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  • Writer's pictureEnglishwithAndrew

Should I join a language school to learn English?

So, you want to learn English, right?

Better find a language school and sign up for a class, yes?

You can certainly 'learn,' some grammar there. Or at least do exercises from a book. And they'll even give you the chance to talk to a fellow student....using the grammar that you've learnt.

But then, one day, you’ll step, blinking, into the bright light of the English street outside. And you’ll decide to speak with a native speaker.

And then it will hit you. Like that out of control bus driven by Keanu Reeves in the film, Speed. You can’t do it. Even though you got all ten written sentences on modal verbs right and then spoke without making a mistake with your modal verb to your partner in the class, you can’t do it.

Time to give up, right? Better jack it all in. I mean, there’s obviously something wrong with you, no? You did all these drills (exercises) and yet *still* you can’t have the conversation that you want to have?

I mean, you might have guessed that you wouldn't be able to understand everything that the native speaker said. And perhaps it wasn't a surprise that you had to think hard to remember certain words. But you EVEN made mistakes with the modal verbs that you thought you had learnt perfectly. What happened?

Is there something wrong with you, the learner? No, there isn't. On this occasion, it really is them and not you**

Have you studied at a language school? Did this happen to you? Why do think this happens after studying in a language school? Next time, I’ll tell you exactly why I think there’s nothing wrong with you and a lot wrong with them. And I’ll talk a bit about what you can do to learn English more effectively.

* The phrasal verb to give up and the slang expression 'to jack it in,' both mean to quit (stop) doing something.

**The expression “it’s not you, it’s me,” is a cliché (an expression that is often used, especially in films) that people often say when they want to stop dating a sexual partner. So, the sentence with the asterisk (*) on the end was based on this cliché.

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