- Myth 1 - The children learn better than adults
- Myth 2 - "You need an intensive English course!"
- The alternative to achieve the fluency in English
This article will talk about two myths about language learning and the only effective strategy for fluent English. First, we are debugging one of the most widespread myths about acquiring a second language. The myth is that kids learn better to speak a second language.
Participating as an intern in international projects, making conference calls with foreign clients and colleagues, writing reports and presentations in English made me realize how bad my English was (and that I should have changed my approach as soon as possible).
Perhaps you are also in a similar situation, you have classic "school English," you read and understand very well and can even speak. Still, if you have to take classes, give an interview or attend an ENGLISH business meeting, you will find yourself in trouble. So read on.
In this article, I will talk about the most famous lie regarding English learning and, as a result, I will give the most effective method to learn English once and for all.
The only real strategy to improve your English, even if you have little time to study it, is that you have to learn languages like children. As said, Charlemagne:
"Speaking a second language is like having a second soul."
Think about how you learned your native language when you were little. You certainly haven't studied grammar yet, but you were already speaking without problems even before attending elementary school. In short, you have "absorbed" the language of the external environment.
Perfect! Just repeat the same strategy to learn English, and we'll be on horseback, right?!
Trying to "force" on adults the language learning methods children use intuitively is a waste of time and money. As explained by Prof. Robert DeKeyser, Second Language Acquisition Specialist at the University of Maryland:
"You can't expect to absorb language the way a child does. Children learn the underlining system of all the language inputs they receive because they can infer underlying patterns without understanding the rules. Adults must be aware of the language rules. Your implicit learning doesn't work very well. "
On the contrary, in adulthood, you cannot expect to "absorb" language like a child would. In fact, during childhood, we can learn linguistic patterns intuitively without knowing grammar rules. However, this ability is lacking in adults, who need to study the mechanisms of language consciously.
As shown by Lisa Davidson, Associate Professor of Linguistics at New York University, when we become adults, we are subject to the so-called "interference effect":
"When you're a kid, all you do is learn a language, and you don't have anything to stand in your way. When you're an adult and already have a language, the one you already know filters out sounds, and you get substantial interference from it. "
For children, learning a language is a full-time job with no distractions. On the other hand, adults already know a language, which interferes with learning the new language (unless the correct strategies are used).
This certainly doesn't mean you immerse yourself in English through movies, TV series, podcasts, blogs, etc. it hurts you: indeed. But if your goal is to have fluent English, you can't just "absorb" the language: you won't make significant progress (who knows, maybe you've already noticed!).
When it comes to studying English, however, there is an even more dangerous lie.
If the methods as mentioned earlier don't work, the only alternative is an excellent intensive course! 2-3 weeks of full immersion, and the fear passes, right?!
It will be at least since the 90s that we will be unveiled the famous "Intensive Business English Courses." But, of course, there is also a variant for students: the infamous "study vacations," You would have to pay an astronomical amount of money for 2-3 weeks of intensive practice program.
As Prof. DeKeyser points again:
"The intensive courses are a complete farce. The only way to learn a language is to make a little daily effort. " What could we translate into: "Intensive language courses are a complete scam. The only way to learn a language is to make little progress every day. "
Here we are finally at the key point. Let's repeat it because it is of fundamental importance: "The only way to learn a language is to make little progress each day. "
If you are no longer a child and have little time to study, an intensive language course will not solve your English problems. What you need are short study sessions, repeated daily and over a few months.
Perhaps there is an alternative that is right for you. Imagine an online course that you can follow whenever and wherever you want (on your computer, tablet, smartphone). Consisting of daily modules with a maximum duration of 15-20 minutes, developed by specialists in second language acquisition specialized at Oxford University; modules designed for those who, like you, already have the basics of English but want to improve it.
The good news is that this course exists and is called EnglishPhoentics. Let me explain.
At the beginning of 2021, I start developing one of Brazil's most dynamic start-ups specializing in online language learning. After a lot of work, we developed together with an online English course for everyone who wants to get involved and move to the next level (regardless of starting point).
"Ok, I want to start right away!"
I think you can't wait to get involved and discover the whole world, but like all respectable paths, even mastering the English language is made up of small steps.
We can take a free admission test. The test asses your current English speaking skills, look for your accent. Don't worry, the test lasts about 10 minutes, it will give you a highly accurate picture of your level of English, and it will help you identify the areas where you are most deprived and therefore where you should pay more attention.
How long have you been telling yourself you want to learn English but find a different excuse not to do it every time? Stop procrastinating and take the first step towards reaching your goal!
Click on the red button below, watch the short introductory video and start testing right away.