Hi there, Julian here from doingenglish.com. Good question that I got from a Doing English
Daily newsletter subscriber, is it possible to learn English alone?
Now by this, I'm assuming that the person means alone as in not taking a class, that
is studying by oneself at home or whatever, self-study.
Of course, the simple answer to the question is yes, absolutely. In fact, I would say that
is preferable. I, personally, hate language classes. It would be hard to say that I ever
studied Japanese in a class because I lasted for days. I hated it. I did take a Japanese
class once and I didn't really go past the, the kind of the trial period, just couldn't
see the point in it.
I honestly think that in this modern world, with the way that the Internet and technology
and the availability of information, the way the modern world is becoming, I think the
use of language classes, the effectiveness of language classes, and the importance of
teachers is rapidly dwindling. I think the time where to learn a language, to learn English,
you needed to go to a class and be taught by a teacher, I think that time is gone, gone
Now, of course I wouldn't say that learning completely by yourself, that is being totally
anti-social and never going out and refusing to ever speak to anybody in English is a good
idea. To be honest, when I learn languages, I really kind of don't actually get out there
much at all. Well, Japanese is different because I live in Japan and I work in Japanese and
I do most of my life and my business is run in Japanese.
I've been learning a bit of Chinese on and off for a couple months now, and I've never
actually used Chinese with a real person, but I mean I've never actually seen that as
a drawback at all. It's simply a case that I'm learning Chinese out of interest at the
moment, although I will have a need for it in the near future, but I don't have any reason
to use Chinese at the moment.
It is good to be social, to get out there. I think the role of other people in learning
English now is not like a class to be taught as a part of, but rather to get involved with
other people, to have people there who are going through the same kind of experience
as you People who can help you overcome problems that they've had and that they know how to
solve. People who can answer your questions, people who can keep you motivated and keep
your spirits up when you're feeling bad about it. People who can comfort you when you screw
up in English. I think that is very, very important, but it's not necessary really to
take a class for that.
I mean it's why Doing English Plus community exists. I could've just Doing English Plus's
weekly lessons, but it also includes a community. I could have just done the weekly lessons,
and that's what most people join for, but the community is an important aspect because
it's there for when people need the support. I think that is the only advantage of taking
a class, and I would say that with a little bit of creativity, with a little bit of imagination,
you could really get over that anyway.
Of course, the only problem with learning alone really comes down to ... Well, two things
I guess. First is motivation. Keeping yourself motivated when you're alone can be difficult,
and this is something that I've struggled with with Chinese a little bit. I've been
super busy recently and Chinese is not something that's that important to me and so it does
tend to right down on the bottom of my list of priorities and I certainly don't get it
done everyday, and sometimes not every week. Again, Chinese is not really an important
thing for me at the moment, so motivation is osmething to work on, and I will be answering
the question of how to keep yourself motivated in a future video because I had a good question
about that too.
The other problem I would say that you get with learning by yourself is pressure, pressure,
intensity of practice. Now, I absolutely do not belief for one second that you need other
people to practice with. I mean this is one of the biggest myths out there. "Oh, I need
to practice my English. I need people to speak with." Practice is practice is practice. I
mean there are different things that you can do which work better than others, and especially
when you get to the intermediate to advanced stage, some things will stop being effective.
In fact, once you get to the intermediate advanced stage, just having conversations
with native speakers is one of the things which will become very ineffective. There's
all kinds of reasons for that which I won't go into here, but there is no reason you can't
practice by yourself.
In fact, I teach a whole course which is designed to teach you how to do that. Of course, the
problem is is without the kind of a fear factor that you get when you're, say, giving a presentation
in front of a group of people, without the kind of the pressure that comes with having
to succeed or look stupid, you might not get as far as you would if you had that pressure.
However, that pressure is also something that can be replicated completely by yourself with
a bit of imagination and creativity.
Anyway, that is my rather long-winded answer to the question. Can you learn English by
yourself? Absolutely yes, not only that but I think you probably should. Right, that is
it for today. This is part of the 101 English Learning Questions series. I certainly don't
have a hundred and one yet, but you can help me out with that by going down below this
video to the comments and letting me know your questions about learning English. I will
do my best to answer as many as I can. My goal was to try and keep these videos to two
to three minutes long, but as this one is well over five minutes already,
I'm probably not going to be doing that very well, but go ahead, ask your questions down
below here. Also, if you liked this video, go ahead, click the "like" button. If you
didn't like this video, go ahead and click the "don't like button." Either way, give
me some feedback by clicking one of those buttons, and if you're new to the Doing English
Channel, go ahead and subscribe. I'm gonna be doing my best to update with new videos
as regularly as possible, so subscribing is gonna make sure you get those. Especially
if you ask the question, make sure you subscribe so that you get my answer when it comes.
Anyway, that's it from me today. I still have some, oh it's gone, some editing to do tonight.
What am I editing? Something new, something good that I've been working on since November,
quite a long video, but it's going to be available freebie for everybody to watch. More on that
soon, thank you and goodbye.