LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||15/MAR/2015 10:11 AM|
Just going back to the initial question a little bit. The English workbooks were from my father's "científico" (adult high school) course back in the early 70's. I started flipping through those workbooks, then my older friends in my old neighborhood went to "5a. série" (5th grade) and they showed me their English book. I was fascinated by the colorful art in the English textbooks and being the curious child I was I really wanted to know what those words meant in Portuguese. Talking from experience, maybe some children, in some places, are born with a inner motivation to learn specific things.
By the time I was a teen, in the mid 80's, I started watching English language lessons on Brazilian TV, such as "tele curso", then a neighbor loaned me a self-teaching English course in a 3-volume book with vinyl LP's, and I was fascinated by those books and LP's. I would finally learn "how to speak". Classroom lessons would come years later, but when I finally started in a classroom I already had the self-confidence that I would speak English, but the classroom brought major frustration, for many months I contemplated giving up learning English because of how ineffective the teaching was and there was no interaction, no role-plays, it was a very traditional course which is still is a major course in most Brazilian cities. I persisted in the program for many years, but along with it I had the opportunity of associating with American missionaries and I interacted with them in English as much as I could.
For me learning and improving on English has taken almost 30 years. So I laugh when I see "schools" offering online learning in a few months (3 months for example), maybe I should laugh at myself for being a slow learner.
In my opinion, classes do help, but for me, an introvert, a recipe I have for myself to learn English is studying a lot of words from a good and current dictionary in the chosen pronunciation you'd like to learn; American English in my case. Then, get a grammar book with clear explanations, get a textbook, preferably an international textbook written by natives, and find yourself not a teacher, but a mentor who understands pronunciation and intonation really over. So, my suggestion is focus on pronunciation and intonation over grammar and learn lots of vocabulary and challenge yourself to practice with your mentor the new phrases words, etc. and Voila, you should speak good English in no time.
A private tutor in Brazil usually runs at 50 Reais and over an hour. I know it is not cheap but the more you study by yourself the more you'll save on your private lessons down the road.
There's no magic bullet, I know nothing about the science at the foundation of learning or teaching, but the native child knows nothing about it either, and they manage to become great English speakers even at a very young age.
Sometimes a classroom can be more economic than a private tutor, but then you are stuck with expensive textbooks, schedules, etc. and your learning will be based on a very short amount of hours (Brazil's schools for example, follow the 2-hour week approach and that's too little time to see fast results).
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