This video is a response to one of my blog readers’ e-mails, and he’s painting a pretty dire picture of his English class!
Their English teacher makes them read a paragraph out of their textbooks and then the students are required to retell the story using their own words.
It’s all nice and well up to the point where she starts scolding those students who are struggling with verbalizing their thoughts ❗
IT IS JUST UNACCEPTABLE!
What she’s doing is the following: she’s taking a brilliant English fluency improving tool – retelling stories (read more about it in this blog post) – and then she turns it into a confidence destroying machine!
As a teaching professional, she’s actually supposed to do the VERY OPPOSITE:
- She’s supposed to encourage students to speak by providing them with some anchor phrases to build their speech upon;
- She has to point out their mistakes delicately – instead of saying “you said it wrong” she should just provide the correct phrase or a word and then ask the student to repeat it after her;
- Above all – she’s supposed to be the motivator in the classroom instead of an emotional terrorist! 😡
In my book, that’s what she does – she wages psychological warfare against those who are lagging behind in terms of their spoken English fluency improvement!
And what’s even worse – not only is she making those students feel bad about themselves, she’s also creating permanent conditioned reflex of not being able to speak proper English in front of others.
It’s also known as public speech anxiety, and it’s quite difficult to deal with ❗
The moment you open your mouth, you relive all those emotions brought about by the emotional damage inflicted by your teacher – embarrassment, low self-esteem, shame – and as a result you just can’t say anything meaningful because you are so stressed out you can barely gather your thoughts – let alone speak!
So how are you supposed to learn speak fluently EVER with this permanent psychological conditioning in place?
If quitting the class is not an option, then a lot of spoken English practice with friends (and also self-practice) is one of the few options left at that student’s disposal.
I know it’s easier said than done, but speaking with people who are not going to jeer at you is one of the ways you can bring back your confidence and also help your friends in the process.
Also, a lot of self-practice is instrumental because it enables you to say whatever you want and however you want. Another advantage of speaking with yourself is that the stress factor is reduced to a minimum as there’s no-one to hear what you’re saying.
So, if quitting the class or resolving the issue by speaking to school administration is not an option, you’ve just got to do the hard lifting yourself and engage in a lot of spoken practice!
That way you may find yourself in a position one day to prove to that teacher that your English is good enough when she least expects it – and the confused look on her face would be a price worth all the hard work you’d have to contribute into your spoken English practice, don’t you think? 😉
Hope it helps,
P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!
P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!