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Are unconventional ESL/EFL methods and products popular?

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Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 45
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:13 pm    Post subject: Are unconventional ESL/EFL methods and products popular? Reply with quote

Learning, practising and mastering English is a long process. In addition to formal English and self-study classes there should be adequate regular long-term practice in using English (including communication with native English speakers) to accelerate mastering of English by learners. All English language aspects and skills must be learned and practised to eventually master English: phonetics, grammar, vocabulary, listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. No single English course can help you master English thoroughly, for example English vocabulary and comprehensive conversational content on a multitude of topics. Only a combination of the above mentioned components can ensure mastery of English. Thought-through content for practice is crucial to first encompass relevant content for one's needs as there is an enormous amount of diverse content in ESL/EFL resources. One would expect that most students that completed advanced level conventional English courses ought to have advanced level English language skills. If a student failed to achieve that level true causes of failure could be established whether it is a teacher's or a student's fault. Each case of failure should be assessed separately and no hasty general unsubstantiated conclusions should be made. It is a good idea to analyze the factors affecting successful learning and teaching of ESL/EFL, especially such issues as diligence, dedication, motivation, interest, memory capability, methods and practice activities, content of materials, etc. Most foreign ESL/EFL learners worldwide, even those living in English speaking countries attend formal English courses especially for educational, professional, employment and business purposes and do not rely exclusively on communication with native English speakers. Both are needed to develop good English language skills. Self-study and self-practice are also very helpful in this regard, especially to accelerate learning of English vocabulary and to develop better English listening and speaking skills. I've received some messages from people advocating unconventional English learning methods and promoting English learning products of that kind. I've explored some of their websites that contain a number of learners' comments. Supporters of unconventional learning methods and products claim that learning grammar is unnecessary and inhibits fluent speaking. A growing number of learners are misled and lose time experiencing delay in language learning progress because of superficial claims of promoters of unconventional English learning methods and products. Therefore I've launched a campaign to discuss those highly important issues in teaching and learning ESL/EFL. I disagree with those speculative claims of supporters of unconventional learning methods and products as knowledge of grammar rules logically reduces making mistakes by learners. Without adequate knowledge of English grammar rules learners often cannot create their own grammatically correct sentences and often cannot understand what they read or hear in English exactly. I believe English communicative integrated skills courses that practise listening, speaking, reading and writing alongside pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary are the most effective and the most comprehensive courses. There is no valid reason to reject those acclaimed successfully tested courses worldwide as inferior to untested unconventional English learning products like English Harmony (creator Robby Kukurs), Language Bridge or Effortless English that are not widely used by learners worldwide. Creators of such products are in the tiny minority of doubters inventing allegedly easier, quicker and more effective language learning methods and products, but the evidence and verified facts are not on their side. Those above mentioned unconventional ESL/EFL products are mediocre and expensive products for developing English listening and speaking skills in terms of comprehensive conversational content, speaking activities (tasks) for learners and thematic vocabulary. Using those unconventional ESL/EFL products alone won’t make a learner a fluent English speaker. There are a lot of free and much better materials on the Internet and other products for sale for developing English listening and speaking skills. I can provide learners of English with a list of highly helpful resources (websites, audio, video, books, etc.) for learning and practising all English language aspects and skills. Conventional communicative English teaching and learning that include adequate regular long-term practice in listening comprehension and speaking English yield effective results. Lack of such practice in English by learners produces speculations that conventional English learning and teaching methods don't work.
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