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I speak 17 languages.

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The Linguist’s Sweet Spot for English Learners

The “sweet spot” is an area on a tennis racket that is the best place to hit the ball. It’s the part you want to use – hitting in the sweet spot is going to result in the best serve or return.

I’ve been wondering about The Linguist’s sweet spot.

  • What is The Linguist best at teaching?
  • What kinds of English learners are we best at serving?
  • What level of English learner could benefit most from The Linguist’s teaching strategy?

I need to discuss this with Steve and Mark, but I think the survey that we asked all our users to fill out has a lot of the answers.

Most of our learners have been studying English for more than a year. I find this very significant.

Most English learning systems view language as structure: put enough building blocks on top of each other, and you’ve learned the language. So they teach words, grammar, meanings, punctuation, pronounciation, etc.

The problem is that language is organic … it’s a living thing with rhythm and flow. And the whole is far more than the sum of the parts.

So The Linguist’s learning system is holistic, organic, and more focused on phrase, conversation, and communication than individual meanings of words and rote repetition.

Which is why we attract people who have been learning english for a year or more. They’ve tried the other methods, and while they know the English words for man, tree, stick, rock, table, spoon and so on … they can’t, in spite of their long and hard efforts, actually hold a meaningful conversation with an English speaker.

That’s what we focus on – and 3 months of effort can get you well on your way.

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