To go native or not to go native? That is the question. In our view, this is a pretty easy question to answer, and it should always be “to go native.” Why? That’s going to be the core question of today’s blog. We know that starting classes with a native speaker can be daunting, and many learners are afraid of making mistakes, or even of not being able to understand anything the teacher says, but it’s important that you get over these fears, and we’ll start the blog by explaining why:
The image above is from Hobbiton, New Zealand Visit our log in page to see amazing images from every country on the planet.
Reasons to Fight Your Fear and Learn with a Native Speaker
First of all, native speakers have a wealth of linguistic knowledge to impart. Some people think that native speakers actually aren’t as good to have as a teacher because they don’t know enough about the technical side of their own language to teach it effectively.
It’s a point that’s not without some validity. Sometimes, a fellow second-language speaker as a teacher is good when you want to learn strict grammar and pronunciation guides as a newbie, but you quickly evolve past that and there comes a time when you need more. From slang and authentic non-textbook expressions to natural pronunciation, intonation and cadence. These are things you get from a native speaker.
Second, you will progress faster with a native speaker. A native speaker teacher forces you to engage in an immersive language environment, which is akin to being thrown in the pool at the deep end. Yes, it’s a struggle at first, but as you adapt, you will find yourself progressing faster than you ever did before. When you have to speak the language, you will better retain words you’ve learned, because you’ll be using them. What’s more, you’ll make your mistakes faster, which also means you learn from them more rapidly.
Finally, you will learn the most authentic version of your target language from native speakers. No matter how knowledgeable someone is as a second-language speaker, it’s incredibly rare for them to ever surpass the level of knowledge and proficiency held by native speakers. If you want to pick up the latest slang, fashionable expressions, and really see how your target language is evolving, then a native speaker teacher is the way to go.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Learning a Language with a Native Speaker
Next, here is some advice on how to get the best and most productive experience from you native speaker teacher:
1. Ask Questions
Not only is the act of asking questions in your target language a great way to practice and build your communication skills, but it’s a fantastic way to keep lesson time moving along and to gain a deeper understanding of the learning material. There might be hidden levels of meaning in a lesson that you can only really get to by asking those kinds of questions.
2. Speak Up
When you are asked a question or prompted to speak, try your best to say as much as possible. When speaking in your native language, you might hear advice about communication like “less is more,” but it’s not the case when you’re trying to learn a new language. You should take the opportunity to speak and run with it, especially if you’re in a group class and thus have diminished opportunity to speak for long periods.
3. Embrace Your Mistakes
If your teacher corrects you on mistakes you made, try not to beat yourself up about it or get frustrated. Mistakes are among the best learning resources that we have when trying to learn a new language. The reality is that when trying to communicate ideas in a completely different language to your own, you are going to make mistakes. There’s no avoiding it, so embrace the mistakes and turn them into a positive.
4. Have Fun!
The more you enjoy the time with your native speaker teacher, the more productive and useful it will be. Never be afraid to offer your native speaker teacher some feedback on how the lesson could be improved to make it more fun and more engaging for you. It’s in their own interest to keep you interested and keen to learn, after all!
🎉 Get started!
Are you interested in really, finally learning a new language? Here at LanguageConvo we connect you with a professional, native-speaking teacher for affordable, customized private lessons. Get started with a 100% free trial lesson by clicking here.