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Video Transcript Below:
Hello my fellow foreign English speakers!
I’m Robby and I’m bringing you another video episode in the English Harmony video blog. And today’s topic is teaching English via native language which is something that totally blows my mind at this stage in my life because now I know for a fact that English can be taught successfully only using English as the medium.
Well, obviously in the very early stages of learning the language you would have to use your native language to understand the basic concepts of English, right?
But as you progress through your learning curve and you get to know a whole lot more English words and phraseology and all that, there is no reason why you couldn’t do away with the native language altogether, right? And here’s a funny thing. Here in this country – I live in Ireland – and in this country when they teach foreign languages at school, at least to the best of my knowledge, they still use English during the lessons which doesn’t make any sense at all. Because in other countries, such as Germany for example, when they learn English they only use English in the classroom which is something that makes a whole lot of sense!
Full Immersion is the Key!
If you want to be able to learn the language successfully, you have to immerse yourself in the language. You have to listen, speak, do everything else in that target language and that’s the only way you can become good at that language. But if you spend only a fraction of the time in the classroom dealing with the target language and all the rest is done in your native language; the teacher tells you what to do in your native language, you ask questions and get answers in your native language, it doesn’t make any sense. You’re not going to make huge development in your target language. It’s as simple as that!
Nothing Has Changed Since I Was a Student!
And actually going back to my high school years, it was all the same. In our English lessons the teacher used to speak with us in Latvian which is my native language, right? And pretty much the only thing that we did in English, was filling in gaps in textbooks, right? And all the rest was done in Latvian.
And I know for a fact that one of the main reasons why it happened was because the teacher herself wasn’t really comfortable using the English as a spoken language. Not to mention that if she insisted that we use English only, obviously a lot of the students in the class would be very uncomfortable with that.
Getting Out of Comfort Zone is the ONLY Solution!
But here’s the thing. She would have to get it started and then somehow over time it would become our second nature. We would get used to the fact that once you enter the English class, everything happens in English.
Yes, it would be very uncomfortable in the very beginning and I would imagine, it would be very challenging for certain students to overcome the embarrassment and the shame and what not and start actually using the language in front of everyone else but the teacher has to provide the example.
She has to lead by an example. She has to practice what she preaches. She teaches the English language so she has to use the language and encourage the students to use the language as well. But unfortunately it happens in this day and age still. That in thousands and tens of thousands of classrooms all around the world native languages are used in English lessons. And it’s total nonsense to me. It makes no sense at all.
Once You’ve Gone Past the Beginner’s Level – You Should Use English ONLY!
And obviously let me reiterate once more. For the very, very beginner learners who just start learning the very basics of the English language, well, obviously, you can’t use only English in the classroom because they wouldn’t have a clue what’s being discussed.
So there is the necessity to use their native language to explain the basic concepts but then over time as their vocabulary is being built up and they know certain phrases and all that in English, there is no reason why you can’t start explaining new English vocabulary words using other English words that they already know and build on that, right?
And obviously, I’m not saying that the native language elimination has to happen all of a sudden a 100% and that the teacher should stop using the native language completely.
That would cause certain issues for sure because obviously in the classroom not everyone is at the same level and if you don’t give a chance for those students who are struggling, who have fallen behind a little, if you don’t give them a chance to understand certain concepts and don’t explain those concepts to them in their native language, they would never understand what’s being talked about.
And over time they would fall behind a great deal and that would be very detrimental actually for their English development.
So I’m not saying that, all I’m saying is that the main language used in the classroom would have to be the English language. And that is the only way forward and I’ve been contacted by a few people actually over the course of the last few weeks telling me this phenomenon that when they learn English at school, the teacher uses their native language instead of English.
So What If Your Teacher Is Still Sticking to the Old Way?
And my only response would be, obviously you can’t do anything about it, you can’t command the teacher and tell her or him what to do, so the only thing you can do is speak in English with yourself or with your friends and just like me now, record something on a cam recorder!
These days, this technology is very affordable to anyone. Any mobile phone has some sort of a voice recorder at least. And that is by far the best way of developing your spoken English fluency.
Believe me, been there, done that and I’m actually still doing it on a regular basis. If I wasn’t involved in constant spoken English practicing, my fluency wouldn’t be such as it is now, right?
So spoken English self-practice is the way forward if your teacher doesn’t use the English language as the medium in the English class, right?
Share Your Experiences in the Comments!
So let me know please, my dear listeners, what’s happening in your English classroom!
In case you’re attending a college or a high school and you’re still learning the English language the traditional way in the classroom, please let me know what does your teacher do!
Do they use your native language or do they use a little bit of English or do they try to enforce the rule of using the English language predominantly in the classroom?
Tell me please what’s your case and let everyone know and let’s get the discussion going, alright?
And thanks for watching the video and chat to you soon again! Bye bye!
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!