As most of you know, Effortless English is designed for intermediate and advanced level English learners. Our lesson are NOT for total beginners.
However, I often get emails asking me for beginner lessons. Many of our members have friends who are beginners. Many also have older children who are just starting to learn English. How can they learn? Can I teach them?
Well, I can teach them. There are excellent Effortless techniques for teaching beginners… and I have often thought of creating video lessons for total beginners. However, at this time I have decided not to do this. Our current focus is on intermediate adult learners. I want to serve you all better, and this requires focus.
I can give you some advice though.. which I hope you’ll pass on to your beginner-level friends and family:
1. Use English Textbooks & CDs Selectively
I’m just starting to study Thai… here in SF. I don’t have a Thai teacher here, and there are no “Effortless Thai” lessons that I know of. So at the moment I’m stuck using traditional books and CDs.
However, I am using these creatively. I totally ignore all boring drills and exercises. I skip all English language explanations and audio.
I use only the Thai language audio conversations… the transcripts of those conversations… and the most basic vocabulary explanations. My focus is totally and completely on getting a lot of Thai input. I ignore all analysis of the language.
Tell your friends and family to do the same with English.. ignore all grammar explanations, all drills, all worksheets… just focus on getting a lot of English input… and focus only on understanding the vocabulary.
2. Listen, Listen, Listen To English
Its our most important Effortless English “rule”. Listening is especially important for beginners. Beginners should spend 95% of their study time listening to English. Listen to the audio dialogues on the textbook CDs. Listen to the easiest English podcasts. Listen, listen, and listen some more.
3. Deep Learning Is Even More Important
Beginners need even more repetition than intermediate and advanced level learners. As a beginner, I need to listen to each Thai dialogue 100 times or more. And every time I must listen attentively– with energy and total concentration.
Deep learning is absolutely vital for beginners. Encourage your beginner friends to go more slowly. Encourage them to study less vocabulary and fewer chapters.. but to totally master what they do study. In the longterm, this approach is actually much faster.
4. Laugh, Smile, Play
Its tough to be a beginner. You feel incompetent. You can’t do anything. Therefore, its very very important for beginners to thoroughly enjoy the process of learning. You must make it fun!
Most beginner fail simply because they quit. They lose hope. They become bored.
In fact, emotion is far more important for beginners than the amount of language they learn. Its vital to link positive emotions to English when beginning. Its vital to link fun, excitement, laughter, curiosity, and passion to the learning process. By doing that, you guarantee a lifetime of English learning.
Without those emotions, most students will quit long before they advance to higher levels.
So please, encourage your beginner friends to enjoy their learning. And always compliment them. Never correct their mistakes! Never! Do the opposite– compliment them frequently. Tell them what they are doing RIGHT. Tell them they are amazing! Congratulate them. Build up their passion and enthusiasm for the language!
Do that, and soon you will have a new English conversation partner to talk to!
And don’t forget to always enjoy your own learning… and to always learn with passion and enthusiasm!