How to Choose an English Training Provider? Ready to beshocked?
Fact: most of your learning will come from independent activities.
What that really means is that being forced to study using a particular set style will do little to improve your English. I know most of you will probably be scratching your heads right about now. How to find a trusted English training provider?
‘Why bother taking courses then? Can’t I just turn on the television, click on Youtube, sing some songs and eventually I’ll speak English?’
Unfortunately, the path to English language acquisition is a bit more involved than that. It requires training certainly, but it also needs some adjusting in the way you think about learning. It involves changing your perception.
It requiresnothing short of a learningrevolutionin fact.
Consider the following: most English providers will tell you that learning a second language becomes more difficult as you age. They will tell you that adult classes need extra work, or that adult students need a different style of training to compensate for their age. Studies on journal journals.plos.org do show that to an extent -language does become more difficult to grasp as we age, however, studies on University College London article also show that the reason is perceptual and not biological.
Think about thatfor a moment.
We have been conditioned to believe this, brainwashed to accept it, and so much so that it has actually become real. Adults struggle more with learning a second language because they have been conditioned to believe that it is more difficult for them to do so. Can you see now how careful you need to be when choosing an English language provider?
Will the provider you choose further condition the myth, or will they cut students free from imaginary obstacles?
Let’s dig a little deeperinto this idea of perception.
Perception, or the way you perceive learning, conditions a physical response inside of you. It can even eventually change your mind physically. Numerous studies from Georgetown University Medical Center have shown that people who learn a second language have more ‘gray matter’ develop in their brain. This extra ‘gray matter’ is quite useful because it helps develop all sorts of other important stuff like mechanical skill learning and cognition. This is particularly obvious later in life, where having learned a second language helps maintain important cognitive abilities and even prevents the early onset of dementia. [ See The Neuroprotective Effects of Education]
Now this all sounds amazing of course, but it does depend on how it is done. Growing gray matter in your brain will only be useful if it is conditioned to free you rather than limit you. For example, if you are being conditioned to believe that learning a second language is more difficult as you age then, hmmm, well… congratulations on your new gray matter, shame it looks a lot like a locked box.
Let’s go back to what I said at the beginning of this article: most of your learning will come from independent activities.
What do I mean by independent activities? These are activities that you perform based completely on motivation; on wanting to do them. But who will motivate you?
Now consider this: most English classes are long, repetitive, uninteresting sessions where an unrealistic expectation is placed upon students to learn. Consider also: most English providers employ teachers who lack the passion, the confidence and the knowledge to make their classes truly effective. Having worked in a variety of popular English language providers in Jakarta and abroad, I well know the common attitudes and skill levels found in these institutes and schools. More importantly, I well know the lack of interest that develops among instructors when institutes and schools provide little incentive for teachers, or box them into set tasks. Great for the schools, they make a heap of money, okay for the teachers, they make a salary, terrible for the students, their learning is limited and they lose money.
When choosing an English language providerfor your company (or even for yourself) you need to think about:
A: The perceptions they are instilling in their students. Is it motivating and inspiring? Will it encourage independent activities? Or, will it just reinforce the same patterns and beliefs over and over?
B: Is the teacher a professional? No, I don’t mean his or her degrees and academic credentials. I have met teachers with a long list of impressive academic qualifications who did not possess the slightest idea how to teach. A professional teacher is a motivator. A professional teacher should energize you towards independent activities. They should be positive, encouraging, they should transcend the role of teacher and become coach also. Also, is the general chatter of the teacher (not just their teaching) encouraging or discouraging? Consider these points carefully because they will determine how quickly and successfully your staff will learn English.
We know our teachers at English Today are professionals who understand the finer points of teaching because we hand-picked them based on their talent and knowledge. We did not choose them because we needed to fill quotas, nor did we choose them because they could fill in spaces. Rather, we chose them because we saw something special in them; something different, a deep understanding of how important and rewarding teaching is, a self-driven passion and energy. We look for motivators, energizers, thinkers, innovators, people who think outside the box because we believe these characteristics will naturally pass on to our students.
English is fun, exciting, liberating, life changing. Or at least, it can be. Show us your drive to learn, give us your best and let us show you our magic.
English Today was founded in Jakarta in 2010 as Jakarta’s first and only native English teacher agency and has since grown to be located in 7 different cities including Surabaya, Bandung, Denpasar, Makassar , Balikpapan and Medan. At English Today we have an extensive network of professional English trainers that extends throughout Jakarta and Indonesia, allowing us to offer greater flexibility in scheduling, and to offer our customers a wider choice of experienced and qualified Professional English Trainers.