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Let's get started - language learner tip number 1

Well, this seems like a tutoring site that has some nice resources. Blogging could be fun if I can get a good base of WyzAnt students! This is my first time working as a contract tutor for a company, so I am curious to see how it goes. I've generally recruited my own students, or worked through a school. I've done some other things online that have been pretty fun -- I've actually taught for an online high school where EVERYTHING was done via the internet using drop boxes, email, and an interactive classroom program. I've also done lessons over Skype.

But I do prefer face-to-face lessons. And I'm not the only one. Did you know that one of the #1 difficult situations for someone learning a language to be in is a conversation where you can't see the other speaker? That is, the dreaded phone call. I know immigrants here in Minnesota who speak decent English, but STILL will go into say, a doctor's office and set up their appointment in person rather than do it over the phone. They just can't understand as well. Lots of what we understand in a conversation is actually based on body language/facial expression and, yes, a little bit of unconscious lip reading. So put a phone in the middle and it's about as good as trying to have a conversation in a noisy nightclub. It also could be compared to the frustration some students feel trying to learn from an audio CD -- can't see the person's face = missing a big chunk of the clues!

So Tip #1 is work up to a phone conversation by lots of face-to-face conversation first. Don't be afraid of the challenge of a language CD or a phone call, but be aware of what makes it a challenge!

Comments

Excellent tip! I never consciously thought about the barrier the phone puts up to understanding an accent or another language. I encourage you to keep blogging. Your post is well written, clear and easy to understand. I look forward to more of your posts.