Speaking with personal teachers is one of the best ways to practice your speaking skills. But in order for it to be an effective learning method, you must also use your time in a productive way. You could easily waste a lot of time and money if you don’t maximize your sessions. Luckily, there are few things you can do to make sure your time spent with personal teachers is optimal. Let’s take a look.
Avoid speaking English (or your mother tongue).
In order to really train your brain to speak in your new language, try to avoid speaking English at all costs. In fact, tell the person you are speaking with to remind you if you slip up. When you don’t know how to say something, do everything you can to express your thoughts without referring to English. Use hand gestures and mimes. Try pointing or describing the words you are looking for. The person you’re talking to will likely tell you how to say it once they understand. The experience of looking for words will create a meaningful interaction, and that is when memory works best. After all, you have been through so much trouble trying to find this new word, it’ll likely be stuck in your mind forever. Not speaking English at all is certainly no easy task, but the results do pay off in a big way.
Focus on speaking.
If you have lots of time and opportunities to talk with people in your target language, this might not be an issue for you. But if you’re like most people, actual speaking practice may be harder to fit in your schedule than other aspects of language learning. It’s rather easy to practice your listening, reading, and writing skills with all sorts of resources, but speaking is not as accessible or convenient, especially when you don’t live in the country where the language in spoken. You should therefore maximize your time with personal teachers by focusing on your speaking skills whenever you have language sessions. If you have a conversation with a teacher and they speak most of the time, it turns into a language lesson and listening practice. You could have gotten nearly the same results with a YouTube video. We believe that it’s best to find a good learning method to teach you most of the language structure and use your valuable conversation time to actually practice what you learned. Language rules, grammar and vocabulary can be learned in lots of more convenient, cost-effective ways. (Ouino is an excellent choice)
Have balanced conversations.
Unless you are talking to your very talkative aunt who’s just dying to tell you about her gardening, you should be talking about 50% of the time in a normal conversation. This is the magic number you should be aiming for. Language learning is not the best time to be a good listener. Obviously, talking half of the time will be very difficult when you are just getting started. A good trick is to tell your teacher to ask you lots of questions to get you to talk more. Try to increase your talkativeness every time you have a new conversation. The goal is to make your conversations as natural as possible while practicing your speaking skills. Try to improve your responsiveness and your comfort level, but most importantly, remember to have fun!
Reword what you want to say.
As a beginner, you may constantly worry about being correct. Forget all that! Speaking a new language is an achievement in itself, even if you make tons of mistakes and it sounds all wrong. After all, you have to start somewhere. In the beginning, your vocabulary will be very limited. The good news is that most languages overdo it in some way. Each language contains an incredible number of words, but also many synonyms and ways to say the same thing. You don’t need all those words to get your point across. You will have to find ways to communicate by rewording the words you do know. You will quickly find tricks to say a lot with very few words. By doing so, you will learn lots of new vocabulary in the process, and reinforce the words you’ve learned previously. The more words you know, the easier it gets. Remember that it doesn’t matter if you miss words or don’t conjugate properly at first. It will all come together as you are exposed to more of the language.
These are only a few ways you can maximize your time spent with personal teachers. However, remember that the most important thing is to enjoy your learning experience. Make sure you find a way that works best for your own needs and requirements. If you enjoy your conversations with your personal teacher and use a few techniques to maximize your time, you’ll see major improvements in your speaking skills in no time.
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