As most English teachers will agree, there really is no substitute for hard work if you want to master a language. Sometimes from some of my students I get the feeling that what they really want is some kind of magic pill or shot that, when administered, would enable them to start speaking like a native speaker immediately. I am certain I could become rich almost overnight, were I able to provide such a miracle concoction. Unfortunately, in real life there is no such magic pill or shot. So unlike botox shots that seem to reverse the effects of aging, there is really no replacement for hard work to learn English or any other language. You just have to buckle down and climb that English mountain!
Those students who take regular lessons and study and practice between lessons will succeed in acquiring the English abilility they seek. Those who do not will continue to slide backward two steps for every three steps they take. This is a cold, hard fact of life. Nothing good comes easy or no pain no gain as the old adage goes. As coaches of communicative confidence we must keep our students “climbing”. All the while we must emphasize the “realness” of the English that they are learning to “use”. They must not be allowed to treat it as “artificial” or something that they only partially immerse themselves in or use during the lesson while saving all important things to be said in their mother tongue. Gestures and facial expressions are as much a part of the language as verbs, nouns and prepositions. These must also be required of the students. And we must make sure they are listening by giving “off-the-wall” answers sometimes to see their reactions. Often I find that they are so busy trying to compose the next question that they are not even listening to the other student’s or my strange answer. This indicates that they are not yet really “using” the language.
Sometimes I get a student who really pushes me to help him/her more to improve more quickly. What a breath of fresh air such a student is. I enjoy working with such students as they make me work harder. The speed of their progress can be amazing and for me this is a reward, the satisfaction of which far exceeds the tuition they pay me. So for those students out there wanting the most for their money, work really hard and push your Smith’s teacher to work hard too. It will be mutually beneficial. Enjoy!