But I only want to be taught by my favourite tutor…

But I only want to be taught by my favourite tutor…

  • By Ruta

Some of our medics are hesitant to be taught by a new tutor and aim to book classes only with ‘their “favourite’’ tutor. But does that benefit their learning?

It is common for learners to prefer certain tutors due to their personality and/or teaching styles. Learners do benefit from getting to learn from somebody who motivates them. However, when it comes to mastering a new language in a short period of time, learning from only one teacher might not be the most beneficial and effective option.

Research in second language learning has shown that adults learn the vocabulary of a foreign language better when they learn the words from multiple speakers i.e. a learner will learn to recognize and pronounce a new word better if they hear multiple native speakers say that word rather than one native speaker.

Barcroft and Sommers are researchers that have carried out a number of studies concerning the benefits of multiple-speaker input on second language learning. In one of their studies in 2005 they taught 24 Spanish words to native English speakers who had never studied Spanish before. Eight words were taught by a single native Spanish speaker, another eight by three speakers and the remaining eight words by six speakers. When the participants of the study were later tested on the comprehension and production of the 24 Spanish words, their accuracy scores and reaction time measures showed that they learned to recognize and pronounce those words that were taught by multiple speakers more accurately and more quickly. Since then, several other studies have replicated this high input variability benefit in second language vocabulary learning.

The concluding message from this is that adults learning a foreign language should strive to learn from as many native speakers as possible. When our medics are being taught by a new tutor, they should see it as an opportunity to strengthen their lexical representations of the English vocabulary which will then help them remember those words better and pronounce them more accurately during the IELTS exams.

Improve your lexical resources with us… Call 0203 637 6722.


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