May 16

Are Language Classes Useful


Many people turn to language classes in the blind belief that they will learn a language there. Well, sometimes that is what happens. But many times not.  There are many things we could say about what makes a good language class.  For now though, what I would like to point out that, at a general level, language classes can really help you towards your goal in learning a language in a number of ways and can do the opposite as well.  

By not being discerning language learners can do themselves an injustice.  It is not an easy thing for a layperson to know whether a language class is useful or not, especially if you have had little experience. Most time language learners blame themselves if things don’t go as expected. This really is a mistake, as there are no bad language learners, there are only ineffective ways of learning.  So if things are not going as well as you would like in a class, take a cold hard look at what is happening.  

You might need to adjust what you are doing, but you also might need to change the class you are in.  Check out this post to see the kind of classes I recommend. Anyways, have a look at the following clip and gain some insights about language classes and their usefulness or otherwise.

Be great to hear of your personal experiences, what works, what does not, etc.


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  • Good morning Andrew,
    I think it’s high time to turn attention to the teacher and his or har way of dealing with learners. Now, we are witnessing a digital era during which learners can afford to buy sophisticated and expensive learning tools which the teacher may not even know  how to use like the I Pad; even though,  the learner needs always somene to help and to refer to in case there is a difficulty (grammar for instance). We need to create a homogeneous language class if we want to help learning successfully a foreign language. I should mention that even teachers need help to cope with the fast technological changes that are affecting our life. The teacher should forget that he is the shepherd and learners are the sheeps  that are ignorant, illeterate, illogical and incapable of doing the right things. 

  • Hi Aicha, You are right of course. The language teacher has an important role to play in a language class AND outside of the traditional class.  We need to look more carefully at that.  I did write about what to look for in a teacher at https://englishconfidenceunlocked.com/what-makes-an-exceptional-language-teacher/ but of course that is only scratching the surface. At some point I will look at this area more carefully.
    The digital age makes a richness of resources available to the learner . As with language classes and teachers, learners however needs to be careful not to waste their time, energy and money on online resources that look great but don’t do much. There are some great resources out there, but like with anything buyer beware!  Some of the posts I have written about powerful ways to learn language, including the forms, pronunciation and vocabulary relate equally as well to digital resources.

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