I’ve been working on my Facebook page quite a bit recently and I’ve been happy to get lots of followers, likes and lovely comments! One thing I’ve noticed is that people are very interested to know how they can learn or improve their English on their own for free. This post explores how easy or difficult it is to do this.
I completely understand why people want to learn for free and I do it myself! I use learning apps like Duolingo to learn Spanish and I follow people on social media. I watch YouTube videos and I’ve joined a couple of Facebook groups. There is so much that you can do nowadays, thanks to the Internet, without ever needing to spend any money.
So nothing I say here is intended as a criticism of anyone. Also, I completely understand that some people really can’t afford to pay for lessons or buy books, and for some people, international payments are difficult or impossible.
So can you learn English (or any language) for free? The short answer is yes, it’s possible but I think it depends on the learner and their language level. If you’re a beginner, it’s hard to know where to start without guidance. Advanced students can probably manage on their own more easily. Also, I think some people have more of a gift for languages than others.
It also depends on your past experience of learning languages. I learnt French and German at school and had some good teachers. As an adult, I’ve taught myself some Spanish. It wasn’t too difficult for me because I know how to learn a language. Being an English teacher probably gives me an advantage too! I know how languages work and what I need to learn.
However, my Spanish learning is very slow and not at all consistent. Sometimes I lose motivation or just get out of the habit and I don’t do any Spanish for weeks. I’m sure I would make faster progress and be more motivated if I had a teacher or joined a class. Maybe one day I will but it’s not a priority for me now.
Another problem is that I don't know when I'm making a mistake because I have nobody to tell me or correct me. Also, it’s difficult to find the best learning materials online without guidance.
Although you can learn a lot for free, I think you too might find that your learning is quicker, easier and more effective if you spend a bit of money on it.
Here are some free things you can do to learn English:
Even if you have a teacher, you should do some of these things to practise your English between lessons. It’s especially important to speak and try to read and/or listen to English as much as possible. If you only have one lesson a week and don’t do any English at any other time, your progress will be slow.
So what are the benefits of paying a teacher or joining a class?
Maybe you can learn for free if you have a gift for languages, if you’ve learnt English or other languages before, or if you’re super motivated and self-disciplined. But if you’re really serious about your learning and want to improve faster, I would recommend paying for lessons.
If you are interested in lessons, click here.
If you would like to follow me on Facebook, click here.
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