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I’m a Useless English Teacher Because I Make Mistakes… And I Should Go Back to Farm!

Improve Spoken English

The concept of WRONGNESS of making mistakes while speaking or writing in English is something that’s permeated the English teaching industry and it’s lead so many non-native English speakers to believe that they suck at English unless they can make their speech and their English writing style PERFECT.

Just picture the typical English class.

The teacher (who speaks perfectly, of course!) is standing at the front of the class and the poor students are crouched over their desks DREADING to hear the test results.

Why this fear?

Simply because their ability to perform as English speakers is judged based on their MISTAKES!

It’s so wrong that I want to start screaming just thinking about it!!!

They’re looking closely at your mistakes while at the same time almost dismissing your achievements, and what do you think this kind of approach results into?

Yes, that’s right – ANXIETY, LACK OF CONFIDENCE and total DISBELIEF that one they you can actually become a fluent English speaker.

I’ve figured it out a long time ago, and ever since I’ve been adopting quite the opposite approach when speaking in English myself and providing advice to others who want to better their spoken English fluency and also writing.

MAKE AS MANY MISTAKES AS YOU CAN!

That’s the mantra I’m going by, and while you might be skeptical about it at first, you’ll definitely realize there’s a big wisdom behind it – especially when reading the following articles:

Majority of people, however, still hold to the same old notion that mistakes are something bad, and especially if made by an English teacher – in which case it’s almost unforgivable!

Here’s what response I got from a YouTube commentator when I made a simple typo when writing a comment on one of my videos:

Of course I do make mistakes but a person who is trying to teach other people a language should not make so elementary mistakes. You’d better stick to your farm job or warehouse job or whatever you do and leave the teaching job to people who have been trained for teachers and know their craft.

So basically once I’ve taken it upon myself to provide advice to other struggling foreign English speakers, I’d better make it damn sure I don’t EVER make a single mistake – or else how could I possibly lead by an example, right?

My customers and my blog readers will surely pick up my mistakes and start speaking and writing wrong just because Robby said or wrote something wrong, isn’t that so?

OF COURSE IT ISN’T!

First of all, I’m not teaching English to total beginners in which case that would probably present some problems, but then again – any English student will realize sooner or later that the teacher made a simple mistake because next time around they’d come across the same grammar construct they’d spot a difference which would lead to some questions and realization as to what’s the proper way of saying or writing a certain thing.

Secondly, the English Harmony project is for advanced English students who are struggling with fluency issues, and we all know only too well what’s correct and what’s not – so on 99% of occasions while making a mistake we’d actually KNOW it’s a mistake – it’s just that when writing or speaking fast we can’t correct it ‘cause it’s already written or said, right?

Next – I’m never going to pose as a typical teacher who tries to go by some academic standards – my English is simple, friendly, and yes – sometimes erroneous – but that’s REAL LIFE ENGLISH, my friends!

So all in all – if you want to spend your life pouring over English textbooks and achieve perfectionism and blow others away with your superb English grammar knowledge, just keep attending certified English teacher classes and good luck with that.

If, however, you want to be able to speak simple every-day English with real people in real life – you’d better listen to guys like me who’ve actually struggled with their own fluency and know

EXACTLY WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR HEAD.

A few mistakes here and there don’t matter.

What matters is that you can speak fluently and verbalize your thoughts in English, so it’s up to you to decide what’s more important.

Cheers,

Robby 😉

P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Thanks so much Ve, I really appreciate the fact you’ve recommended my blog to your students, and I’m glad you find my site helpful!

    Keep in touch,

    Regards,

    Robby

  • Ve

    I must have pretty empathetic students compared to most. They know I’m only human. :-p

    As a native English-speaking teacher who lives abroad (and therefore, is also learning different languages and has problems speaking confidently), I find Robby’s site to be incredibly helpful and I’ve recommended it to my students!

  • Thanks for the support – I really appreciate it!

    This whole thing of forgetting specific words rings true with me on so many levels – sometimes I forget specific words in my native language and I strongly believe it’s only natural because we human beings operate on the basis of associations (meaning that we’d most likely be able to use this or that specific word in specific set of circumstances) and it’s totally unfair to accuse someone of not being a good teacher based on their ability to serve as human dictionaries.

    It’s soooo old-school!!!

    Also, thanks loads for enjoying my blog, I’m really glad you’ve been finding something useful for yourself.

    Best Regards,

    Robby

  • jaye16

    Many years ago an EFL student asked me a word in English which I just couldn’t remember. She said: “And you say you’re an English teacher?” “Yes, I do.” I said. “And you forgot a word?” she said. “No, I replied. I’ve forgotten many words.”
    I agree with Robby and feel sorry for Christo who is blogged down in that unnatural idea of what a teacher should be.

  • Thanks Daisy for the comment, I couldn’t have said it better – if a teacher is on the same level with you, it does indeed make you more relaxed and adds to your confidence!

  • Daisy

    I myself trust a teacher who makes mistakes because it’s more real and natural for me, and it tells me that I can also be a good speaker but still make mistakes and so that I won’t be afraid of mistake and speak with more confidence .
    Thank u Robby you helps me a lot 🙂