I’m sure you’ve already heard of those lucrative job offers in which they ask you to have an advanced level of English, in this case, a C1 level. As you read, you start to imagine that this job is already yours, you see yourself as a successful person who now has everything you dreamed of.
But, wait a minute! Wake up!
That job is not yours yet, you don’t even have that level of English! Maybe the story of my 2 friends Richard Vaughan and Andres Bedoya, can motivate you to reach that C1 level that few people in LatAm have (6%). Besides, I would like to introduce a rule for success that will allow you to reach whatever you want, including the “Holy Grail”.
Richard Vaughan knew he had to do something extraordinary to raise his Spanish level. That’s right, this American and professor of Spanish literature knew that to have credibility and respect within his industry he had to have a C1 level of Spanish. In his book “Si Quieres puedes” (2015) he narrates how he was able to achieve his goal by relying on more than 100 books of Latin American literature.
Andres Bedoya, an English teacher, went through a similar story. Sitting at home in Barranquilla, he decided to learn English to travel to the United States and change the economic situation of his family. He did it! How? Andres Bedoya invested 9 months executing a plan that contained: Long chats via Skype with people from all over the world, grammar practice with the material he found on the internet, and many hours of practice with bilingual friends from the city of Barranquilla. Thus, he was able to go from A2 to the “Holy Grail”, C1 English level.
What similarities do you find in these two stories? Was there any secret, magic, or miracle?
No, the “Holy Grail”, The C1 English level was reached in both stories with “pain and gain”. Let me explain the 10,000-hours rule, maybe it can help you. The Beatles, Bill Gates, Beethoven, Coby Bryan, Usain Bolt, and Elon Musk are no different from you and me, but they belong to the club of those who deployed the 10,000-hours rule. In a nutshell, once you apply this rule, success is 100% certain. Moreover, in English, you will pass from level A1 to C3 (joke). Let’s use a bit of math to see how long it would take you to speak like a native speaker.
- 10.000hrs = 10hrs x week x 20 years. (We don’t have that time, so let’s use another formula.
- 10,000hrs = 20hrs x week x 10 years (We don’t have that time, so let’s use another formula).
- 10,000hrs = 40hrs X week X 5 years (let’s take this formula, even if it seems too long to you too)
Remember that we are using the 10,000hrs rule to reach the maximum level of English. At this point, we are no longer talking about speaking English like native speakers, but being successful in our lives at the level of Bill Gates and Elon Musk. The latest formula we used is equivalent to studying English 6 hours a day for 5 years if you are level A1. This means that to pass each level of English, you must invest 8 months.
What level of English are you at right now?
If you knew that lucrative jobs waiting for you, how many hours a day would you invest in practicing English? more than 6?
Let’s leave the math aside. Now let’s talk about this false perception that you can only reach the advanced English level with a native teacher. Richard Vaughan himself with his 40 years of experience and an emporium of English classes in Spain, says in his book, Si quieres puedes (2015): ” Son en su mayoría jóvenes e inexpertos, muchos son mochileros recorriendo el mundo, se dan cuenta que pueden estar un año en un país enseñando ingles, puesto que es su lengua materna.” (p. 290)
I want you to slowly read the following that Mr. Vaughan adds concerning his compatriots: “They have no vocation. They stay a year or two until new opportunities arise or while they learn the local language.”
With this in mind, the question is: What are the qualities of a good English teacher? Nationality does not matter. You must be sure that your teacher has an advanced level of English, vocation, and a practical method of teaching.
My friends, there has been too much false propaganda that promises to learn English in a short time. In fact, it is possible, but it takes a combination of two elements: a teacher who loves his job and a student who has a strong life purpose and time for his classes. So did Andres Bedoya with English and Richard Vaughan with Spanish.
Today more than ever the job market is thirsty for people with advanced English. And but the way, some cities in Colombia have become a “cash cow” for those who have the C1 level, “The holy Grail”.
Vaughan R. (2015). Si quieres puedes : los consejos de richard vaughan para aprender inglés (1ª). Vaughan Systems.