The key to overcoming our ‘language barrier’ lies in our education, oddly enough: the more we know, the more intensely we feel that we don’t know anything. And in our conscience, we are ashamed to show our ignorance and look foolish. We fear we will be judged again. And we are ready to speak English comfortably only when we do not feel threatened, for example, with friends over a glass of wine.
“And how do I know that much?” It becomes clear that the infamous ‘language barrier’ is nothing more than simple notoriety. People without complexes speak a foreign language better. They react more actively, interrupt and take initiatives. Such people give little thought to the impact they are creating on the way. For them, only one goal is important — of expressing themselves in a foreign language, the so-called, communicative language.
We also know that because the study of foreign languages is a psychological activity, all psychological problems of students start appearing immediately. Therefore, the study should take place at a gentle stop without any psychological pressure, in a sensitive and benevolent environment, and at a pace comfortable for the student, only gradually increasing the workload.
Let’s consider whether it is really possible to master a foreign language, in our case English, quickly and easily.
First, let’s define the concept of “learning English”. How much knowledge will make you feel free enough to understand speech and speak? And at what level of competency — a professional’s competence level, a translator’s or teacher’s?
According to Cambridge experts, PET (approximately one year of study) is a sufficient level for foreign travel and less skilled work, which corresponds to the primary level. On the other hand, FCE (approximately 2-3 years of study) is a level slightly higher than the USE in English. It conforms to the European standard and is required if you want to study in English in the UK.
A language university diploma (of approximately five years, possibly more study) is a recognised level of professional English proficiency. This is, of course, simplified graduation, but it allows you to basically identify the goals of learning English and, accordingly, time.
If an adult has not studied English before, then in a month, it is quite possible to “train” them to the starter level. At this stage, you can only speak “fluent” clichés, learn to read simple texts, use reference books and dictionaries, use the alphabet and transcription, learn some reading rules, and familiarise yourself with simple grammatical structures.
If an adult has studied English before, they will be able to “remember” and activate their knowledge in a month. If classes are held in an intensive mode, then after a month of such classes, it is possible to go abroad for further communication in English. Only many “complain” that their English is completely different from ours”. This is due to the variability of the English language and the use of informal terminology, abbreviations, idioms, etc. in everyday use. In each case, it is necessary to adapt.
Will the “language barrier” persist after a month of classes? Much depends on the psychology of the student, but, most likely, it will remain because the desire to express oneself will not yet correspond to the possibilities. But in the practice of communication, being engrossed in the language environment, as you get used to, gradually this obstacle will go away.