Student Opinion


Hi there!

If you are or have been my student, I’d really like to hear your opinion about this blog and your learning process in my classes.

✨ Please answer the following question in the Reply section:

What is your opinion about your classes with Teacher Julieta and the materials that she shares in this blog?


Sharing is caring


Sharing is caring” is a common English expression but do you know what exactly it means? 😕

It has a very profound meaning. It means that when we share something with someone else it is equal to caring them. Sharing ideas, thoughts, experiences, things that have helped us in our journey is a way to show care to our friends and people around us. 💖

That’s why I created this blog. The main purpose of it is to share tips, ideas, games and resources that will help you in your learning journey. 💡

Over the past months this community has grown so fast and I think it is a good idea that you also share tips and resources with other members of the community.

I’m inviting you to share with me and with other English learners tips and resources that have helped you improve your English. 😊

How can you share your tips?

Things that you can post in the comments below: 🔗 💡👇

  • YouTube videos or YouTube channels
  • Facebook, Instagram, TikTok profiles of English teachers
  • Websites to learn and practice grammar
  • Podcasts to practice listening
  • Books or websites to practice reading
  • Websites or apps to practice speaking

On behalf of this amazing community of English learners around the world 🌎:

Thanks for your generosity 🙏


When insomnia doesn’t let you sleep on it…

We all know that having a good night’s sleep helps us stay healthy and alert. A good sleep is part of a productive lifestyle. That’s why it is vital to sleep well when we learn English. A lack of sleep can affect our communication and fluency negatively.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends 7 – 9 hours of sleep/ night for ages 18 – 64 and 7 – 8 hours of sleep/ night for ages 65+. Public Health Agency of Canada released a document about the sleeping habits of adults called “Are Canadian adults getting enough sleep?” in 2019. The report showed that 1 in 4 young adults and seniors are not getting enough sleep and 1 in 2 adults have trouble going to sleep or staying sleep.

The lack of sleep affects our productive life significantly. On a previous post I shared with you the meaning of “sleep on it” and the scientific background about this popular English idiom. Research has shown that a good night’s sleep affect the way we make decision and solve our problems. To read more about the experiment that Dr. Spencer and her research group conducted at the University of Massachusetts Amherstclick to evaluate the benefits of a good sleep click here

The medical term used to call the lack of sleep or the difficulty to stay asleep at night is insomnia. There are a lot of natural remedies and medical prescriptions to treat patients who suffer from insomnia. However, in the long run those remedies either lose their efficacy or cause dependency.

Recently, I came across with a very interesting invention to improve the quality of sleep and reduce insomnia without the negative side effect of sleeping pills. This new invention is called the “Neutonica Band”. It looks like a simple sleep mask with bluetooth. However, it’s more than that. According to its inventor, the Neutonica Band can make you sleep in about 8 minutes by placing the band around your head. The band has four black tourmalines that protect users from high frequency electromagnetic waves such as Wifi. This device also generates alpha waves and plays relaxing music to take you to a place of relaxation that help you have a better sleep all night.

The most surprising thing about this new invention to treat insomnia is not all the sophisticated mechanisms used to create the band, but the fact that it was invented by a 10 year-old Mexican genius called Franco Arturo Canseco. Franco and his tutor developed their first prototype and presented it in several Expos in Mexico and Latin America. In 2019 they participated in Shark Tank Mexico. Five Sharks decided to invest in Neutonica Band and offered Franco $124,000 USD. Currently, Fanco and a team of doctors and engineers are developing the final prototype that will be placed on the market at the beginning fo 2021.

If you want to learn more about Neutonica Band pre-sale and pre-order your band, click here. The great news is that the company has international shipping and this device may soon be helping alleviate insomnia all around the world!


Best Gifts for English learners Under $30 Dollars

If you are looking for a great gift for someone who’s learning English, you should consider looking for a language-focused present. Examples of language-focused gifts are books, audio-books, gadgets and games. These kinds of gifts are great resources designed to help students improve their skills, and enjoy their learning process.

Here you have a list of cool gifts for less than $30 CAD that English learners will love and actually use. These gifts are good for any occasions such as birthdays, graduations, Christmas or any other special holiday.


Native vs. non-native teachers: Which ones can help you speak fluently?

Is it possible to learn how to speak a language fluently from non-native speakers? Which teachers are the best to teach a language? In this blog I’ll discuss the most important factors that you need to consider before choosing a language teacher, regardless if the teacher is native or non-native.

As I’ve mentioned in one of my previous blogs, I’m a scientist who happens to teach languages. One of these days I’ll share my story about how I ended up teaching English and Spanish after having studied Biochemical Engineering and Food Science, but today I want to talk about my English teachers.

The other day I was reflecting on my experience learning English and I realized that I speak it fluently thanks to the effort I put into learning English along with the amazing teachers I’ve had. With their guidance I was able to become proficient enough and speak English fluently to earn a graduate degree in Canada and later on teach ESL (English as a Second Language).  Sometimes we take things for granted and we forget how things started.

Let me tell you my story. I was born and raised in a non-English speaking country.  In fact, my first language is Spanish. I started learning English when I was 6 years old and for me learning English was super fun. I’ve always loved memorizing things and for me it was so enjoyable learning words, verbs, and of course grammar.

Most of my first English teachers were amazing.  I want to share with you what I remember the most about each of them. My earliest memories go back to 1st grade, Miss Jaqueline Spolette taught me the names of the English vowels using a very funny story. Let me tell you something: for Spanish speakers remembering the names of the English vowels can be extremely challenging. I’ll share that story in another episode because it is really worth sharing it with you.

My second grade teacher, Miss Eloina, taught me how to conjugate and use the verb be. Understanding verb be is not easy specially if in your first language you have two different verbs that can be translated as verb be.

My  4th and 5th grade  teacher, was Miss Gogo. What I remember the most about her classes is the present continuous.  We would sing a very funny song that I still remember, it was something like this: “the clowns are walking, they are running, they are jumping in the air. They are sleeping, they are laughing, la, la, la….” I’ve been looking for that song but I haven’t succeeded. I only remember that it was in one of the lessons in a book called “Pyramid” If any of you know how to get that song please let me know.

Miss Susan and Miss Rose were my junior and high school English teachers. They were fabulous. They taught me all the verb tenses, active, passive, pronunciation, you name it. What I remember the most is that Miss Susan taught me the word “embezzler” and Miss Rose taught me the word “prerogative”. Those are very sophisticated words for a teenager eh!

In university Miss Ilsa, Miss Gaby, Miss Tony and Mr. Pipiripau (Oh that is his nick name I don’t remember his real name… anyway) taught me everything I needed to take the TOEFL and the IELTS test. I took both tests and I got the scores I needed to study a Masters in an English-speaking country.

Many years later during my TESOL training I also had superb teachers. I’ll never forget Bob who taught me how to teach grammar. Danielle taught me Linguistics, Art taught me how to teach pronunciation, Olga taught me sociolinguistics.   Currently, I’m taking some courses on how to teach pronunciation, as part of my professional development and my mentor is wonderful. Her name is Hadar.

What all these English teachers have in common is that they are qualified, they know exactly what I need to learn, and they have helped me improve my proficiency. I learned how to speak English fluently in a non-English speaking country where 80% of my teachers where non-native English-speaking teachers (NNEST). I took my TESOL training in Canada and 3 out of 5 of my teachers were non-native speakers.  My current mentor is non-native… by the way. Regardless of their nationality, they all have helped me achieve my goals.

Many learners believe that they will only be able to learn a language, for instance English, if they travel to an English-speaking country or at least if they have a native teacher.  Of course, that can help but it is not necessary.

I want to share with you a couple of questions that I think may help making a good decision when choosing a language teacher or a language school:

  1. Is the teacher qualified? (What kind of credentials does the teacher have?)
  2. Does the teacher have experience? If not, what will be his/ her teaching methodology?
  3. Has the teacher helped other students get the same results that I want to get? (speak fluently, level up, pass a test, succeed at a job interview, improve their pronunciation, etc)
  4. Does the teacher know how to clarify confusing concepts?
  5. Is the teacher supportive? Will he/she help me grow personally? Or will I just be a number in his/ her list?
  6. Is the teacher respectful and kind with his/ her students and colleagues?
  7. Does the teacher enjoy his/her job?

I believe that those are the most important factors to consider if you have an ambitious aim.  Of course, having a cute teacher, or a fun teacher, or a native teacher are things that might be also desirable in a language teacher. However, from a objective point of view, an adorable smile, a native-like accent, the age, the appearance, the sex, etc. of the teacher won’t guarantee you that learn what you need to learn in order to succeed.

I’ve shared all these details about my learning journey because I know that many of my listeners are learning either English or Spanish. I am sharing this story not as a teacher but as a student (the eternal student that I will be). I’m sharing this to tell you that if you really want to learn a language it is not necessary to leave your home country or have native teachers. You can learn any language anywhere. There are plenty of qualified teachers in the world. They might be living in a foreign country and perhaps you will need to travel abroad to meet them or perhaps they are living in your country. You just have to look for them.

Keep in mind that being a native speaker is not a qualification. I can prove you that. My brother is a Spanish native speaker, he is fun, he has a charming native Spanish accent, but guess what: he has no idea why there are two different “verb be” in Spanish. Do you think he can teach you Spanish? Of course not!

I think that teaching credentials are more important than passports. But that’s me! After all, I’m an engineer and I tend to make my decisions objectively. I hope my story makes you consider other factors that perhaps you haven’t considered yet before looking for a language teacher. I’m sure there are loads of people like me, who learned how to speak English or any other language fluently thanks to the guidance and help of well trained and caring teachers. I’d love to read their stories!

If you want to learn more about nativespeakerism, watch the following video where Canguro English discusses the truth about non-native English teachers with Marek Kiczokwiak from TEFL Equity Advocates and Academy

The truth about non-native English teachers

Canguro English: http://www.canguroenglish.com/

TEFL Equity Advocates: https://teflequityadvocates.com/

Well, that’s it for today. If you can speak a foreign language fluently, tell me: how did you learn it? What were your teachers like? Who is your most memorable language teacher?


Let me sleep on it

What do you usually do when you have to make an important decision? Do you make your decisions quickly as a ninja or do you take some time to think about it? Let me tell you what I do when I have to make an important decision: I sleep on it.  Yes, you heard right, I sleep on it!

Today I’d like to talk about an English expression: “sleep on it” I just told you that when I have to make important decision, I sleep on it. So what I mean is that I don’t rush to make the decision. Actually, I delay making a decision until the following day. I really think that it’s best to wait at least a day or two. I like to consider all the different factors and options before making a final decision.  I don’t feel confident enough when I have to make a decision on the spot. Does that mean that I am stupid or incapable of making my own decision?  Not really. There is scientific evidence that shows how a good night of sleep often helps when you have to make up your mind.

For centuries it has been commonly accepted that a good night’s sleep often helps when people have to make an important decision. But now scientists have backed up this notion. Research done recently by Dr. Rebeca Spencer from the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggest that a key effect of a good sleep is facilitating and enhancing complex cognitive skills such as decision-making.

Dr. Spencers’s research group investigated the effects of sleep on decision-making processes when the subjects are aware of the outcome.

Let me briefly explain to you how the experiment was set up.  The researchers used a card game for their experiment. They taught 54 young people between ages of 18 to 23 to play a card game for rewards. The game mimicked casino gambling.

Participants were divided into two groups and were given a quick tutorial on how to play the game.  However, the tutorial was very short so participants didn’t have enough time to learn how exactly the card game worked.

One group attended the tutorial in the morning and the other group attended the tutorial in the evening.

The 26 students who took the tutorial in the morning came back after a day of normal activities without sleep.  The other 28 students who took the tutorial in the afternoon went home to a normal evening and their usual night of sleep.

Can you guess what happened?

Students returned for a second visit. In the morning or in the evening. Students who took the tutorial in the morning returned for a second visit the same day in the evening.  Students who took the tutorial in the evening returned for a second visit next day in the morning.

On their second visit students played the game for a longer period of time. The objective of the second visit was that the students learned how to play the game by themselves and realized that taking cards from the four different packs gave them different results. Two of the packs had cards that helped them win while the other two packs made them lose. You may be wondering what the reward was? The reward was play money.

Students who had a normal night’s sleep returned next day and drew from the winning decks four times more than those who had spent the 12-hour break awake. On top of that, students who had slept better understood the underlying rules of the game.

The results of this experiment showed that although rule discovery is a hidden key factor, yet it is crucial to making sound decisions.  These results are in accordance with common wisdom that believes that sleeping makes your decisions better.  Researchers think that this has something to do with the rapid-eye-movement REM sleep, which is the creative period of our sleep cycle. However, more studies need to be performed to find out what the connection is.

If you can’t sleep well, click here to read about a new invention to treat insomnia.

When insomnia doesn’t let you sleep on it…

Well, that’s it for today it’s 9 p.m. here in Toronto and I need to go to bed.   Let me know in a comment are you a ninja decision maker or do you like to sleep on it?

See you next time.






Déjame consultarlo con la almohada

¿Generalmente que haces cuando tienes que tomar una decisión importante? ¿Tomas las decisions a la ligera o te tomas tiempo para decidir que vas a hacer?

Déjame contarte lo que yo hago cuando tengo que tomar una decisión importante: lo consulto con la almoahda. Si escuchaste bien, lo consulto con la almohada

Hoy quiero hablar sobre una expresión en español muy común: “consultarlo con la almohada”. Hace un momento mencioné que cuando tengo que tomar una decisión importante, primero lo consulto con la almohada. Lo que quiero decir es que no me apresuro a tomar una decisión. En realidad, me gusta posponer la toma de decisión hasta el día siguente. Creo que siempre es mejor esperar uno o dos días porque me gusta considerar todos los factores y las opciones ante de tomar la decisión final. No me siento segura cuando tengo que tomar una decisión precipitadamente.  ¿Esto quiere decir que soy tonta o incapaz de tomar decisiones por mi misma? Para nada, existe evidencia científica que demuestra que una buena noche de sueño a menudo ayuda cuando tienes que aclarar tu mente para tomar decisiones.

Por siglos se ha creído que una buena noche de sueño ayuda cuando las personas tienen que tomar decisiones importantes. Ahora la ciencia respalda esta creencia. Recientemente la Dra. Rebeca Spencer de la Universidad de Massachussets Amherst realizó una investigación y sus resultados sugieren que una buena noche de sueño ayuda y mejora las habilidades cognitivas complejas como lo es la toma de decisiones.

El grupo de investigación de la Dra. Rebecca investigó los efectos en los procesos de toma de decisiones cuando los sujetos están conscientes de las consecuencias.

Déjame te explico brevemente como se desarrolló el experimento. Los investigadores utilizaron un juego de cartas. Le enseñaron a un grupo de 54 de entre 18 y 23 años como jugar para obtener recompensas. El juego era similar a un juego de casino.

Los participantes fueron dividos en dos grupos y se les eneño como jugar el juego. El tutorial que recibieron fue muy corto, de tal manera que no tuvieron tiempo de averiguar exactamente como funcionaba el juego.

Un grupo asistio al tutorial en la mañana y el otro grupo en la tarde. Los 26 estudiantes que tomaron el tutorial en la mañana regresaron a una segunda sesión después de un día normal sin tomar siesta.  Los otros 28 estudiantes asistieron al tutorial por la tarde y se fueron a su casa a dormir sus horas normales de sueño.

¿Qué crees que pasó?

Los estudiantes regresaron a su segunda sesión ya fuera por la mañana o por la tarde. En la segunda sesión los estudiantes jugaron a las cartas por un periodo de tiempo más largo. El objetivo de la segunda sesión era que los estudiantes aprendiera a jugar por ellos mismos y se dieran cuenta que tomar cartas de los cada uno de las cuatro mazos les daba resultados diferentes. Dos de los mazos tenían cartas que les ayudaban a ganar, mientras que los otros dos mazos los hacían perder.  Te estarás preguntando que era lo que ganaban, ganaban dinero de juguete.

Los estudiantes que tuvieron una noche normal de sueño regresaron al día siguiente y tomaron las cartas del mazo ganador cuatro veces más que aquellos que no fueron a su casa a dormir.

Los resultados de este experimento demuestran que a pesar de que el descubrimiento de las reglas es un factor clave oculto, es crucial en la toma de decisiones. Estos resultados concuerdan con la sabiduría popular que cree que dormir ayuda a tomar mejores decisiones.

Los investigadores piensan que esto tiene que ver con el sueño de movimientos oculares rápidos REM por su siglas en inglés “rapid eye movement”, el cual es el periodo creativo durante el sueño. Sin embargo, se requieren más estudios para averiguar la conexión que existe entre ambos.

Bueno, eso es todo por hoy. Son las 9 de la noche aquí en Toronto y yo tengo que ir a consultar varias cosas con la almohada. ¿Y tú tomas las decisiones a la carrera o lo consultas con la almohada? Escríbeme tu respuesta en un comentario.

Nos vemos a la próxima.






Lo siento mi inglés no es muy chulo

Excuse my English is not very good looking

¿Sabes quien dijo esa frase?

Te voy a dar una pista. Fue la misma persona que era famosa por decir “Azúcar”

Lo dijo la famosísima Celia Cruz, quien a pesar de ganar dos premios Grammy entre muchos otros, tuvo que disculparse por su “mal inglés”

¿Cuántas veces has tenido que disculparte públicamente por no hablar inglés como nativo? ¿Cuántas veces has sentido que no eres capaz de tener éxito porque no hablas un buen inglés o español?

Hola a todos. Bienvenidos a mi blog Mi nombre es Julieta. Me encantan los idiomas tanto como la ciencia. Estoy super emocionada de tener la oportunidad de compartir con ustedes a través de este medio información sobre idiomas y ciencia.

Hoy me gustaría hablar sobre un patrón muy común entre las personas que están aprendiendo inglés y hablantes no nativos. Muchos de ellos sufren de algo llamado “el síndrome del impostor”. Estoy segura que muchas otras personas sufren de este síndrome, pero hoy quiero enfocarme especialmente en los hablantes no nativos. Lo hago porque yo soy profesora de inglés no nativa y profesora de español nativa. Durante mis años de profesora he conocido a muchos estudiantes que sufren de este síndrome. De hecho yo padecí este síndrome cuando fui estudiante de inglés y durante mis años de estudiante en un posgrado.

De acuerdo con la investigadora y escritora Aida Baida Gil quienes sufren el síndrome del impostor “tienen la sensación de no estar nunca a la altura, de no ser lo suficientemente buenos, competentes o capaces, sienten que son impostores o un fraude”

En otras palabra, las personas que sufren el síndrome del impostor, en este caso en particular los hablantes no-nativos, sienten que no son lo suficientemente capaces. Verdaderamente piensan que no son capaces porque se consideran ignorantes. Sienten que son ignorantes porque no hablan el idioma perfectamente.

Espera un minuto… ¿Qué significa hablar un idioma perfectamente? Bien, para muchas personas que hablan un segundo o tercer o cuarto idioma hablar perfectamente significa hablar como nativo.

Existe un patrón común entre las personas que sufren del síndrome del impostor. Constantemente se están disculpando y buscando validación por parte de las personas que son consideradas la autoridad en el área.

Quienes están aprendiendo inglés tienden a buscar validación por parte de sus profesores de inglés y los hablantes nativos.

No pienso que haya nada de malo en buscar validación. Cuando estamos aprendiendo es natural buscar validación por parte de nuestros profesores o los expertos para confirmar nuestras ideas. De hecho, la validación es un paso necesario para mejorar. Sin embargo, buscar la validación de forma obsesiva es un hábito dañino que saborea nuestro éxito.

¿Qué es lo que hacen muchos hablantes no nativos para aprender a hablar perfectamente? Contratan un coach para ayudarlos a deshacerse de su acento. De alguna forma piensan que existe una correlación entre la reducción del acento y la mejora en la capacidad de comunicación. Déjame decirte algo que esa creencia es incorrecta.  De acuerdo con la RAE una de las acepciones de la palabra acento es la siguiente: “conjunto de las particularidades fonéticas, rítmicas y melódicas que caracterizan el habla de un país, región, ciudad, etc” Entonces, intentar deshacerse de un acento extranjero no es la mejor alternativa para mejorar las habilidades de comunicación en inglés.

Hace un par de años me tope con una coach no nativa que ayuda a hablantes no nativos y a profesores de inglés no nativos a mejorar su fluidez sin enfocarse en la eliminación del acento extranjero. Su nombre es Hadar, ella vive en Tel-Aviv y está tratando de ayudar a cambiar la mentalidad de muchos hablantes no nativos que piensan que para poderse comunicar de forma efectiva tienen que eliminar su acento extranjero.  Concuerdo al 100% con su manera de enseñar pronunciación y las estrategias que utiliza para que puedan hablar más fluidamente.

Como alguien que sufrió el síndrome del impostor te puedo decir que la única forma de superar ese sentimiento constante de no ser lo suficientemente capaz es mejorando la forma en la que te hablas a ti mismo, no mediante la reducción de tu acento. A veces estamos tan obsesionados con hablar perfectamente, con el acento adecuado para evitar que nos segreguen. Sin embargo, olvidamos que para que otras personas acepten la forma en la que suena nuestra voz tenemos que aceptarla nosotros primero. No debemos de rechazar la forma en la que suena nuestra voz.

¿Por qué es que siempre estamos buscando las palabras más hermosas, sofisticadas y rimbombantes cuando tenemos que hablar en público pero utilizamos las palabras más horribles y negativas cuando hablamos con nosotros mismos? ¿Por qué es que las primeras palabras que salen de nuestra boca cuando tenemos que hablar inglés es “Lo siento, no hablo bien inglés” “Ay perdón, me equivoqué”

No me mal intérpretes, no estoy diciendo que no debamos de disculparnos y decir “lo siento”. Por supuesto que debemos disculparnos cuando hacemos algo malo o cuando lastimamos a la gente. Es importante reconocer nuestras faltas. Sin embargo, no hay que olvidar que cometer errores cuando se está aprendiendo algo no es un pecado y no debemos estar disculpándonos a cada rato cuando hablamos otro idioma que no es nuestro idioma materno.

Es tiempo de cambiar la forma de como nos comunicamos con nosotros mismos y con los demás. No tienes que disculparte por tu inglés o español si no hablas como un nativo. Recuerda que aprender o adquirir un idioma es un proceso continuo que nunca termina, incluso para los hablantes nativos.

Entonces, adivina qué? Nunca vas a dejas de aprender inglés o español o cualquier otra lengua extranjera que estes aprendiendo ahora. La próxima vez que sientas que debes decir algo negativo sobre tu inglés o español por favor di algo positivo, o algo positivo y chistoso. Es momento de que cambies la manera en la que hablas sobre tu inglés o español. Puedes decir lo mismo que me digo a mi misma cada vez que el síndrome del impostor se quiere aposentar en mi cabeza:

¿Qué, qué? Mi inglés se está poniendo muy chulo.

My English is becoming very good looking

Bueno es todo por hoy. Cuentame que haces para mejorar tu inglés o tu español ¿tu español o tu inglés también se está poniendo muy chulo?

Nos vemos a la próxima


Excuse my English is not very good looking

Do you know who said this?

I’ll give you a hint. It was the same person who was famous for saying “Azuuuucar” 

Her name was Celia Cruz. She was he most popular salsa singer of all times. She was a successful woman who won two Grammy Awards among many other awards and yet, she had to apologize for her “bad English”

How many times have you had to apologize publicly for not speaking like a native speaker?  How many times have you believed that you are not capable of succeeding because you don’t speak a “very good looking English”?

Hello everyone, welcome to my very first podcast in English. My name is Julieta. I love languages as much as I love science.  I’m super excited to have the opportunity to use this podcast to share with you interesting information about languages and science.

Today I’d like to talk about a common pattern among English learners and non-native speakers. Many of them suffer from something called the ‘impostor syndrome’.  I’m sure that many other people suffer from this syndrome but today I’ll focus on English learners because as a non-native English teacher I’ve met many individuals who suffer from this syndrome. In fact, I suffered from this syndrome when I was learning English many years ago and when I was studying at grad school a few years ago.

The impostor syndrome is also known as the impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience. But what exactly is the impostor syndrome? According to Wikipedia it is a “psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments or talents and has a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’. In other words, people who suffer from this syndrome, in this particular case -English learners and non-native speakers constantly feel that they are not enough.  They truly believe that they are not going to succeed because they are ignorant. They feel that they are ignorant because they don’t speak the language perfectly.

Wait a minute…What does it mean to speak the language perfectly? Well, for many people who are learning a second or a third or a fourth language speaking English perfectly means to speak like a native speaker.  

There is a common pattern that individuals who suffer from the impostor syndrome show. They are constantly apologizing for the mistakes that they make and looking for validation from the people who are considered to be the authority in the field.  English learners tend to look for validation from their English teachers or from native-speakers.

I don’t think that there is something wrong about looking for validation. When we are learning it is natural to ask our teachers and experts to confirm our ideas.  In fact, validation is a necessary step to improve. However, looking for validation obsessively, is a harmful habit that sabotages our success.

What do many English learners do to learn how to speak English perfectly? They hire a coach, to help them get rid of their ‘accent’. Somehow many learners believe that there is a correlation between reducing accent and improving communication skills. Let me tell you something, that belief is wrong.  According to the dictionary, accent is “a distinctive mode of pronunciation of a language, especially associated with a particular nation, locality, or social class”. So trying to get rid of a foreign accent might not be the best approach to improve your communication skills in English.

A couple of years ago I came across with a non-native fluency coach on Youtube  (her name is Hadar, Hadar if read this post, I just want to say thanks)  She empowers non-native speakers and non-native English teachers.  She is trying to change the mindset of many English learners who truly believe that they should get rid of their accent and sound more native in order to communicate their ideas effectively.  I agree with her approach of teaching English pronunciation and helping her students boost their fluency.

As someone who suffered from the impostor syndrome, I can tell you that the only way to overcome the persistent feeling of not being enough is by improving the way you speak to yourself; not by getting rid of your accent.  Sometimes we are so obsessed with speaking flawlessly, with the perfect accent in order to avoid rejection. However, we forget that if we want that other people accept the way we sound we should accept it first. We should not reject they way we sound.

Why is it that we are looking constantly for beautiful, sophisticated and fancy words when we have to speak publicly but we use the most horrible and negative words when we speak to ourselves? Why is it that the first words that come out of our mouth when we have to speak publicly in English are “Sorry, my English is bad” “Sorry, I made a mistake”. 

Don’t take me wrong, I’m not saying that we should never apologize or say sorry. Of course, we must apologize when we do something wrong or when we hurt other people. It is important to recognize our faults. However, we should remember that making mistakes when we are learning is not a sin, and we must not apologize for each single mistake we make when we speak a foreign language.

It’s time to start changing the way you communicate with ourselves and with others. You don’t have to apologize for your English if you don’t speak like a native-speaker.  Remember that learning a language is an ongoing process, we will continue learning even our mother tongue until the moment we die. So guess what?  You will never stop learning English.  Therefore, next time that you feel like you should say something negative about your English please say something positive or funny or something positive and funny. It’s time for you to change they way you speak to yourself and the way you speak about your English. You can say what I say to myself every time that the impostor syndrome is trying to install in my mind:

Excuse me sir !!!! My English is becoming very good looking, you’ll see!!

Well, that’s it for today.  Let me know in a comment what  you are doing to improve your English?  Is your English also becoming very good looking?

See you next time.