Speaking, speaking and more speaking.
Laura is a science teacher from Spain. She has been coming to the Conversation Group at the Barbican Centre for the last few months. In the group sessions we follow the Big Fish Formula to reach fluency in English. Here is the formula which forms the basis of all our lessons:
- Speaking, speaking and more speaking
- New vocabulary to become natural and expressive
- Error correction to improve accuracy
Teaching is a great career.
A career as a science or maths teacher is particularly exciting because there is a shortage of science teachers here in the UK – in fact the department of Education is working with private companies such as Goldman Sachs and RBS to pay generous salaries of £40,000 per year to train young graduates to become ‘super teachers’. If you are good at your job and ambitious you can be promoted fast and headteachers can earn over £100,000 a year. It goes without saying that a good salary is a plus but the real motivation for Laura is a passion for teaching and a desire to inspire a new generation of young scientists.
The one barrier that that stands in her way of a promising career as a science teacher is fluency in English. So English really is a top priority for her. When Laura joined the group a couple of months ago she had to think about the structure of each sentence before speaking and I got the feeling that she was translating from her native language. Fast forward a couple of months and her English is a different ball game – it’s not perfect but it’s starting to be natural, flowing and communicative.
What is her secret?
Laura’s secret is that she knows there is no secret. No magic bullet. She realises that the best way to improve is to do a little everyday. By adopting this step by step approach she has made steady progress. It might not feel like it sometimes but it’s more efficient to do a little daily than crazy marathon sessions every now and then. Consistency is the key.
Another reason to take inspiration from Laura is that she doesn’t see English as a chore – she actually enjoys the process of learning.
Being organised helps too – Laura’s notebook is extremely neat and tidy.
- do at least something daily
- enjoy yourself
- be organised
On the right path.
The exciting thing is that Laura is on the right path – she is doing all the things that WILL make her fluent. Now it’s just a matter of time. So well done Laura and keep going!