It might seem a bit obvious, but believe me I've taught enough classes to know there's always one person who is reluctant or unwilling to take part. The one who sits with his or her arms folded as if to say "Go on then, teach me."  Well I'm afraid that no one can teach you any language. Rather, you have to learn it and in order to do this you have to participate. To get the full benefits of any learning experience you need to be active, if not proactive:-

  • Get involved, participate in discussions and don't let your shyness hold you back.

  • Think of your learning experience as a good investment.  The more you put in, the more you'll get out.

  • Ask your teacher to organise some role-plays or 10 minutes free speaking time in the lesson.

  • If there's something you don't understand in the lesson say so. Teachers aren't psychic, if you sit with a smile on your face nodding politely, we'll quite happily move on to the next nasty bit of grammar.

  • Join forums, or social networking sites where you can make friends and practise your English. By now there's probably a forum for every hobby or interest you can think of.

  • Ask for help - don't be too proud to admit you don't know everything.