Versión española

And we will talk about talking. First of all, every one of my students, without exception, get to pronounce well from the start. Even beginners must pronounce well enough so that a native can understand them. I insist on it. If you learn only theory, you’re not learning a language. You are just playing on your own.

Pronunciation is definitely the biggest thing that people notice when you are speaking English.

You can live without advanced vocabulary – you can use simple words to say what you want to say. You can live without advanced grammar – you can use simple structures instead. For example, you can live a hundred months in England and never use the passive. But there is no such thing as ‘simple pronunciation’. If you don’t have good pronunciation, you have bad pronunciation.

Many learners ignore pronunciation. This is a big mistake. They can communicate in class so they think it’s good enough. After a few years learning written grammar structures they go to England or the United States and nobody understands a word of what they are saying.

After years of studying, you deserve better than that.

Bad pronunciation means you don’t speak the language. Even if you use great vocabulary and grammar, people won’t understand you.

Most academies and a lot of teachers do not bother to teach pronunciation. Maybe because it’s hard work for the teacher. But I do. As I said, I insist on it.

Then, for all my students I provide two free conversation groups (tertulias) every week – always moderated with a native English speaker – for people to relax and so they can practise talking and listening in real time. I encourage everyone to go and enjoy themselves in English.

Learning a language is supposed to be fun.

Now for the reading, writing and grammar.