I have a lot of great English conversations with Bernd. He is German but lives in Brazil. He wanted to become more fluent and natural with his English speaking. This is us talking in our second lesson and then in our twelfth. Can you hear a difference?
Bernd used the English Out There learning content and we talked and recorded our sessions on Skype.
After doing a 'before and after' comparison for Waldek I thought it might be interesting to compare Jane's first conversation with me with one after her most recent lesson. She's only done six EOT lessons (about 10-12 hours of offline study and 5-6 hours of focused speaking practice, if that), so I thought I might be stretching things a bit in terms of audible progress
Have a listen and see if you can hear any difference? Listen out for any changes in confidence, fluency, vocabulary development and accuracy. Learn to speak English the Out There way for just 44p. Download the course method instructions and worksheets here: https://englishoutthere.com/more-info/online-english-speaking-practice-courses-now-just-44p
Jane is 27, was born and brought up in China but now lives in France as a student. She is studying architecture in French in Strasbourg. One of the interesting things about Jane's EOT sessions is that unlike with Waldek I have not controlled which lessons she has studied, she has.
She became a free member of the LOT website and got access to 12 self-study lesson plans. She contacted me to ask me to send her some of the lower level ones (Beginner) with Chinese instructions so that she knew exactly what she was meant to do with them. She also made the decision herself to start with Beginners lessons (level A1). Totally of her own volition her sixth lesson which the second clip here is from, is an Intermediate lesson (level B2).
If you have the time listen to the recording of session 6b with Jane where she and I discuss what happens when her mind goes blank from time to time as she searches for the right words.
If you find what we do interesting do go to our site and sign up to get some free samples: http://www.languagesoutthere.com Or visit ouor Facebook page at: http://www.Facebook.com/EnglishOutThere We'd love to hear from you!
UPDATE: Professor Stephen Krashen, the world famous academic expert on second language acquisition left a comment on this podcast audio case study. He also asked a question. I have now asked Jane and here are her answers to my questions. Personally I am most excited about her answer to question 5. in which she says she thinks that EOT helped English speaking to become a 'habit'. Have a read for yourselves:
Submitted on 01.06.2010 via Skype. Replies via Skype (questions 1. and 2.) the same day and email on 19.06.10
Hey Jane...how is the revision going? I need to ask you some questions re: your English study. The reason I am asking all of these questions is because you did incredibly well and made a huge improvement very quickly. Your improvement has been noticed by one of the world's most famous professors of linguistics and language teaching and learning, Stephen Krashen. He has contacted me and wants to analyse your performance. You don't need to do anything, just answer these questions and maybe a few more or even have some more recorded Skype conversations with me when you have finished your exams. If I can have this information from you I can work with Professor Krashen and he can help us to help millions more English learners like you who really want to be able to speak English with confidence. Thanks, I hope you can help, I will email this too. You did really really well...see I told you so Oh, did you keep writing your learning diary, remember, at the start???? That would be really useful if you could share it with me...?
1) How long have you been learning English (from what age to now)? You're 27, right? I've been learning English since i was eleven, the forth year in primary school, until now...total sixteen years.
2) How were you taught at school, at uni in China, at uni in France? Can you describe it? I was taught first the prononciation, and then some littles textes to express how to say "how are you? i'm fine." like this, accompagner the grammer at the same time. i studied english in china, primary school, middle school, hight school, untill univer in china, not in france
3) Outside of formal English lessons, what exposure have you had to English, in other words how much contact with the English language have you had over the years (for example, do you read a lot of English or listen to English language radio)? Also, can you tell me how much you had during our first six EOT sessions? Well, generally we have some homework to do after those lessons in grammar.Except this, sometimes i listen to the international radio which broadcast English music or some subjects relate to economic, science, nature. And some interviews etc. When i participated in the EOT sessions, i did regularly one lesson everyday and accompanied my dictionary of course, at the same time found thepronunciation of words to improve my speaking level. I think that review the lessons again and again is very important. So I utilized about two hours for doing the whole. Even my iPod was filled with many English music and dialogues that i did with my teacher Jason in the courses and some talking books.
4) When you were using the EOT lesson plans and speaking with me for practice, did you talk to anyone else in English in the same way (i.e. have other practice partners and use the language with them)? if you did, how much time did you spend talking to them? I think it's also necessary to practice the spoken language with someone else who are the real English-speaking. And this can be the great way to correct lots of my faults in express parole during our communications. We do the practice off and on because of the time difference and the schedule of my courses. It depends, but finally we communicate 2 or 3 times per week andevery time take about half one hour.
5) In your own mind and in your own words can you explain what happened to you when you used the EOT lesson plans before speaking to me? How do you explain your improvement? I think the EOT lessons are very interesting and practical for me. First, at the beginning, it was difficult to me to explain something in my mind. And the EOT lesson plans made me have a desire to improve my speaking because i think that the vocabulary and the expression are very useful in the real life. In other words, we use them everywhere, every time and everyday. They are very practical! Well, after several regular communications with professor Jason online accompany lots of exercises on the plans, they made me not only enrich my vocabulary quantity, but made also the English speaking become a kind of habit to me. I think that is my improvement. I think it's also necessary to practice the spoken language with someone else who are the real English-speaking. And this can be the great way to correct lots of my faults in express parole during our communications. We do the practice off and on because of the time difference and the schedule of my courses. It depends, but finally we communicate 2 or 3 times per week andevery time take about half one hour.
6) Can you list the lesson plans you used and why you chose them? (I can do this but I really want you to think about them again and explain why you chose them). The lesson plans that i studied are: Level 1, Lesson 6 Places in town and directions Lesson 9 shopping - Lesson 18 Minor physical complaints - at the chemist's Level 2, Lesson 10 Making plans - Lesson 20 Lifestyle Level 3, Lesson 4 Describing objects - Lesson 19 Inventions Level 4, Lesson 3 Manners - Lesson 14 What had happened? Level 5, Lesson 14 Animals and us ( ing... ) Well, i chose them because i need them. It means that i can use them when i go to the other countries Europeans where i can communicate with people there inEnglish because it is difficult to find somebody speak the Chinese or the French with you. But, everybody understand English! And the lesson plans I had chosen are definitely practical for me!
7) This is information that Jane added about the way she studied and used the audio clips of our conversations: I downloaded every recording when Jason had posted them online. And i put them iniPod, listened them when i was free. It's very interesting to listen my conversation with Jason because through it, i can discover what i need to improve again. On the whole, i study English in this new way made me not just improve my Englishlevel (especially speaking), but made many friends all around the world.
I hope you find this research interesting and that it inspires you to give EOT a go. You can buy EOT ebook courses on our website.
Here's Noemi before and after her short English Out There course in central London...again the product of ten classes that were conducted completely without the use of a classroom! Have a listen, can you hear a difference in the way Noemi speaks?
Charles is a lovely bloke and although his English wasn't great he volunteered to be recorded at the start and end of his EOT course in London.
This year we decided not to use any classrooms at all to teach EOT. We wanted to stimulate the students' minds a bit more in the input stage (at the start of the lesson) by not asking them to go into a classroom (like they do all year at home).
It seemed to work as, in anonymous written feedback, 78% gave the English Out There course 4 or 5 out of 5 (60.8% gave it 4, 17% gave it 5).
Have a listen to see if you can hear a difference in the way Charles speaks English after just ten lessons over two weeks in London?
This is Therese's 'before and after' podcast.
It contains two clips. The first clip is an excerpt from her first Out There speaking task (Lesson 1 of the SS4 course) with me and the second is an excerpt from the lesson 20 speaking task, also with me.
Therese worked alone most of the time. I printed off the lesson worksheets, she completed the exercises and then went out to do the speaking practice with strangers on the seafront in Weymouth where I live.
Occasionally (at the start, middle and end of her course) I was one of the speaking practice partners (hence this audio case study).
I deliberately wanted to work with Therese in this way...minimal contact, just a few comments here and there, to see what would happen to her English skills.
When Therese came to stay with us she was very quiet. As time went on she became more confident. She studied with me from 8th September 2011 and finished the course on 14th October 2011. 36 days or in study time, about 60 hours.
This is the first time since we started English Out There eleven years ago that we have taught it in London using no classrooms whatsoever.
On the last day of a group's two week course (10 lesson/30 hours), as they were getting ready to say goodbye, I had a brief chat with Angelina one of the group leaders. She is an English teacher in a French secondary school.
I was curious to hear what she and the students thought about our course, especially since we had done everything outside of the classroom.
What Angelina told me made me ask her if I could interview her and put the clip online for others to hear. She very kindly said I could.
Have a listen as Angelina, a veteran of seven study trips with teenage English learners, describes the differences between what all of the other English schools do and what we do. It made me a very happy man last Friday
As of today's date (25th April 2010) Waldek has used 11 English Out There (EOT) self-study lesson plans and done the speaking practice with me online using Skype and Vivox Voice on Facebook. He began using EOT materials on 10th March 2010.
11 EOT lessons amount to approximately 22 hours of self-study and, with me, about 6 hours of speaking and listening practice.
On my suggestion Waldek has also created his own small PLN (Personal Learning Network) on Facebook and now has a couple of English speaking friends in other parts of the world with whom he has also done some practice related to these lessons.
He tells me that his sessions with the other two or three English speakers are a lot shorter than those with me. So he has probably done another three to four hours of focused practice with them.
So, I would say he has had total contact time with the language of approximately 30 hours.
The first clip of Waldek speaking is from 10th March and the second one is from 25th April 2010.
Have a listen and see if you think he has improved in any way?
Do please send any comments you have to us.
Listen to Liliana speak to me before her English Out There course started and then again after 10 lessons.
She self-studies the Intermediate SS4 course materials, about one lesson per week, and then does the Out There task (speaking practice) with me on Skype and one or two other English speakers she has befriended using social media.
Every session is recorded by her and listened to again a few times.
When you listen concentrate on her use of tenses, how she forms sentences (i.e. whether she uses single words as a strategy to communicate or speaks fully formed sentences). Also try to hear if her listening comprehension has improved and her pronunciation.
Liliana has been trying to learn how to speak English comfortably for many years, using different methods. She found me on Facebook and joined my group for people who have almost given up hope of ever speaking English comfortably (http://www.facebook.com/groups/icantspeakenglish/).
She is now in her forties and specifically wanted to improve her spoken English to find a job in Bogota.
So, this is the same 'before' clip from our first conversation where Liliana dries up a bit and you can hear the nervousness in her voice edited next to a passage from her last session with me, the lesson on dreams and dreaming.
In the second clip she controls the conversation and talks with minor input from me for almost three full minutes whilst she tells me a story about one of her previous English teachers and his dream about her.
The aim of working with Liliana was to finally, after over twenty years of English study using other courses, help her to feel comfortable speaking English with a fluent English speaker.
Have a listen and let me know what you think?
This is the last 10 minutes of our lesson 18 session today and I thought it was such a nice chat and Liliana sounded so happy with her EOT course that I wanted to create a separate shorter clip to post online.
What we talk about here is what is possible if you just do what Liliana did and follow the EOT worksheets, do the speaking practice on Skype and listen to your recordings a few times.
It makes me very proud to have helped Liliana to get over her fear of speaking English after so many years of trying before she found EOT. I met Liliana because she joined my Facebook group called 'I Still Can't Speak English' and asked for help.
This was what Liliana wrote at the start of this process:
"I want to talk about my experiences with the English courses I've taken since I was at school so far. When I was at school I liked English classes so much and participated in them. After graduating from high school I took several courses in American schools , three courses at the British Council and also had private classes with a Colombian women who lived many years in London. Despite of taking many classes I have little fluency, and had to face this when I didn’t get the job I wanted as a bilingual customer service I was very sad and got frustrated because I didn’t have sufficient fluency to pass the interview and this job gave me the opportunity to improve my English skills and offered me a better job stability. I accept that the lack of fluidity is my problem to get a well paid job in my country. Actually, the courses I taken did not help me to improve my fluency I did not achieve my goal after taking many courses in my life but do not lose hope and continued studying on my own."
Thanks for working hard Liliana and for being a great example for others who might think that they will never be able to speak English comfortably.