TECHNIQUES TO TAKE YOUR LEVEL OF SPOKEN ENGLISH TO AN AMAZING LEVEL!
My mission is for this course to be the most comprehensive English language and language learning strategy course available online.
My experience both teaching and learning foreign languages has helped me to create this course and you will quickly notice that my values and beliefs in the way a language should be learned are really felt in the lectures.
In this course, I will talk you through eight articles I’ve written over the past three to four years. ‘Talk you through’ does not mean describing how grammar works or what certain words mean. I will show you how you can train yourself to become fluent in English by listening to these texts, storing key phrases and collocations in a document and, most importantly, creating personalised sentences from these phrases and collocations. What is unique about my course is that I promise to check all of your personalised sentences as well as up to two assignments per lecture. This is the reason the course will be so comprehensive - because of the community I wish to build and the level of interaction I will develop with students.
As you will hear in the following lectures, the methods I describe helped me to become fluent in a second language in a very short space of time. You can transfer these methods to the learning of English. My aim is to give you the tools and weapons to take control of your learning and focus on specific areas which I feel you need to pay attention to. Not only do we consider my articles and language learning strategies, but we will also consider other aspects of the English language - such as collocations with the word ‘get’, phrasal verbs and also the schwa sound - all of which contribute to smooth and confident speaking.
Eight of the lectures focus on articles I have written over the past three to four years and they will be complemented by an assignment, extra materials, a words table which you can use as model to create your own sentences and a multiple choice quiz.
All in all, I hope you will enjoy this journey with me and I am looking forward to building what promises to be an active online English language learning community.
This lecture summarises some of the main strategies mentioned throughout this course, such as word tables and word cards. I also advise students as to the best way to take English language lessons, highlighting that shorter but more regular lessons bring greater benefits.
This lecture will show you how to personalise collocations and phrases with the aid of a Word Table. You will learn about the importance of developing these phrases into longer personalised sentences. I speak from my own experience of learning Serbian.
In this lecture, I speak about the importance of visualisation and visual memory. When you personalise collocations and sentences, you will find that using different colours, underlining grammar items, using bigger letters and font sizes for certain key words may help you to remember sentences and retrieve them spontaneously in future conversations. I also speak about the importance of spaced repetition - reading sentences and collocations in your tables at regular intervals - every day when you first begin using the method.
This lecture emphasises the need to learn grammar incidentally as opposed to following a strict syllabus or learning supposedly easy tenses and verbs first. Learners are encouraged to notice patterns and work out rules for themselves - an inductive approach to learning grammar and structures.
This lecture emphasises the importance of non-linear learning - the idea that the learning of English does not have to begin with the verb ‘be’. It can be argued that the learning of a second language is more similar to that of a first - there is nothing wrong with learning more complex constructions and collocations at the beginning of learning a language.
In this lecture, I read and analyse the first article covered in this course, called ‘A lack of helpful souls’. Based upon my experience working at a university, you will learn lots of phrases related to relocation to another country and starting a new job.
In this lecture, I refer to the importance of learning collocations with words such as ‘get’ and ‘do’. I also introduce you to a quiz. which you will be able to take after the lecture.
The following questions ask you to study the contexts and choose one word to make up a collocation with 'get'
In this lecture, I read and analyse the second article covered in this course, called ‘Ah organic food’. Based upon my experience picking fruit in England and being observant in supermarkets, you will learn lots of useful phrases and collocations. The lecture also refers to visualisation once again as well as the need to learn phrasal verbs.
Using a self-written text as a guide, this lesson focuses on the schwa sound and why it is such a crucial element of fluent speaking.
In this lecture, I read and analyse the third article covered in this course, called ‘Air-conditioning blues’. It is based upon my experience with a very extreme heatwave, You will learn lots of new phrases, while I also mention topics such as incidental grammar learning and the need to be opinionated when learning to speak a foreign language.
This lecture emphasises the importance of learning phrasal verbs, especially as they common for describing daily routine. I also report on stress patterns in two-word and three-word phrasal verbs.
In this lecture, I read and analyse the fourth article covered in this course, called ‘Around the world technically’. It is based upon a talk given by a man who travelled to 193 countries. You will learn lots of new phrases which can add depth to your speaking, while I also mention the importance of learning and using simple and complex sentence structures in spoken English.
In this lecture, I read and analyse the fifth article covered in this course, called ‘Beautiful Rhodes and not quite Turkish delight’. I describe my holiday to the Greek island of Rhodes and a day trip to a Turkish resort. You will learn lots of new phrases which can add depth to your speaking, while I also mention the importance of learning preparations, categorising phrases and collocations in your table and learning connector terms, such as 'owing to'.
In this lecture, you will learn how to categorise language items (collocations, words etc). The category for ‘Relocation to another country’ is covered as an example.
In this lecture, I read and analyse the sixth article covered in this course, called ‘City life, the outskirts or out in the sticks’. I describe the Serbian clean-air resort of Vrdnik. You will learn lots of new phrases which can add depth to your speaking, while I also mention the need to go deeper into feelings when speaking a foreign language rather than being purely factual. I also describe the need to naturalise speech rather than concentrating on formal language.
In this lecture, I analyse a sample of word cards compiled by a beginner learner of English.
In this lecture, I read and analyse the sixth article covered in this course, called ‘Creepy Crawlies’. I describe a bad experience with lizards in one Greek hotel. In addition to learning new phrases and structures, you will learn about the importance of being selective when learning vocabulary.
The final article in the course - 'Decoration is what you need'. I wrote this piece about my experience renting a flat in the country I am living in. Not only do I highlight key phrases and structures, but I also describe how you can use speech corpora, such as the British National Corpus, to see how words collocate with other words.
A wrap-up of the course.
I've been teaching English for the last twelve years. After gaining an entry level certificate to teach English, I taught in Poland for two years and Bosnia for one year. Realising that I needed to become aware of teaching methodologies and language learning strategies, I opted to study for a Masters degree in English Language Teaching. The course enabled me to bring new techniques to the classroom and work on developing students' knowledge of collocations. I also help learners to record phrases and personalised sentences on word cards as a motivational technique to read articles and listen to real English conversations.
After my Masters, I taught in Poland again and several years later taught Business English to managers and employees working in logistics.
In recent years, I have been developing my own materials, keeping a popular blog and tutoring on Skype.