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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Meet Jennifer!

Jennifer has just created her own site.

My friends know that I'm a big fan of JenniferESL. Some have asked me why I like her work so much. They look at the kind of work I do and point out that she seems to represent an approach to learning English which is the opposite of mine.

I don't speak clearly and intelligently like she does. In fact I don't speak at all. The people I film do the talking for me. Whether they're intelligent or not, these people mumble sometimes and are often hard to understand.

Having created a brick-and-mortar language school for the companies in Provence, France 34 years ago, I learned early on that the very first step in classroom teaching for adults is to put them at ease and create a friendly atmosphere. Here in France, and in most parts of the world, the public education systems actually made, and sometimes still make students fear English instead of embracing it. This "environmental" aspect of the classroom is just as important as good teaching techniques and being well-prepared for every class.

What impresses me so much is that Jennifer does the same thing, but on the internet. That's a simple sentence, but the implications are ground-breaking. The first thing you notice about her online teaching videos is that she puts her students at ease. It's her persona and inner self. She does it naturally. She knows her subject inside and out, and that's one reason why she herself is relaxed.

This feeling permeates every video she has made and is one reason for her incredible success.

With clear purpose, excellent technique, work becomes recreation. Students learn and love learning.

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