Tip #5: You are the sum of your choices

(cross-posted in “approaches to teaching” section because parents need to know this too!)

You are the sum of your choices. If you choose to eat supersized fast-food meals every single day of your life, you will be unhealthy. You may not be fat if you exercise a lot, but all that sodium and sugar and “empty calories” can’t be good for your body.

It is the same with academia. If you (or your parents) engage me to teach you once a week, that’s a good thing. You will have access to good English (both spoken and written) for at least the duration of that time slot. But if you go on to produce and consume horrible English for the rest of the day, and for the rest of the week, then no matter how good your teachers are, you will not do well.

To put it in the language I see nowadays on online games popular with the local crowd:
eh dun spik liddat w8 ur england fail

This is one of the biggest reasons why I focus on helping students love the English language, instead of just focusing on exam techniques. Not all online leisure activities are equal, and I believe that what we choose to do in our leisure time directly affects our brains (and if you’re a student, it affects your results).

You know that meme that goes “Y U NO <do something>”? To understand why it is funny, we have to understand that we usually say “why don’t/didn’t you <do something>”, and that the rage of the character in the picture is so intense that he forgets how to speak like a normal civilised human being. Perhaps it’s not such a bad thing to be on 9gag, after all.

I’m definitely not saying that being on 9gag will help you get an A in your English exams (but becoming a Stephen King fan just might). What I’m saying is that if you immerse yourself in good English only once a week, you’re not going to see improvement.

You are the sum of your choices. What will you choose today?

 

Are you looking for an English tutor? For one-on-one lessons or group lessons, please send an email to kevinseahsg@gmail.com, or call/SMS/whatsapp 97700557 (Singapore only). I’m not always at my phone, so if I don’t pick up, please leave me an SMS to let me know you’re looking for a tutor.

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