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Fluentzy.com > English > Fluency Facts > You don't need face-to-face instruction
 
  Back to index of questions   Fluency Facts >> 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15    
  Answer to Q6.
 
You don't need face-to-face instruction

 
  Q6. The course Iíll be doing with the help of the Fluentzy books is a self-study programme, and so I won't get face-to-face instruction from a teacher in a classroom. Won't this handicap me and make it difficult for me to become fluent?
 
  Answer:
 
  Four things every fluency aspirant must learn
  A unique skill; "Learning oriented" rather than "Instruction oriented"
      Self-study mode more suited to fluency training
 
 
No, we're sure it won't. Listen carefully:

Four things every fluency aspirant must learn
If you want to speak English with a high level of fluency, there are four things you must learn - whether you're a self-study learner or a classroom learner.

 

  1. You must learn why you can't speak English fluently, even though you know English reasonably well. What are the reasons? What are the causes? You must have a thorough understanding of these reasons.
  1. You must learn what you can do about these reasons, so that these reasons stop to exist and you can speak fluent English. You don't need to attend classroom sessions to learn these things. No. These are things that you can learn from the Fluentzy books by yourself - without any help from a teacher. Any adult learner who knows English reasonably well can do this. You know, the Fluentzy books have been written in a unique self-instructional style, and their contents are self-explanatory. They're clear and easy to understand, and you can learn from them without any extra explanation or help.
  1. Once you get to have a deep understanding of the reasons or factors that block your fluency, what you should do is to learn the fluency techniques. These are the actual methods that fluent native speakers of English unconsciously follow - for putting words and word groups together into continuous speech. Again, these are things that you can learn by yourself from the Fluentzy books - without any help from a teacher.
  1. You have to train yourself to apply the fluency techniques and to put together stretches of speech - without prior planning or preparation. That is, you have to train yourself to make practical use of the fluency techniques. And artificial conversational situations set up in classrooms are not suited to this sort of training. (We'll take up this point in a few minutes). The Fluentzy books give you the clearest possible instructions for training yourself. Actually, the Fluentzy books walk you through the various steps before you do the work on your own.
 
A unique skill: "Learning oriented" rather than "Instruction oriented"
You see, fluency is a unique skill - the only one of its kind. It's a skill that's of a type quite different from other skills like cycling or swimming.

This is because fluency in speech depends on a series of mental processes that go on inside you - a series of actions that you carry out within your mind (to compose what to say and to say it at the same time). It also depends on certain physical actions, such as the actions you carry out with your organs of speech inside your mouth and throat. Now, these mental as well as physical actions are not 'external' actions, and so are not visible or obvious to other people. Others can't see these actions or get to know about them. And so others can't "correct" these actions - on the spot or later.

So in order to teach you the fluency skill, the only effective thing that teachers will be able to do is to tell you what to do and how to do those things. That is, they can provide you with all the knowledge, facts, information, explanation and details you need, so that you'll be able to do these things by yourself. The actual work has to be done entirely by yourself - the actual work of working out the exercises and of practising the oral drills. This is so, whether you get training through classroom instruction or by doing a self-study course. That is, even if you get classroom instruction, the actual training work will have to be done by yourself.

You see, while learning most other subjects, face-to-face interaction between an instructor and a learner may have great importance. But its role is limited when you learn a skill like fluency. The performance and progress of a fluency learner (who already knows reasonable English) does not actually depend on learner-instructor interactions or on feedback or on the instructor watching the performance of a learner or on a learner watching the performance of the instructor. No.

The point is this: While you're training to speak fluent English, the kind of help that teachers would be able to give you is quite different from the kind of help they'd be able to give you while you're training to swim or ride a bicycle - or while you're learning mathematics or computer programming or machine repair. And note this: While you're training to speak fluent English, the kind of help teachers would be able to give you is something that can effectively be given through a self-study programme.

 
     Self-study mode more suited to fluency training
In fact, as far as adult learners are concerned, a high-quality self-study programme is more suited to them than face-to-face instruction - if their aim is fluency development.

First of all, the self-study mode has a lot of general advantages for adult learners. For example, a self-study course allows you to learn at a pace that suits you individually. That is, you can decide your own learning speed - according to your own intellectual and educational levels and your own learning needs. But classroom instruction forces you to learn at a rate that is not natural to you. It prevents fast learners from learning fast and slow learners from learning slowly - and forces every learner to try learning at a rate that doesn't suit them. So you can see that a self-study course meets the individual learning needs of learners more satisfactorily. Another advantage of a self-study course is that it allows you to learn whenever you want and wherever you want. And you don't have to be at a particular place at a particular time every day in order to get instruction.

Secondly, because of the unique nature of the fluency skill, classroom instruction in fluency building has certain inherent limitations. And so, it may not really help learners become fluent to the extent they think that it would - especially in a short period of time. (We'll look at this point in detail as we go on).

 
 

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