Where can you learn English faster?
The classroom or the pub?
A lot of Czech students would tell you “The pub.”
At The School For Teachers
Before I became a teacher, I attended a one-month teacher training course in Prague, Czech Republic.
Because we were learning to teach, we needed to practice with real students.
But because we were still learning to teach, we weren’t any good.
Can you imagine what the advertisement to attract these students must have said? Probably something like, “Free English lessons with Terrible Teachers.”
Anyway, one of the guys who responded to this amazing offer was Michal.
I saw Michal in class with the rest of the students.
And then I saw Michal after class in the pub with the teachers.
Later, when I got a job in a language school, I saw this happening again and again.
Students would go to class, get to know the teacher, then get themselves invited to the pub with the rest of the teachers.
Was that an accident?
I doubt it.
Why do you think they wanted to get to the pub?
After all, there was no grammar and no correction in the pub.
Of course it’s more speaking practice.
Of course it’s real English and not classroom English.
But here’s another idea…
The Magic Of Relaxation
Pubs are better than classrooms because you’re more relaxed in the pub.
Think about your own life.
What do you do better when you’re relaxed?
And what do you do worse when you’re stressed?
Relaxation was a key part of the success of The Michel Thomas Method.
Michel was a Pole who survived World War Two, moved to Hollywood, then opened a school and taught celebrities like Woody Allen and Grace Kelly French in a few days.
In the BBC documentary, The Language Master, Michel transforms a traditional classroom into a place students can learn better.
He covers the hard tiles with carpets. He makes the lights warm. He puts the students in comfortable chairs.
He explains that in a classroom you feel stress, you feel discomfort, and you start to believe that learning is work.
But, says Michel, “Learning shouldn’t be work; learning should be excitement.”
Excitement and a beer? Even better!