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Learning English Online Mistakes

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In this article I’ll be sharing with you the two biggest mistakes students make when learning English online. I’m writing this article from experience. I made both of these mistakes myself. I think most people do. But when I began to research how adults learn language, I started to see the mistakes I had been making. And as a lifelong teacher, I want to share with others the things I’ve learned.

So, here they are. The two worst mistakes students make when learning English online:

1. Using free sites

There’s a popular expression in English: You get what you pay for. What this means is, the less money you pay for something, the lower quality it will be. There’s a good reason a Mercedes Benz costs much more than a Ford Focus: It’s a far superior vehicle.

Free websites love to give information…especially lists. They make verb lists and noun lists. Lists of modal verbs and phrasal verbs. They have pages and pages of expressions and idioms. But, tell me…Do you think that’s teaching? Do you think you’ll learn to communicate with native speakers because you read a list of nouns or verbs?

It takes a huge amount of time, energy and money to make a useful and effective course. You need a group of teachers, multiple native speakers, professional programmers…and none of them work for free. The most successful students, the most serious ones, are willing to pay for quality instruction. Because, when it comes to free sites, well….you get what you pay for.


2. Buying mediocre courses

“Mediocre” (pronounced: “mee-dee-OH-kur”) is a great word. It means,”Not very good, so-so, below average,” etc. And the internet is full of mediocre online English courses! How do you know if an online English course is worth buying? How can you tell if a course is high quality, or just another mediocre one? The main thing to look for is: How many methods and techniques does the course use? At a minimum, online English lessons should use:

* Contextual learning (to learn the meaning quickly and naturally)
* Pattern Recognition (to master grammar without memorizing lists of rules)
* Constructions and Construction Branching (to quickly obtain fluency)
* Multiple native speakers (to master pronunciation, and listening comprehension)
* the Bridge Method (to transition from “Textbook English” to actual, spoken English)

The course should also use videos, audios, quizzes (with separate audio buttons for each answer) and conversations.

There are other mistakes students make when learning English online, especially when trying to learn from forums. But the main message here is this: Find the best course you can, and prepare to invest real money in it. Isn’t your future worth it?

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About the author

Mark Thomson is an expert in both learning and teaching language. Among the courses he has created are: Master Fluent English, Speak Fluent English, and the English Mastery Method series.

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