Over the weekend The Girl and I mostly binge-watched Christmas films (hey, don’t judge — ’tis the season).
Last night we watched:
(This is not the kind of film you can “spoil” as, let’s face it, these films are all exactly the same and you already know what’s going to happen without watching it… but if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing stop reading now.)
A woman who consistently picks bad guys and has a whole string of disaster Tinder dates behind her meets the perfect guy (once again on Tinder). He has it all. The looks. The personality. She’s never met him in person, but their personalities match so well she decides to surprise him by flying across the US to surprise him for Christmas.
But it turns out she’s been catfished.
The guy’s personality and all that was real, but he used his good looking friend’s photos instead of his own.
So she ends up staying with a nerdy-looking guy who’s not her “type” at all.
Long story short, she then goes off trying to date the good looking friend from the photos instead… realises he has the personality of a chimp and that they have nothing in common, and eventually falls in love with the nerdy guy who catfished her but does have the personality that matches her own so well.
It’s a Christmas film.
But not a bad watch at all, in my opinion.
The point is, having the great looks is useless if you (1) don’t have the personality to back it up and (2) if you’re the wrong match for the other person anyway.
The second point is an email for another day, but regarding the first, it’s the same when speaking English. All the fluency and sophisticated words in the world won’t magically make you interesting in conversation if you’ve got nothing to talk about and are duller than a dustbin. Or if you’re trying to hide your personality and cover it up with something that’s not you. On the other hand, first impressions do count and unlike cheesy Christmas films if your speaking ability isn’t up to the job of communicating said personality and interesting stuff to talk about… they’ll probably go unnoticed.
That’s why speaking Extraordinary English is about more than simply learning words, rules or bits of English.
Develop your English alongside your personality.
Things to talk about.
Become an interesting person when you speak English.
Look at the process of improving as a larger whole, not a separate, isolated skill to work on (which in my opinion is one of the biggest failings of the way languages are typically taught and learned).
This, in a nutshell, is the approach I take when working with my boys and girls in MEFA (and of course, the Extraordinary English Speakers graduate programme).
This “larger whole” approach is known as “holistic learning”, and as well as everything we do in MEFA, when you enrol this month you’re also getting access to the recordings of a three-day event I did last year called “Kicking Ass in 2021” (it’s just as relevant in 2022) where, on day 2, I taught extensively on the topic of holistic learning and how to integrate your life and English learning.
The main course starts on January 3rd.
But you’ll get immediate access to KA2021 right after you enrol.
Dr Julian Northbrook