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practice English with other English learners none native speakers

Is it a good idea to practice English with other English learners none native speakers?

Jan 5, 2015 1:51 AM
Comments · 11

I'm going to go against the grain here and say it's a bad idea, unless you truly can't find a native speaker to talk with. Fortunately for native English speakers and unfortunately for everyone else, the demand for English speakers is much higher than the supply going the other way. This is especially true for those that speak somewhat obscure languages. The flip side to this is that English is by far the easiest language to learn through the exposure of movies, music, and the internet.


The problem with learning from non-native speakers is that they won't necessarily pick up on the small grammar mistakes, the wrong preposition used, or the word with a meaning that's narrower or wider than one might think. It's even possible to form a sentence that's grammatically perfect, but is ordered clumsily and is therefore hard to follow. There will also be a certain amount of doubt as to whether or not what you're hearing or what the other person corrects you on is truly correct. Last but not least, you'll miss out on the implications or associations behind a word. For example, the other day I was talking with someone who had near perfect English, but he used words that were overly proper or stilted. One thing that we laughed a little about was his use of the word "accesorize". While it technically meant what he thought it meant, in common usage it sounds a little gay and might give the wrong impression if you're not. You would never pick up on these types of subtleties from a book or even from an advanced English learner. 


Ultimately, my advice would be to use non-native speakers to fill the gaps, but not as your go-to language partner. Easier said than done I know. 

January 5, 2015

Ever heard of the phrase, "The blind leading the blind?" ;)

I use to facilitate study groups in math statistics and biology, I would listen to students in groups talk to each other about learned material.  Some never made any progress because it was like they were both drowning in the didn't know how to swim and the other couldn't explain how their partner should swim!  


In my personal opinion, one of the two persons needs to be either comparable or a little more advanced to expand and progress.  Especially in languages when there is reading, writing, speaking and listening.  You will know this by questioning or interviewing the language partner.





January 5, 2015

Language partners??  Depends, if one is beginning and the other is intermediate, there is room for reinforcement.  If they are both beginners and one is non native, that is discouraged.  Studying together and practicing the language are two different things.  A beginner with a non native intermediate.


Now, in terms of learning the language from a teacher, in manys you benefit from a native speaker of your target language but some non natives speak more than on tongue and can teach using both.  It depends sometimes...

January 5, 2015

Yes, indeed. Although, I'm not a native speaker, I assure my students that can learn from me because I have different attack that can make them competent in a very short period of time. 

January 5, 2015

You can always learn from each other. However, ruling out that that is the best option would not be correct. I rather to say that you should have a mixture. Because, if one of us makes an error, we among ourselves ay not know that it is an error (this works both ways of course, as natives misinterpret us at times).

However, i have assisted my friends many times in the languages that i study; but, some of the corrections and advices that i give would not have been possible without the exposure to native speakers.

Then again, to everything there is always a ''but'' and an exception. Nonetheless, i suggest a mixture.

January 5, 2015
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Language Skills
Arabic, English, German
Learning Language
English, German