Is there a roadmap to learning English?


In many (most) real cases a teacher or a tutor (even free-lance) sticks to particular course / program plan. So, he/she normally prepares some materials and uses a road map of some kind, often having a some distinctive ‘mark’ (exam, test,…) in the end of the course.

Language forum is obviously a very specific place, where learners are fluent to drive themselves everywhere and with unlimited speed - and teachers are rather ‘slave’ (in a good sense :))
I mean, that in many (most) cases they have just a simple choice - to answer or ignore a question. And have no liability.

Here, at, each enthusiastic learner has it’s own profile that can show the way behind. And nobody knows future steps. :slight_smile:

The situation is similar to an early childhood when there is no special ‘education program’ yet, and a kid is fluent to ask any questions with no system, he/she demands answers and becomes angry, if can’t understand something in a response. :slight_smile:

My question is addressed to anyone who ever tought something to somebody systematically :):
which of the forms is/seems-to-be more attractive for you – both at conscious level and psychologically (more interesting, for example, even though the results could be not so impressive, as if/when you ‘lead’ a student. Keeping to the beaten track).

Hi Tamara!

I?m not that professional teacher, but some years ago I worked as a handball-trainer. First I did it uneducated and although I myself had been experienced as player, without success. So I decided to get some education and took place in a trainer-course. Here I learned how a systematical training could be achieved and also some methods of teaching. The lessons were impressing since there had been some sports-professors teaching too.

So I could learn that my methods of training had been awfully wrong and how to teach the participants of my training the right way and having success. And you can believe me that I?ve got the license not for taking place in the course only, but had to succed an difficult exam too. You can also believe that some participants of the course, although much more proficient as player than me, failed on the exam.

Since I had taught the methods of the German-handball-union the team suddenly succeded and become champion of their ligue the next year. So I think, that systematically learning/teaching is the best way to succed on what you learn.


Hi Michael!

Thank you for your response. And for the qualified coach opinion :slight_smile:

Yes, generally that’s true – if we consider it in terms of ‘goal-success’, ‘systematical training / course’, ‘effectiveness’ and ‘efficiency’.

I’d just say (to add a little stroke to the picture) that, being at school, I had a very systematic English course – based on quite good grammar books ;). And my teachers were very conscientious, believe me :slight_smile:
I have quite good pronunciation and not bad (for the foreigner) knowledge of English grammar.
But at the time I graduated school, my English was completely rubbish, as I could not use it at all. It was just lifeless and bulky equipment.
Most of it had been forgotten for the next decade without trace.

Now, when I learn ‘standard English’ systematically (my ESOL course), - I hope to be succeeded with systematic national tests /exams.

And when I learn it with no any system – just being driven by my spontaneous everyday interest and general curiosity (here and not only here ) - I really feel and have an adequate feedback that English becomes my second language indeed.

By the way: do you teach your Arab systematically only? Or ‘by intuition’, as well? (Even though, it’s ‘contrary-to-Methods’, I mean.)


Hi Tamara!

I?m happy to be able to talk to you! Of course, I?m not a pedagogically educated as my course lastet 6 weeks only. But the base of education-rules were explained there and helped a lot on teaching youth.

Tamara, sorry, I?m a bit confused :? since I think: one can be successfull or can succeed but being succeeded? :? :oops: I mean straightly translated into German I would understand “erfolgt sein” what I probably would translate “have happened”. If I?m wrong here, please tell me. :roll:

What you discribed there, for me, sounds like “having learned the rules systematically, but anticipate” since not every rule or situation can be written down.
Anticipation was an important part of my trainer-course. It was said that you can teach standard-situations only. So the real situations in a match are very important too. That looks similar to English-lessons: You can be teached the rules, but the real life is something different.

Hmmmm… That?s a difficult point. What could a human teach a horse? How to lift a leg? Or in which row it must move its legs? :? Hmmmm… scratch,scratch! No, the answer is: a horse is capable to do everything a human want it to do! So the horse must teach me! Teach me what? Now, the horse must teach me how to be the leader of our little flock. Of course, the horse don?t have any interests in doing that and so I must force it to do that and that you can do systematically considerring the success. And intuition plays a role in this training, too! If the horse is really not ready to do the one or the other thing I want it to do, it is rather difficult to request that from a horse.

A Red Indian , named “Ga Wa NI Ponyboy” created good exercises to improve the regards between human and horses and show that everything is possible if the regards are okay. And also every important horse specialist (for instance Monty Roberts, Linda Tellington-Jones …) are working on good regards, although every of them use several methods. The bad is that many people try to copy their way and often fail, since they should have found their own way instead of asking how to do this or that. But finding the own way most people aren?t patient enough as it takes many years of small success?s and fiasco.

Hope that wasn?t too much!


Hi Michael!

I also like to talk to you (… :slight_smile: reading and writing loooong posts; you know :wink: :slight_smile: )


Yes, this is it.

What I try to say is something like the meaning of ‘epitaph’, Bruce Lee once wrote, which says: ‘In memory of a once fluid man, crammed and distorted by the classical mess.’

I mean: the more prescribed (prearranged) situations and patterns you learn(t), the less flexible and adequate you might be in specific (not standard) and fast-changing situation.
Like fighting (in the context of Mr. Lee’s martial art) or real conversations (in my case). :slight_smile:

Yes again.

Moreover, I’m convinced that teaching that is not based on love-and-care-and-personal-relationship-and-putting-learner’s-interests-above-own-and-… is not Teaching at all.
Just training (in terms of standard exercises, grammar books or well-prepared circus show.)

Or consultation (quite possible, given at the highest level of expertise, but. Not more, not least…)

P.S. About ‘to be succeeded’ – I’m not sure whether I was right with the use ot it, but the form itself is possible and widely used.
For example, take a look at
(just the heading)

But, certainly, I meant ‘to be successful’, you’ve understood right.


Hi Tamara!

What a lot of content in your recent post! :shock: So I beg your pardon when I reply just on a part of it! :oops:

That was, what our trainer-teacher [color=red]taught us. They often refered to the circumstance that many uneducated trainer teach prearranged situations and the reactions on that. They also taught us to train no defined situations but the ability to anticipate. First my team and their related reacted with astonnishment (some really got angry, as I didn?t any longer teach prearranged situations), but after a while they couldn?t pretend that the team was successful because its members became flexibel and were able to act adequate on situations! Imagine, although the team were 12-13 years-old girls (playing in a lower class) and womens handball was supposed to be boring, we had had more than 100 lookers. (just because I taught following the rules of the German-handball-direction)

As for horses, you cannot teach a horses to stand on its back-legs, it?s a naturally movement of horses or a compliment, if you watch a horse that tries to eat grass under a fence, you can see exactly that. About the regards, Ga Wa Ni Ponyboy says, that it depends on your position in your little flock whether you can request natural movements or behaviour when you want it to do that or not. And that doesn?t have to do with love and care, but with relioness and leadership.

Tamara, I read the article and you?re right the expression really is correct, but when I read the first two chapters I found out the correct meaning of it. Hope you don?t feel offended when I was advising to this point.

See you soon


If someone is to be succeeded, they are to be replaced by someone else, who is to take their job or position.

In the sense of ‘to be successful’ or ‘to do well’, in your original sentence, you would have to say ‘I hope to succeed’.

Hi Conchita!

That is exactly that what I understood from the article what Tamara referred to.

Just, I wonderred whether there is an additional meaning. For instance, if anybody becomes somebody?s heir could we say somebody is to be succeeded by anybody? In a more wide sense it seems to be the same, isn?t it?


I couldn’t have explained it better myself, Michael! Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary gives a good example to illustrate your point: When the queen dies, her eldest son will succeed to the throne. In other words, and to use your turn of phrase: The queen will be/is to be succeeded by her eldest son.


Michael, thank you for your attentive patience and for not indifference to my refractory mistake(-S) :slight_smile: Conchita, thank you for the explanation (“to be succeeded = to be replaced by someone else who…” – I didn’t know that).
You’re both right. In my context ‘to be succeeded’ was wrong and ‘hope to succeed’ would be exactly what I actually meant. :slight_smile:

Going back to our vague ‘road map’, and writing another looooong post :slight_smile:

Yes, I know… as I have an experience of ‘educating’ (and socializing) of my huge Great Dane, from her earlier puppyhood :slight_smile:

And seem to have succeeded. :slight_smile:
(It should be noted here, that this was my first extra-large and strong animal I taught entirely by myself, with no professional trainers who would provide the standard ‘grooming service’ and in very many cases I was leaded mainly by intuition – but! :slight_smile: the results are not bad.

She knows all main commands and she can do almost all what an ‘average town dog’ should know, do and not do. In some ‘critical’ situations I can just give her a short command with ‘special voice’ and she’ll obliged - immediately and unconditionally. But as she is very friendly in nature and has a reliable general barrier about attacking a man (never in her life she was given a very special command that would imply attacking a man - seriously, not for play. Even though there were some (night street) situations when I felt me safe only due to her presence.

So anyone can say she is quite well-bred, friendly and steady family dog. There is no need to pull her up all the time or even keep in a lead when moving with her through a crowd (she is quite sensitive to a ‘remote-control’ and I can go ahead, not looking back at her all the time).
But in some situations I /we allow her to have ‘the right of vote’, as well. For example, she can refuse to do something (as any other member of our family :slight_smile: ).

Michael, now a horse/dog–man context is more or less clear. As we both have a pet that is more than we ourselves, we both have a correspondent experience of cuts-and-tries:)

And we seem to be agreed on about patterns that are very and highly good for standard-and-ordinary situations. But as they stamp (and punch and press) your brain, they can deprive you of necessary flexibility in non-ordinary and fast-changing situations.


Let’s cast a glance at one more point. If you don’t mind :slight_smile:

When I used the word ‘teaching’ with capital (Teaching) I mainly meant the specific process based on two main roles (teacher – learner) with clear distinction and understanding of both (unequal) positions, where a teacher, in fact, provide himself/herself to a learner as a recourse for development, almost with no limitation. As a parent does.

So a-true-teacher’s main intention is not only to fit a learner to his/her Methods and/or Way (in ‘East’ sense :)), but rather to help a learner – individually and personally - to reach his best abilities. Even though he/she can surpass the teacher and then… leave him.

In my opinion,
Ordinary (‘weak’?) teacher knows only HOW to teach (…effectively, efficiently, with results (= success events that are defined by marks on some standard scales, etc.) He/she is similar to a good animal trainer. Or an ordinary (average) sport coach.

‘Good’ teacher knows the difference and is ready to see, to help and welcome how a good learner becomes overtopping him/her. And permanently allows to the learner to try the teacher ‘on tooth’ (this is the Russian expression that means to test/check something/somebody personally, face-to-face, at his/her full potential and, maybe, in hard and stressful conditions. Irrespective of what ‘standard mess’ say about that.

The question is: in what degree you’re ready to admit your turning on your own top of competence/skills and let a learner go and look his/her own way, maybe, with another teachers, - when you recognised that can’t be really helpful for him anymore.
Even thouhg he/she is a good student to fit your own purposes.

This is the main distinction I would make (in addition to teacher-coach-trainer–consultant):
a Teacher vs. an Owner.

…Would be glad to know what do you think about what I think (if you find 15 minutes to read all of that and a minute to think about. Riding your own horse at this nice weekend(s) :). )

See you,

Hi Tamara!

Nice to [color=blue]see you and your Great Dane [color=blue]face to face now! 8) It seems this site becomes an animal-like one. :lol:

Sorry, Tamara, it?s late now and my PC is that self-willing again :twisted: and don?t allow me to write longer posts at the moment. I?ll come back to your recent post tommorrow. :arrow:


Hi Tamara!

I?m back again, hopefully, my PC :twisted: allows me now to write a complete post!

Hopefully that my PC is Okay again, since the whole software had been destroyed. :roll:

Now, I think you?re right saying that the aim of teaching must be to make the learners independant and enable them to see what more they are capable to learn. And that doesn?t have to do with the teacher?s knowledges or abilities but just with the capabilities of the learner. And additional to that, if a teacher have done a good job theirs formerly pupil or child will always come back or at least always keep them in good recollection. More than that: a good teacher will support his/her learner getting more education. I mean this would be ideal, but surely difficult to achieve (mostly possible for parents or in special cases).

But as I mentioned: I?m not that proficient teacher, That is my personal opinion only and finally might be right regarded to humans only. :roll:

There is something else I?d like to share to you since you thanked me for patience and not being indifferent. I like reading your posts and understanding what you wrote. As I?m a learner, too and sometimes not really get the sense of your writings, I think and inform myself and if I come across some differences I share them to you, so that we can (sometimes with the help of the moderators and other users) figure out the correct way of expressing. In this sense I must thank you for your patience and not being indefferent, too. 8) And also that you have an eagle eye on my posts, too! For instance: [color=red]relioness?-reliance


P.S. Warning to all criminals! You?d better not meet Tamara and her Great Dane in the street in the dark night! :wink: It could become dangerous for you! :twisted:

Hi Michael

I think your PC must have infected my PC! :shock: At the moment, the only thing that works here is my very tiny and ancient laptop. I don’t like being online with it because the monitor is sooooo extremely tiny. I also tend to make typing errors with it because my regular PC has a German keyboard, but my laptop has an American one. :x

What magic words did you use to convince your cranky PC to behave better? Maybe they’ll work with mine. :lol:


Hi Amy!

My problem was that I always became logged out while previewing or submitting my posts. :twisted: The problem was: my software had been destroyed completely on Friday night, so that I were indeed able to look into the internet but wasn?t able to log in, even my e-mail station didn?t work any longer. I wonder whether one of this f…ing publicity-machines had inserted an internet-worm or dialer or what.

The magic-word for my problem had been [color=red]reinstallation of the whole software. :roll:

Would like to hear what your problem is/was



Michael, for writing actually looong posts :slight_smile: I strongly recommend you to use any available text-processing software (MS Word, Notepad, …), save the written text on your PC and only then COPY-PASTE it into the forum’s ‘reply post’ window.

Believe me, it would be much safety (both for the text and for your nerves :slight_smile: ), as
(1) sometimes the connection is not the best, (2) forum’s software can log you out automatically after a some time limit of idleness (= not (re-)loading new forum’s pages).
For your own safety :slight_smile:
As I suppose, in this version of the forum’s engine, it is 5 minutes, by default (as well as in the Russian one). If Slava didn’t change the settings.

While you write a long text in a ‘reply post’ window you might not call forum’s pages for a loooong time :), and the software can consider you went away at all and cares to log you out to prevent using your profile by bad people :slight_smile: So, when you become ready to send your looong post, you can lose the whole it, as now you have only a guest status and are not allowed to allocate messages, except for ‘ESL tests’ part of the forum.


P.S. Sorry, I’m now taken for a weekend ride (car ride :)) and perhaps have to ask you a day-off :slight_smile:
I’ll answer you tomorrow – by a next looong post. I promise! :slight_smile:


[color=red]Don’t also forget to (re-)install proper firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software! :slight_smile:

Hi Michael!

We seem to be not the best opponents, as more often we just agree each other :slight_smile:
Where are actually strong debates? Heated contra-arguments? Flows of blood, heaps of broken lances, rivers of contradict (and mistaken :slight_smile: ) words? Where, I ask you? :slight_smile: :lol:

…Yes, you’ve understood my main standpoints right. As usual. :slight_smile:
To sum it up :slight_smile: :

In my understanding, a really good teacher is that who will help and encourage you to break off your dependency from ‘methods’, ‘right-wrong rules’, ‘standard patterns’ and even from the teacher him/her-self – when he/she recognises that it bounds (constrains, limits, restricts,…) the learner.

…Michael, I’ve written a looong post in the Alan’s thread (on the close topic) – and got exhausted :slight_smile: I mean, have nothing to add to what has been already told by all of us…

See you,


I agree. :slight_smile:

Thank you, all forums’ people – free-will interlocutors :), administration, moderators (Amy, Conchita, Alan, Jamie, Mister Micawber - thanks you for the friendly learning environment!)

Hi Tamara!

I didn?t know that you are that eager a battle! :shock:

Now, if this topic was intended by you to be a challenge for me I?m sory if I had failed. :oops: Also, for the moment there isn?t any bad or wrong word that I would use regarding to you. And to be honest, I dread a bit that you possibly could force your dog to beat me. :? :wink: Or are you perhaps one of those people who keep a dog but bark themselves?

Before you beat me, please let me have a look at my insurance police!!! :slight_smile:


barking??? :shock:
Michael, you should know that, for example, some cars are not advertised widely and/or loudly. Like Rolls-Royce :slight_smile:

My 10-year-old dog is silent, as she rarely can find good reasons for barking. Only one short, big and quite impressive [gAff], if you ask for. :slight_smile:

And I have been studying under her - to be silent, patient and self-restrained. :slight_smile:

OK. Let peace-of-the-world be forever!

P.S. Thanks to you for the talk. :slight_smile:

Tamara, what do you mean by real cases – conventional (offline) English classes? The vast majority of people try to learn a second language by attending a conventional class where there is a tutor who follows a curriculum. However, so far I have not yet met a person who has learned a second language in a traditional language class. Learning a second language is a complex process that requires you to change your daily habits. No matter how well structured your curriculum or course program might be – if you as the trainer fail to make your learners change their daily communication habits, it will be very difficult for you and your ‘students’ to succeed.

For example, if you get your students to read the first chapters of a well-organized grammar book you might have more achieved than if you put 15 people into a room for a couple of hours. What exactly are traditional classrooms good for?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEFL listening discussions: Why did the young woman sit in the rear seat of the car?[YSaerTTEW443543]