We are Top 1% on LinkedIn! What is all the Fuss About?

Shout out to my ever-growing LinkedIn ESL Community with over 8,000 connections. It must be therecent webinars on Pronunciation that have topped up endorsements to 4,600! After the second webinar on Teaching Vowels Made Simple we were in the top 1% of profile visits in this community. I was tickled pink!

linkedin banner topThe links for the two webinars are here: How to Start Teaching Pronunciation and Teaching English Vowels Made Simple

This is what all the fuss is about. The simple, logical 6-step method for teaching people to speak English as published in English is Stupid, Students are Not. You can get a pdf of this exciting system for the unbelievably low price of $14.95 from the E-Store Here.

Old Frends

Thank you everyone for your continued interest and support. All the best in 2016!

Until next time,

Teacher Judy

3 Responses to “We are Top 1% on LinkedIn! What is all the Fuss About?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Judy, all of us as toddlers learned our first language entirely vocally. What it looked like written down was irrelevant then, how it was spelt, even what script it was written with – brahmic, cyrillic, arabic – didn’t matter at all, we still became fluent and sophisticated users of it before we went to school and started to learn to read and write the always idiosyncratic and more limited visual symbol version. That was not very hard fro us to learn, because we already had the oral language as a context, so the weirdness of the spellings didn’t interfere with our ability to communicate with the language. But the world of Second Language teaching is driven by books, by print, by language in its simpler truncated written form, which learners are trying to decode backwards into some reasonable facsimile of the more complex spoken form. If you are trying to learn any new language primarily through its written form and to work out its oral pronunciation from the visual symbols, then you are entering a world of confusion. Your own colour codings and these phonetic re-spellings are brave attempts to overcome a problem that shouldn’t be there, and wasn’t when we were learning our first language. If we teach new languages entirely vocally – which our brains are optimised from birth to be able to do – and only introduce the written form of it once it has become practically usable orally, then spelling oddities in the written form aren’t a problem, they are just oddities, not a barrier to understanding or pronunciation.

  2. Anonymous says:

    When English-speaking children who grow up knowing and using words like ‘cough’ and ‘thought’ and ‘rough’, and ‘through’ go to school and start reading and writing, they often write constructions like ‘coff’ and ‘ruff’, and ‘throo’ and ‘thort’. This is OK, because they know the words for what they are trying to say and their meaning is obvious, and eventually most of them learn the corrected spellings and that textual oddness stops even being noticed. But if you are trying to learn the meanings of those words through print, and trying to learn the different pronunciations of those similar spellings at the same time, that is incredibly difficult and confusing, and much easier to get wrong. In speech they are distinctly different, as you would expect them to be in the primary form of a language, where 90% of all human communication takes place. Going from knowing speech to learning text is a lot easier than trying to go from knowing text to learning speech. That’s because text is only a simplified visual code for speech, but speech is not just an audible representation of text, it’s a very great deal more than that – it contains subtle structures such as pace, rhythm, stress, volume, and more, but also emotional content such as urgency, anger, contempt, conciliation, sympathy, boredom, and more, plus other non-verbals, none of which can be clearly communicated with the same words when written down. In every language speech and text are totally different symbolic systems. If you listen to any language you don’t recognise, you will have no clue as to what it looks like written down. Similarly, if you see some text of a language you don’t know, there is no clue in its appearance to what it might sound like if spoken. The obvious way to learn a new language is to start with just the spoken form, as we did with our first language, and then move on later, if necessary, to the written form, which will then be much easier to learn, even if it is of secondary value.

  3. judy says:

    You have a great grasp of language learning. I want to address the part where you say, “Text is only a simplified visual code for speech”. I agree in principle that text is supposed to be a simplified visual code for speech – except in English. The borrowed alphabet and compilation of thousands of words from other language renders English text a complicated code unconnected to English speech. It’s the patterns of English speech that remain true throughout all versions and accents of English and make innumerable accent variations intelligible to native speakers. It’s the fixed patterns of English conversation that we teach at Thompson Language Center, these benefit learners and make learning to speak English relatively easy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.