Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Lessons at a Discount


This is it-- finally!

The new Flow English Lessons are now available to my podcast listeners and my blog readers.

Because you are part of my loyal audience, you get the new Flow English lessons at a discount-- for only $77. The normal price is $97.

This discount price is available until February 2nd. On that day, we will raise the price to $97. So if you want the new Flow English lessons, get them now :)

To get the new Flow English lessons, go to:

Enjoy them!

Listen To This Article at:
The Effortless English Podcast.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Lessons Finished!

The new lessons are finished! Chris and I worked together for many long hours to get them finished before the end of this month.

The new lessons are called "Flow English Lessons". Flow, of course, describes the movement of water. And water, of course, moves easily and effortlessly. We want you to speak English easily and effortlessly.

The new Flow English lessons focus on the most common idioms, vocabulary, and grammar in English. You learn these very deeply. In some ways, they are easier than the Effortless English Club Lessons. However, I recommend the New Flow English Lessons for everyone who needs to speak faster, better, and automatically.

Another great thing about the new lessons-- they are good for adults and older children. I think the lessons would be fantastic for High School or even Middle School students. Of course all of our lessons are made for adults, but these lessons have a lot of funny and strange stories which would also be entertaining to HS & MS students.

A couple of days ago, I announced the new lessons to my email Newsletter subscribers. They got a very big discount-- but only for one day. It was amazing! So many people got the lessons in just 24 hours.

Today, we are sending an announcement to all subscribers to my 7 Rules Email course. If you subscribed to that course, you get the new lessons at a discount also. After three days, we'll raise the price again... so check your email soon!

Next week, I will officially announce the new lessons here-- on my podcast and blog. I'll include a link to the Flow English page, so you can get the new lessons immediately.

We're very excited about the new lessons. They fit perfectly with The Effortless English Club Lessons.

In a month or two, we hope to have our next album ready-- the album everyone has been asking about -- the Movie Lessons!

Listen To This Article at:
The Effortless English Podcast.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Conversation: AJ & Chris

[I called Chris before visiting him. We talked about my coming visit, making new English lessons, Tomoe's trip to Japan, a new book we just finished (Prometheus Rising), travel, and the Effortless English business.]

[Telephone Ringing]

Chris: Hello, you’ve reached 932‑7708. Leave me a message. (Beep)

AJ: Hey, it’s AJ. What’s up? Well, I guess we’re gonna –

Chris: Hey, man.

AJ: Oh, hey, good. Gotcha.

Chris: (Laughs) How’s the new year treating ya?

AJ: Yeah, pretty good. Things are going well. Actually, it’s been a great beginning to the year so far.

Chris: How so?

AJ: I don’t know. I had a really good time New Year’s Eve. Went out with a bunch of friends to a party here in San Francisco, yeah, it was great.

Chris: Yeah, yeah.

AJ: A lot of good music, some kinda international music. There was a group from India, some from Africa, bunches of different ones; it was nice.

Chris: Alright.

AJ: Yeah. How ’bout yourself?

Chris: Pretty good, pretty good. A little bit busier. The vacation’s always nice and sometimes you come back to a few too many e‑mails and voice messages, but all in all, it hasn’t been too bad.

AJ: Good, good.

Chris: I finally got going with the gym memberships, so I’m even up to date with some of the resolutions and all.

AJ: Alright, good. Yeah, I’ve got a gym membership, but I need to use it. (Laughs)

Chris: (Laughs)

AJ: I guess that’s my resolution.

Chris: Yeah. Well, cool, man.

AJ: Yeah. So tomorrow I’m flying out. I’ll be there tomorrow.

Chris: Yeah. You’re getting in around 9:00 or so, assuming.....

AJ: Yeah, yeah. And then I’m gonna go ahead and rent a car.

Chris: Okay.

AJ: I guess I can probably just get like a Google map to your house from the Raleigh airport.

Chris: You can, and I can – that’s probably sensible, and I can also send you some directions to sort of maybe supplement that. It’s not gonna be too bad. I don’t think you’re gonna find it to be too difficult ’cause basically you’re gonna – 40 is sort of one of the big highways around here, and that’s gonna run pretty much straight from the airport, pretty close to where I live. And you’re gonna get off 40 onto 54, and then 54’s gonna bring you right into Meadowmont, where I live, so it’s not gonna be too bad. But I’ll send you some supplementary directions.

AJ: Okay, great.

Chris: Yeah.


AJ: What’s the weather like out there?

Chris: It warmed up today. It’s like in the 50s today.

AJ: Oh, that’s not bad.

Chris: Yeah, it’s not bad. Actually last week, we had some surprisingly cold weather where it stayed sorta below freezing for a few days.

AJ: Alright, I guess I’ll pack –


AJ: I was gonna say I’ll pack some warm clothes just in case. (Laughs)

Chris: Yeah, at least like a good warm pair of pants and good coat. So yeah, but, too, if you want to do some hiking and that, whatever you like to hike in. I just started this gym membership, but I have a few free passes, so if you wanna work out there, too, or try that out.

AJ: Yeah, actually, I’d like that. That’d be great.

Chris: Yeah, yeah, man.

AJ: Try to burn off some of the fat from Indiana. (Laughs)

Chris: Did you put in a winter’s layer over the holidays?

AJ: Yeah, damn. It’s frightening. Tomoe was pretty much horrified by the diet in Indiana. (Laughs)

Chris: Is that right?

AJ: Yeah. She’s like, “Oh, my God, I can’t believe that they eat like this.” It’s like, “Welcome to America. Welcome to real America.”

Chris: (Laughs)

AJ: Yeah, you’re like cookies, cakes, just everything with tons of sugar.

Chris: Right.

AJ: Oh, man.

Chris: I’m almost sure I didn’t share this story with you, but I won’t keep it long now. I had all these holiday parties I went to- that was at the school and at the shelter before Christmas. And just was like basically just astounded at what people were gonna eat. There were like eight cakes there and three pies, and there were people who would try all eight cakes and three pies.

AJ: Wow.

Chris: And get one of these paper plates, and the paper plate collapsing under the weight of it. I was just like, “Wow. No wonder every other person I work with has diabetes.”

AJ: (Laughs) Yes. Well, two people in my family have diabetes. It didn’t stop ’em.

Chris: Yeah, yeah.

AJ: Yeah. So she’s [Tomoe] happy to be back in Japan right now eating healthy Japanese food.

Chris: Is she there now?

AJ: Yeah, she’s there for two months. She’s visiting her family for a couple months.

Chris: Oh, okay. Well, that’s a good long spell.

AJ: Yeah, yeah. She’s been pretty homesick, so –

Chris: I see.

AJ: – she’s quite happy. And then we’re gonna meet back up again actually in Thailand.

Chris: Oh, you are? Nice.

AJ: Yeah. In March, we’re taking a trip to Thailand and be there a few months. Hopefully I’m gonna do a dive master course as get the dive master certificate and then we’ll –

Chris: I think this is the one you were talking a little bit about.

AJ: Yeah, right, right.

Chris: Going to Thailand to do some diving, yeah, yeah.

AJ: Yeah, and visit our friend, Kenny, down in Malaysia, and just see Thailand again. I missed Thailand, so it’ll be nice.

Chris: Yeah. Well, it’s a little more globetrotting for you, huh?

AJ: Yeah. Can’t get enough.

Chris: (Laughs) You bastard.

AJ: (Laughs) Well, that’s why I’m coming. (Laughs) Right?

Chris: (Laughs)

AJ: To get these lessons finished and –

Chris: Yeah, I can’t really – if things go well, I won’t be able to call you bastard for long, right?

AJ: No, you won’t.

Chris: (Laughs)

AJ: So get it now while you can. (Laughs) And then other people will be calling you bastard.


Chris: Cool.

AJ: Yeah.

Chris: Then I’ll really be a member of the club.

AJ: Yeah, that’s right. You’ll be able to make them feel bad with all your tales of vacation and relaxation and fun.

Chris: I know. It’s been- I’ve burnt out all my good old stories of traveling really pretty much, so I can’t really – it’s been hard to make people jealous lately, to be honest with you.

AJ: Yeah. You need some new ones.

Chris: Mm-hmm.

AJ: Yeah. Hopefully, we can make some good progress. We’ll have a couple weeks. I figure we can – especially once we get in the groove – do maybe two sets per day, one or two sets per day. I mean we may be able to –

Chris: Yeah. I mean, let’s see what we – I really don’t – to tell you the truth, I don’t know what to expect and you – yeah.

AJ: I mean, I can do ’em fast at this point, so –

Chris: Okay. (Laughs)

AJ: So I was thinking that at the very least, like while you’re at work, I would probably crank one out myself –

Chris: Okay.

AJ: – and then maybe when you got back, then we could crank – work on another together.

Chris: Yeah, that’d be great.

AJ: There’d be a mix of voices then on the lesson, mine and yours, and then that’d be nice for the students I think. So I mean I don’t know. I have the feeling we may be able to – if we’re shooting for about 20 or so sets, we may be able to get most or all of them done I think.

Chris: Yeah. That’d be pretty awesome.

AJ: Yeah. And that’s the bulk of the work. After that, we just pay somebody to do a Web site or just use the template I already have, etcetera, etcetera.

Chris: Yep, yep.

AJ: And I know that lots of people are wanting lessons. I get e‑mails asking me, “Do you have more lessons?”

Chris: Good. Keep ’em hungry, man. (Laughs)

AJ: Yeah, that’s right, keep ’em hungry. (Laughs) Say, “Not yet. You have to wait.”

Chris: “We want ’em to be so good this time that –”

AJ: That’s right. (Laughs) “They’re gonna be so good that your mind will explode with English after five minutes of listening.”

Chris: (Laughs) Yeah. I mean the future plan needs to be selling English microchips I think.

AJ: Yeah, that’s true. Just download the English language.

Chris: Straight into the brain.

AJ: Yeah, of course, at that point, we’re out of business. (Laughs)

Chris: (Laughs) We might be out of life units, too.

AJ: Yeah, that’s true. We’ll probably be dead, so it shouldn’t – we’ll be okay. (Laughs) We’ll have enough time to find another business.

Chris: Well, with all this Prometheus Rising stuff you have exposed me to, we gotta think of the future, right?

AJ: That’s true. That’s true. Yeah, pretty interesting, huh? It’s an interesting. He’s an interesting guy.

Chris: Yeah. I read it over break. I didn’t get to the marketing book, but I did finish his book. Yeah, it was really good. He’s a little spacey sometimes, but mostly I really liked it, yeah.

AJ: Yeah, yeah.

Chris: When did you stumble across him?

AJ: Let’s see. I stumbled across him a couple years go. This essay he wrote on the Internet called ePrime. Have you heard of that?

Chris: ePrime. I think that was stuff that – maybe I’m getting confused, but I almost think that was – that one of the guys that wrote a book that Albert Ellis was into that.

AJ: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That could be. I mean it’s not just this guy’s invention. It’s basically the idea that the English language is not – its structure is not kind of in line with scientists' thinking, especially the whole physics and uncertainty principle. And so basically the idea is that you remove the verb “to be” from the English language. So you never say, “He is black.” You say, “He seems to be black. He appears black. He looks black to me.” So you include the idea of perception in everything you say.

Chris: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, okay.

AJ: And that gives it a more accurate – it basically introduces the uncertainty that it’s not something "is" something, it’s something "seems" or "appears" or –

Chris: And you’re also not essentializing things. Yeah, yeah.

AJ: Exactly, exactly. So you make it clear that you’re describing your perceptions or characteristics, that it’s not necessarily an inborn essence or –

Chris: Mm-hmm.

AJ: So interesting. Hard to do. I actually tried doing it just with writing where you can edit, but it’s pretty damn hard to eliminate “is” and “are” and “was” from the language. But it’s fascinating. I’ve read a couple things that he wrote in ePrime and it is, it does come across as far more rational and clear. You could see where if people would stick to that during discussions and debates that you really would be getting – there’d be much more room to find a common ground or at least to agree at what you’re talking about.

Chris: Right. And it’s good to not – I mean it really introduces sort of a healthy skepticism into what we’re all over confident about, too.

AJ: Exactly, yeah, exactly, ’cause you never – well, basically exactly that, that there’s always some degree of uncertainty, small or large, but it’s always there. So anyway, I found that essay by him and I was like, “Oh, this is really fascinating,” and then I ended up eventually getting that book Prometheus Rising which is also very interesting.

Chris: Yeah. Yeah, it’s good stuff. Well, we’ll have time to delve in, won’t we?

AJ: Yeah. Yes, we will.

Chris: Talk more about it. I’m trying to think what – is there anything else you need to know, anything you’d particularly like to do or make sure you get in while you’re here?

AJ: Nothing in particular. I mean I’m pretty much open for anything. Maybe I’ll bring my discs and we could maybe go out to your disc golf course again if you want. (Laughs)

Chris: Yeah, yeah, sure.

AJ: A little strolling out there.

Chris: I haven’t been out there since you were here. (Laughs)

AJ: Oh, yeah. (Laughs) Yeah. I’ll bring a disc or two, a couple of ’em I guess, and – yeah, I don’t know, just anything. Good veggie food and –

Chris: Yep.

AJ: Yeah. Looking forward to it. It’ll be, yeah, one of my secret motivations is to get this thing launched so that you’re free to come out and travel a lot, too.

Chris: And play, man.

AJ: And play, yeah. We can scuba dive and go to Thailand and India and Latin America and Europe –

Chris: (Laughs)

AJ: – and keeping working. That’s what I love about this business is that I can do it from anywhere. I go to Mexico and just bring the computer and keep on working.

Chris: Yeah.

AJ: It’s quite nice.

Chris: Well, I still have to get over my – get out of my own little box. It’s hard to sort of believe that that would be possible.

AJ: Well, you believe it when it happens.

Chris: (Laughs) It’s easier to believe it when it’s actually already happening?

AJ: Yeah. I was the same. I had this so irrational period that I just would never get anybody – I think it told you. That was my thing in my head for the longest time, for like a month as I was putting it all together. I just kept thinking, “What if I don’t get any person, not one? All this for nothing.”

Chris: Yeah, yeah.

AJ: And actually this week, I’m having a huge week this week. I don’t know. I guess everyone’s New Year’s resolution is to learn English, because –

Chris: Yep. I was sorta wondering if you would _____. You had mentioned that it had been sorta slow and I was like, “Yeah. I wonder if –” it might be slow but maybe it’ll pick up and even triple what you normal make up for the slow time.

AJ: Yeah. And that’s exactly what’s happened. This week has been unbelievable. It far exceeded my best week ever.

Chris: Awesome, really.

AJ: Yeah, oh, yeah. I think before – God, it’s probably 40‑50 percent more than my previous best week.

Chris: That’s great.

AJ: So, yeah, fantastic. Hope some of that continues.

Chris: (Laughs) Yeah, man.

AJ: So yeah, it’s fun when it’s growing, too. Kinda creates more of a critical mass of people who’ll be using the forums. I don’t know. Yeah, it just kinda a lot more fun, too. A little more of a community.

Chris: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

AJ: And one fun thing for me, too, is that with all these members all over the place, it’s kinda meeting one or two of ’em every time I travel which is what I’ve been – I did that in Mexico a little bit –

Chris: Right.

AJ: I know we’ve got a couple Thai members. I think maybe I’ll just post it on the forums wherever I’m traveling and try to meet up with some of the people. It’s kinda cool.

Chris: Yeah. And that’s all sort of one more thing that you can sort of build the community and then share that sort of community building with the blog and all, too, right?

AJ: Yeah.

[End of Audio]

Listen To This Article at:
The Effortless English Podcast.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More Spontaneous English Is Coming


I've got good news for my podcast listeners. This year, I will be adding a lot more spontaneous English to the podcast.

What is "spontaneous English". Its totally natural speaking-- no plan, no reading.

My recent post "Cool Stuff for 2008" was spontaneous. I hit the record button and just started to talk. I had a general topic in mind, but no plan. I wasn't reading anything.

This kind of English is great for you, because its the kind of English we use in real conversations.

In the past, I couldn't offer much spontaneous English. Why not? Because to help you understand, I always want to include text. I know it can be very difficult for some students to understand-- unless they can check text.

Well, I tried typing the text myself-- but I was much too slow and it took way too much time. Next, I searched for professional companies that could type the text. I found a few-- but they were all expensive.

So, I usually typed the text first, then read it. Its still great practice for you... just not the best.

Well, now that Effortless English is growing fast, I can finally afford to pay a professional to transcribe my speech. Its expensive-- but our growth makes it possible to do more often.

So, for you, I will be paying for more transcriptions. More of my podcasts will be spontaneous. Also, I'll be including more recorded conversations between two people.

In fact, I just sent a conversation between Chris and I to the transcription company. The text should be ready in 5-7 days.. then I'll post both the audio and the text.

I hope this helps you improve your English. I hope you enjoy it.

Have a great New Year!

Listen To This Article at:
The Effortless English Podcast.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Update on the New Lessons

Good news!

Chris Moses and I have been making new lessons everyday. I'm currently in North Carolina, visiting him.

We now have 12 new lesson sets! By the end of the week, we should have 20 new sets. Then we will put them on the internet-- and you can buy them.

Wow, its taken a long time to get these finished.

This lesson album will be called "Flow English Lessons". "Flow" is a word that describes the movement of water. Of course, water moves easily and effortlessly. We want you to speak easily and effortlessly.

These lessons focus on the most common idioms and vocabulary. We want you to get a lot more repetition so you learn very deeply.

The Mini-Stories have been very fun to record. The Mini-Stories in "Flow English" are funnier (and easier) than the Mini-Stories in the "Effortless English Club" album. I hope you enjoy them. I have enjoyed making them.

I will make an official announcement very soon.

First I will send an email to my email newsletter subscribers-- and of course they will get a big discount on the new Flow English lessons.

Next, I'll send an email to my full email list-- all the people who have done my 7 Rules email course. They will also get a discount (though not as big as my newsletter subscribers ;)

Then I'll announce the new Flow English Lessons here-- on my blog & podcast. You'll get a discount too!

And finally, we will start advertising the lessons at the normal price. The full price will be around $97.

And now... I have to return to the office and record some more lessons!

Listen To This Article at:
The Effortless English Podcast.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cool Stuff For 2008

Hi, this is AJ. Today I want to talk a little bit about the coming year, about 2008, and what will be happening at Effortless English in the next year. I'm happy to say that we are working on new lessons. When I say "we," I mean myself, AJ Hoge, also Kristin Dodds, who is another one of our teachers, and Chris Moses, who is our newest teacher. We're all working on lessons right now, and I'm gonna talk a little bit about those.

Unfortunately, these things don't get finished as fast as we want them to. Now, I've been talking about making new lessons for a long time, actually. Some of our older members are probably thinking, "AJ, when are you finally going to finish? You've been talking about new lessons for months and months, and they're still not here!"

And it's true; I'm sorry. Unfortunately, I've been very busy. I'm really the only person who does Effortless English right now, and then when Kristin and Chris got involved, I've had to spend a lot of time teaching them and training them, especially with the storytelling method. So that's taking some time; and of course, I have to manage the business itself as well. The company is growing quickly, which is great. It's fantastic. I'm very happy that Effortless English Incorporated is growing, but that creates a lot of extra work for me that is not focused on teaching.

So I'm trying to juggle and trying to handle all these different things, and that's why it's taking longer than normal — longer than I want — to get more lessons finished, so my message is please be patient! People are emailing all the time. "AJ, we want more lessons! AJ, we want more lessons!" I've gotten a lot of good ideas about different kinds of lessons that people would like, and they've been fantastic ideas. I think our members are very creative and have a lot of great ideas; and I hope to do most of them or all of them at some time in the future, but right now we're where we have to go a little bit slowly, little by little.

So let me talk about what we are actually doing now, what we're actually working on now, and what will hopefully be finished- I'm hoping in the next few months. So first let me talk about Kristin.

Kristin Dodds. Kristin Dodds is an excellent English teacher. I have taught with her, actually, at several different schools. We taught together in Korea way back in 1997. We taught small children, actually, we taught English to small children. Kristin is an excellent teacher. We are very good friends; we've known each other a long time. So she's already started helping me. Kristin is actually our customer service manager right now, so if you email — you have a question, you have a problem, if you email Effortless English — probably she's the one reading your email. Sometimes she sends an email to me if there's a big problem that I have to take care of, but normally she solves the problems. She takes care of them. So she is our customer service manager, and she's also a teacher.

She is working on the movie lessons. Now, all of you who bought my lessons have a sample movie lesson. I think there are actually two sample movie lessons on there, the beginning of a romantic comedy, a real movie; and we use the dialog, right? We use the talking, we use the story, the English in the movie to make our lessons. Why are we using movies? Well, because movies are excellent for learning real, spoken English. Okay, there's a difference between written English, the English you see in a book, and spoken, the English you hear on a street in America or England or Australia.

The style is different, the phrases are different, and even the vocabulary can be different. So movies are much better for learning spoken English. They're better than books. If you want to learn to really speak, if you want to — for example, if you want to come to the United States, and you want to come to San Francisco and walk around, and you want to talk to people on the street and talk to Americans and make friends, and you want to understand what everyone is saying, and you want them to understand you, well, then movies are better for that kind of English.

If you read a lot of textbooks, they're not gonna help you. In fact, I see it all the time here. When I was teaching at my school in San Francisco, so many people — so many students came from Asia, Latin America and Europe; and they knew a lot of textbook English, but they were very upset because here in San Francisco they could not understand anybody. They would sit at the bus stop, and they didn't know what people were saying. People were talking quickly, people were using strange phrases, strange vocabulary, different kind of pronunciation, nothing like the textbooks. So I feel bad because so many students have this experience. They come to the United States, for example, they think they know English well, they've studied many years with textbooks in schools, and then they're very frustrated because they can't actually communicate.

So that's why we chose movies as one of our next lesson sets because movies are really great for learning common phrases, common pronunciation, the way we actually speak to one another. Movies are closer. They're not exactly the same, but they're closer than a book.

So Kristin is working to finish the movies. We are about 70% finished with those lessons, so we have 30% more to do. We're working together, she's recording some of the new lessons, I'm still recording a few of them also, and I'm hoping by the end of February, maybe the end of March, that those will be finished.

We'll create a new website to sell them, and I will announce those lessons here on my Podcast and on my blog, and also those of you who get my email newsletter, I'll send out a message on that also. So keep reading the newsletter, keep listening to this Podcast, keep reading the blog. You will find out about the new lessons first. In fact, as a little bonus, you'll get a chance to buy those lessons at a discount. I will — when I announce the new lessons to the Podcast and to my newsletter, actually I'll announce it to my newsletter first — and the newsletter readers will get a very, very good discount on those lessons.

I want to reward my newsletter readers because I appreciate your attention, I appreciate that you let me keep sending you emails about learning English and about my lessons, so I appreciate that. I want to reward you, so I will be giving you a chance — you'll probably have one week. I'll send — first I will send a message to the newsletter; you have one week, and you can get a very, very good discount.

After that, I'll send another message on my blog and Podcast, and maybe my general email course, and that'll be a discount, too. You'll buy them at a discount but a smaller discount. Finally, we'll do the big announcement, we'll run some advertisements, and that will be normal price. So anyway, if you're listening to this, you'll have a chance to get those new lessons at a discount.

So that's the first set of lessons, the movie lessons. The second set of lessons that we're doing are being done by Chris Moses, who I mentioned. He's also a very good friend of mine, and excellent teacher, and in fact he also taught English in Korea way back in 1997. So Kristin, Chris and I, we kind of started together. We knew each other way back in '97, and we all taught in Seoul, Korea.

So Chris is making a set of lessons for lower level learners and also for people who want the most common phrases, grammar and vocabulary. So we're gonna call this "high-frequency English." That means the most common English. His lessons will focus on the most commons words, and phrases, and grammar. The things you hear in America, for example, every day. The things we say every day, the idioms that we use, the phrases that we use every day and the slang that we use every day. The words we use every day. So this is designed, these lessons are designed, to give you fluency practice so that you can practice these words and phrases, this common English, so that it can go deep into your brain.

Many of you, if you're listening to this, you might say, "I already know these common words." Probably you know them; if we gave you a test, you could tell the definition. You would choose the correct A, B, C or D. But the question is- do you use them correctly? Do you still make mistakes with the simple past tense? Probably. Most very advanced learners that I saw in my school, for example, that came from another country, they were — quote — "advanced". Very good test scores. Yet when they spoke, they made simple, simple errors, simple mistakes. They would use the past tense in the wrong situation or they would use the present tense instead of using the past.

So this is a common problem, actually, it's a very common problem because people know about English, they study the rules, they do well on tests; but that's a different kind of knowing. It's a different kind of knowledge than deep knowledge. Deep knowledge means you know it automatically, you use it instantly, you use it correctly without thinking. For that, you need a lot of repetition; you need a lot of learning in a natural way with stories, with articles, with a lot of listening,... not reading rules. So that will be the focus of Chris' lessons.

I'm going to North Carolina this week; North Carolina is in the southeast part of the United States. That's where Chris lives, so I'm going to visit Chris with my computer and my microphone, and we are going to start making his lessons starting next Monday, actually. I will be there for two weeks in North Carolina, working with Chris to get a start on these lessons. Now, we probably won't finish in just two weeks, but I'm hoping we can make a lot of progress and get started, and I can train him with the storytelling method — that's the main thing I need to teach him. Once we do that, then he can continue, and he can finish the lessons, and again I hope he can finish his lessons maybe end of March, possibly April or May. So we'll have another set. When he finishes, we'll make a website for him, and again, I will announce his lessons first to my newsletter subscribers, second to the email course people, and finally to the blog and the Podcast.

Okay, and third, finally, I am working on my own new set of lessons. Now, I have a different idea about what I want to do with my next lesson set, my next lesson album. It's going to be different than the ones that you all have now. I've been thinking a lot, and I want to create a set of lessons, an album of lessons, that is very powerful, that helps you learn totally unconsciously. It means you don't have to think at all; it happens totally automatically. How I want this to happen is I want to create a story — okay, like a small book, a small novel, or maybe a small movie if you want to think about it in that way — but it'll be one big story. There'll be 10, 15, maybe 20 chapters. Each chapter will include the basic story, we'll have the story; and then there'll also be a mini-story, the normal listen-and-answer lessons for that chapter as well.

The idea is that — what I hope — is that you will focus totally on the story, not on the English language. I want the story to be so interesting, so different, that you focus on the story. You're focusing on the information, not on the English language, not on the grammar, not on the vocabulary. I want you to focus only on the story. What's happening? Who are these characters? Why, why did that happen? Who is this? I want you to be asking a lot of questions about the story, focused on the story, interested in the story.

If that happens, you will learn the vocabulary automatically. You'll learn the grammar automatically. You won't even know you're doing it. You'll think, "I'm just listening to this cool story in English," but in fact, you'll also be learning new words, new phrases, and getter grammar. But you'll never think about the grammar, you'll never think about the words if I do it well. That's my goal. Can I do that 100%? I don't know; I'll try, but that's my goal. More and more, I want my lessons to become invisible so that the English becomes invisible. I want you to forget that it's happening in English. I want you to be so into the story, you forget it's in English, that it's just like it's happening in your native language.

That's how the most powerful learning happens. That's how the deepest learning happens. When you forget that you're actually listening to English because you're so focused on the story and because you understand everything, that's when you really learn deeply, automatically. That's when you'll be able to use English, and you won't even think. You won't translate. It just comes out of your mouth. It's like, "HUH!" and then you say, "Wow, how did I do that? How did I say that? What happened?" That's what I want for you.

Now, my current lessons will give you that power also, but I want the next lessons to be even better. Much better. Much more focused on story and information, and let me do the the — let me do the English part, okay? If I'm smart, if I do the mini-story lessons correctly, you won't realize that you're learning English. It'll happen without you trying at all. That's the most powerful form of learning, and that's my goal for my own next lesson set.

Okay. Well, that's it, and those are our big plans for the beginning of this year, 2008. We've got three possible sets of lessons coming. We've got the movie lessons, which we're working on now; we've got the high-frequency, most common English lessons, which I will start with Chris next week; and then we've got my own lessons. They'll probably be at a high intermediate and low advanced level, and I am just now starting to outline and create the story.

So thank you for joining me. I really enjoy Effortless English. I've just had a fantastic time emailing you guys, talking to you, doing this Podcast. I've met some of the members when I've traveled, and in general, it's just been a fantastic experience this first year of Effortless English. I look forward to us growing even more in 2008, I look forward to meeting more of you in 2008, and please keep commenting on my blog, keep giving me your ideas. I love hearing from you, and my blog is the best place to contact me directly.

Okay. Have a great 2008. This is the year you will be fluent in English; this is the year you will speak English automatically without trying, without thinking, and without translating. You can do it. See you next time. Bye-bye.

Listen To This Article at:
The Effortless English Podcast.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Success Stories

"I would like to say you're fanstastic. Just through a few lessons I feel more confident in speaking English. Two weeks ago we had a party celebrating Christmas Eve, and I met two Canadians and I said hello to them. You know they turned around and asked me : "Where did you learn to speak English?"

I think that my pronunciation was the same as theirs so they were surprised. And one more thing, I watched TV on an Australia network and can you imagine that I was able to understand what they said-- almost all of the news about an ancient culture... and recent news about the new coach for England's football team (Capello). I am so happy and am enjoying my natural improvement. Thank you so much. God bless you."

--Ha Nguyen

I love success stories! Every week, we get emails from excited English learners. I really appreciate these emails.

To be honest, they make me very happy-- and they motivate me to keep improving. When you send me an email like this, I feel very happy. It feels good knowing that so many people are using our English conversation lessons to speak excellent English! Its great! Congratulations to all of you!

This is why I started my own English teaching company. I wanted to help enthusiastic students. I wanted to make and sell my own lessons. I wanted to encourage students to enjoy English, to improve quickly, and to feel happy.

Because Im very busy now, I sometimes don't realize how much we are helping. Your emails help me to remember. Your happy emails energize and excite me... and make me want to help more students.

In the future, I will include more member emails on this blog. I try to put member comments on the Effortless English Homepage, but we get too many emails to include them all. So I'll start adding them here.

If you have an English success story, email me! Tell me what you did and how you improved. If your email is great-- I'll include it here on my blog. If you send a picture of yourself, I'll also include your picture :)

Thanks for all your great emails.

Email your success stories to me at: ajhoge@effortlessenglish.org
Put "Success Story" in the subject line.

Listen To This Article at:
The Effortless English Podcast.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Mobile Company

This is a picture of me in my "office". In fact, I run Effortless English , Inc.... the whole company, from a mobile office. Effortless English is not a normal company-- we are filled with nomadic people who love to travel.

Because of this, and because Im the most enthusiastic traveler of all-- I decided to structure our company as a nomadic unit. In other words, Effortless English does not have an office building. Each of us (Tomoe, Chris, Kristin, and I) works from a laptop computer, a professional microphone, and an internet connection.

These tools allow us to work almost anywhere in the world. So, in November, my office was in Guatemala, and later moved to Honduras. The above picture was taken in a Guatemalan coffee shop. Now I'm in San Francisco, and next week my "office" will be in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Tomoe is currently in Osaka, Japan-- but continues to work on her Japanese language blog and continues to translate our emails and web pages into Japanese.

Tomorrow I fly to North Carolina (in the Southeast part of the United States) to visit Chris. We will be working together on a new album of lessons.

Being a mobile company has many advantages. First, it allows us to meet members around the world. Also, travel exposes us to new people and new ideas. Instead of being stuck in a boring office, we are constantly visiting new places and meeting new people. I believe this makes us more interesting as individuals and as a company.

Another advantage to having a mobile company is that it makes us sensitive to you, our members. When we travel, we are often forced to use other languages. For example, in November I had to use Spanish everyday. My Spanish is terrible, but the experience reminded me what its like to learn and use a foreign language. This helps me to understand you and your experience with English.

Our mobile company is also fun. Its much more fun to work in a coffee shop, or in another country, or even in our own apartments. Because we are having more fun, we have more energy and enthusiasm. We love what we are doing-- and hopefully you can hear that in our mp3 english lessons!

Finally, creating a mobile company has allowed me to choose only the very best people. Because I don't care where people live, I can focus on recruiting only the best possible people. We communicate with each other using email, and Skype conferences. Of course, I visit everyone in person too.

For us, international travel and communication is a lifestyle-- it is a lifestyle that everyone in the company lives... and its a lifestyle that is built into the essential structure of Effortless English, Inc.

Listen To This Article at:
The Effortless English Podcast.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Kick Ass With English!

I want you to kick ass with English!

"Kick ass" is a very common slang phrase, and one of my favorites. It has two meanings, depending on the situation.

In this situation, it means to succeed or to do a fantastic job. For example, if you do very well on a test, you can say, "I kicked ass on that test".

So, to "kick ass" with English means you do very well with English-- you have a big success with English.

"Kick ass" can also mean to beat or defeat someone. For this meaning, we usually add an object. For example, if Arsenal beats Manchester United, we can say "Arsenal kicked ManU's ass".

If I play a video game with my friend and I win, I might laugh and say, "I just kicked your ass"! This means that I just defeated him.

So, this year, I want you to "kick ass" with English!

Listen To This Article at:
The Effortless English Podcast.