Thursday, October 18, 2007

Listen and Answer

Today Kristin, Tomoe, and I went to a TPR-Storytelling (TPRS) workshop. TPRS is the central technique of Effortless English. It is the technique we use in all of our Listen & Answer Stories and Point of View Lessons.

The workshop was taught by Blaine Ray-- the creator of TPRS. He is a master. It was great to get more training from him. It was great to be reminded, again, of the most important principles of language learning.

What are those principles. In my free 7 Day Email Course, I discuss the 7 secrets to speaking English easily, and fast.

But what are the principles-- the MOST basic rules that are behind these secrets? What are the MOST basic principles of Effortless English?

There are three:

1. Understanding (Comprehension). To be powerful, a lesson MUST be understandable. This seems obvious, right? If you don't understand the lesson, you won't learn anything. Yet textbooks and schools are filled with lessons that are hard to understand. Sometimes I even have trouble understanding the grammar explanations in textbooks! I'm a native speaker with 2 Masters degrees, including one in Teaching English... yet these books confuse me! Imagine how a normal English student feels.

At Effortless English, when we say a lesson is understandable, we mean that you understand 99% of it. Not 50%. Not 80%. 99%.

After listening to our Vocabulary lesson, our Listen & Answer lessons, our Point of View lesson, and reading the Text... you understand ALL of the main article or story. And when you understand, you learn-- you learn deeply and you never forget.

2. Repetitive. To be powerful, a lesson MUST be repetitive. This means you hear the vocabulary and grammar many, many, many, many times! As you know, hearing a sentence a few times is not enough. To learn deeply, to understand immediately (without translation), to speak quickly... you must hear words and sentences many times. You must hear them hundreds of times, until they are automatic.

This is deep learning. You forgot most of your textbook lessons. Why? Because there wasn't enough repetition. You learned it, you took a test, then you forgot. Because Effortless English Lessons use a lot of repetition, you learn English and NEVER forget.

3. Interesting. Finally, To be powerful, a lesson MUST be interesting. Obviously! If the lesson is boring, you won't learn. So why are textbooks and schools so boring?!?

Effortless English lessons are interesting, funny, crazy, and controversial. You laugh, you learn, you are excited when you listen to our lessons. Because they are interesting, it is fun to use them. You enjoy English. Its fun!

These are the three Basic Principles we discussed today at the TPRS workshop. We learned a lot and hope to improve as teachers-- so that our lessons always get better.

Listen To This Article at:
The Effortless English Podcast

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