Danville Man Can Help You Talk the Talk in Many Lands


Danville Man Can Help You Talk the Talk in Many Lands

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2009/11/15/danville_man_can_help_you_talk_the_talk_in_many_lands

By Pat Phillips


DANVILLE – Mark Frobose isn't afraid to describe himself as a "rags to riches" story.

"To show you what is possible, I started with an idea more than 25 years ago, then I failed my way to success over the years," he said. "It wasn't until I moved back to Danville that I became successful."

The story actually began even longer ago, when Frobose, now 55, was attending North Ridge Middle School. He wanted to take a French class but was denied access because his math scores weren't high enough. He brought his math grades up, only to come away from his French class with a D.

"I basically didn't do well because I didn't understand grammar," Frobose admitted.

On a trip to Europe with other Explorer Scouts, the group was staying at a hostel and heard guitar music. Those in the room spoke only French, so Frobose used his D-level French ... and opened the door to a wonderful experience.

"I came home so motivated and got straight A's after that," he said.

Mark Frobose started his own audio language-learning business in his Danville home. By Rick Danzl

He went on to get a master's degree in foreign language at the University of Illinois.

"In 1981, in an Albuquerque studio apartment, I wanted to start a language school, but wasn't happy with any of the textbooks," he said. "So I decided to write my own when someone told me, 'You can't do that.' You can ask my wife: If you tell me I can't, I'm going to prove you wrong."

After some success, Frobose's own insecurities got in the way.
"I held several jobs, but in 1993, I started recording cassettes teaching languages while my day job was putting in fence posts," he said of finally finding some direction with his idea.

"Through every setback, I learned something," Frobose said. "I had this idea that rich people were evil and unhappy."

It was then that Frobose had a frank conversation with his father, who explained that there are just as many poor people who are evil and unhappy. The difference is what you do with your money, his father told him, and that what he was doing was something that could help people.

When the opportunity arose to market his Language Dynamics series on Amazon.com, the business really took off.

"I could sell there and compete with the largest publishers from my garage," Frobose said. "The drawback was I only got 45 percent of each sale, but I sold everything in the garage in a month. I told my wife, 'We're not in Kansas anymore.'"

She was glad to hear it, since her question throughout the process was, "When are you going to stop spending $3 for every $1 we're taking in?"

By 2006, his language series was the No. 2 best-seller in its category on www.amazon.com.

"It was raining success," Frobose said. "We had been working like demons, first reproducing the cassettes and later the CDs. I felt like I was living David and Goliath. I kicked the devil and they didn't like it. Those big companies consider this the flyover part of the country – the part you fly over between New York and L.A. How could someone from here possibly compete?"

Frobose felt he had now reached the point to sell the business.
He attended a meeting of publishing agents where, like speed dating, he got three minutes with a representative to pitch his product before moving on to the next agent.

"I figured mx business was about in the middle of the spectrum of the people there," he said. "I had sold $42,000 gross for that December. The next thing I know, Macmillan Audio made me an offer for the concept, repackaged and remastered what I did on my computer at home and renamed it 'Behind the Wheel.'"
Two things definitely stood out to Macmillan Audio.

"First, what made Frobose's learning series so attractive was the success it enjoyed. It had healthy sales numbers and particularly that the user comments were positive and there were many of them," said Mary Beth Roche, vice president and publisher at Macmillan Audio. "What makes it popular is the elements of his program give people what they really want."

People don't get bogged down in grammar. They learn intuitive sentence building, she said.

"The second part was Mark himself," Roche said. "He's an English-speaking guide who uses English as a tool for people learning other languages."

Frobose now defines himself as financially independent, since he inked the deal with Macmillan on July 7, 2007, but he is not resting. He is doing presentations on Internet business, motivational speaking and consulting as well as being involved in real estate in Arizona.

"He serves as a consultant for us as the editorial director for 'Behind the Wheel,'" Roche said. "He has done radio tours promoting the series, and his passion comes through."

Macmillan Audio has aligned itself with Internet travel sites so that when someone books a trip to Italy, an advertisement will pop up for a free download of a 'Behind the Wheel' Italian lesson.

"We are delighted with the product," Roche said. "Now, Mark has the time to focus on the stuff that he loves – getting people to learn new languages."

High school students benefit from relationship with Frobose
DANVILLE – Schlarman High School Principal Bob Rice was impressed when he first met Mark Frobose, "The Language Guy."

When Rice found out Frobose had developed language-learning series, he invited him to speak to a school assembly.

"As a presenter, he's quite a motivational speaker," Rice said. "We had him talking with some teachers and foreign exchange students, and he was carrying on conversations in five languages."

When Frobose was ready to dispose of the first evolution of some of his "Language Dynamics" books, which preceded the "Behind the Wheel" CDs, he gave Rice a call to see if the school could put them to use.

Economics instructor Jason Woodworth is now using the textbooks with his students. They are building a marketing strategy, figuring how to set a price that can net the most profit and how to get others to buy and sell the books.
Follett Bookstore took some on consignment, Rice said.

"The class is learning about supply and demand right now, so that may lead to some additional ideas," Woodworth said. "Hopefully, we can take this opportunity and turn it into a good fundraiser for the school."

Getting to know Mark Frobose

Home: Danville.
Claim to fame: "The Language Guy," author of "Language Dynamics" and "Behind the Wheel," a language-teaching tool.
Age: 55.
Occupations: Consultant, motivational speaker, real estate.
Interests: Playing the guitar and singing, languages, travel and hanging out with his family.
Languages: Fluent in French, Italian and Portuguese and conversational in several others.
What's he reading: "Speak & Grow Rich," "Getting Started in Consulting," "Gone Fishing Portfolio," "Get Slightly Famous."
Advice: Keep it simple.

How 'Behind the Wheel' works

— Uses a flexible structure that makes even a 10-minute lesson effective.

— Teaches sentence-building techniques that allow listeners to create their own original sentences, rather than reciting phrases.

— Focuses on frequently used vocabulary that will be used right away to create sentences.

— Offers immediate English translations throughout every lesson, rather than forcing listeners to guess what they are saying.

— Features both an English speaker to instruct and guide the user and a native speaker to demonstrate authentic use and pronunciation.

— Offers a companion text with a transcript of the audio program plus additional practice exercises.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 135 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

Hello Hello Language Learning Website


Hello-Hello Redefines Online Language Learning with Interactive Site and Proven Methodology

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/11/prweb3231704.htm


Hello-Hello.com, the world’s first free online language learning and social networking website developed in collaboration with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), will be officially launched during ACTFL’s Annual Convention and World Languages Expo. The conference begins Nov. 20 in San Diego.

Hello-Hello is a Washington-based free language training website that allows members to:

- Learn: complete the lessons online anytime, anywhere.
- Teach: help other members to learn their native language and get help from native speakers.
- Communicate: chat with people around the world to practice the language and make friends.

The Council is the largest association of teachers and administrators of all languages at all levels with more than 12,000 members. ACTFL’s tests are used by major corporations and the American government to determine language proficiency. Hello-Hello has training modules for English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. Hello-Hello will be adding more languages, including German, Mandarin Chinese and Italian, in the next few months.

Hello-Hello co-founder Rakesh Gupta is a leading entrepreneur in the information technology and publishing sectors. Prior to starting Hello-Hello, Gupta founded Aptara, which is the world’s largest publishing services company. He is also a co-founder and CEO of KiwiTech, a leading technology firm that develops e-book readers for smartphones and provides mobile app development services.

“The market for online language learning continues to grow at a fast pace and there is a need to satisfy that demand with new innovative and effective online tools such as Hello-Hello,” Gupta said.

Sarah Gontijo, a Brazilian political consultant and co-founder of Hello-Hello, said the website addresses a critical need for people who want to develop better language skills.

“While there are many language learning websites available to people, Hello-Hello is the only site based on a proven methodology that will give users the necessary skills to be proficient in a particular language. I want to thank ACTFL for their critical role in ensuring the site’s content meets the council’s highest standards,” Gontijo said.

Other language learning software and websites try to replace, rather than complement, the hard work of instructors, Gontijo said. Hello-Hello’s intent is to serve as a complementary tool for language teachers and students around the globe.
ACTFL Executive Director Bret Lovejoy said Hello-Hello’s launch is occurring during an important time.

“As the demand for online language learning increases, it is critical that we have quality content available and Hello-Hello achieves this mission. The lessons have a conversational approach with real-life situations that will enable students to have interactions in the target language from the very first lesson,” he said.

About Hello-Hello

Hello-Hello is an interactive language learning website combined with social networking with a community of like-minded individuals who help each during the learning process. Our lessons were developed in collaboration with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), which is the largest association of teachers and administrators of all languages at all levels with more than 12,000 members. Hello-Hello is based in Washington, D.C.

###

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

Part 2 - What does it Really Take to Learn a Foreign Language?


Use Additional Foreign Language Learning Resources

Yes, most certainmly you can still use additional resources to fine-tune a linguistic point, clear up a bit of confusion, add on an expression or two and push your vocabulary a bit higher if you’d like. I recommend supplementing your immersion experiences with a bilingual dictionary, a phrase book, a foreign language only dictionary, a CD, DVD or audio-cassette-based foreign language course of the tongue or dialect you’re actively immersed in and working on. For that matter, you can even contract a tutor in your foreign language to help get and keep you on track. Use any or all the added language learning resources you like. Just bear in mind, language learning methods number one, two and three are:

Get out there, do things, immerse yourself in the language and talk, talk, talk.

But I’ll sound like an idiot.”

Well maybe a bit at first, but even when you botch something – and you probably will at times – the little old ladies, the vendor or the mechanic, among throngs of other native speakers of the foreign language you’ll engage, will answer your question, give you the information you want, and then likely correct your speech (after a chuckle or two, naturally). This is opposed to your sounding like an idiot while “practicing” with a classmate, who doesn’t know either, and their answering back – sounding like an idiot too. Neither of you knowing what you’re doing “wrong”. It happens so often it’s almost passe. Get off the foreign language learning merry-go-round and go for total immersion as soon as you can.

Foreign Language Learning Errors are Not Fatal

Hey, wanna hear a good one? Once, years ago on a brutally hot afternoon, I confused “Tengo calor” (I’m hot - from the weather) with “Estoy caliente” (I’m horny) while talking with a female co-worker. While this could also possibly mean I'm hot from a fever or illness, the look on her face was priceless. It also immediately told me I’d committed a serious faux pas. She immediately corrected me and explained the difference in the two sentences (which both can be translated to mean I’m hot, but are culturally different)– before a good laugh by both of us. Quite possibly, in a foreign language class, this “mistake” could have gone unnoticed and uncorrected. Foreign language learning errors are not fatal, at least the overwhelmingly vast majority of the time they’re not. By far and large they’re more humorous and occassionally a bit embarrassing, but you’ll live, to screw up yet another day.

Again, “The more you immerse yourself in it, the faster and more easily you will become fluent in any foreign language.” That’s my down-to-earth, hard and fast rule. Anything else you might say, do or be is just added icing on the cake.

Now suck up your courage, start packing your bags and get ready to make some dramatic foreign language learning progress.


Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 135 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

What does it Really Take to Learn a Foreign Language?


How Long Does it Take to Learn a Foreign Language?

So, how long does it take to learn a foreign language?

If I hear that question one more time I’ll just scream. Okay, so maybe I won’t scream, but I’ll give an answer similar to the one I’ve already seemingly given a thousand times or more. Only now, my stock answer is getting a lot shorter and mord concise.

How long it will take you to learn Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian, German, Chinese or whatever other foreign language you’re attempting to dabble in actually depends on you.”

The more you immerse yourself in it, the faster and more easily you will become fluent.”

That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

Foreign Language Learning Immersion

As a veteran of several decades in foreign language learning of French, Kpelle, Twi (Akan), and Spanish to mention a smattering of tongues I’ve broached, I’m thoroughly convinced that the only sure way of quickly and successfully acquiring a foreign language is to immerse yourself completely and totally in the language and culture for as long a period – or series of periods if need be - as you possibly can.

Learn to Speak Spanish

Say or think whatever you like, but if you want to learn to speak Spanish, for example, spending six weeks of summer vacation in a non-tourist town or area of Mexico or other Spanish-speaking country, will allow you to speak far more Spanish than a full year or even more “studying” Spanish in a school.

Why?

It’s because you’ll have to function completely in the foreign language all day everyday, day in and day out. Everything you do will be foreign language vocabulary acquisition-based. From “Where’s the soap?” for your morning shower, to “What’s for breakfast?” and “Where’s the bus to Cuautla?”or “I’m hungry. Where’s a good, cheap restaurant?” – throughout the entire day, will be in Spanish.
You’ll ask a thousand questions with authentic language responses from one word answers to “full diatribes of innocuos discourse”. You’ll have to mentally process it all, extracting the needed information, wholly or in part, from each interaction.

Everyone will be your foreign language teacher

Everyone will be your foreign language teacher from the schoolgirl waiting for the bus on the corner to the little old ladies strolling out of the “tienda” with their woven baskets of ingredients for the day’s lunch. A grease-smeared car mechanic you pass by while walking down the block, a policeman, a vendor at the newspaper kiosk, a watchman taking a break in the shade of a home’s porch. They will all teach you Spanish. It might be one word, an expression, a gesture or the sight of a new food. “What’s that?”, “Where is this?” and “Can you tell me ...” will become your calling cards. All in the foreign language that you’re learning, of course.

Open your books please to page 86, exercise 2.”

Be sure to study your list of verb conjugations from today’s vocabulary practice.”

Review the false cognates from the reading in your textbooks.”

How would you rather acquire your foreign language communications skills? By learning and practicing what you need to know and learn on-the-spot, or from a list of lexical items?

Continuing in the next post we'll have more on what it really takes to learn a foreign language. See you then.


Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 135 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

Whole Language Resources in English Language Teaching and Learning


Teaching English as a Foreign Language

While there are a number of commonly accepted, viable approaches to teaching English as a foreign language, there are elements of the whole language approach as postulated by Rubin, which lend themselves well to a broad range of methodologies and program types. It is important however, to consider how the inclusion of these will be viewed on the part of the English as a foreign language learners themselves.

English as a Foreign Language Learning Resources

Listening Laboratory – used to play audio recordings for repeating, substitution drills and guided speaking practice individually or in groups of up to 50 foreign language learners

Audio-visual auditoriums – these are designed for showing audio-visual presentations to medium or large groups of learners up to 100 or more at a time

Computer rooms – relatively new on the didactics scene as a regular medium of instruction, computer rooms have earned an indemnible space in foreign language teaching and learning especially when combined with internet access

Conversation clubs – when continual practice in speech fluency needs practicing on an on-going basis , a regular conversation-based series of sessions can be established for the EFL learners. This can also be a great venue for connected speech elements acquisition and practice.

Cinema clubs – almost certainly foreign language learner will love videos, documentaries, shorts and full-length feature films in their target language.

Poetry and literary group sessions – depending on your foreign language learners’ levels of course, rhythm, rhyme and rap in addition to poetry, can be a highly effective means of vocabulary, grammar, idioms and expression and other linguistics elements practice. Shakespeare has been a long-term favorite.

Foreign Language Learning Practice

Teachers can introduce, model and practice grammatical themes with their foreign language learners to a somewhat limited degree during class hours. The number of class contact hours though, can at times be severely limited. A minimum of five contact hours of class per week is an absolute minimum requisite for successful foreign language acquisition, although there are far too many classes in school systems and institutes which have fewer than this. In order in increment foreign language exposure, active and passive learning and provide regular foreign language practice, additional resources, as listed above, can be called into play. All the foreign language learning resources in the world, however, will be of little value if the learners do not avail themselves of these resources when and where available.
Why Ignore Foreign Language Learning Resources

But why wouldn’t foreign language learners avail themselves of such a plethora of linguistic resources, if they are indeed, effective in any way? To gain more insight, I interviewed a number of EFL learners on their attitudes and motives for using or not using additional language learning and practice resources.

Here are some highlights:

Scheduled times are inconvenient – When specific hours are assigned for EFL learners to attend Listening Laboratory sessions, for example, the assigned hours may not necessarily be good ones that fit in well with learner class schedules in other subjects.

Activities are repetitive or boring – pre-recorded listening laboratory activities can tend to be repetitive, quickly becoming uninteresting or even boring for learners.

Lack of motivation – Learners can and do lack intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for foreign language learning activities. When such is the case, additional resources which may be available will typically be ignored or remain unused by these types of learners.

• Foreign language learners fail to see or understand the benefits of extra-curricular language acquisition and practice activities – It’s often a case of EFL or foreign language learners simply not understanding the real benefits that attending and participating in these types of extra-curricular foreign language or language acquisition and practice Activities can bring to their language learning efforts.

• Foreign language learners fail to have sufficient time to engage in extra-curricular foreign language learning activities – The case may simply be that the EFL learners do not have sufficient time outside of class hours to attend and participate in extra-curricular foreign language acquisition and practice activities despite their accepted benefits.

Foreign Language Learning Resources: What Can Be Done?

So what might possibly be done to help remedy or at least alleviate the main crux of this on-going problem of foreign language learners not availing themselves of valuable language practice and acquisition resources when available? In the following segment of this article, we’ll discuss some suggestions in more detail.

See you then.


Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 135 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

Ping your blog

PenPalAmis Language Exchange Website


Here's an interesting foreign language exchange website to consider:

I would like to suggest the following website: http://www.penpalamis.info/

PenpalAmis is a pen pal language exchange where anyone looking to learn a language, can find pen pals from around the world to practise with, which in my opinion is one of the most effective ways to learn a language, second to living in the target country itself.

Because the website currently has only around 300 pen pals including a broad range of countries, ages and interests, this doesn't mitigate the value of the website - the website is simple to navigate and doesn't require registration which makes it quick, simple and easy for those that want to use it - whether being someone who has hardly used a computer before. Most lanuguage exchange/penpal websites require that you pay to contact others, such as mylanguageexchange, however PenpalAmis is and will remain completely free. The whole purpose of the website is to find language exchange pen pals - not to make money. (Thanks to site owner Jake Stainer for that, especially in today's "profits-oriented" online world.


Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 135 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

The Best Countries to Teach English In - Second Part

What’s the best Foreign Country to Teach English In?

So what’s the best country to teach English as a foreign or second language in? Your own personal interests, tendencies and personal goals will tell you. If you’re a francophone and want to delve more deeply into the French culture in all its forms, France is hardly your only option. Why not likewise consider Guadeloupe (a department of France), St. Martin or one of the French-speaking countries of West Africa, such as the Ivory Coast, Cameroon or Morocco on Africa’s north coast?

Equatorial New Guinea boasts Spanish as a major language right up there with Spain and Latin America. There’s also the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and I’d keep an eye out for some upcoming opportunities in Cuba too with the way things have been trending recently.

Teach English Abroad: “Lucky” Number Thirteen

Egypt may be an over-crowded oven, but other Saharan countries are woefully under-served. Many Arabic-speaking countries are also getting an undeserved bad rap. Contact the embassy of a country you might be interested in, in Washington, DC or your country’s capitol in order to inquire about pursuing possibilities. Whatever and wherever you may finally opt for, remember that there are 235 countries worldwide with more than 6912* spoken languages used among them, don’t get caught up simply “going with the flow”, expand your horizons, then give a non-traditional destination a shot. Finally, in case you’re wondering, the USA was “lucky” number thirteen on the UNDP Index.

For more quick info on teaching English abroad, check out this video clip.





Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 135 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

The Best Countries to Teach English In - Part 1


< style="font-weight:bold;">The Best Countries to Live In/>

Earlier this week the UN Development Program released its annual index of the best countries to live in of 182 surveyed countries as part of its Human Development report. This would indicate countries which have a high combined index in the areas of school enrollment, gross domestic product per capita, and the country’s literacy rate according to a release by the AP available online at “And the Best Country to Live In Is …

Quality of Life: Who’s on First?

Just in case you’re interested, some countries that made the list and their respective positions are:

Norway – number one
Australia – number two
Iceland – number three
Niger – dead last

The following countries rose by three positions or more from previous standings:

China
• Colombia
• France
• Peru
• Venezuela


These countries however dropped by two or more positions:

Belize
• Jamaica
• Lebanon
• Luxembourg
• Ecuador

Malta and
Tonga (Tonga? Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either)

Iran and Nepal also improved the respective positions on the list. For the first time, Afghanistan was added to the UN list although it was ranked at the bottom of the pack along with Sierra Leone. So how does this impact a prospective English as a foreign language teacher to one of these countries? Well, opportunities may in fact be greater in countries which are “lower” on the list although the humanitarian and social rewards will likely far outweigh the financial ones.

Teach English as a Foreign Language Where?

Then where should you plan on teaching English as a second or foreign language? Most strongly, I recommend that EFL teachers strive to live and work in a country where they have intense or vested interest in the language, culture, food, history, lifestyle and other integral aspects of the country. This will, of course, mean many different things to many different EFL teachers. If you don’t want to get embroiled in the complexities of Asian tongues like Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese or Chinese, then for goodness’ sake don’t even consider a teaching job in that region of the world. I don’t care how much money it pays. Ultimately, you’ll be sorry. Just ask my friend Richard R. about his two-year, ultra-highly-paid stint in a part of the world which went against the grain for him, leaving him a broken, emotional wreck at the end of it.

Opt instead for Europe, Africa, Latin America or the USA where you’ll focus on English as a Second Language instead. Trust me, you’re going to have more than enough problems in avoiding (or minimizing) culture shock and adjusting to the idiosynchrasies of a foreign locale as it is without also burdening yourself with inherent prejudices or malfeasants you might already unwittingly harbor.

We'll continue with more on this topic in the next post. See you again then.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

100 Best Open Source Apps for Educators

Open Source applications are a great resource for educators not only because they’re free, but many times you can find specific applications for your students needs. Many teachers and schools have embraced the endless opportunities open source has to offer. From reducing administrative costs to promoting student and teacher interaction, instructors around the world are singing its praises. We have created a list of what we think are the best available apps out there and have categorized them into the following:

Science, Language, Math, Administrative & Content Management, Interactive & Online Classrooms, Study Aids, Video & Imaging, Music, Multimedia, Geography & History, and Mapping Tools.

View the complete hypertext list of Open Source Opps for Edducators here or click on:

http://www.accreditedonlineuniversities.com/100-best-open-source-apps-for-educators/

The Bilingual English Teacher's Family - Left Out and Neglected?

Can Your Family Members Speak Another Language?

As yet another summer vacation season closes with the passing of the Labor Day holiday weekend, I'm again prodded by a segment of the speech President Barak Obama gave during his campaign. As English as a foreign language teachers or foreign language teaching professionals, we need to be even more conscious of the bilingualism - or lack thereof, of our own families. Too often I meet seemingly "passionate" English as a foreign language teachers at seminars and conferences whose own family members cannot even say a basic greeting in English.

Oh, they say they'd like to be able to speak English, so what happened?

Remember as teachers, we shouldn't neglect our family members. If there are so many advantages and benefits to speaking a foreign language, then why don't we make more of an effort to pass along those same benefits and advantages to our loved ones?

"Oh, my husband / wife / children don't respond well to my efforts to "teach" them", you say?

"Poppycock!"

They simply represent a type of foreign language learner with perhaps a different type of motivation. What if they were paying learners in one of your classes? Ah, I'll bet we'd see the other shoe drop then! Especially so if your job or your pride were on the line. Which, by the way, it should be.

At least, if truly need be, you can put in a class or with another teacher so they can avail themselves of the option of speaking a foreign tongue. After all, when you travel who do you travel with, your classroom learners or your family? Don't you think they'd benefit from being able to enjoy a trip to, say, Mexico, Ecuador or Panama, with some Spanish under their belt? I don't allways want to charge around Quito or Acapulco with my wife (whom I taught English to BEFORE I married her, by the way) while she shops. Although it might be one form of safeguard, come to think of it.

Then too, one of my daughters is learning Spanish at the university. No, I'm not teaching her, but I'll be delighted to hone and polish her Spanish skills with a summer, semester or two abroad. The beach in Cancun is an excellent Spanish language classroom. Then follow it up with more total immersion as you wend your way through the delights and intricacies of dealing with everyday life in a foreign language. Hey, it worked for me in learning French and Spanish during different decades. It worked for my wife too when tackling English along with me and my cattle prod. Undoubtedly, it'll work for you and your family too when combined with additional methodologies.

Think about it: are YOU an English teacher whose family can't speak any English? Are you a Spanish, French, or other foreign language teacher whose family is still typically "mono-lingual"? Do you think that just might reflect negatively on you? If you're such a good teacher, why can't you teach them? So, what are you and they, going to do about it?

In case you missed President Barak Obama's speech I referred to earlier, here it is.



Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

Greenville Spanish Teacher Wins Award


By KATHERINE DYER
The Greenville News

GREENVILLE, SC – As a student, Kelly Nalley was an overachiever.

She was valedictorian of her high school graduating class and was voted "most likely to succeed" by her peers.

But on her first day as a first-year middle school Spanish teacher, Nalley stapled her finger to the bulletin board. She was 21 years old, and the class was scheduled to arrive 10 minutes later.

That year, she also spent many afternoons crying in her supply closet, exhausted and frustrated.

"Nothing had ever been negative in my life before," she says. "Everyone had always been nice."

In her professional biography she wrote, "After that first year, I decided that I would commit to teach for five years, and if I was still crying in my supply closet, I would find a new career."

It's been 12 years, and on Aug. 14, Nalley was on stage – a far cry from any storage closet – receiving an award as the 2009-10 Greenville County Teacher of the Year.

"She's just one of those teachers who's so naturally good at what they do," said Reem Alnatour, a fellow Fork Shoals Elementary School teacher.

She said Nalley is soft-spoken but effective in classroom management, is in touch with students' emotions, has a good sense of humor and above all, is engaging.

"Whether you're a teacher or a student, she manages to make you feel like you're No. 1," Alnatour said. "She talks to you as if you're the only person around."

She also praised Nalley's classroom activities.

"She tries to bring in the Spanish culture, not necessarily just the language," Alnatour said.

Nalley visits Alnatour's third-grade class twice weekly for Spanish lessons. Alnatour's personal favorite is the lesson on chocolate.

But unlike traditional foreign language classes, Nalley uses a new program called KITE-LL (Kids Interacting Through Early Language Learning), developed three years ago by ETV and the South Carolina Department of Education.

The program integrates foreign language into what students are learning in other subjects. For example, she covers a unit on weather while the students are learning the water cycle in science.

"They're learning the lessons in context," Nalley said. "I'm not stopping to explain how to conjugate verbs or 'how this grammar fits' or how it's comparable to English. We just speak it."

She says it's been incredible to see the difference in how much children learn through this method. Her fifth-graders are on par with students she taught in high school, she said.

"I think in the great scheme of things, I've learned that everything doesn't have to be perfect, because I'm a perfectionist," Nalley said. "That was a hard lesson to learn."

Offering advice for the new school year, she encourages teachers to work together and share ideas.

"You're not an isolated professional in education; you're a team," she said.

Jack Webb Schools Barack Obama on Healthcare


Jack Webb Schools Barack Obama on Healthcare

This composite video of the late Jack Webb from his renowned "Dragnet" TV series came to my attention recently. Also featured is the late Harry Morgan as his partner. This show was a favorite of mine in years past.

This video editing technique ties in well with an exercise I conduct in which English language learners "interview" a famous person. Preferably the famous person is deceased (but sometimes not and learners frequently choose people like Jesus Christ or one of his 12 apostles, Adolph Hitler, Mahatma Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, President John F. Kennedy, Julius Caesar, the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate - who interviewed Jesus Christ is also a burgeoning favorite, as are Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley, John Lennon, Princess Diana, Celia Cruz and a growing host of others for their interviews. Using video clips of famous people and some video editing software, one can easily "simulate" an "interview" or "conversation" between any two people, living or deceased. In my classroom-based activity, one English language learner acts as an interviewer while the other takes the role of a famous personality. Both can ask each other questions on their life, points of view, etc. and give the best, most accurate response possible in character.

You'll get the idea from watching this video of three people talking who don't actually know each other.

Youtube original video site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4r6YCUtxfs

Funny Commercials in English

Using Humorous Videos in English Language Classes to Stimulate Learner Discussions


Humor is not a constant worldwide, but often does transfer like nothing else can. These commercials would be considered a bit risque in some areas, while in others they are strictly noted for their situational humor.

That being said, please note it is not my intent to berate, belittle, humiliate or embarrass anyone through the showing of these four commercials. Please pardon me if you are offended in any way by any of them. Their use is solely language education-based here.

Ask Your English Language Learners

You can ask your learners - or yourself - are these humorous where you live? Why? or why not?

Do these situations pose themselves in your country?

Why might these commercials be considered "offensive" or even "objectionable" in some areas of the world? Where might these be?

Do you or your English language learners know of any similar situations like these that might arise where you are?

Have you ever been to a sauna? Where? what was it like? Did you enjoy it? Why or why not?

Have you ever lost money in a vending machine? What were you trying to buy? What happened? Do you think "roughing up" the machine is okay if you're losing your money? What else could you do?

Do women breastfeed babies in public (on the bus, a subway, train or in a shopping center or mall, for example) where you live? They do here in Colombia where I live but could get arrested for doing the same in the USA or parts of the Middle East, among others. Why do you think it's okay to breastfeed babies in public in some countries, but not in others?

What might happen when the elderly ladies return home with their "vacation" photos?
How might they explain the one photo they didn't take? What problems might this cause for them or for the young couple? Will they keep the photo or throw it away?

I hope you enjoy the videos and make good use of this technique.

You Tube original video site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRiYkwtBK34&feature=browch




Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.


21 Places to Find Free ESL Lesson Plans Online


Being an ESL teacher requires a lot of creativity, but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel for each and every lesson; here are 21 places to find free ESL lesson plans, worksheets, and activities online to make sure you always have something new and exciting for your students:

1. About.com: English Lesson Plans for ESL/EFL Classes: Over 500 lessons plans for all age and skill levels; grammar, pronunciation, writing skills, and more are covered.

2. English Club: ESL Worksheets: Reading, pronunciation, speaking, and more included in lesson plans categorized by skill level.

3. English-to-go.com: More than 1,700 “print and teach” lessons based on news articles.

4. eslflow.com: With topics like sleeping and dreaming, multiple intelligences, money and spending, and movies and celebrities, there are plenty of unique lesson ideas here.

5. esl-galaxy.com: Wide variety of printable resources including board games, crossword puzzles, word searches, and Business English.

6. ESLGold: Organized by skill level, this is a site for both teachers and students; lots of lesson plans and handouts.

7. ESL Library: Hundreds of lesson plans and over 2000 ready-to-print flash cards among other resources.

8. esl-lounge.com: Simply choose the skill level of your students, and you’ll find lesson plans, quizzes, games, and more.

9. ESL Mania: Exercises, worksheets, and lesson plans on the basics like grammar and vocabulary as well as idioms and accent reduction, e.g., “Speak Business English Like an American.”

10. ESL Teachers Board: You’ll find lesson plans, printables, handouts, and other free stuff for teachers at this popular site.

11. everythingESL.net: Lesson Plans. Forty-one ESL lesson plans for beginner to intermediate level, including seasonal and year-round lesson plans.

12. The Internet TESL Journal Activities for ESL Students: Grammar and vocabulary quizzes, crossword puzzles, and bilingual quizzes in over 40 languages.

13. The Internet TESL Journal EFL/ESL Lessons and Lesson Plans: In-depth lesson plans on Business English, conversation, grammar, pronunciation, travel survival, and more.

14. Karin’s ESL Partyland: A site for both teachers and students; for teachers, lots of ideas and printable materials.

15. Lanternfish: This lively site offers lesson plans, crosswords, word searches, worksheets, flashcards, songs, and more.

16. Online Tutoring World: Lesson plans arranged by skill level; great for one-on-one or small group sessions.

17. Teach ESL to Kids: Lesson plans, activities, and games for teaching pre-schoolers and toddlers written by an English teacher in Japan.

18. TeacherVision.com: Lesson plans broken down by grade, subject, and theme, and also includes printable forms to manage lessons.

19. Teach-nology.com: ESL Lesson Plans. List of resources as well as activities, ideas, and handouts ESL teachers can plan lessons around.

20. TEFL.net ESL Lesson Plans: Talking Point, Topic, Skill-Based, and “TEFLtastic” Worksheets to build lessons around.

21. UsingEnglish.com: ESL Teacher Lesson Plans & Worksheets. Over 140 downloadable PDF lesson plans and handouts, including answers and teachers’ notes.

Guest post by Michelle Fabio, experienced ESL teacher in southern Italy, who also writes about online master degree programs at OnlineMasterDegreePrograms.org.


Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.


CorrectMyText.com Brings Schliemann's Language Learning Method Online


The new collaborative service will help people learn foreign languages using the method invented by German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann.

CORRECTMYTEXT.COM – native speakers will check your text in a foreign language

MOSCOW, Russia - Larnite Ltd today announces the launch of version 1.1 of CorrectMyText.com, a new collaborative service for language learners with the elements of social networking. Once registered, the user can submit a text and get it corrected for free by someone who speaks the desired language fluently. Besides, members can request a recorded version of the corrected text to practice pronunciation.

CorrectMyText.com is the effort of Dmitry Lopatin, a young scientist and entrepreneur from Russia. As a child, he read a book about the famous 19th century German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann who is famous for finding the gold of Troy and inventing his own method of learning foreign languages. To master a new language, Schliemann would read a book written in a foreign language, comparing the text sentence by sentence with the translation in his mother tongue. Then he would write texts in a foreign language and pay to foreigners to get them corrected, sometimes spending all his money. Within two years, Schliemann taught himself 15 languages, including English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian and Portuguese.

Inspired by the personality of the scientist and his learning method, Dmitry Lopatin created CorrectMyText.com in April 2009.

To get started, the user needs to register an account on CorrectMyText, which is quick and free. Facebook users can use the site without any registration. The "Facebook Connect" button on top of the homepage enables the user to connect CorrectMyText.com with Facebook in a click. After the registration, the user can submit any kind of text: an essay, resume, letter, or a blog-post and a native speaker or someone who speaks the desired language fluently will proofread the text for grammar and style mistakes. Correcting mistakes for native speakers is easy, so many of them are happy to help with proofreading. Before submitting the text, the user can specify the level of language competence required from the proofreader, the number of checks to be made and request a recorded version of the corrected text. At any time, members can contact each other and discuss language-specific topics using the built-in mailing system. Also, users can comment on texts or corrections, discuss the content, or grammar rules.

CorrectMyText.com offers many unique benefits.

- There are thousands of native speakers who can correct the text at no cost and will do it much better than a teacher or private tutor who cannot speak the language as perfectly as the native speaker.

- The service can help bloggers or webmasters to brush up the content of a blog or website if the personal language competence leaves much to be desired.

- The user can find many new friends from around the world and share valuable cultural knowledge, which is impossible when one attends language courses, or has lessons with a private tutor.

- The user can submit a text on any topic: love, relationships, philosophy, world issues, or a text that contains slang, which one would find embarrassing to show to the teacher or private tutor.

Currently, the CorrectMyText community consists of over 1,500 registered members learning one of the ten most commonly used languages, including English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

The site also supports texts in non-Latin languages, which makes it attractive to learners who want to study Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Russian and want to find a language partner to get advice and assistance in proofreading. For the convenience of the users, the interface is localized to 10 above mentioned languages. In the nearest future, the author plans to localize the site up to 100 languages, including Latin and Esperanto.

CorrectMyText.com is a good complimentary service for people who are serious about learning a foreign language and want to get assistance from people around the world.

Visit www.correctmytext.com.


Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.


15 of the Best Blogs for EFL and ESL Teachers




Blogs are a great way to find free resources, tips, and tools from ESL and EFL teachers around the world. Here is a list of 15 of the best blogs for ESL and ESL teachers to explore:

Becoming a Better EFL Teacher - This blog provides links, resources, and tools that EFL teachers can use to improve their teaching skills. Becoming a Better EFL Teacher also features language learning news to help teachers stay up-to-date on the latest information.

English Conversation - Designed for teachers and learners, English Conversation offers resources for teaching and improving your English. Teachers can use this blog to find resources, lessons, information on learning styles, and several other useful tools.

Burcu Akyol's EFL Blog - This EFL teacher's blog features reflections, tips, reviews, and resources for English teachers. Throughout this blog, teachers can find information on EFL and ESL blogs, associations, professional development, podcasts, lessons, exercises, and teaching ideas.

My ESL Corner - My ESL Corner is a blog created to provide and share opinions, resources, and news about ESL and EFL topics to both English and Spanish visitors. Within this blog, teachers will find useful worksheets, flashcards, learning songs, clipart, e-books, readings, and much more.

English, ESL…and more - This great blog for teachers and students provides tools, tips, and resources for ESL learners. Throughout the blog pages, teachers can find classified links, writing workshops, GLBT resources, literacy links, multicultural resources, and ESL guides.

The English Blog - The English Blog is an instructive blog for English learners and teachers. The blog features Internet resources, tips, news, trivia, and reviews that can be used for English teaching and studying purposes. Just a few of the resources ESL teachers might find helpful are lesson plans, exams, reference, software, and video.

Nik's Learning Technology Blog - Nik's Learning Technology Blog was created by Nik Peachey, a learning technology consultant and teacher trainer. The blog provides teaching material, tips, and resources for ESL and EFL teachers to use new technology. Within this blog, teachers can find information on teaching English in Second Life, picture phrases, using video in language learning, animated vocabulary, and much more.

An ELT Notebook - This blog, created by an EFL teacher with over 30 years of experience, provides resources to teachers of all levels. Posts include topics on activities, career development, classroom management, lesson planning, teaching skills, and many more subjects that EFL teachers will find useful.

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day - This blog, specifically for teaching ESL, EFL, and ELL, offers daily websites that will help educators improve their teaching. Teachers can search this blog by category or browse the archive.

Blog-EFL - The Blog-EFL looks at the use of high tech tools in English teaching and learning. This language technology blog also provides tips and resources that can be used in the classroom and out.

ESL Daily - This blog, created by teachers for teachers, features information and news for ESL and EFL teaching. ESL Daily also provides resources and tips for teaching, technology, employment, and other useful resources.

ESL Lesson Plan - ESL Lesson Plan has resources, lesson plans, and tips for novice to veteran ESL teachers. This regularly updated blog also provides articles on a wide range of topics, including ESL activities, jobs, certification, lesson plans, budgeting, time management, and workplace issues.

Teaching ESL to Adults - This short and to the point blog from an experienced ESL tutor features articles on grammar, lesson plans, and other resources that teachers can use with ESL students. Teaching ESL to Adults also offers handouts, experiences, ideas, and tips.

Joey's ESL Room - Joey's ESL Room is a frequently updated blog created by several ESL teachers from across a dozen countries. This blog offers different approaches to teaching as well as information about different countries to ESL teachers and those thinking of becoming an ESL teacher.

ESL Teaching Resources - The ESL Teaching Resources blog features a list of resources and websites that ESL/EFL/ESP/EPA teachers can use with students.

Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes about top online colleges for OnlineCollege.org.


Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.


Speaking French on the Web

Lost in Immersion: Speaking French on the Web

By KATHERINE BOEHRET

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204044204574358620977621170.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Rosetta Stone

The home page of Totale shows your learning progress and options for playing language games by yourself or with other students.

If you've ever learned a foreign language, you know the vast difference between completing workbook activities and speaking with others. The latter experience can involve sounding out unfamiliar accents or guttural pronunciations and, though intimidating, is ultimately more rewarding. By immersing yourself in a language and navigating through situations, you learn how to speak and eventually think in that language.

Rosetta Stone has long used visual learning without translations by pairing words with images —one of the ways a baby learns to speak. For the past week, I've been testing its newest offering: Rosetta Stone Totale (pronounced toe-tall-A), which is the company's first fully Web-based language-learning program. It aims to immerse you in a language using three parts: online coursework that can take up to 150 hours; live sessions in which you can converse over the Web with a native-speaking coach and other students; and access to Rosetta World, a Web-based community where you can play language games by yourself or with other students to improve your skills.

Learning a Language Online

Rosetta Stone has launched a new online program for learning languages. The program works well, if you can afford it, Katie Boehret says.

Totale costs a whopping $999, so if you aren't serious about learning a language it's a tough sell. Rosetta Stone says this program is comparable to an in-country language-immersion school. The company's most expensive offering before Totale was a set of CDs (lessons one, two and three) that cost $549, included about 120 hours of course work and had no online components.

Since Totale is Web-based it doesn't come loaded onto several disks in a yellow box like the company's previous products. But despite this digital transition, buyers of Totale will still receive Rosetta's familiar yellow box, now filled with a USB headset and supplemental audio discs for practicing away from the PC—mostly while in the car.

I've spent over eight hours learning French in Totale throughout the past week, and I have to say that I'm surprised by how much I feel I've already learned. I realized this when I spent a 30-minute car ride listening to one of the supplemental audio CDs. I mentally identified and translated practically every vocabulary word and phrase, and I repeated the words aloud with what I thought sounded like a pretty decent French accent. This was after just four hours of work online.

Rosetta Stone

Totale users can speak with a coach and three others in studio sessions.
The core of Totale is the time-intensive online coursework. But even though this takes a lot of effort, its layout is attractive and each screen has only a few things on it so it doesn't feel overwhelming. Lessons include identifying photos of objects or situations as they are described aloud, writing phrases (my least favorite part), and using deductive reasoning to construct and dictate your own sentences about a photo. Totale's headset comes in handy during exercises that require you to repeat words or sounds out loud into the microphone.
Activities in Rosetta World—including solo, two-person and group games—were addictively fun. One game plays like Bingo: I listened to someone speaking French and marked words on the board as I heard them, racing to get five words horizontally, vertically or diagonally before my opponent beat me to it. I waded into these games cautiously at first, playing alone before I got familiar enough to challenge another Totale user.

Helpful indicators show how many people are available at any given time for each type of game in Rosetta World—meaning that person is logged into Totale and studying the same language as you. I never saw more than five people in the community, and it gets a little old playing (or worse, losing) to the same person after a while. Since Totale was only recently released, this community should grow over time.

A chat window at the bottom left of the browser window reminded me of Facebook's built-in instant-messaging program, listing users against whom I competed in online games. But unlike when I'm on Facebook, I didn't feel comfortable instant messaging with these people.

No Flashcards

Rosetta Stone's methods, while natural and easy to pick up, aren't what my brain expects when learning a different language. I minored in Spanish in college, learning in traditional classroom style by studying verb conjugations on flashcards and vocabulary definitions in English. So at certain times throughout Totale's French-only lessons, a part of me wanted to know the exact definition of a phrase or the reasoning behind why something was the way it was.

The moment of truth came when I attended a real-time, 50-minute studio session online with one of the live coaches—all of whom are native speakers—and two other students (four students is the maximum allowed per class).

Rosetta Stone recommends that students complete an entire unit before joining one of these studio sessions, and the only language you are permitted to speak during the studio is the one being studied. I proudly remembered all of my new vocabulary words as our coach pointed the cursor to animals, colors and clothing, asking us questions and prompting us to ask one another questions. The coach kindly corrected us when we made mistakes, made jokes about words and used an on-screen tool to type out a few of the harder phrases.

But I fumbled around trying to remember the correct phrases and grammar to go along with my vocabulary.

I frustratingly realized that I didn't even know how to ask my coach in French, "Why is that blanc and not blanche?" Our coach eventually answered that question and some others without anyone's prompting because it was obvhous that none of us knew what forms of some words were right or why; Totale's coursework doesn't include explanations. A few of the phrases our coach explained still puzzled me and I was starting to miss my flashcards from Spanish class.

Team Effort

Rosetta Stone is determined to make sure you don't feel like you're alone as you work through the Totale program. A "Customer Success Team" representative calls you within a day of your product purchase to answer any questions or concerns about how everything works. And this team keeps calling or emailing (you tell them which contact method you prefer) whenever you have passed a milestone in the program—or to encourage you to pick it up again if you haven't logged on in a while.

Even for $999, you can go back in and re-use every feature in Totale, but only for one year. You can reset your scores and completely start over, attending online studios again and playing games in Rosetta World as many times as you like. But once a year is up, you're finished with the program.

Rosetta Stone Totale works on all major Mac and Windows PC browsers, though participating in a studio session while using some browsers requires you turn off their pop-up blockers.

I still have work to do in Totale, but I'm looking forward to it—even though I find some aspects to be a bit vague. This program does a terrific job of immersing you in a language and may be the next best thing to living in a country, surrounded by native speakers. Best of all, unlike my semester abroad in Spain where college friends gave me my daily fix of the English language, Totale never lets you slip out of using the language you're studying.

—Edited by Walter S. Mossberg. Email Katherine Boehret at
mossbergsolution@wsj.com.


Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.


Smartphones Drive Language Learning Innovation


Smartphones Drive Language Learning Innovation

By Guy Newey (AFP)
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iOEPaRbHPHlDzMdLN6v4ksy8IhvA

HONG KONG — The boom in "smartphones", led by Apple's iPhone, has inspired language learning tools that would have been inconceivable just months ago -- and a Hong Kong firm is leading the charge.

Tens of thousands of "apps" -- individual programmes that can be downloaded to the phone and do everything from recognising music playing in a bar to guiding tourists around a city -- have been developed for the iPhone since it was launched in early 2007.

The ability to combine audio, video, text and data files with an Internet connection to a central website has helped create a much-improved language learning device, says entrepreneur Chris Lonsdale(pictured).

"The technology allows you to have all the elements in one place and gives you new insights (into how you can learn languages)," said Lonsdale, whose app is a six-month course for Chinese people to learn English.

Lonsdale describes himself as "expert in human performance" rather than a teacher and has given advice to clients ranging from golfers to investment bankers trying to make the best use of their abilities.

In recent years, Lonsdale -- a fluent Mandarin and Cantonese speaker -- has begun tackling how people learn languages, and developed new techniques to counter the grammar-obsessed method that puts so many people off learning.

His work resulted in a course that he says could get you to a reasonable standard of Chinese in just two weeks, and a book, The Third Ear, which combines anecdotes and philosophy with unconventional language-learning techniques.

He also developed a range of CDs that combined language learning with music, based on the idea that words can stick in the brain with little effort if they are associated with a catchy tune.

But it was when Lonsdale and his team of 12, based mainly in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, realised the potential of the new iPhone that he was able to put his methods into a single "learning machine" app, called Third Ear Kungfu English.
Lonsdale hopes it will help people shatter the preconception that language learning is about innate talent.

"Learning languages is not about talent, it is about method," said the 50-year-old.
"If you spend two years investing in learning a language and you are still at a low level there is something wrong with the way you are doing it," added Lonsdale, who learned mandarin in six months.

The new product, which his team have been working on for eight months, will target the estimated 20 million middle-managers in China, in particular those working for multinational companies.

"You have this big group of people aged between 25 and 50 who really would like to have English, who need English, but think it is too difficult," he said.

The firm will sell the iPhone or an iPod Touch (the same product but without a phone) to the firms for 5,800 yuan (850 US dollars) with the app included, which will provide a six-month course of lessons, exercises and memory tricks.
One of the features that would have been impossible on previous systems is a video of a westerner pronouncing various words in English.

Just the speaker's mouth is visible, which allows the learner to copy the way the mouth looks when it is making a particular sound -- a technique that is natural to children as they are copying from their parents, said Lonsdale.

The connected nature of the iPhone also allows managers who have paid for the device to monitor how much it is being used and how much progress the student is making. It also allows for feedback.

And every file has been encrypted so that it can only be accessed through a password particular to the user, a key factor when dealing with a Chinese market notorious for piracy.

Estimates about how many apps have been created for the iPhone vary from 15,000 to 65,000. Creators usually either give them away for free or charge a small fee to download them.

A search of Apple's online store comes up with around 1,000 options for "language learning" ranging from dictionaries and flash cards to a language suite teaching Klingon, a language used in the sci-fi TV series Star Trek.

Ken Carroll, of Praxis Language whose ChinesePod brand of online and audio learning tools has more than 250,000 followers, said the new technology offered huge possibilities, but added new products had to be carefully tailored.

"You can't just take stuff from a book and cram it into the mobile space," said Carroll, whose products teach mandarin to English speakers.

"Learning content has to be designed for the medium. It also has to be designed for the environment in which it will be consumed."


Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.


U.S. Marines to put foreign language learning to use


Marines to put foreign language learning to use

By: Julie Fertig

http://news14.com/content/local_news/coastal/613252/marines-to-put-foreign-language-learning-to-use/

CAMP LEJEUNE – Some Camp Lejeune Marines are learning to master foreign languages that they could eventually use in Afghanistan and other places overseas.
The pilot program enables U.S. Marine Corps Special Operators to double as translators.

17 Marines are enrolled in the program. They're learning to speak one of five languages fluently, including Urdu (Pakistan), Poshtu (Pakistan), Dari (Afghanistan), French and Indonesian.

Linguistics program manager Todd Amis said Marine Special Operators will no longer have to rely on a third-party to communicate while deployed.

"I'm not saying that when you utilize a translator that things get out of place, but unfortunately it is better that we are the person being represented and our goals and ideas are being accomplished," Amis said.

Marines are selected for the program by performing well on a language efficiency test.


Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.


How Blogging Can Make You a Better Teacher


Lindsay Clanfield wrote: "Sn, my question is... could you tell me if blogging has improved your professional life and indeed made you a better teacher? What do you get out of it?"

My blog emerged from questions I received from some EFL teachers abroad. After giving detailed responses to several, I noticed that questions began to repeat, hence I came up with posting my responses to a blog for the benefit of multiple respondents. Becoming a Better EFL Teacher was then born back in October of 2005.

The blog provides both online and offline resources for teachers and often includes press releases, links to other blogs and websites and guest posts from EFL professionals worldwide. It’s main purpose still continues to be responses to questions from in excess of 3700 EFL teachers and readers each month from more than 136 countries around the globe. My ELT blog was ranked in the top 100 language-related blogs worldwide last year.

Preparing and writing posts for this blog has caused me to write and publish three language-learning-related books. One of them entitled, “If You Want to Teach English Abroad, Here’s What You Need to Know”, I give away free on request to any teacher or prospective teacher who e-mails me and asks for it. At this time I’ve sent out hundreds of copies of the free e-book and it still continues to be popular.

The blog also improves me professionally since I need to keep abreast of new techniques and trends in ELT and foreign language learning such as “Pecha Kucha” which almost no one’s heard of here in Colombia. I get countless e-mails, comments, questions and ideas from EFL professionals from around the globe, a few of whom even came to visit Colombia as a result of my blog post information. I post readings for my Santiago de Cali University EFL learners and my EFL Teacher Training post-graduate studies students too. This blog also resulted in several ELT-related speaking engagements and conference invitations along with an on-going article writing post at an authority website online.

Blogging about EFL and some of its many aspects has helped me in more ways than I could list. I encourage more EFL teachers to try it for themselves and their foreign language learners if they truly want to see growth in their professionalism and foreign language teaching and learning skills.


Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.


Are You Speaking American English?

An American English Video?

This video is a spoof of the ridiculousness of some English as a foreign language learning series videos. EFL teachers should always make every effort to use authentic English language materials with their language learners to avoid having their students imitating and sounding similar to this. There are far, far too many cases of English language learners "studying" English for years, then taking a short vacation trip to the USA or Canada only to discover they can't speak and don't understand anyone who speaks to them.

Authentic English Language Material is Freely Available Worldwide

This is a completely avoidable situation, in my opinion. Especially if English language learners are "weaned off" of bland "made for EFL" videos which strip the language of its dignity and spontaneity. Even if you have no access to printed materials like newspapers, magazines and other media in English where you live and teach (or are learning) English, the internet is so chock full of free, readily-available materials and audio-visual media of all types, that there is hardly any excuse for "I don't have any materials in English" excuses any more.

Learn to Teach English

Get serious, get help if you need it, get certified if you're not already - teach English well using authentic language and dynamics or do your learners a big favor and go do something else for a living. If you're really lost or in trouble and don't know the way to go, e-mail me and I'll provide you with whatever assistance, materials and / or suggestions that I can.