Friday, 1 March 2013

What does "Future Perfect English" mean?

Someone asked me the other day where the name of my business,, comes from - specifically, what does "Future Perfect English" mean?

That's a good question. I chose the name for a few reasons. The first reason is because of the double meaning: Future Perfect is a well-known English verb tense (By the time you finish this article, you will have learned the meaning of "Future Perfect English") and it also cleverly markets the desirable idea that if you study English with me, in the Future, your English will be Perfect.

"Wow! My English will be perfect!" You say to yourself.

Well, actually, no. Sorry, to lead you on, but there is actually no such thing as perfect English. And that is the main reason why I chose the name.

I chose it because of the irony of it. We live in a world of instant gratification and extremely high expectations. A lot of people have become perfectionists because of this. I am one of those people.

I am also a second language learner myself. I live in Montreal, Quebec, and I have been trying to learn French for a few years now. Yet, I often feel very frustrated about my progress because of my high expectations and my perfectionism. I don't like to make mistakes. I often feel anxious speaking French because I want to be perfect and I don't want to embarrass myself. But, I am also an English language teacher and I have to remind myself that it's okay to make mistakes because that is how you learn.

The relationship between perfectionism or anxiety and learning a foreign language is something that I am very passionate about. I believe that a lot of students feel frustrated that they are not making "enough" progress. They feel like they will never be 'good enough' at English. They will never be 'fluent'. They will never be 'perfect'.

A-ha! But there is a huge difference between 'perfect', 'fluent', and 'good enough'. And that really is the key.

I am a native English speaker and an English language teacher. My English is definitely 'good enough' for my needs because I have been 'fluent' at English for many many years. However, I am not 'perfect' at English. There are thousands of English words in the dictionary that I don't understand. And that's okay. I don't need to know everything. I just need to be 'good enough' to be able to reach my goals.

So, I suppose I chose the name "" to attract the attention of people who presently have difficulty speaking English due to perfectionism or anxiety and to help them work towards a future of perfectly 'good enough' and finding their own definition of 'fluent'.

I suppose it also sounds a lot nicer than "FutureGoodEnoughEnglish"!


I have recently decided to focus this blog more on the psychological side of second language learning because it is my passion and I feel that there is not a big enough presence on the web about these issues.  It is my hope that by discussing my own issues of perfectionism and anxiety that I will be able to help others start to enjoy the journey of language learning and working towards fluency.

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