's dictionaries and at the same time, everybody is complaining about their poor fluency and mental translation.
Learning individual words
Never learn individual words, always learn words in combination with other words, it is what we call Collocations.
Collocations are the smallest building block, every monolingual learner's dictionary gives you the most common collocations
Never learn individual words, always in combination with other words and better still in a sentence:
Language learners don't read enough. Many people think that they are good at reading, but bad at speaking and spend crazy money on speaking practice with little to no effect
No guys, you are bad at speaking, because you are bad at reading
To be a fluent speaker you need to be a fluent reader first
If you stutter when you speak, I am 100% sure, you stutter when you read, trust me, I’ve had over 1500 individual students
A lot of people make this mistake and they STOP reading and spend crazy money on Speaking with little to no effect, don’t improve, lose their motivation and give up
Big mistake, never stop reading, read daily.
Language learners spend/waste too much time on pronunciation
Too much time, spending and dare I say, wasting lots of money on pronunciation coaches
There are certain biological limits on pronunciation, it is something I talk about a lot in my book Virtually Native
The first thing about pronunciation is that: if you can’t hear, you can’t pronounce. First, you need to hear and then try to pronounce
And the thing is: nobody can teach you how to hear, nobody but YOU. Only You can teach yourself how to hear.
Don’t waste your money on pronunciation coaches, you have dictionaries with free recordings of both British and American pronunciations of every single word
People spend too much money on language teachers. I need more speaking practice and I need somebody to correct my mistakes.
Let me let you in on a secret:
- speaking is overrated
- teachers are overrated
Language is not something teachers can teach you, language is something you need to learn by yourself
Everybody wants to speak, everybody wants somebody to talk to, not just in English but in our native language too. If you want to speak then start a YouTube channel, or a podcast. Talk about your hobby, your job, your passions and thoughts
You don’t have to be in the video if you are camera shy
Write a script, there is a whole chapter on Writing in my book Virtually Native where I explain how to write grammatically correct sentences, you don’t need a language teacher to correct your mistakes, you can do it by yourself
There are 2 chapters on Pronunciation in my book
There is a chapter on Reading
There is a chapter on Listening
There is a chapter on Writing
There is a chapter on Speaking
There are step-by-step instructions on how to use monolingual learner’s dictionaries in my book
Stop wasting your time and money and read my book, and don’t just read it, but also use the things you’ve learned from it