English learning – inside or outside the classroom?

Ever since I started developing The Linguist system I have encountered strong opposition from established language teachers. I have been told emphatically that “language is one subject that cannot be learned by distance education” or ” one can only learn a language in the classroom”. This is so fundamentally opposite to my experience that I usually find myself unable to discuss the issue with these people.

I think I have to accept that my perspective may not be right for many people.It may even be a minority opinion. Nevertheless, to me language learning is a lonely struggle. The ultimate objective is to socialize with native speakers of another language.To be able to do that is the eventual reward for all the effort. However while I am learning the language it is mostly between me and the language.

The language is like a mountain that I have to climb. But I do not mind that. The language brings with it stories, knowledge, a new feeling and a new culture. So learning the language is a constantly rewarding experience, but it is tough and I cannot stop until I reach a certain level.

It is like climbing a mountain. You have to keep going at least until you reach a certain level where you can rest before continuing. The scenery is breathtaking and part of the exhilaration you feel. But it is a struggle between you and the mountain. When you reach the top you feel a great sense of satisfaction. Unfortunately it is less clear when you reach the peak in language learning, since there is always room to improve. But I guess the peak is reached when you are comfortable in the language.

In any case it is a lonely struggle. Yes you have opportunities to talk with others, whether teachers, students or other native speakers. That experience can be positive or negative depending on how well you carry it off. The conversations give you a sense of how much remains to be done. But most of the learning still has to be done on your own. You have to read, listen and accumulate words and expressions. You have to climb the mountain yourself. Nobody can do it for you, not even the teacher in the classroom.

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