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Why conversation apps might not help you be fluent in English?

August 26, 2021 , by Dr Julian Northbrook

A lot of people make the huge mistake of thinking that conversation apps will magically make them fluent in English.

But that’s not normally true at all.

See, relying on conversation apps ALONE is probably not enough to make you fluent in English.

And it’s the same with just relying on conversations with your teacher or with somebody on italki. And the reason why you won’t get automatically fluent by using apps or speaking with your English teacher/peer is that you’re in a comfortable setting. You feel relaxed when you’re talking to them. And that comfortable setting gives you a false sense of just how good your English is, when in reality… it’s probably not as good as you think it is.

Instead, what you need to do is start with the hardest things, the difficult conversations. Because if you find yourself in high-pressure situations, everything else becomes easier.

Let’s take this analogy for example:

I used to run marathons. I had years of practice with running. I trained in the nice, flat, paved streets of Tokyo. It was so beautiful and everything was easy! I didn’t have to stumble and fall while training, so that was great. But then I ran a marathon for the first time in West Cork, Ireland.. and it was an absolute shit show. I ran through hills, mountains, flooded sections everywhere, and it was even raining! It was absolutely horrible. But after all of those, did I perform well? Hell no. However, when I trained in that environment (no matter how absolutely horrific it was) every other marathon I ran was easy in comparison. And that was because I already got through the worst one.

And the same can be said with learning English. You’ve got to go through difficult, high-pressure situations so everything else becomes easy. But apart from going through hard situations in English, you’ve also got to find the balance between focus intensive learning and using English in relaxed settings.

In fact, you can learn more about this approach (or what I call the Two Track Method) and other useful ways to learn English efficiently. You can start with the free one-hour training I created, which will tell you more about learning English the best way.

Hope that helps.

Dr Julian Northbrook

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