The language learning classroom

Extensive research has been done to show us the best conditions to learn languages. This research has influenced the way the best language schools teach and the way you learn.

Below are some features of how life in a classroom should be. You will see you are expected to put a lot of effort into your learning but you will also see that learning a language can also be a lot of fun and needn't be the frustrating experience many of us may associate with our schooldays!

  • You are an individual! You have strengths and weaknesses and individual needs. Good language schools recognise this and try to provide you with what you want as an individual.
  • The classroom should be a stress-free and relaxing environment. You learn most effectively when you feel relaxed.
  • Learning a language is fun and hard work! It is important that you participate in your classes. The more you get involved in the classroom the more speaking and communicating in the language you're studying will seem natural to you. Pair and group-work with other students helps to achieve this.
  • If your teachers are enthusiastic, friendly and well-organised you will enjoy your lessons more and learn more.
  • Good language schools try to help you get involved by relating the classes to your experiences in life and making the class fun with interesting activities.
  • Games and laughter are part of the learning process. Communicative games are a very good way of practising spoken language.
  • You need to practise structures/vocabulary you have recently learnt.
  • It helps to use the language you know in an enjoyable way without worrying about making mistakes.

Remember it is useful and important to speak with the other students in the class not just the teacher! The teacher is also there to guide you; not just to give you a standard model.

Making mistakes is OK, though it does depend on the objective of the activity. If communicating is the main objective, making mistakes is not so important, but mistakes need to be corrected if you want to structure your sentences correctly.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes, You do learn from your mistakes!

Submitted by Saint George International, English School in London

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