English Textbooks: best friend or worst nightmare?

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Riddle me this:

How many language textbooks have you opened in your life? 5? 10? 20?

How many English words have you seen on those pages? 20,000?

Now tell me this:

How many of those do you remember? 300 maybe?

How many of those can successfully put together to formulate succinct thoughts? 20?

You wish you knew English better. Maybe you’re beating yourself up, saying “I should have studied more”, or maybe you’ve let yourself believe that you don’t have a “language-wired mind”. You’re wrong. It’s not you. It’s the way you’ve been learning.

There is a huge problem in the disparity between how much English you’ve been exposed to and how much English you actually know. We’ve found that this isn’t something that varies on a person-to-person basis. If you were educated at school with a textbook as your main source, and unless you’ve taken outside classes or studied abroad, your English is probably not what you’d like– even f you’ve been learning it for years!

Do me a favor. Take all the English textbooks off your shelf and throw them out the window. But don’t actually – because you might hit someone outside, or because you may need a good door stopper one day.

Corsi di inglese a MilanoGet your popcorn ready, Scrambled Eggs brings the fun.

Don’t get us wrong. Textbooks are great when you’re starting from zero. They can even be a good teaching supplement. Supplement being the key word here. Textbooks can be pretty detrimental if they’re used as a primary element in a language classroom. The fact is, you won’t learn English (or any language for that matter) from a textbook. You need to use it and speak it.

Sure. You may know how to explain the difference between the Present Perfect tense and the Present Perfect Continuous, but how will that help you when you need to hail a cab?

There are teachers who have come to terms with this long ago, and then there are some that continue to employ the same old, archaic, unprogressive tactics that don’t produce the right results.

Because Italian students are so accustomed to textbooks, at Scrambled Eggs we prefer to avoid them altogether when we teach English. We put you in typical English-speaking situations that reflect real-life circumstances. We will force you to speak. Your brain might hurt after lesson is over. You will struggle for the first few lessons. Maybe even start sweating. But you will get used to it. And you will learn.

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