Is just LEARNING to ‘SPEAK’ English only ENOUGH?


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There are a lot of people – particularly older people who have no desire to learn to read and write English, but understand that it would be handy if they could speak it more confidently. The question I was asked was, can I just learn to speak without the other stuff as well?

This posed an interesting point. Is it really easy to learn to speak a language without knowing how to read and write it? I think it depends on what you want to learn it for, and what competency level do you already have?

Here is a breakdown of what I would suggest:

Competency Level of English in all disciplines Competency level in speaking Reason for learning to speak English Recommendation
High High Confidence building Speaking class only
High Medium/Low Confidence building Speaking class only
Medium/Low High Confidence building Take a full course, you can’t avoid the reality of being weak in the other areas
Medium/Low Medium/Low Want to use it for day to day usage in the street to get by Perhaps a short course in simple speaking greetings and vocab might be useful
Medium/Low Medium/Low Want to be able to do business Invest in a full course, it will help you in every way.
Medium/Low Medium/Low Confidence building Invest in a full course, it will build your confidence in every way.


So there you have my opinion on this. Ultimately I will always recommend someone to take the full course because learning English isn’t just a one off thing, it really is a life long journey and the better foundation you have, the more you can learn along the way.

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