I was recently asked a question which should have been rhetorical but it wasn’t. ‘Have I improved?’
We stopped training in April and it’s now the middle of August. There’s been lots of practice in the sense of work done and conversations held in English. However, the preparation and training have not been done beforehand. This is like playing the same tune on the piano again and again and hitting the same wrong note again and again. If you don’t know that the note is wrong how can you hope to play better next time?
If I buy a piano tomorrow and I sit at that piano and try to play music, it’s unlikely that I will get better with time just by repeatedly sitting at the piano and hitting the keys. It would be better if I learned to read music and got some help from a piano teacher. I might never be a concert pianist but I might become able to play some music instead of just making a noise.
If I buy a set of golf clubs, I could spend years thrashing around golf courses without ever hitting a good shot. If I had a coach, I could get some good information on how to hold the clubs, how to stand and how to swing. I might not get a hole-in-one but at least I might hit the ball in the right direction.
Improving skills is not achieved by practice alone, we need to have motivation and understanding of what we are doing. Improvement also requires conscious effort to find a better way of doing something. Anything less is just practising making the same mistakes.