Why do some students FAIL to learn English?

fail at business english
cycle to reach success: try, fail, try again, success

It takes time to learn a language.

I have taught many students over the years and I’ve learned a lot from those who have completely mastered English, but also from those who have failed.

I want to describe a type of student who I’ve seen too many times, so perhaps I can help you to avoid this behaviour and help you to succeed!  Here we go:

January is an interesting time of the year. New goals and all that. Learning a language is often one of those goals and so student X, let’s call her Claudia, enrols to study English. Claudia gets up early twice a week and starts class at 7am, she really enjoys the classes and is full of enthusiasm. She knows the importance of learning English and is happy that she has finally taken the decision to focus on her learning program.

Fast Forward 3 months:

Claudia is now tired of getting up at 5am twice a week and is bored of her classes.  She doesn’t feel that she has made that much progress and has started to miss class – now she usually only goes once a week and often arrives late.  She is really frustrated, there are so many things going on at work and she just doesn’t have the time, how can she possibly learn English when she has all of these other things to do?  Even though, in reality, she has made steady progress during her 3 months of study, Claudia quits the class.

During the following nine months of the year, Claudia feels that she has more time to get on with her job and interact with her family, but she still wants to learn English someday….someday in the future.  Unfortunately for Claudia, all of the advances that she made in the first 3 months of the year have now been lost – as we all know, if you fail to practise a language, you will lose it.  She is back to Square One.

January of the following year arrives and Claudia is once again filled with energy and determination, could this be the year in which she will finally learn English?  Unfortunately, no.  Claudia enters into exactly the same cycle and after another 3 months she has once again quit.  Nothing has changed, she still can’t speak English.

After 3 years of doing exactly the same thing, Claudia realises that English is not for her and quits altogether. She just doesn’t have the ability or talent.  Some people are good at learning languages and others are not, right? Learning English is not for her and she will just have to live her life without it.

What do you think about Claudia’s story? Why was she not successful at learning English?

Please let me have your thoughts!

All the best!

Paul

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