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Pick me.I'm clean.I am programmed for conversational English
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8606
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:48 pm    Post subject: Pick me.I'm clean.I am programmed for conversational English Reply with quote

Why do so many adverts for language schools feature voice-overs that seem to be spoken by mentally-deficient robots?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EgsrsqdODeE#!
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9126
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's obvious: a step towards preparing students for robot-teachers (and/or video lessons). Much cheaper and easier than employing actual qualified human teachers.
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kpjf



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These programmes are Junk with a capital J!

Quote:
You want to easily understand native speakers. You want to be able to speak smoothly and confidently. How do you do it? Well, there's no easy answer


When I wanted to take my Spanish to the next level to pass a C2 exam 3 years ago I bought Spanish newspapers and read as many articles as possible every week, read novels and used the dictionary to learn new words. I watched the news in Spanish, documentaries and movies in Spanish with no subtitles. I spoke to native speakers via italki and lang-8 doing a language exchange via Skype. These people corrected my emails and I corrected theirs. All this helped me improve my Spanish and I never paid for some shoddy programme.

I guess nowadays it's become a big business and companies want to cash in. It's all this "Learn French easily in 21 days" "Speak German effortlessly". You don't learn languages effortlessly, that's for sure.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8606
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another robot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ud6590D8CFM

Packed with some seriously dubious advice for learners too, e.g. "Listen for about six months before speaking." Not making this nonsense up, I swear.

So, next time anyone says that Celta/Trinity treats language learners in a condescending fashion, remember this video and you'll see that Celta compares very favourably...
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8606
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This teacher, however boring her lesson may or may not have been, is at least fully human. Which of us has not wanted to do something similar?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ7VWqj1QsM
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11694
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure that you would get away with thet where I taught !
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8606
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True. But don't you wish you could?
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8606
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
It's obvious: a step towards preparing students for robot-teachers (and/or video lessons). Much cheaper and easier than employing actual qualified human teachers.


Was that a joke? Did not compute. Here is the future. Now.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20026714-1.html
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9126
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Explains quite a lot....
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8606
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More Robotics: RoboJen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzES-nhQFzk
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8606
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you noticed how these Internet teachers always seems to have a wild, mad look in their eyes?

Saner people than these are locked up.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9126
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Saner people than these are locked up


All of them? That would (again) explain quite a lot Laughing Laughing

(if this were a student paper, I'd note 'qualification needed'...if I were sane enough to make the judgement;-))
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11694
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How on earth did we manage to learn foreign languages before all this electronic geekery came along ?
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2556
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few thoughts:

In the last link that Sasha's provided, the initial exchange between Jennifer and Natasha is fine (Jennifer as teacher is the expected instigator of the exchange - How ARE you? - and Natasha responds with the contrasting and perfectly correct Fine thanks, how are YOU?). But notice how the practice and intonation then goes haywire due to Jennifer not making it clear that the roles have been switched. (I stopped watching the clip around that time). Anyway, no mention as per usual in TEFL of how genuine strangers actually get to the matey first-name greetings stage, eh. And as if genuine students and teachers (who already know each other) don't have better things to learn than going over and rehashing such basic phatic language ad nauseum.

In the related clips from the first YT link of Sasha's is a Korean guy called Hyunwoo Sun talking about 'How I learned English in Korea': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itK8fkP7vkA . His largely self-taught, "non-immersed" efforts put the patronizing snake-oil salesmen to shame (sure, he started out with phatic basics with the Canadian visiting his school, but he obviously then put a LOT of work into teaching himself much more complex language e.g. he would translate his history texts or science lessons into English. Apparently English was his way to escape the stresses of his society, not just a silly little hobby that he merely dabbled at or expected to be taught via spoon-feeding).
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2556
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sasha wrote:
So, next time anyone says that Celta/Trinity treats language learners in a condescending fashion, remember this video and you'll see that Celta compares very favourably...

OK, so my CTEFLA tutors weren't that bad (in dealing with us, i.e. with native-speaker trainees), but some of my fellow trainees were definitely heading in that direction in their observed TP (teaching "genuine" non-native students, who'd been handcuffed to their chairs in exchange for a free lunch coupon or whatever later), and weren't picked up nearly enough on it (IIRC and IMHO).
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