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Friday, April 24, 2009

Students: try the lessons, not just the videos!

I just visited Google Analytics for the very first time, and I was happily surprised to see that visits to the Real English site have increased by 200% during the last 30 days. Maybe it's because I have been doing online presentations about the site. Maybe it's because David has generously helped me create some buzz about Real English on his popular site the EFL 2.0 Classroom. Or maybe it's because I've recently begun using the English Star player, with a choice of subtitles in English, French, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, finally enabling me to begin attracting a few visitors from 3 Asian countries. Probably a combination of such things.

I looked deeper: only 4% of the visitors are doing the Real English LESSONS, while 27% of visitors come to my old wordpress blog, which I don't even update regularly!

This is crazy. The best thing about the RE site is that students can actually learn English with a tiny bit of motivation. I spend almost all my time improving the lessons, and improving the videos for the lessons, to capture students' interest, increase their motivation (I hope), encouraging them to get to work. But most students only look at the index type pages with videos, apparently, and go no further.

Excuse the tired adjective, but it really is fun to learn English on the RE site.
Here is a 3-step procedure I recommend, and it's really simple:

Teachers, could you explain this to your students? (I thought the navigation on the RE site was intuitive, but I'm obviously wrong):

1 - When you arrive at the Real English site, click on the "New Lessons" link. There's a really big
one in the upper right corner:

2 - From this "New Lessons" page, choose ANY lesson you like.

3 - You arrive at a Lesson Home page, for example lesson 24:

Now, just click on "Lesson 24 Exercises" or "Exercise 1" or the picture under "Exercise 1", or even the Real English logo on the left.

Any of these links will bring you to Exercise 1 of the lesson where the fun begins.

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