Hello! Hello! Hello! Welcome to my most recent English learning video. I am very excited to be able to answer your questions which you can record on my website here. All of your questions were very good ones and I know that they will help many students from around the world who are learning English online. Many of these questions come from people who have studied English for a while and are in need of filling in gaps with the English they already know. I’ve got these questions a lot both online and when I used to teach in the classroom and I am happy to put things to you in a way which hopefully will make learning grammar more exciting. At the beginning of my career as an English teacher over twenty years ago, I used to find grammar really boring. Everything seemed so methodical and bookish. I never dreamed at that time that we would have all of this technology so that I could make something more colorful and vibrant for everyone across the world. The biggest challenge in the age of the internet is finding the time to focus on a few pieces of information and internalizing them. Here are a few points of concern I hear a lot:
1. “I can understand when you are speaking, Steve, but I can’t watch a movie without putting on closed captions and I am afraid of speaking with native speakers of English, especially by phone.” This is totally understandable. I am trying to speed up and slow down my speaking in my videos to make sure you can see how Youtube English teachers speak for the intermediate level learners, and at the same time for advanced learners. When you watch the video, you’ll see I have included a pronunciation segment focusing on how native speakers link words together in a sentence. This will give you a good idea of how you can reach the fluency level.
2. “I have studied English for many years. I know all the grammar and I don’t have the patience to sit through another class at an English school. My only problem is that when I speak, I make mistakes that I know are grammatically wrong, but I keep on making them.” This is very common. The first thing is not to feel bad about it because you and millions of other people are in the same boat. For my one-to-one students, I am constantly monitoring their speech patterns and after correcting them a few times, what I’ve noticed is my students start correcting their own mistakes until those bad habits are eliminated. For those of you who are studying on your own it’s still possible. For self-study learners, you need to record yourself speaking with someone and after listen carefully to what you are saying. You can increase your own awareness of mistakes you are making unconsciously that way. The grammar that I address in the video in some ways can be used in speaking and writing. This is especially true about: although, though, even though. I also talk about a rarely talked about adverb: “barely” and I also talk about its variant “barely ever”. Both of these are commonly used by native speakers, but I don’t see too many non-native speakers using them. So hopefully this will raise your awareness regarding that.
Well I hope you enjoy the video and keep up the good work everybody!