English lessons by Skype
So you’ve made the big decision to sign up for English lessons by Skype. Well done! But what should you expect? This article gives you an idea of a typical online class and advice on how to make the most of it.
What to expect from English lessons by Skype
Expect to talk… a lot!
One of the main reasons you are taking English classes over the internet is to improve your English and become more fluent, right? Then the only way you can do that is by speaking, and speaking a lot! Your teacher is your conversation partner, so he or she will talk a little bit, but the main speaker should be you. Don’t be shy – speak!
Your teacher will expect you to share some personal things about your life – maybe about your job, your family, where you live and what you do in your free time. Is your teacher just being nosy? No, of course not! Your teacher would like to know you better, firstly, because it makes things more comfortable and breaks the ice. But more importantly, your teacher can design your English classes to suit your personal interests, which will make your lessons more interesting.
expect to make mistakes and use difficult and new vocabulary during your English classes
Of course everybody is afraid of making mistakes; nobody wants to feel stupid or embarrassed. But remember that your English lessons by Skype are the best times to make mistakes so that you won’t make them outside in the real world. Think about it like this: every mistake is a learning experience. Each time you make a mistake, you take one step closer to being more accurate. So from this point of view, mistakes are a good thing!
Use new language
You want to learn new words, right? Or more complex grammar forms? Then use them! It seems simple, but many students learn new vocabulary during a lesson and then never use those words again, often because they feel unsure about when to use them. What’s the point? When your teacher goes to the effort of teaching and explaining a new word or grammar point, you should try and use it immediately and more than once. Ask your teacher – “Did I use that word correctly? Was the situation appropriate?” Your teacher will give you valuable feedback so that you can use those new words and English grammar points in your daily life.
learning pronunciation and general knowledge about culture is also to be expected
Exercise your mouth
One of the best things about having a native English speaker as a teacher is that you will hear good English pronunciation. Your teacher will probably ask you to listen to how a word is pronounced and try to repeat it – it will feel very unnatural to you! That’s because your mouth is a muscle, and you have used it the same way your whole life. When your mouth is moving in an ‘English’ way, it will feel strange. Remember, this is a good thing – if your mouth feels ‘normal’, you are not adapting to English sounds and you are speaking with your native accent.
You are probably taking English lessons by Skype because you want to interact with native English speakers through work, travel or study. Whether your teacher is from the UK, United States, Canada or another English-speaking country, they will give you valuable insight into their own anglo culture, such as how to use certain language to be polite, how to use specific slang or idiomatic language, or which words to use in formal situations. You might find it very different from your own culture, so remember to keep an open mind.
Expect to work hard in and out of your English class, but also have fun while learning
Any good teacher will give their student some homework to do, so don’t be surprised if your teacher gives you work to complete after your English lesson online. Homework is important for many reasons: it gives you more practice of what you have learned, it helps you to review the language, it gives you a chance to develop another skill (like reading or writing) or it might help you to prepare for the next lesson’s topics. So no more excuses – do your homework!
Fun and Laughter
If you didn’t like school (most people don’t!), then you probably don’t associate the idea of ‘study’ with the idea of ‘fun’. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! Expect to enjoy your online English lessons. Yes, you will have to work hard and push yourself during the class, but there is no reason why you can’t have a good time. Learning is fun, and as you see your English getting better, you will feel so happy about it!
So now that you know what to expect from your English lessons by Skype, go ahead and enjoy the journey!