Should you be learning English alone? In today’s English lesson, I give my opinion on whether you should be teaching yourself English or not. First, we will identify which type of English student you are. Then in the second part of the lesson, I’ll talk more generally about the potential risks and frustrations that autodidacts (people who teach themselves a subject) encounter.

What Is An Autodidact?

An autodidact is someone who teaches themselves a subject, without the guidance of a teacher or master. The word comes from the Ancient Greek word ‘autodídaktos‘, which means self-taught. People who teach themselves English are autodidacts. There are many different ways that an autodidact can teach themselves English, of which the most popular way nowadays is to use internet resources (YouTube channels, apps, podcasts etc.).

Should You Teach Yourself English?

Before I can answer this question, it’s necessary to impress the fact that people learn languages differently. A method of learning English that works very well for one person may result in failure for another. This reality of learning differences between people isn’t spoken about widely enough, and disastrously, sometimes leads students to make poor decisions that result in failure for them. In order to avoid failure, it helps to identify the type of English student you are before you start teaching yourself English

The Linguist – describes a student who is skilled in languages and who learns them relatively easily. The linguist frequently chooses to study languages to an advanced level. To be a linguist (my definition here…) you must already be a fluent user of 2 or more languages.

The Hobbyist – describes a student who is interested in learning English as a hobby. The hobbyist thinks learning English is a fun or enjoyable activity. This type of student is very enthusiastic about their studies, but on the downside, often fails to get the best result due to their random, unstructured approach. Generally speaking, this type of student doesn’t have a pressing need to develop their English language skills.

The Pragmatist – describes a student who is learning English for practical reasons. This type of student needs to improve their English because it is important for their life goals or career development. For pragmatists, it is important that they choose an efficient method for learning English; one that allows them to reach their goal in the shortest amount of time possible. Since learning English isn’t always easy for them, and they struggle with motivation to keep going, this type of student needs a teacher’s help and support to succeed. 

Self-Study Versus Teaching Yourself

No matter what type of English student you are, engaging in self-study of the subject is a good thing, and something that I always encourage my students to do.  It’s important to note, however, that self-study is not the same thing as learning English alone. When you learn English alone, it means that you do nothing else except for self-study! Unless you are a linguist, then this approach to learning English could frustrate you and end in failure.

Need Support? The Best Online English School

The online English school that I recommend for my students is Lingoda. By taking regular lessons with Lingoda, you get the best of both worlds. When you join their online English school, you get access to their high quality English lessons for self-study, which you can combine with their interactive group classes. This makes their online English School the ideal solution for students who require extra support and motivation to learn.

Another benefit of taking classes with Lingoda is that their group classes are capped at a maximum of five students per class. This ensures that you get plenty of time to interact and ask questions.

One last reason that I recommend Lingoda is that their classes run 24-hours per day. This means that wherever you are in the world, you can join an English class at a time that suits you best. This level of flexibility and convenience is only possible when joining a large online English school, such as Lingoda.

Lingoda Language Sprint Explained

The Lingoda Language Sprint is a special offer that makes taking intensive English lessons with them much cheaper than usual. Students who successfully complete their language sprint by attending all of their lessons during the 2-month period get half or all of their money back!

The Lingoda Language Sprint has two levels of intensity: there is the Regular Sprint (15 lessons per month and half your money back) and the Super Sprint (30 lessons per month and all of your money back). The deal that I recommend for most of my students is their Regular Sprint because you can more easily fit it around work and family commitments.

To get a 20 Euro discount on your registration fee, use the Promo code JADE22 and find out more HERE.

Extend Your Learning

▶︎ Considering taking online English lessons? Get my best advice and tips for more efficient online learning HERE

▶︎ Now study my lesson on Zoom Manners and Etiquette.


Jade Joddle grows your confidence and skill to shine when speaking English.

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