Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bad Choices Lessons

"Bad Choices" is one of my Lesson Sets.

The lessons use a real letter from an advice column/article. In American newspapers, there are many different advice articles. People write about their problems and ask for advice. The author (of the advice article) then tells them what they should do.

"Bad Choices" is a letter from a woman who always dates the "wrong" man. She has a bad habit of dating bad guys. She says she wants to meet nice guys, but instead she always has boyfriends who are bad. She then asks Dr. Tracy, the author, for advice.

I use a lot of Advice Letters in my lessons. Why?

1. They are REAL. These letters are written by real native speakers, about real problems, using real English. You learn REAL English. No fake textbook English.

2. They are CONVERSATIONAL. The style of these letters is very casual and conversational. You do NOT learn formal written English, you learn the English we use in everyday conversations.

3. They have a lot of IDIOMS. Because the letters use conversational English, they always include several common idioms. You learn the common idioms used by native speakers.

4. They are INTERESTING. These are real people and real problems. These letters are interesting (and sometimes funny too :) You enjoy reading and listening to them.

5. They show American CULTURE. You learn a lot about American culture-- especially families, dating, and work-- by reading these letters.

As you know, each Lesson Set contains several lessons. You read the original letter. Also, you listen to the letter because I give you an audio version too.

You also listen to a Vocabulary Lesson-- where I explain the vocabulary (especially the idioms) used in the letter.

Finally, you listen to the Mini-Story. In the Mini-Story, I take key vocabulary (especially idioms) from the letter, and then use them in a completely different story. Why?

Because you remember more when you hear the same phrase in different situations. For example, you first read the idiom in the letter. Then you hear it several times in the Vocabulary lesson. Then you hear it in the Audio version of the letter.

Then you listen to the Mini-Story. In "Bad Choices", I tell a crazy story about a short guy who always fights big tall guys. In the story, I use idioms like "no matter how you slice it"... which come from the original Advice letter. So you hear that vocabulary again, but this time in a very different situation.

In this way, you understand it better. But that's not all, because I use a lot of questions to help you remember this new phrase forever. You don't just listen, you listen and ANSWER.

By the time you finish using the lessons in the set, you know the phrases, vocabulary, and grammar very DEEPLY.

[Note-- Audio is unavailabe for this post right now. I am currently in Indiana, visiting my family (and dog). I'm unable to record audio at this time, but when I return to San Francisco, I will record audio for this post and put it on the podcast]

Listen To This Article at:
The Effortless English Podcast.

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