29th October 2015: Jason R Levine (AKA internet English teaching star Fluency MC) started this definitive English fluency discussion by asking me and 33 other English teachers to each send him our one top tip. The man is a genius! This is my newsletter inspired by the outcome of Jason's research, which you can find here: http://fluencymc.com/speak-fluent-english/
"Dear [insert name]
I've been really rubbish at sending out regular new English Out There newsletters. I never really know what to send you because I don't like sending out stuff just for the sake of sending it out. Do you know what I mean? I know I need to do more online or content marketing but it is boring and a never ending chore. But I'd also like to build a good relationship with you and get to know you a bit better.
You probably signed up to this email newsletter because you thought it would help you to learn to speak or teach English. But the truth is that all of the information you need to do that is on our website. Our website contains absolutely everything you need to improve except you,(and the action you take). If you do what I tell you to do, and do it exactly as I say, you will become acomfortable English speaker. I guarantee it. I'm not lying or just trying to sell you something. What would be the point in lying? And if I just wanted to sell you something I'd charge a lot more for our course downloads and for my time. But, from when we started doing this in 2001, my philosophy has always been to keep it affordable for as many people as possible (e.g. this summer we started Free Range English in London where people book for free online then pay what they want at the end of their face-to-face group lesson! It actually worked and we will do it again in 2016).
Another reason I don't send you meaningless lists of grammar and vocab like other English teachers is because a) it doesn't work and b) over the years I have become disillusioned with the whole English language teaching and learning industry. There are many millions of people who have been ripped off (me included!) by the very organisations that claim to want to help them. How have they done this? By continuing to tell learners and teachers that what they sell makes a difference and will help them to achieve the main goal...speaking English with confidence and fluency.
So, it was refreshing to get a message from my friend Jason R Levine (AKA Fluency MC) the other week. Jason is an unusual English teacher, he helps learners to automatize language patterns using rap, rhythm and rhyme. He wanted to ask 34 English teaching experts the question "What does it take to become fluent?" and asked me to contribute my top tip. I thought this was agood idea because I wanted to see what the other 33 teachers said. I was interested to see if there was any agreement amongst them because ESL is so full of 'experts' saying this way or that way is the way forward (normally their field of ELT expertise) and in my 23 years of teaching English I have rarely ever seen a group of ELT teachers reach broad agreement on anything. Could it happen here and around this most crucial of questions?
So, Jason published his article with the results and then asked me to share it and blog about it. So I have, and here I am sharing it with you via my blog. Please take a little time to read it. I have created a simple feedback task that requires some action by you (as all of our courses do!) but I hope you do it because I want to read what you think and by doing it I think you will be one big step closer to realising your ambition and becoming a fluent English speaker or a more effective English teacher. It is that important.
If you like this new style of newsletter let me know.
Take care and take some action
Jason (West not Levine!)"