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Why Chatting Does Not Lead to Good English

Updated: May 28

Chatting online is a great way for people to improve their English speaking.

Introduction - why chatting does not lead to good English

In this article, I want to explain why I do not ‘do’ chat.

Now, that might upset you.

So, I will give you some reasons that are well-founded – ‘pedagogically sound’, in other words.

First, let me explain that term ‘pedagogically sound’ by giving you an example.

Imagine having to give a presentation in class as part of an exam.

But, during the semester your teacher did not teach you how to give a presentation.

That would be ‘pedagogically unsound’. Your ability, or inability, to give a presentation should not be part of the exam.

The purpose of an exam is to test what you know, not what you do not know.

So, to expect you to be able to engage in chat with you would be counterproductive. It would be 'pedagogically unsound'.

The problem remains: how do you practice your speaking with me, or anyone?

How do you practice your writing with me?

And those activities practice your reading and listening comprehension skills too.

So, I told you that I do not ‘do’ speaking or writing or listening practice—for free anyway.

I do offer the chance for you to practice your skills.

But ONLY if you have bought and learned any of My ‘simply better’ Modules. It is part of my LEARNING SUPPORT.

More about my reasons for why chatting is counterproductive

The word counterproductive means 'having the opposite effect'. In other words, you think it is helping you improve your English but it actually does not lead to good English.

So, let me say a little more about the reasons that I do not take part in any extended ‘chatting’ with you.

I said that it is pointless, it is of very little use.

To chat effectively, you need to know grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and spelling.

Unless you can write in complete sentences, then our ‘chatting’ becomes tedious.

I would be very hard work for both of us because you would not be making sense to me. And I might not be making sense to you either.

We forever would be asking, “What do you mean?” or “I don’t understand you.”

Or I would be spending time correcting your poor English. Correcting ‘one off’ instances that correct your English one point at a time is hard work.

OK, it helps in the short term, but it is a very slow, and as I said, difficult way to improve your English.

Chat becomes more meaningful ONLY after you have studied My ‘simply better’ Method. But not before.

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Practice all your skills for increased confidence.

Chatting with 'poor' English makes you very good at chatting with 'poor' English

What I mean by that is this:

Imagine you are chatting online - with a friend, or in a group, a Facebook group for example.

Chatting is informal. One word responses are all that is needed most of the time.

Someone asks: "How are you today?"

You reply: "Great" or "Good!" or perhaps you post an emoji.

Or maybe you write a sentence - in poor English.

Nobody will correct you. So, you think your English must be OK.

This happens over and over again.

And your English stays poor.

This is not good practice. Your English will never improve.

The problem becomes this: you believe your English is good because nobody has criticised your English. Nobody has tried to correct your English.

And nobody can convince you otherwise that your English is 'poor'.

So, you don't think you need to improve.

But, if you care about writing or speaking good English, then you need to recognise this flaw in your thinking.

Nobody but you can help you. You need to 'know yourself'. Know that your English is poor - and do something about it.

That's where I come in. I can help you.

Opportunities for meaningful practice

My 'simply better' Method will improve your English quickly.

By practicing, your grammar will be almost 100 percent perfect.

You will be practicing writing in complete sentences.

Chatting with you then will be great practice because I will be giving you the chance to use your skills.

(Chatting with others will make them sit up and notice how much your English will have improved.)

And YOU will see how much your English will have improved.

That is when the hair on the back of my neck will rise. It will rise because I will be so pleased for you that your English will be so much better.

Keep practicing

Then new doors will open for you. You will be more confident in your abilities and eager to practice your new skills and abilities.

Find willing English speakers.

Teach them how to engage with you. You will KNOW what to teach them after studying My ‘simply better’ Method. Then, they can help you practice your writing.

Teaching someone something helps you learn the subject.

Then, it is a short step to gaining speaking and listening practice. Use the same idea to ‘talk’ (not type) with your English-speaking friends.

The more you practice, the more your English will REALLY take off.


In this article, I have given you my reasons for why chatting (in all its forms) does not lead to good English.

I explained that your grammar and vocabulary need to improve before you can 'do chat'.

I said that My ‘simply better’ Method gives you the basis for perfecting your skills with a way to practice.

Then you can PRACTICE those skills in chat with me or other English speakers.

Here's a great suggestion:

Complete the form at my Home page, to download My FREE 4-Step Plan to Get Great English.

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download today

Further Reading

If you'd like to learn more about how I developed my Methods and why they are the best ways to improve your English with real practice, then you can read the article here.

© Apex English Tutoring June 2021 - Updated May 2024

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About Me

My name is Michael Finemore, and I am the Owner-Operator of Apex English Tutoring.

As an English Teacher with about 20 years experience, I love doing what I do - helping people get better English with methods to practice that I totally believe work.


They'll work for you too.

Want to learn an exercise to practice your pronunciation?

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