What do you learn when you learn English?

“English, of course.” “Yes, but what is English or any other language composed of?”
WORDS, which go next to other words (collocation) in expressions or groups within clauses and sentences (grammar). Words have a pronunciation (phonetics). So, we have to learn vocabulary, grammar and phonetics. Is that enough? If we want to have communicative competence in that language, we have to develop skills:
Oral skills: listening and speaking
Written skills: reading and writing

Some questions

What do you learn when you learn English?

This is a question I usually ask my students at the beginning of a new school year. Before that, I start by writing on the board the word AIM (after greeting them and introducing myself). If they don’t know the meaning, I tell them it is similar to objective, which they know. Then I ask them: What is the aim of this class? Their typical answers (in Spanish, language which they will have to ask for permission to use it) are having fun, passing (or doing nothing some of them). If they don’t tell me LEARNING ENGLISH, my proposal is to play hangman to guess these two words. And then, once they get the answer, I tell them to ask themselves the basic questions about it (basic questions that you have to ask yourself when you try to achieve something):


1. WHAT do you learn when you learn English?

2. WHO is learning? or WHO has to learn?

3. WHY is learning English important?

4. WHERE can you learn English?

5. WHEN do you learn English?  How long?

6. HOW is a language learnt?

Once I have these questions on the board, I give them ten minutes to write answers.


Welcome to this new blog about learning English with computers and the Internet. This is a space where I want to store and share information, ideas and links about English learning in the net; it is also a place for investigation and experience on resources and effective ways to learn and teach. Yes, I am a teacher. I teach English at IES Alfonso Moreno (Brunete – Madrid – Spain). 

I hope it can be useful for my students and anyone who wants to teach or learn English with the help of the Web.