May 2014

Even You Can Teach Pronunciation in an Hour and a Half!

1 ½ hours is a long time for a video but a short time to learn how to teach pronunciation. Thanks to the miracle of modern technology and the dedication of Vance Stevens and other Webheads you can learn how to teach pronunciation effectively from this Google Hangout interactive presentation from May 26, 2014.

when english got broken for poster crop  The agenda and link to the video:

  1. A short History of English showing speaking as a different language than writing
  2. The English Phonetic Alphabet using colors
    1. Consonants – sounds that stop
    2. Vowels – sounds that stretch
  3. Take away pronunciation tools teachers and students can use anywhere

Learning2gether link

Technology is in the fabric of education. Stay tuned for more blogs on learning and teaching online.

Until next time,

Teacher Judy

American English for Arabic Speakers

American English expert Peggy Tharpe has published the best resource I have ever seen for teaching Arabic speakers. In this short easy to read, hard to put down e-book I learned more in one hour about how to teach Arabic speakers English than I could have figured out in a life-time on my own.American English for Arabic Speakers From Amazon

I learned that Arabic has many more consonant sounds than English and very few vowel sounds. Peggy Tharpe writes, “Since Arabic is driven by consonants, vowels play a backseat role to the rhythm of the language…The dominance of consonants makes for a non-gliding sound which breaks up the duration and energy of the vowels.
English, however, is vowel-rich and vowel-driven and the nature of vowels is more dynamic…” She goes on to talk about ‘sound prints’ and their importance in learning a new language. Brilliant.

Kudos Peggy! (I wonder how that translates into Arabic) That was 8$ and one hour very well spent.

Until next time,
Teacher Judy

Mini-Conferences Win! Win! Win!

From local TESL events right up to TESOL International the biggest complaint I hear at ESL Conferences is, “I didn’t get to hear the speaker I wanted.” Ken Lackman at English Central in Toronto has a great solution.English Central

Ken polls ESL teachers to ask them which speakers they would like to hear. He hires the requested speakers to present at mini-conferences held inside the English Central Bookstore (seats 20-25). He charges the teacher $20 for the workshop they requested and splits the proceeds with the speaker. The amount the presenter receives is directly proportional to the number of seats filled.

I did a pronunciation presentation for Ken last weekend that was $old out. I was happy. Paying 20$ for a workshop is a fraction of what teachers pay for conferences. The feedback reports show the participants were very happy. All this great press has got to be good for English Central. They are happy too.

Win! Win! Win! Thanks Ken. It’s an idea worth sharing and copying. At Thompson Language Center we ASK followers what webinars they’d like to see and create one for them. If you have a request or suggestion, please let us know
Until next time,
Teacher Judy


Radical English Mastermind Group

Napolean Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich and coined the phrase, ‘Master Mind’. He defined it as: “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.” In 2012 I noticed 6-8 teachers on LinkedIn with English teaching programs far superior to anything that has traditionally been done to teach English. We became Radical English or Radical Teachers an educational mastermind group that can  help you teach English.
In May of 2012 Rita Baker posted, “It’s time to take a radically different approach to teaching and learning English” on LinkedIn and my world shifted. I went to her site, watched all her material and was impressed with the fresh approach she had developed to teaching English. She had thrown out everything she had ever learned and built from ground zero a system of statutes that were always true instead of forwarding the traditional litany of false details/exceptions we have been churning out and calling education for hundreds of years. She sounded exactly like me.radical hub 1
Over the next few months there were more. Teresa Almeida d’Eca impressed me with the method she developed for using first language as a bridge to the target language. It was a staggeringly simple concept I had never seen or heard of before. And it worked. By recognizing what was working and not working in traditional school curricula, Jennifer England devised a new accelerated model of education to teaching English and brought it into the corporate world. Judit Tarzcy made vocabulary building a joy using computer games and Word Boards©. Peggy Tharpe in California identified the perpetual ebb and flow of ‘important and unimportant’ at every level of oral communication to reveal the sine wave of conversation. Simple, elegant, always true, no exceptions – these are concepts learners can grasp and use.
All of us from different corners of the world had discovered and harnessed something critical and fundamental about teaching English that had never been identified or packaged before. We connected on LinkedIn, meet in Lydbury, UK on November 19, 2012 and the rest as they say, is history.

We formed the Radical English Alliance and committed to supporting the worldwide community of teachers who know there must be better ways to help their students reach their goals. I am very proud to announce we launched our new website;

We have since discovered three other teachers who deserve the title of Radical Teacher. Jason West in England with English Out There, Denise Eide in USA teaches Reading with The Logic of English and Andrew Weiler in Australia with Strategies in Language Learning is truly a teaching pioneer as well.
Margaret Mead group of people
I hope you visit the Radical English site and join us in changing the way the world teaches and learns English.
Until next time,
Teacher Judy