Special thanks to Rosa Ahn for translating this interview from Korean site FNN.
Effortless English Systems’ Developer Allen Hoge
Allen Hoge started teaching English in Korea 15 years ago, and upon return to USA, he experienced a curious phenomenon teaching Mexican and South American students.
The students spending 4 hours studying the English textbooks and memorizing 50 words a day were still unable to speak English fluently after 6 months.He developed the Effortless English System having researched into to ways to help speak fluent English quickly and easily.
Korean students are highly passionate, but their learning is ineffective.
Utilise free periods such as commuting time and lunch times.
One should be able to communicate their point across in English.
-The reason why Korean students’ speaking does not improve despite their diligent studying.
Studying English is like driving a car. To go fast it needs sufficient fuel and a good engine. Passion, motivation, and emotion correspond to fuel. Motivation and passion of Korean students are world top class. Only a good engine is further needed, which is a study method.
Just as a car runs slower if it has a smaller engine capacity, even with sufficient fuel, the Korean students’ method of learning grammatical structure and memorizing words is ineffective in improving their speaking skills.
Furthermore, learning English with eyes is also inefficient. To be good at speaking, English must be studied by listening with ears.
When speaking with someone, all communication must be processed quickly and automatically since there is no time to think about grammatical structure.
-Effective method for actually improving speaking skills in Korea, which is an EFL environment.
To be able to speak fluently, one must firstly listen to natives speaking easy-to-understand English everyday. These days, materials such as English pod-casts, audio stories, lessons, conversations and videos are easy to get hold of thanks to the Internet. They can be listened to during free periods such as on the way to and from work, lunch times and while shopping, using gadgets such as Ipods.
Instead of focusing on speaking from the beginning, it is better to designate approximately 6 months as a “silent time”, and concentrate on listening.
-Thoughts on the assets of a global leader.
English is a compulsory asset to becoming a global leader, because one must be good at English in order to participate in global discussions. A global leader must also have an enterprising vision. People such as Steve Jobs, Tony Robinson and Richard Branson can be described as global leaders with creative vision and strong communication skills.
It is not enough for Korean students to study grammar and words. When they can communicate their point across in English with great confidence and passion, then they will be able to embrace the world.
-Realistic advice for local students
Korean students’ motivation for studying English are world top class. If the learning method is adjusted, then the results will also be different. To improve speaking skills, one should start listening to easy-to-understand English audio instead of studying grammar books and word lists. By repeated listening an hour a day, one will experience the magic of English automatically being spoken from their mouths and becoming fluent within 6 months to 1 year.
In the faculty of language, listening is categorized as input and speaking as output. In language one can only speak as much as listened, and therefore by listening to a lot of good English one will accumulate as much things to say. By using the internet to listen to interviews with famous people, talk shows, and famous speeches, and copying them, one will be able to improve their English speaking skills to meet global standards.