Have you ever tried to learn a language alongside your friend?

Lindsay and Michelle discuss how you can encourage your friends to learn to speak in English together so everyone can become fluent faster.

Listen in on today’s episode and learn the advantages of learning English with friends.

Plus in this episode you will pick up tips to overcome any challenges that you may confront along the way.

Taking Language Classes with Friends

Michelle asked Lindsay if she has ever practiced learning a language with friends.

Lindsay hasn’t experienced language classes with her friends but she did make new friends with her classmates when she learned Japanese in Tokyo.

Michelle used to live in a dorm where she made friends and they were taking classes together.

But just like Lindsay, they didn’t take up any classes to learn a new language together.

The Benefits of Learning a Language With Friends

Lindsay shares that language is a tool that creates connections between people.

Learning a new language with friends can bring the experience to a higher level that can benefit you.

Here are a few reasons why you should take a language class with your friends:

  1. It is motivating and fun to practice with people you are comfortable learning with. You share a lot of common interests and that makes it easier to enjoy learning a new thing together.
  2. Learning a new language with friends gives you more reasons to hang out and practice together. You can add it as a new activity you can bond over and bring your relationship to a new level.
  3. When learning something new you are vulnerable and it’s better to be around people that won’t make you feel self-conscious. You can be more honest when you feel lost and your friends can help you.

For the third reason, Lindsay mentions that it may not be applicable to everyone.

There are people who are more comfortable with making mistakes around strangers.

Michelle has experienced this as well. She says it’s an intimacy thing. She would be more comfortable making a mistake in front of a hundred people she doesn’t know instead of in front of three close friends.

Lindsay is the same way. She would feel better delivering a speech in front of people she doesn’t know rather than do it in front of an audience of her peers, family, or certain people she knows and respects.

The Disadvantages of Learning a New Language with Friends

It is absolutely fun to learn with friends but there will be challenges too.

Here are some that Lindsay and Michelle mentioned:

  • You may be drawn to speak your own native language. Since English is not your first language, you and your friends can get frustrated when you can’t fully express yourself or share stories. So it’s tempting to speak in your own language.
  • It can be all fun and games when doing learning English with friends. However, you can get distracted and get derailed from your goal.
  • There is also a possibility that one of your friends would slack off. This is frustrating if you are taking the class seriously. It can create a strain on your friendship.

On the third point, Michelle is reminded of season 5 episode 9 of Friends where Phoebe took a literature class with Rachel.

Rachel didn’t take the class as seriously as Phoebe did.

She was late to classes and didn’t do any assignments which made Phoebe really upset.

How to Not Lose Focus When Learning English with Friends

It can be easy to slip back into your own language when you are learning English with your friends.

Here are some phrases you can say to your friends to stay consistent in practicing English:

”Let’s see if we can speak ONLY in English for the next X minutes.”

With this, you can introduce a fun way to challenge your friends to keep practicing.

You can also gamify these by adding a consequence. You can say:

”The first person to speak in X this afternoon owes the rest of us lunch.”

Lindsay shares that adults are the same as kids and when you add a competitive element it makes it more interesting and fun.

Other Tips to Learn English with Friends

Lindsay recommends adding a bit of pop culture to touch on the interests of the group and encourage them to incorporate it into their English learning.

You can watch a movie or tv show, read a book or article altogether and have a discussion about it.

Another suggestion to make learning English with friends more fun is to do homework from class together or go on outings and challenge each other.

When Lindsay mentions going out and doing challenges, Michelle is reminded of the Urban Immersion Adventure that they’ve done before.

They had scavenger hunts in Boston and New York where the group would participate and bring friends who spoke the same language.

They would learn English together and have so much fun being each other’s teachers and supporters.

Takeaway

If your friends don’t have the same goals, that’s okay.

You don’t have to insist on learning with your existing friends. You can make new friends.

If you have a friend that slacks off during your English classes, leave them alone and acknowledge the difference.

You don’t have to break that friendship.

Stay focused on the goal and do your part to be more confident speaking in English.

If you do get to encourage your friends to learn English together, make it fun for everyone.

Be supportive of one another and find ways to encourage each other.

Are you learning English with some of your friends?

What are the fun things you do to make learning English more enjoyable?

Share in the comments below and help other All Ears English followers so they can incorporate it in their learning routine with their friends.

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