9

My colleagues and I thought about speaking English at the office to improve our skills.

I was not so excited about this. Sure, I'm also interested in improving my language skills, but I'm worried about learning the language incorrectly, especially in the sense of speaking/pronunciation, but also about learning the wrong words and phrases. The English conversation with my colleagues would be the only common learning activity.

So will learning with others benefit me or will I run the risk to learn wrong phrases and pronunciation?

  • 2
    Welcome to Language Learning Stack Exchange! This is a good first question! Please remember to visit the Tour and Help Center and also visit Meta to understand more about this site's rules! – Anthony Pham Apr 14 '17 at 14:36
  • Could you specify whether the English conversation at the office would be the only common learning activity? Or would there also be other forms of learning or practice? – IkWeetHetOokNiet Apr 19 '17 at 13:33
  • @ChristopheStrobbe no the English conversation would be the only common learning activity – nickel715 Apr 19 '17 at 20:41
  • 1
    The question Learn a new language in between the non speakers environment (Same native language as mine) is somewhat related to this and is still waiting for an answer. (It's not a duplicate, though.) – IkWeetHetOokNiet Apr 25 '17 at 10:20
4

Learning with others usually only helps you unless they are disruptive and not really trying to study with you.

If your colleagues are dedicated into learning a new language together and you are comfortable with that, then go for it! Like with classrooms, there are multiple students that each have their own weaknesses and strengths that can cover each others. For example, if you are weak at verb tenses but strong at grammar, you can help others improve their grammar while they help you improve your verb tense knowledge.

This can be reflected off this Stanford paper:

...it offers students the opportunity to learn from each other. It gives them considerably more practice than traditional teaching and learning methods in taking responsibility for their own learning and, more generally, learning how to learn. It is not a substitute for teaching and activities designed and conducted by staff members, but an important addition to the repertoire of teaching and learning activities that can enhance the quality of education.

and

Reciprocal peer learning emphasizes students simultaneously learning and contributing to other students' learning. Such communication is based on mutual experience and so they are better able to make equal contributions. It more closely approximates to Habermas' notion of an 'ideal speech act' in which issues of power and domination are less prominent than when one party has a designated 'teaching' role and thus takes on a particular kind of authority for the duration of the activity.

Unless you feel you will not benefit from the group, join them!

  • 2
    In short: practice with native speakers is better than practice with other learners, but practice with students is better than no practice. – Pere Jun 5 '17 at 11:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.