Even if you are taking English language courses at school, you may still need extra English lessons if you are struggling with certain grammar complexities. There are several ways you could go about this, but if you really want to learn to speak English fluently, one of the best investments you could make is to find a private English teacher to help you grow in confidence and ensure that you are at the least fully bilingual.
Of course, you are probably wondering how many English lessons you will need before you are fluent. This article answers that, and much more.
The Many Ways to Study English
As mentioned, there are many routes to take to be able to speak English fluently. Here are just a few of the options to include in your decision-making. Also, some of these ideas are easy to combine so that when you study English it feels interesting, varied and even, fun.
High School English
In South Africa, the education curriculum is such that English is required to be passed as a Grade 12 subject. As a result, every learner has the opportunity during their school years to become proficient in English. However, in a country where there are already 11 official languages, it would not be surprising if you needed extra English lessons to supplement your high school English language courses. In fact, if English is your second language and you are serious about becoming fully bilingual you may want to opt to study English privately. Having said this, make sure that you have a good relationship with your school English teacher, listen during class, do your homework and speak to him or her about an extra English speaking course if necessary.
The Free Online English Speaking Course
These days, just about anything can be learnt to some degree via the internet! While this is good news, it also depends on your goals. Free internet tutorials will only take your English language ability so far and unfortunately can leave room for serious error too. If you are making mistakes, or if your English pronunciation is entirely wrong, who will correct you?
Study English at a Local Language School
In your city, you may be able to find an English second language school where you can go at a certain time, on a certain day and take English language courses in a class. This is great for people who learn best in groups or need the social interaction that comes with it. The downside to this is that your progress will only be as fast as the rest of the class, which leaves one other option available.
Study English Through Total Language Immersion
One of the best ways to learn any new language is through total language immersion. This means that you ensure that you are living, working, and socialising within places and circles where English is spoken. In South Africa, where English is so widely spoken as an official language, this is fairly easy to do.
Even if you find yourself in a rural area you could always find an English language buddy. Alternatively, make a pact with your fellow Afrikaans or isiXhosa speaking friends that together you will only speak English. You should do all of this because even if you are already in an English-speaking course this is an excellent way to supplement your learning.
Find a Private English Teacher
This idea is not as outlandish you might think, in fact, in South Africa today by using a reputable tutoring website like Superprof, you could find a private English teacher who is not only affordable but located near to you. Not only that, but you could also have the option of in-person or online lessons via webcam. This is an option not to be overlooked, let’s look at the benefits in more detail.
The Advantages of Private English Lessons
When it comes to fast-tracking any kind of learning, there is no doubt that one-on-one tuition is by far the most effective method. If want to learn how to learn to speak English fluently quickly then this is a highly recommended approach.
Here are some of the main benefits of having a private English teacher:
Individual Focus on the Student
The private side of your tuition means that all of your efforts with your tutor are on a one-on-one basis where you are the centre of attention and there are no other learners around to either distract you or slow down your progress with challenges that may not be the same as your challenges! This individualised approach means that you can work on your personal weaknesses (and strengths) to ensure that you learn to speak English fluently as quickly as possible.
Transform Weaknesses into Strengths
In your private sessions, you can work on your problem areas in English for as long as it takes to improve them. Overcoming your personal difficulties is an excellent way to make progress. It’s important not to skip your weaknesses because language foundations are built on top of one another. This means that to grasp a more complex aspect of English grammar, it’s necessary to grasp the simpler ones first.
Learn at Your Own Pace and in Your Own Place
All of this means that you can learn at your own pace, but also at a time and place that suits you. In South Africa, there are hundreds of English tutors located all over the country, but if you cannot find one near to you, or if you prefer to learn online, you can take your private English lessons via webcam, with a suitable private English teacher from anywhere else.
This tailored approach is a good way to study English, especially because once you have communicated your goals to your tutor, you can have input into the type of lessons you need based on your reasons for wanting to speak English fluently.
If for instance, you want to improve your English so that you can work in a certain industry overseas, you could even ask your private English teacher to include terminology and jargon that would be useful for this purpose.
A private English-speaking course is designed all around you, your goals, and your weaknesses and mistakes. Your private English teacher is there to ensure that you learn to speak English fluently as quickly and accurately as possible. Remember that your mistakes are valuable too and it will be your tutor’s job to identify where you are going wrong and then to correct you with good explanations.
Choosing the Right Private English Speaking Course for You
Choosing the right private English teacher is going to be one of the most important decisions you make on your language journey. To start with, make a list based on these three points:
- Carefully consider why you want to learn English.
- Next, assess your current ability as best as you can.
- Finally, make a list of the areas in the language where you are struggling.
The answers to these questions will paint a picture that will help you to filter out English tutors that are not suited to you and assist you to align with one who can turn your goals into a reality! If for instance, you want to study for a Communications Degree at the University of Johannesburg, you will need to have good Grade 12 language marks for English.
Your choice is really important, but one of the added benefits of using Superprof tutors is that usually, the first lesson is for free which means that you can have the discussion based on the above exercise at this first meeting. Here, you should also ask them more about themselves as well as their lesson structure and methodology. Using a Superprof tutor also comes with the added peace of mind that their credentials have already been verified for you.
If you are a parent, looking for extra English language courses for your children, remember that it is also a perfect opportunity for you to upgrade your own English skills as you check out their homework and course notes and find ways to learn English alongside your children.
Keep Your English Language Learning Fun and Active
There are so many ways to keep your learning fun while you put what you learn in your English lessons into practice. We have already spoken about language immersion and finding a language buddy, but there are so many other ways to practise your English and in so doing, improve your pronunciation.
Remember that the keys to learning any new language include speaking, listening, reading, and writing. This means that to keep things interesting, active, and real, you should try and incorporate these skills into your daily life. How?
Watch as many English television programmes and movies as you can, read English literature for children if necessary, and follow blogs and podcasts on topics that interest you.
Also, when listening to English music, take a look at the lyrics and sing along, this is a great way to improve your pronunciation and probably introduce you to good everyday colloquial English too.
In terms of fees, these are so varied depending on where you are based in South Africa. On Superprof, the average fee for English lessons is R215 per hour, but again this is highly dependent on your ability, goals, and of course the teacher’s qualifications. Either way, check out what is available, using Superprof certainly takes the hassle out of endless online searching.
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