Russian-speaking or American: how to choose an English teacher
In the online school of English Skyeng you will pick up any teacher you want - sanguine, melancholic, with a quick or slow speech, a lover of books or a diver, a Russian or a native speaker. It is rather easy to decide on temperament and common interests, but the choice between a Russian and an American is much more difficult. Today I will help you understand who you still need.
I remind that ForumDaily and online English school Skyeng conduct joint experiment, during which I will go through a series of classes at this school and find out whether online training can help me prepare for the work of a journalist in the American media. Every week I will share with you my impressions and life-related language learning hacks. Follow my progress and learn English!
Last week I took the fifth lesson, and this lesson was already with a new teacher - I changed Elena to Villa, so that a native speaker would help me Americanize my texts. And today I will tell you how to choose between a Russian-speaking teacher and a native speaker.
Impressions from the fifth lesson
This was my first lesson with an American teacher. I immediately felt the change of training regime, like on a treadmill. It is not easy to perceive the speech of the carrier, and even via Skype, but I know that I will soon get used to the voice of Will, and everything will be fine.
The very first parsing of the text showed problems that I had not previously suspected. I have a rich vocabulary that comes from a wide variety of sources: classic and contemporary novels, business newspapers, women's magazines, BBC podcasts, American TV shows and communication with people. The problem is that, remembering the meanings of words, I did not remember their stylistic coloring, British or American origin, etc., so my speech sometimes sounds comical. Something like, "Would you please dude to hand me the salt."
But before the lesson with a native speaker I didn’t know about it and thought that people communicating with me smile so widely because they like me.
I hope that lessons with Will will help me to systematize the vocabulary.
So, here are three main parameters that will help you choose a teacher.
1. English level
For an elementary level, classes with a Russian-speaking teacher are better suited, because he will provide translation of new words, and he will be able to explain grammar in understandable terms.
But the higher the level, the stronger the need for communication with the native, because it prepares you for "real" life among Americans. However, finding a native speaker and chatting for those living in the USA is not a problem at all - go out and talk to any passer-by, and you can sort out grammatical constructions with a Russian-speaking teacher.
But at an advanced level, of course, studying with a native speaker is almost a matter of principle, because only he can teach you all the subtleties that a Russian-speaking teacher who does not live permanently in the United States may not even know about.
2. Purpose of learning english
If you just need to be able to maintain a conversation in a bakery or communicate with colleagues in the office - it makes no sense to turn to the services of a native speaker and pay twice as much for lessons, a Russian-speaking teacher will teach you the necessary skills.
Critically important classes with the carrier only when you need to delve into the subtleties of the language, for example, if your profession is associated with active communication with people, speaking in public or writing texts.
In this case, even if you have a little money, it is better to study once a week instead of two, but with an American, because he knows better about all the recent changes in the English language, about the nuances of using words depending on the context, etc. Of course, you need to do all the other days by yourself.
3. The ratio of pros and cons
Classes with a native speaker are not a guarantee of perfect English, the American teacher also has its drawbacks.
The first of them is obvious - when he says the words “comma”, “dot”, “quotes”, for a long time you cannot understand what he wants from you, because something, and you have not heard these words before.
The second drawback is that they speak their own language and are sometimes so addicted that they forget to correct mistakes in the student’s speech.
By the way, a Russian-speaking teacher is more likely to teach the correct pronunciation - his speech is clearer than that of a native speaker, and he will be able to explain how English sounds differ from Russian ones and what you need to do with your speech apparatus in order to pronounce sounds that are not in Russian at all.
And an indisputable advantage of studying with a native speaker is obtaining unique knowledge, and not only about word usage. You can consult with an American teacher how to behave in different situations at work or with friends from the USA, what to properly give to the boss at Christmas, etc.
Will, for example, told me on which platform it is better to make an English-language blog to be read in the USA. And in his reaction to my texts, I understand that they are funny for everyone, and that it can amuse only Russians, and the Americans will only be perplexed.
I will continue to keep you informed as my classes progress!
If you decide that it is time to tighten up English, sign up for free introductory lesson.
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