Guest Blog Feature: Why there has never been a better time to learn a language
- May 14, 2018
- Posted by: Amelia Buckworth
- Category: education
Why there has never been a better time to learn a language – Phil Hatcher, Your London Tutor
How language tutoring has become more engaging
Education is changing and there has never been a more exciting time to learn English. The days of sitting in classrooms to read from a dated textbook are gone as teachers across the country are now offering more creative learning options.
Whether you’re moving to the UK with your family or you’re looking to communicate clearly in an English speaking workplace, you will now be able to find a language package to suit you.
More tutors, including myself, have been investing effort into crafting relevant and inspirational learning experiences. I believe that when lessons are based on topics that are valuable to students, it is much easier for them to learn the essential language skills they need.
A new era for language tuition
Thanks to the development of modern technology combined with innovative new teaching methods, learning a new language has never been easier or more fun.
Today, the type of learning materials available is far more diverse and enjoyable than it was in the 1990s, when I first began teaching. Whether you are interested in the arts, psychology or even kite surfing, a good English teacher will find relevant articles online and adapt it to your needs.
If you want to improve your ability to communicate effectively in business, then this level of personalisation is key. This new style of tutoring is already helping business executives and entrepreneurs from around the world to learn vital language skills and better express their ideas.
Technology and tutoring
The internet has provided a whole range of new opportunities for tutors and students alike. It is now possible for someone looking to learn a new language to contact teachers from anywhere in the world.
Online forums, message boards and specialist websites, like my own, allow language learners to seek out professional tutors wherever they are.
A quick search online can also uncover a wealth of online learning resources. Along with tutorials and exercises, you can find excellent worksheets built around entertaining YouTube videos or current news articles.
In addition to this, the introduction of services like Skype has opened new doors in the world of language training. Students are no longer restricted by location and can easily connect to native tutors in other countries. However, in my opinion, face-to-face tutoring is more effective as it is less tiring when studying for extended periods and it is much easier to build personal rapport.
Personalised learning experiences
No two students are the same so it is important for a teacher to be versatile. Each study plan should be tailored differently depending on the requirements, abilities and agenda of each individual student.
The ideal scenario is for a student to feel encouraged to apply a newly acquired language outside the traditional classroom. One-to-one classes are ideal for this as they provide a trusting environment where students can gain confidence and develop their skills.
One of my students, an Argentinian real estate developer, relocated to London with his family. At first, his level of English was limited but he wanted to learn about the UK property market. By using industry websites and magazines, learning related vocabulary and building a strong grammatical base, we developed the language he needed to speak to estate agents and purchase properties.
Practical learning environments
Speaking a new language is a practical skill which must be practised in a real-world context. The key to truly successful language learning is total immersion and this is a fundamental concept which sparked the creation of my own tutoring business.
As I am based in London, I use the city as a teaching ground to help students put what they learn during lessons into practice. Not only does this encourage reusing the new language, but it also provides a great opportunity to learn more about the city from a Londoner.
The combination of modern media, active learning and personalised subject matter is the perfect recipe for effective language learning. There has never been a better time to learn English and I’m glad to be part of the new movement dedicated to offering innovative and effective language packages.
Phil Hatcher, from Your London Tutor