The pitfalls of using paid Online English Conversation with a native speaker

G’day mate. How’re you going? Today, I am going to be touching upon the pitfalls of using paid Online English Conversation with a native speaker. It’s been quite common in recent years, hasn’t it? True. And, definitely it has got some benefits. But at the same time there are several drawbacks. Let’s discuss, shall we?

To be honest, it’s going to be very difficult for English learners to improve and polish any particular sound of pronunciation due to the nature of free conversation

I reckon it’s going to be not easy for English learners to improve pronunciation by just doing a free conversation with a native speaker online. The main purpose of this sort of lesson is to encourage you to talk confidently and boost your oral fluency, not checking each sound of pronunciation. So, you just enjoy interacting with a native speaker and learn new vocabularies and expressions during the conversation, which is awesome, but not quite pronunciation, to be honest. You need to take into account the priorities of what you want to develop in the first place. And, it depends upon what level of your English should be right now.

Online free English conversation with a native speaker tends to be like an interview, which means that you are just answering questions with a few words, not extensive, so it’s not really effective

This is probably one of the most common cases when it comes to using online free English conversation. You can’t really expect to get enormous outcomes from this sort of service, but of course it depends upon how good your speaking skills are. If you can initiate the conversation or sagaciously interrupt the native teacher, then the level of effectiveness will become apparently better. Otherwise, you will be just answering his/her questions, and waiting for another question, and continue to do this cycle over and over again. I am not saying this style is terrible, but it’s just not good if you desire to improve and develop your speaking skills.

A online native teacher will probably not pay close attention to any details of hidden mistakes unless you ask stopping and correcting you in advance

This is one of the most critical points I want to underscore. It should be acknowledged that there’s almost no such thing as online English teachers having the willingness or guts to correct any specific mistake via online free conversation. If you want to correct your grammar or pronunciation in detail, then I highly recommend taking more proper English learning programs offered by a highly proficient non-native English speaker, not a native. As far as I’m concerned, non-native English speakers tend to pay more attention to the details of what the cause of your mistakes might be, in part because they might have already had the same or similar experience in the past. That’s why they know how you are going to overcome a lot of obstacles regarding English learning and its four key skills.

Online English conversation isn’t effective if you haven’t mastered basic English grammar, nor have you been training yourself in read-aloud and self-talk on a daily basis

This is another critical point I want to underline the importance of the mastery of basic grammar rules, read-aloud and self-talk. If you lack any of them, I don’t recommend taking any online English conversation with a native speaker if you want to improve English skills seriously. If you just want to enjoy, then that’s alright. I’m not stopping you. Otherwise, you are squandering so much waste of time and money on such ineffective lessons. To prevent this sort of dire consequence, what you should do is to review one grammar book, master it, and then read aloud English sentences, considering pronunciation and oral fluency. Second, do discipline yourself in self-talk until you could confidently talk extensively and continuously. Finally, you go for a free English conversation with a native speaker. This must be a proper step, I reckon.

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading!

Have a nice Sunday!

Published by Masato Kawaguchi

I am an English entrepreneur here in Australia. I've been teaching the PTE exam for the last 2 years or so, now mainly general English online.

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