English Learning Tip # 3

You can’t be taught, you have to learn


It’s easy to expect your teacher to teach you English, but that’s not how language acquisition works. The teacher is there to present English to you, but you have to learn it.  After all, you wouldn’t expect a waiter to eat your dinner for you, or a barman to drink your beer for you, would you.

I am always very clear with my students: In the first lesson I tell them I am not there to teach them English, I am there to help them learn it. There is a difference. So, once you’ve been presented with new English words or vocabulary, it’s up to you to use it, review it, even play with it. It’s the only way you’ll get it to stick in your brain and start to make sense.


I am a director of the Learn English Network. A non-profit organisation registered in the UK dedicated to helping people learning English and people who teach English online.

Learn English 2019