Has anyone used iTalki to study their own native language?

I've been curious about this for some time now - since I started studying a second language. The process of studying a new language has made me consider, and realise, just how little I actually know about the linguistics of my own, native tongue. I was a wild-child back in my school days, and where I was raised, education and smarts was something frowned upon, ridiculed and quite often lead to bullying.

I ignored English classes - all classes for that matter - when I was a senior school student, and for anyone who knows or is familiar with the English examination board grading (GCSE's), I scored around D-E level in pretty much every subject. Not for a lack of intelligence mind, simply a lack of trying; a mistake I spent the subsequent decade working to remedy through three years of college and a further five at university.

Eventually I fixed my past mistakes and am now very proficient in most areas, except English. Sure, I have native level English - I can read both modern fiction and old English prose, I can speak and listen natively, have a working vocabulary of probably well over 50,000 words; but I know very little of the building blocks of my own language. It's not something I'd ever considered before studying a second language, as at that point, I'd never really needed to know the linguistics behind it.

Anyway, that's enough droning on! The main point here is, I am considering taking the time to study the linguistic side of English - my native language, and wanted to gauge if iTalki could be the place to do it (I really don't feel like paying to attend classes, I've enough on my plate as is!). What is your opinion?

TL;DR: I never took the time to study my native language and want to remedy that. Do you think iTalki could be a good place to do it, or is it more geared toward studying a second language. 

Have a nice day!

Apr 24, 2018 10:23 AM
Comments · 13
I realized the same thing a few years ago when I first started teaching ESL. It absolutely blew me away how intricate our language once I had to step out of my role as a speaker into a teacher. Even though it's my native language, I still learn new words constantly! Hell, my students teach me new words on a rare occasion!

When my students feel discouraged, I always remind them that they learn new words in their native language, and that learning a language is a lifelong journey that rewards you everytime they learn a new vocabulary word, grammar structure, or phrase.

So when they say "I want to improve my English and learn more words," I always reply "Me too!"
April 24, 2018
Simply pay attention to the experts like SuKi. You'll learn a lot. And I hate to beat a dead horse, but 50,000 words is enormous. The best English language writers may have it. 
April 24, 2018
I learn something new about English here virtually every day ! 
April 24, 2018

If you do any sort of language exchange here or elsewhere your knowledge of English will increase. I know a heck of a lot more about English than I did three or four years ago. I haven't gone out to study it, it's just happened that way organically as the time has gone by.

As native speakers the language is intuitive, as in we don't think before we phrase something a certain way, we just say it. Non-native speakers do not have that experience, so if they ask you something you will likely be forced to think about something you've never thought about before. Sometimes you'll be able to answer it straightaway, sometimes after a bit of thought and sometimes you won't know the answer and will have to investigate a little bit.

The answers boards are a good section to follow I think.

By the way, 50000 is an absolutely huge vocabulary. Most educated native speakers would have one of around 15-20000 words. If your field has a lot of specialised words or jargon (like medicine or law) then you're probably approaching 30000. 50000 is an overestimate.

April 24, 2018
And please get that book Michael Chambers is so in love with.
April 24, 2018
Show more