Would You Cut Your Own Hair?

TOEFL PreparationLots of students have the inner drive to become accomplished users of English. They work hard at grammar, painstakingly develop their own systems for memorizing vocabulary, spend hours training themselves to listen and read for comprehension. That’s great.

But unlike, say, enjoying a good book, a it’s hard to have a good conversation by yourself. It’s also unfortunate that some learners are so self-directed that they don’t check in with a professional teacher once and a while. Whenever one of these super-zealous people crosses my path, I always ask:

would you cut your own hair?

No. You wouldn’t. Then why would you teach yourself English? In addition to developing a study regime that matches your language learning needs and goals, professional English teachers can guide you away from problems and pitfalls that come along with self-study. When learners make assumptions about English they can form bad habits that are hard to reverse, whether it is a pronunciation problem, or the mistaken use of an idiom.

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Get some professional assistance with your language learning – there are lots of good teachers out there. With online programs, you can check in once a week with a trained teacher who will keep you on track.

If you are preparing for the TOEFL, check out my course here.

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5 Replies to “Would You Cut Your Own Hair?”

  1. When I read the article at the first time, Its title was very fresh to me and I thought Why reporter
    made a title like that .
    I came across my mind that Its contents are very similar to korean proverb,”The frog in the well knows nothing of the great ocean”.
    I am also frog,too. Even small frog to english.
    So To me,The great ocean means speaking conversation experiences like me leaving korea and go abroad to study and enroll in many english clubs and join study group and make a friend with foreigner. I think such activities need to have courage. Most of all , “Passion”
    I used to study english just memorizing improtant word.But narrow study style make me upgrade memorizing skills Wherase, My reality of english speaking is growing worse and worse.
    I also worried my english skills and complained my situation like I was very busy so i coiuld not practice english,I have no time to study.
    I realized If I complained continueously and make a same situation, I could not change my english skill and give up. Well.. To me , It is suitable sentence that Would you have some own hair to cut than would you cut your own hair. It means I don’t try to study english hard and not change style of english. I used to focus on interpretation english to korean andnd only study for test. So I regret too much ,even my life style.
    From now on, I will change my thought and focus on your teaching and do my best! So teacher help me^0^
    “Practice makes perfect” and” The frog in the well knows nothing of the great ocean”
    I will take this proverb to my heart.

  2. I love the proverb. Access to a wide variety of teachers gives learners opportunities to not only consider what to study but how to learn. Confucius said: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. But the man still has to walk into the river with his fishing pole. Likewise it’s up to students to continually apply what they have been taught in ways that are rewarding to them.

  3. After I read the article, I thought that we are focusing on studying English about grammer and vocabulary. Beacuse our education policy insist that student know grammar. So I felt unfair. Beacuse if our education had changed, I could have improved my speaking skill. And I think since we aren’t native speaker, we have no choice but to be wrong. This point is the reason that many student can’t try easily speaking English including me. But, also I thought that to speak English well we have to practice using English. So I will do my best to improve my English speaking skill.

  4. Nobody likes making mistakes in another language, much less their own. Our second language development progresses through the famous four stages, just like everything else we learn: 1) unconscious incompetence, where we don’t really know how bad we are; 2) conscious incompetence, where the extent of our weakness becomes clear; 3) conscious competence, where we become aware that we are getting pretty good; and 4) unconscious competence, where our second language becomes second nature.

  5. John, i totally agree with your thought! When i saw the title of this article, i thought it might be the story about hair. However it wasnt. It was story about studying english and it says it is hard to improve your skill by yourself!! I know that it is really not good for students to study english without professional help. hwq it is a littke bit uncomfortable to have conversation with nature speakers because i make lots of mistakes and they could notice my mistskes easily. For this reason, i have been reluctant to talk in englush. From now on, however,i wont cut my own hair and try to feel comfortable to be cut my hair by professional hairdresser. Thank you for your article!

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