Real English® Blog Feed

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Simple Instructions for Using the Real English® Lessons in 39 Languages - Updated March 14, 2014

These basic native-language translations of the instructions will help real beginners get started! Updates will appear at the top of this section of this blog. We now have 39  languages. If your native language (mother tongue) is not here, please contribute your translation of this text in English:

How to Use Real English®
1 - Go here http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp and choose a lesson.
2 - Watch the video at the top, without subtitles.
3 - Click on "Exercise 1". Follow the instructions. Do all the exercises.
4 - Now watch the video with subtitles.



Howard Burns has provided us with the Hebrew translation
כיצד להשתמש
REAL ENGLISH ® באתר
ולבחור בשיעור http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp עבור לכאן
צפה בסרטון בחלקו העליון, ללא כתוביות
לחץ על "תרגיל 1". עקוב אחר ההוראות. לעשות את כל התרגילים


Seymur has provided us with a translation to Azerbaijani

Real English®-dən istifadə qaydaları: 1 - İlk olaraq http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp linkinə daxil olun və istədiyiniz dərsi seçin 2 - Yuxarıda qeyd edilən videonu alt yazıları (titr) olmadan izləyin 3 - "Exercise 1" üzərinə tıklayın və təlimatlara riayət edərək tapşırıqları yerinə yetirin 4 - İndi həmin videonu alt yazıları ilə izləyin



Sunggyung Hong has provided us with the Korean translation

Real English를 이용하는 방법
1. http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp로 가서 원하는 수업을 고른다.
2. 자막 없이 상단의 비디오를 본다.
3. "Excercise 1"을 클릭하여 지시 사항을 따라 연습문제들을 푼다.
4. 자막으로 다시 한번 비디오를 본다.





Narine H. has provided us with the Armenian translation (May 6, 2013):

Ինչպե՞ս օգտվել Real English®-ից

Գնացե՛ք http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp հասցեով և որևէ դա՛ս ընտրեք:
Դիտե՛ք վերևում տեղադրված տեսանյութը` առանց ենթագրերի:
Հարվածե՛ք «Վարժություն 1»-ին: Հետևե՛ք ցուցումներին: Կատարե՛ք բոլոր վարժությունները:
Իսկ այժմ դիտե՛ք տեսանյութը` ենթագրերով:



Here is the translation in Serbian by Lora Biele:

Kako da koristite Real English®
1 - Idite na http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp i izaberite lekciju.
2 - Pogledajte video na vrhu, bez titla.
3 - Kliknite na "Exercise 1". Pratite uputstva.Uradite sva vežbanja.
4 - Sada odgledajte video sa titlom.

Best regards,
Lora (Valjevo, Serbia) Biele


Ilse Bielen from Belgium has provided us with the Dutch translation:

Is jouw taal hier? Nee? Wil je dit dan vertalen voor je taalgenoten die ook Engels willen leren:
1.Ga naar http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp en kies een les.
2.Bekijk de video bovenaan, zonder onderschriften.
3.Klik op "Exercise 1". Volg de instructies. Maak alle oefeningen.
4.Bekijk de video nu mét onderschriften.
5.Problemen? Stel je vraag op deze pagina of op de Real English Facebook Page.


Slovenian by Anja

Kako se uporablja Real English®
1 - Pojdite na http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp in izberite lekcijo.
2 - Oglejte si zgornji video, brez podnapisov.
3 - Kliknite "Exercise 1". Sledite navodilom in naredite vse vaje.
4 - Sedaj si oglejte video s podnapisi.


Slovak by Sona


Ako používať skutočnú angličtinu...
1 - Choď na http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.a vyber si lekciu.
2 - Pozri si video hore, bez titulkov.
3 - Klikni na cvičenie 1- "Exercise 1". Riaď sa podľa inštrukcií. Sprav si všetky videá.
4 - Teraz si pozri video s titulkami.


Romanian by Gabriela


Cum sa folositi Real English

1. Intrati aici: http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp si alegeti o lectie.
2. Vizionati videoclipul din susul paginii fara subtitrare.
3. Dati Click pe Exercitiul 1. Urmati instructiunile. Efectuati toate exercitiile.
4. Acum vizionati din nou videoclipul cu subtitrare.




Latvian by inara


Kā lietot Real English®
1 - Aizej uz adresi http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp un izvēlies mācību stundu.
2 - Noskaties pirmo video versiju bez subtitriem.
3 - Uzklikšķini "Exercise 1" (pirmais uzdevums). Izpildi visus uzdevumus pēc instrukcijām.
4 - Visbeidzot, noskaties otro video ar subtitriem.

Note from Inara:
"... My Latvian isn't perfect, it can be understood but I'm sure someone can improve the sentence construction and make some words more precise..."




French by Mike Marzio


Comment utiliser Real English®
Choisir une leçon.
2 - Regarder la vidéo en haut de la page, sans sous-titres.
3 - Cliquer sur "Exercise 1". Suivez les Instructions. Completer tous les
exercises.
4 - Regarder la vidéo avec sous-titres.
5 - Si vous avez une question, posez-la!


Finnish

Kuinka käytät Real English® sivustoa
1 - Mene sivulle http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp ja valitse oppimistehtävä.
2 - Katso ylimpänä oleva video, jossa ei ole tekstitystä.
3 - Napsauta "Exercise 1". Seuraa ohjeita. Tee kaikki harjoitukset.
4 - Katso sitten video, jossa on tekstitys.




Malaysian by The English Lounge


1 - Taipkan http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp dan pilih aktiviti yang dikehendaki.
2 - Tengok video dari mula tanpa senikata.
3 - Klik "Exercise 1". Ikut arahan yang diberi dan buat ke semua aktiviti.
4 - Sekarang. Tengkok video dengan senikata.

 Vietnamese by Vũ Đức Tiệp

Hướng dẫn học Real English®
1 - Bạn truy cập vào trang http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp và chọn một bài học.
2 - Xem đoạn phim ở đầu trang, và không có phụ đề.
3 - Nhấn chuột vào "Exercise 1". Và làm theo hướng dẫn. Nhớ là làm hết các bài tập nhé.
4 - Bây giờ bạn hãy xem đoạn phim cùng với phụ đề.


Danish by Anne Fox and her daughter


Hvordan anvender man Real English®
1.Tag hertil http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp og vælge en lektion
2.Se den øverste video uden undertekst
3.Klik på ” Exercise 1”. Følg vejledning. Lav alle opgaverne.
4.Se nu den anden video med undertekst.



Farsi by Azadeh

چطور از  (Real English®)"انگلیسی به روز" استفاده کنید.
  1. وارد آدرس (http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp) شوید و یک درس انتخاب کنید.
  2. ویدیوی بالای صفحه رابدون زیر نویس  ببینید .
  3. روی تمرین شماره ی 1 کلیک کنید. از دستورالعملها پیروی کرده و تمام تمارین را حل نمایید.
  4. حالا فیلم را با زیر نویس آن دوباره ببینید.





    Arabic by Mona
     هذه كيفية استخدام موقع (Real English®) ( الأنجليزية الحقيقية )
    1-     انتقل الى (http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp) واختار الدرس
    2-     شاهد الفيديو الموجود فى الأعلى بدون نصا حواريا مكتوبا على شاشة العرض
    3-     اضغط على رقم التمرين اعلى الفيديو  "تمرين1" واتبع التعليمات .قم بمتابعة التمرين كاملا.
    4 -     الآن شاهد الفيديو متضمنا  ظهور نصا مكتوبا به الحوار على شاشة العرض .

Japanese by Aka Ken


これが「Real English」の使い方です。
1(ww.xxx)をクリックしてレッスンを選んでください。
2トップにあるビデオを字幕なしでみてください。
3 Exercise 1をクリックして指示に従ってすべてのexerciseをしてください。
4次に字幕付きでビデオを見てください。

Bulgarian by George Alex


Как да ползваш Real English®
1 - Иди тук http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp и избери урок.
2 - Гледай видеото в горната част на екрана, без субтитри.
3 - Кликни на "Exercise 1". Следвай инструкциите. Направи всички упражнения.
4 - Сега гледай видеото със субтитри.

Ukrainian by misha Misha


Як користуватися Real English®

1. Зайдіть сюди http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp і виберіть урок
2. Перегляньте відео сверху без субтитрів
3. Клацніть на "Exercise 1". Слідуйте за інструкціями. Виконайте усі вправи
4. Тепер прогляньте відео з субтитрами




Russian also by misha Misha


Как использовать  Real English®
1-      Пойдите сюда http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp и выберите урок.
2 - Посмотрите видео сверху без субтитров.
3 - Нажмите " Exercise 1". Следуйте за инструкциями. Сделайте все упражнения.
4 – Теперь  посмотрите видео с субтитрами.




Hindi by Namrata Arora


Real English® कैसे प्रयोग करें
1- यहाँ जाकर http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp एक पाठ चुनना
2- ऊपर की ओर, उपनाम बिना वीडियो देखो
3- "Exercise 1" पर जाएं। निर्देशन का पालन करें। सारा अभ्यास करें
4- अब उपनाम के साथ वीडियो देखो


Argentinian by Pablo E. Pittaluga


Cómo usar Real English®
1 - Entrá aquí http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp y elegí una lección.
2 - Mirá el video de arriba, sin subtítulos.
3 - Hacé click en 'Exercise 1'. Seguí las instrucciones. Completá todos los ejercicios.
4 - Ahora mirá el video sin subtítulos.

Why is there a separate entry for Argentinian, in addition to  Spanish? Pablo explained:
"Argentine Spanish is a variant of the Spanish language unique for its features about intonation, person conjugation and word construction, and is internationally known as Rioplatense Spanish; it is spoken across the whole of the Southern Cone (namely Argentina, parts of Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, together around 60 million people), and at different degrees intermingled with the forms of Peninsular Spanish."

"People entering the site from any of those countries are likely to click on the Argentine link more than on the Spanish one; the language is fresh, informal, and used when addressing anyone with confidence."

And this also made a lot of sense to me because I live in a part of France where the "Laungue d'Oc" (Provençale) is still spoken: "The Rioplatense Spanish is somewhat the case of Quebec French, Cape Dutch (Afrikaans), Gaelic languages in Britain, or Langue d'Oc in France."




Mongolian by Nyambayar Turbat


1. Манай http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp веб хуудас руу орж хичээлээ сонгоорой.
2. Эхлээд хадмал орчуулагагүй видео хичээлээ үзээрэй.
3. "Дасгал 1" дээр дарж зааврын дагуу ажиллана уу.
4. Одоо хадмал орчуулгатай видео хичээлээ үзнэ үү.... See More
5. Хэрвээ танд ямар нэгэн асуулт байвал манай Facebook болон Real English блог вэб хуудсанд үлдээгээрэй.




Turkish by Kürşat Durmaz


1. Buraya gir: http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp ve bir ders seç.
2. Üstteki videoyu izle, alt yazısız.
3. "Alıştırma 1'i " tıkla ve açıklamaları takip et. Tüm alıştırmaları yap.
4. Şimdi videoyu alt yazısıyla birlikte izle.
5. Eğer bir sorun varsa lütfen sor! ( Burada Facebook'da yada The Real English Blog'da)



Polish by Małgorzata Majewska


Jak korzystać z "Real English"
1. Wejdź tu 
http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp i wybierz lekcję.
2. Obejrzyj wideo od góry bez napisów.
3. Kliknij na "Ćwiczenie 1". Postępuj zgodnie z instrukcjami. Wykonaj wszystkie ćwiczenia.
4. A teraz obejrzyj wideo z napisami.



German by Ingrid Braband


Wie Sie "Real English" benutzen können:
1. Gehen Sie zu http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp und wählen Sie eine Lektion aus.
2. Schauen Sie sich das Video oben auf der Seite an, ohne Untertitel.
3. Machen Sie die "Exercise 1" (Übung 1). Folgen Sie den Anweisungen. Machen Sie alle Übungen.
4. Schauen Sie sich jetzt das Video mit Untertiteln an.

Students of German can perhaps benefit by comparing these 2 versions.

German by Marian Heddeseimer


So benutzt man "Real English".
1 - Gehe zur Website: http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp und wähle eine Lektion.
2 - Schaue dir das Video am Seitenanfang ohne Untertitel an.
3 - Klicke auf "Excersise 1" und folge den Anweisungen. Führe alle angegebenen Übungen durch.
4 - Nun, schaue dir das Video mit Untertiteln an.


Czech by Luboš Milařík


Jak používat Real English®

1 – Pojď sem http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp a vyber si lekci.
2 – Sleduj video nahoře bez titulků.
3 – Klikni na „Cvičení 1“. Řiď se instrukcemi. Udělej všechna cvičení.
4 – Nyní sleduj video s titulky.


Traditional Chinese by Benna Lin:


如何使用 真正的英文
第一:到這個網站http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp 並點選任一門課。
第二:先看最上面沒有字幕的影片。
第三:點選練習一(在最上面的Exercise 1),照著指示完成全部的練習題。
第四:做完之後,現在請再看有字幕的影片。


Simplified Chinese by Benna Lin:

如何使用 真正的英文 
第一:到这个网站http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp
 并点选任一门课。 
第二:先看最上面没有字幕的影片。
 
第三:点选练习一(在最上面的Exercise 1),照着指示完成全部的练习题。
 
第四:做完之后,现在请再看有字幕的影片。


Hungarian by Robert Musits

1 -  Nyisd meg a http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp internetes oldalt és válassz ki egy leckét.
2 -  Nézd meg a felső, feliratok nélküli videót!
3 – Kattints az 1. feladatra (Exercise 1)! Kövesd az utasításokat! Old meg az összes feladatot!
4 – Nézd meg a videót feliratozva!


Calalan by Joan Rubíes


1- Entra aquí: http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp i tria una lliçó.
2- Mira el video de la part superior, sense subtítols.
3- Clica a "Exercise 1".Segueix les instruccions. Fes tots els exercicis.
4- Ara mira el video amb subtítols.


 Italian by Paola Rosetti

"Come usare Real English"
1 - Clicca qui: http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp e scegli una lezione.
2 - Guarda il video in cima alla pagina, senza sottotitoli.
3 - Clicca su " Esercizio 1". Segui le indicazioni. Fai tutti gli esercizi.
4 - Ora guarda il video con i sottotitoli.
5 - Se hai qualche domanda, chie...di qui su Facebook o sul blog di real English.



Many thanks to these volunteers who posted their translations of the instructions on our Facebook site.

Portuguese by Tiago Catelam


1 - Acesse http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp e escolha uma das aulas disponíveis.
2 - Assista primeiro a versão sem legendas do vídeo.
3 - Clique em "Exercise 1". Siga as instruções. Faça todos os exercícios.
4 - Agora assista a versão legendada do vídeo.

Spanish by Gloria Arboleda


1. Entra a http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp y escoge una lección.
2. Mira el video de la parte superior, sin subtítulos.
3. Haz click en "Exercise 1". Sigue las instrucciones. Haz todos los ejercicios.
4. Ahora mira el video con subtítulos"
5. Si tienes alguna pregunta, puedes recurrir a Google Friend Connect, al blog de Real English o a Facebook

Greek by Christiana Tziortziou


1 - Πηγαίνετε εδώ http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp
και επιλέξετε ένα μάθημα.
2 - Παρακολουθήστε το μάθημα στο πάνω μέρος της σελίδας, χωρίς υπότιτλους.
3 - Κάντε κλικ στην εντολή "Exercise 1". Ακολουθήστε τις οδηγίες. Κάνετε όλες τις ασκήσεις.
4 - Τώρα, παρακολουθήστε το βίντεο με υπότιτλους.




Please contribute your translation of the English version into your native language:

How to Use Real English®
1 - Go here http://www.real-english.com/new-lessons.asp and choose a lesson.
2 - Watch the video at the top, without subtitles.
3 - Click on "Exercise 1". Follow the instructions. Do all the exercises.
4 - Now watch the video with subtitles.

Post your translation here, as a comment, or post on The Real English Facebook Page which I just began yesterday February 1st.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Googling for ESL Students and Teachers


I just posted this on the Real English® Facebook Page. It's so important, in my humble opinion, that I am also including it here, as is.

*****IMPORTANT FOR ALL STUDENTS and TEACHERS*****


Last month, I posted twice about the importance of learning how to search using the ENGLISH VERSION OF GOOGLE:
https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en

I receive about 50 questions from students and teachers every week, usually about grammar or nuances of vocabulary.

Eight or 9 times out of 10, the answer could easily be found by the student or teacher without my help, so instead of giving the answer, I explain how the answer can be found without my help. (In some cases, I know that it would be too difficult to google the answer, so in those cases, I give the answer to the student or teacher "on a silver plate", requiring no effort from them).

How is ENGLISH GOOGLE different from GOOGLE IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE? The results are not the same, very simply! The most efficient way to find your answer is to work in English!

Thankfully, many students appreciate the fact that I SHOW THEM HOW TO FIND THE ANSWER THEMSELVES. They feel empowered, which is the main reason I insist on this. They learn a VERY VALUABLE NEW SKILL, and hopefully pass the new knowledge on to others.

This is going to be a long post, but I think it's really important, so now I will give an example:

Question from student/teacher:
"i am in a serach of a complete stuff of prepositions . "

The questions I receive are often all-encompassing like this one. And half of the time, no single web page will give us "complete stuff" on any subject. We sometimes have to consult several of our search reuslts to find our complete answers.

He later refined his request a bit, saying ".i want the definations , rules and regulations of all them".

So I replied:

"Please go back to :
https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en

Type
esl preposition rules

Look at the first result.
It is excellent for your purposes! Do you need more information?
If so, look at the other results on the first page!

*****Note: Begin your search with "esl" to tell Google that you are searching something about English as a Second Language (ESL) and

*****type "prepositions" because you are interested in prepositions.

*****Type "rules" because you are interested in the grammar rules for using prepositions.

Sometimes the best result for YOUR needs are
1 - all in the first result,
2 - in another result under the first one,
3 - in a combination of several results of your search.

In your case (".i want the definations , rules and regulations of all them"), since you want ALL of them, you will probably have to look into several of the results after looking at the first result.

Finally, it is VERY important to ask questions if you do not understand anything that I have written here!" (end of conversation).

Good searching techniques are a skill which require practice, just like learning Engliqh takes practice. But it can be learned very quickly if you do it regularly, whereas learning English will take a lot more time!

For example, sometimes you must change your search terms if you do not find what you are looking for right away.

Also, BE CAREFUL of the "first results". Sometimes they are advertisements, almost always UNRELATED to your search. You can tell the difference between an "ad result" and a "real result": the "ad result" begins with the word "ad" in very small print, and the background is not pure while like the others. It is slightly "off-white", but if you are not careful, you can easily click on the ad by mistake!

According to the objectives of any learning situation, the best teachers often show students HOW to find the answers for themselves. They don't always give them to students on a silver platter.

I made the first comment myself, having forgotten to mention an important point:
***IMPORTANT COMMENT***
After I receive a question from a student or teacher, and BEFORE I suggest the search terms to use, and BEFORE I send them out on their search, I google the search terms MYSELF to make sure that the student or teacher will find what they are looking for, if they follow the instructions.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I finally figured out how to help online ESL students to help themselves.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Real-English/278862032297For some reason or other, the Real English® Facebook page has gone slightly viral, with an average of 9,000 new likes per day over the past 6 weeks. It's a high quality page (he said modestly), but I have noticed that there are also mediocre ESL pages which suddenly go viral - with many more new likes per day than my own. I would google the phenomenon, but it would take too much time. Moreover, the title of this post is based upon the need to manage time more effectively.

When I noticed an increase in traffic on my main site a few weeks ago, I noticed that this increase always took place the day after posting a few choice tidbits, including original quizzes and other interactive activities on the FB page, so I began to take Facebook more seriously.


And then the problems began. I was suddenly spending many hours on the FB page, and didn't even find time to edit my new cool video footage to make new clips and then new lessons. The time was spent wisely on the FB page only in the sense that I was giving personal attention to almost every member who had a request, i.e. they loved the personal attention. But from the point of view of time management, it had become disastrous.

D
isastrous in the sense that hundreds of students were asking me questions which showed that they didn't have a clue about helping themselves to the free information available on the web.  

I was stunned at first. I thought that the kids knew how to use the web better than old guys like myself. In any case, I changed my strategy, simply by giving the following type of advice to students who ask for specific info. In this case, the definition of a simple word:

"Hello ____ , it would be a very good idea to learn how to use online dictionaries. First of all, to get useful results more quickly, students of English should use the ENGLISH GOOGLE search site at:
https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en
For definitions, type "free dictionary" in the search box. Look at the results. You must choose the first result at the top:
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ Then type [the word you are looking for]".

Despite the relatively natural language of my replies, students understand the written word much more easily than the spoken (of course!), and are able to find what they are looking for on their own. I now have 6 models of replies which I copy and paste, covering about 80% of requests for different types of information, and only have to write truly personalized replies to approximately 20% of the students who contact me on Facebook. Today I was able to take care of all the FB business in only one hour, leaving me free to continue video editing for the rest of the day.


I honestly don't know if this is all terribly obvious to all online teachers, or if someone might benefit from my observations and new practices.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Interactive Lessons Based on Original Video

What Is Real English®? How Does It Work?
How Is It Created?


Real English® is the organization and exploitation of spontaneous speech for learning English as a second or foreign language. It has existed in the form of CD-ROMs and is currently available in the form of DVDs with workbooks & an instructor's guide and most notably, two web sites: our traditional site and a new mobile site for all smartphones and tablets.

The natural and unrehearsed language is collected in the form of filmed street interviews. We have so far filmed in 5 countries were English is spoken as a native language, especially the US and UK.

Students who take the necessary time (5 to 10 minutes) to discover how the Real English learning site works, tend to come back regularly. It is not a site for truly advanced students who already have extensive experience interacting with native speakers of English. In fact, Real English prepares beginners and intermediate students for the exact same experience.

Typical interviewee (individual frames) - Heather's interview
The videos are engaging on a personal level which is difficult to explain.  Learners seem to enter into the interviewees' personalities and experience their feelings. This might be due, in part, to the fact that we are very selective about which interviewees are chosen for the final edits which are used for the lessons.

The exercises about the videos are not designed for testing students. Beginners and all students in the wide Intermediate range seem to feel good about understanding people who speak naturally. The Lessons are designed to make it easy for them to understand the spontaneous speech. In other words, Real English presents us with hundreds of people speaking normally, which seems fast to all learners. They're simply not used to it, and Real English represents an interesting way to make progress in this real world of the spoken word.


Both American and British English,
without forgetting our many Irish
interviewees in addition to
non-native speakers of English
Let's begin by defining a couple of key terms which I use when speaking about the video and its interactive environment.

A Real English® lesson is a collection of interactive exercises for a main video. An exercise is based on a small portion of a main video. For example, a typical main video might be 4 or 5 minutes long, but the exercise includes a video extracted from the main clip which lasts only 5 to 30 seconds, allowing us to concentrate on a limited number of lexical items at a time.
You can follow the explanations right here, or better yet, refer to this typical online exercise used here as an example, at the same time.


This is Joe, the first interviewee in Lesson 29, a relatively "upper" intermediate clip. Joe’s interview is 32 seconds long. However, a total of 6 exercise pages (including 19 questions) are necessary to cover the essential vocabulary and grammar he uses during those 32 seconds. Click on play:

Like many of the interviewees who make it to the final cut, he's a friendly, conversational type of guy. His answer to the question "What do you like to do for fun?", which is also the title of this lesson, takes him a long time, i.e., 32 seconds, providing us with interesting vocabulary and new grammar to exploit in the upcoming exercises immediately after this one.

Note that the audio file beneath the video provides us with a 4-second audio "helper file" (explanatory images are also "helper files"):


Audio files like this one are used in most exercises, for a great variety of reasons. In this particular case, it is used to provide a summary of what Joe said in the video, i.e., a short summary of his much longer, "conversational" reply.

By this time, a student who has arrived at lesson 29 has learned to listen to these files because they often contain clues for helping him find the answer to a quiz.

In this particular case, we listen to the teacher after clicking on the play button: "He likes hiking in the mountains, going to the movies, and socializing", which is also one of the 3 choices in the MC quiz. You can listen to Joe's
"long answer" in the video above and compare it to the audio-only summary.

We often give the answer away, so to speak, in the form of this audio clue. Once again, the  objective is to give the student good reason to listen as much as possible, regardless of his final score, which is a meaningless objective when compared to the process of listening and learning. We also want him to get the answer right thanks to his own efforts, by giving him lots of opportunities to figure it out on his own, which also seems to improve motivation.


An interesting detail on the same exercise page: Look at the pictures next to each possible answer to the MC quiz. I photoshop such pictures, replacing the original head with the interviewee's head, simply to put the interviewee in context whenever possible, in an effort to perfect the illustration of the meaning of the corresponding text

(We met Joe on W. 57th Street in New York City, not while hiking in the mountains).
--

Let's have a look at Joe's final appearance, in Exercise 5.
Once again, we give away the answer in this exercise, in the spoken form only, of course.

There are 6 basic types of exercises in Real English®. This is my favorite, a hybrid quiz. It starts off as a typing exercise. If the typed answer is wrong x times in a row, the exercise transforms itself into an easier multiple-choice quiz. I specified just one time wrong for this question, but sometimes I have good reasons to let the students try 4 times or more before it transforms itself into a Multiple Choice.

I think the advantage of this type of quiz is obvious. Any student who makes an effort is never lost.
---
I am trying to keep this post short, for the same reason I like to keep the exercise videos short: to maintain interest to the very end! However, you can have a look online to see other typical and very useful techniques used throughout the lessons:










  • Lessons for real beginners: simplicity in the combination of video with
    audio, pictures, the record-compare applet, and the quiz itself.




  • Grammar in context. We never ignore grammar, but we don't often begin with it either. When the video contains a noteworthy grammar point that comes as a surprise to us, it is at least illustrated. In other cases, there are even grammar exercises based on what the video has suggested.Course organization is turned upside down to a certain extent. Despite our outline of essential items to include in Real English® - following our list of questions each time we go out filming - the spontaneous speech actually gathered in our street interviews ultimately determines what is covered in Real English®.

    Note: Java is necessary for the record-compare applet found on all the exercise pages, enabling the students to repeat what they hear in the lessons, and then to compare their pronunciation to native-speaker sources (both from the videos and the audio-only files). However, w
    hen you arrive at any exercise, you will see an unnecessary Windows message implying that Java could be dangerous for your computer. This is not true. It is safe  and must be regularly updated, just like Windows itself.
    Questions and comments most welcome!

    Official logo image, representing our Trademark in 39 countries.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Simple Instructions for Using the Real English® Site
Thanks to recent translations from Sunggyung Hong and Narine H., we now have Korean and Armenian translations of the instructions for using the Real English site, in addition to 38 other languages.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Real English® Mobile

Screencast / Brief Demo of
Real English® Mobile


It's a bit early for me to be presenting the new Mobile version of Real English®. Only a quarter of the Lessons are finished. On the other hand, the numerous videos and quizzes which have been completed provide beginners and pre-intermediate students on the go with at least 40 hours* of fun work.

Besides, it will take me until the end of the year to finish the job. More importantly for myself and other social-oriented content creators, a minimum of general feedback seems essential in order to continue the longish job with relative confidence concerning the final outcome.

Moreover, in a case like mine, the job will be interrupted by new filming in the streets, as I make brand new videos, and then new edits and finally new lessons for the new clips (BTW, a "lesson" is a collection of interactive quizzes for a small portion of a main video). So the job is never completed, really. It will only be finished the day I stop filming and make a lesson for my last good clip.

So here she is in demo form:




If you just spent 6 minutes watching this entire clip, I hope you'll leave a comment, or try it out on your own mobile device before making a comment.

Concerning feedback, I was very lucky to learn that this site works pretty much  the same way on Windows and Android phones. Android devices are especially important since their market share is increasing much faster than Apple's iDevices at the present time.

So I tried to find someone to try it out on an Android device, and I simply googled "Mobile ESL" and within minutes I succeeded in contacting David Read, who surprised me with a screencast showing me how it looks on his Samsung Galaxy Note 2. David has created a Google+ ESL Community which he continues to develop and which is definitely worth a detour. His screencast, below, inspired me to find a way to do the same for the iPhone. He had a look at the Alphabet Lesson (Lesson 3).


I have made improvements to Lesson 3 after carefully watching Dave's screencast, but I haven't found all the solutions yet.

The URL of Real English Mobile is http://realenglish-mobile.com/

Regular updates concerning Real English Mobile, on the tradional Real English site are here.

My next screencast will show you how the ProProfs Quiz Maker works. This is the application I have chosen for all the quizzes on Real English Mobile.


* It's impossible to make an accurate estimate of the time to be spent to complete the existing 21  lessons. Here I write "40 hours" and in the screencast, I say "80 hours". The latter estimate might be closer to the truth when speaking about a real beginner, starting with lesson 1, while also learning English with other tools.

Monday, November 12, 2012

ProProfs: the Ideal Quiz Maker?




ProProfs Quizmaker & Real English® Videos
How Students Learn English on Our Sites

In order to ensure that Real English® videos are truly useful for learners, we have implemented "Interactive Lessons", i.e., collections of quizzes for our entire library of videos.

And in order to ensure that the learning experience is user-friendly for all levels of students, we break up each video into small parts for each quiz, in our case this means one, or sometimes 2 street interviews per quiz. In this way, students do not have to search or navigate back and forth to the relevant part of the video for compleing the quiz at hand.

This quiz strategy works well, which brings us to an even more important question: which tool is best for making quizzes for our videos?

We put a lot of thought and research into this question, and installed trials of 6 different quiz programs before making our choice. Our requirements for a quiz maker included the following criteria:

1 - The program must provide us with quiz output which works on both mobile devices such as the iPhone and other iDevices, as well as Android phones & tablets AND computers.
 In other words, all the quizzes we create must work well on all devices.

2 - When we create quizzes for our own students at The Marzio School, we want to personalize the activity, i.e., to know which students took which quiz, in order to be able to help them in the future after looking at their mistakes. We also want to test our students from time to time using the quiz application.

3 - The quiz maker must be easy to use, without requiring the teachers to use HTML (only half our teachers are familiar with HTML basics). Along the same lines, the instructions for the students must appear in contexts directly related to the quiz they are taking. Here's one of many examples:

4 - There must be some variety in the types of quizzes, including Multiple Choice,  True or False, Fill in The Blanks, and Matching Exercises.

5 - Given the fact that our quizzes are based on our own videos, the possibility of embedding these videos into the quiz must be included as a built-in feature.


6 - The students must get "double feedback", i.e., feedback concerning  why the correct answer is X and not Y, but also a score at the end showing all of the students' results.

We had been using the Hot Potatoes quiz maker for the past 10 years, because it fulfills our most important requirements except for #1, which is now the most important feature for us in 2012 - 2013. This old venerable "Hot Potatoes" program is now truly "old software",  since it does not support mobile platforms, and its creators have no intention of making  it mobile-compatible.

ProProfs failed in only one area - the last point in # 2: there are no matching exercises. This is a tiny fault compared to the fact that Hot Potatoes is useless for mobile devices.

ProProfs also includes features that will certainly be useful to our students,  such as the fact that students can acess the quiz from their laptops using ProProfs "embedded link" feature. There are also options for working with the ProProfs-generated files off-line, a truly unique feature.

There is really no comparison between Hot Potatoes and ProProfs relatively new entry into Web 2.0 interactivity.
Just a few examples:


  •  Many teachers who don't have time to produce completely-original content all the time will be happy to know that theQuiz Maker includes the largest library of pre-made questions on the Web (more than three million of them according to the information we find on the site) and also quiz templates (over 300,000).
  •  It automatically converts any user uploaded documents, including PDF & Word documents, into HTML5 so they can be loaded seamlessly across mobile devices.
  • There is a "statistics dashboard" that allows teachers to generate reports for each quiz-taker, or for individual questions, or for groups of students, and includes the average time spent per question, and percentage of correct/incorrect answers, for example.
  •  Once a test or quiz is created, the teacher receives a specific URL where it resides online. An embed code ensures that the test or quiz can easily be placed on a school Web site for secure access.
  •  This quiz maker does exactly what it says it does. The interface is simple, and it is completely customizable.
  •  And it's free if you don't mind the ads and branding that accompany the quizzes you make. Otherwise, there are reasonably priced subscriptions to choose from.

All in all, ProProfs is probably the program which most educators will find the most useful and the most complete. It's close to perfect for our particular needs, allowing us to serve both our world-wide audience with "anonymous quizzes", and also for the needs of our own students & teachers in our language school, allowing us to track all aspects of student performance with ease.