English classes cost a lot of Money so it is important that you get all the benefits you can from them. Too often in my classes, I see that many students are not doing the things they need to do to improve and instead, continue month after month at the same level as when they started. Here are some of the bad habits that prevent students in my class from improving.
Not Reviewing the Previous Class
Often students turn up for class and have not even looked at what was covered in the last class. Sometimes I ask students to explain what we talked about during the previous class and I find that they can’t even remember. This means that key points have to be reviewed and practised again before we can move on as a class. This is a waist of time for the teacher, the students who have prepared properly and of course, the students not putting in the work themselves.
Not Studying Vocabulary
Vocabulary is not learned magically. It takes a lot of work to develop your vocabulary to a level in which you can converse on a wide range of topics. Many students in my class never make the effort to study new words in their own time. They seem happy to only study the words that come up in class. This method will never be good enough to develop the vocabulary you need. A commitment has to be made to learn at least 10 new words a day.
Talking in Your First Language During Class
Sometimes you have to speak in your own language during class. For example, you may be totally confused about what the teacher has asked you to do or you may need to understand something very quickly. However, having long conversations in your own language is unacceptable in the class. It’s like a disease and spreads to other students and before you know it, the whole class is speaking in their own language. Yes, it’s very difficult not to do it but you have to make a strong effort to speak in English only during class time.
Not Interacting With Other Students
How useful is speaking with other students who often make mistakes and have strong accents? This is what some people believe and instead only talk to the teacher. They stay silent during class activities and spend the time that they should be chatting reading their text books. The point is that you cannot improve your conversation ability without speaking. Unfortunately, the teacher cannot spend much time talking to students on an individual basis during the class. A good teacher will listen to conversations in the class briefly and select the mistakes he or she feels are most important to review with the class. Also, you will find that the reality of English in the working or academic world is that you often have to speak with people whose first language is not English. It is important to gain experience dealing with a wide range of accents and styles be they native English or not.