Learning English Online – The Benefits of Technology

Learning English online is rapidly becoming the most popular way of arranging one-to-one private lessons.  Now we can have face-to-face interactions over the internet from the comfort of our homes and even our bedrooms. It can be even easier than meeting in a library or local café.  Now that we generally have such fast internet connections in most places, very often at home, it’s a good idea to connect with our teachers with Skype or Zoom, even if we live in the same town.  Using our computers means we also have the ability to share our screens and make use of other possibilities that the new technology provides.

Learning English online

Studying in a virtual classroom with other students from around the world is an exciting way to learn a language.  The opportunity to connect with other students from around the world means that we hear different accents which helps our English.

Learning English Online - A Screen Shot from the Globalised English Keep-It Course

A Variety of Teachers

Globalised English is also very proud to offer the best of both worlds when it comes to your teacher’s backgrounds and qualifications.  Having both native and non-native teachers to host our classes means that you can now have access to two teachers, one boasting an innate knowledge of your target language as well as another who can proudly share the benefits of having learned English as a second language.  There is nothing like being able to learn from someone who has also had to surmount the same difficulties that you may be encountering.  It can be very reassuring to learn with someone who has passed by the same route and who has accumulated all the tips and tricks that can help to make learning English so much easier.

The online environment means that we have a great many ideas and opportunities to share that students previously couldn’t access… we look forward to meeting you online.

 

Learning English Online - The Globalised English logo

Watch TED to watch your English improve

Stop watching American films! Stop watching TV series!

Forget programmes like Game of Thrones and Vikings if you think they’re going to help your language skills to get better! In our opinion, these are the worst ways to help your language develop, watch TED to improve your English!

If there’s too much choice for you, please take a look at our list of recommended talks.

What is TED?

TED is an international conference that brings together specialists from all kinds of fields and asks them to share the benefit of their experience with a highly intelligent audience. The talks are limited to a maximum of 20 minutes and many talks are only 5-10 minutes long.

Over 100 Languages

The TED website is an amazing resource for language learners because it has excellent translations of all the talks and sometimes there are additional materials available from their website. It doesn’t matter what language you speak, if you watch TED to improve your English, you’ll gain all kinds of benefits as well as find high quality, extra resources produced in your mother tongue.

Subtitles and Translations

There is a page listed here which shows the number of talks available for each language and all of them come with verified translations. The quality of the subtitles makes a big difference when you want to learn another language! The teamwork that must go into the productions of their translations must be considerable, they clearly have a meticulous eye for detail.

Endless Variety

If you want something to watch in the evening, then you simply need to watch TED to improve your English at the same time. The website is excellent because it’s overflowing with content and everyone can find subjects they are already interested in or directly affected by. There’s simply no end to the possibilities, if you can’t find a talk that you find interesting, it’s YOU that’s the problem. You must be really boring!

What’s so bad about watching films and TV series?

So, you want to just lie back on your bed and relax while hearing some English, you may ask what the problem is… why shouldn’t you just chill out and watch the products of Hollywood?

Well, firstly, in your relaxed, passive state, you will get more and more comfortable with not understanding what’s going on. You can actually get used to not understanding and become comfortable with that state. Although there always needs to be a tolerance of being confused (it’s an important aspect of learning any language), getting used to letting things go can just reinforce the experience of being lost.

The Nature of Scripts

The trouble is that the English you’re hearing is NOT natural English. If you think about how a story is made into a film, thousands of pages are summarised to just a few thousand words of spoken dialogue in order to convey the narrative. The process of reducing so much information into such an edited breakdown means that there’s no space for the natural flow of language. It’s very rare to hear conversations like the ones we hear in films. This means that the language is more like poetry – and poetry breaks all the rules of language by definition!

IELTS

Many IELTS students want to find good material to watch which can help their studies and TED is the perfect place to find sources in your specific field. It doesn’t matter what speciality you have, you will find experts in your subject talking on the TED website. Only the most experienced and accredited people are invited to contribute so you can be certain to find quality information from a wide variety of speakers, all using natural English.

Not only can you work on your English, you can also inform yourself about the most up-to-date developments in your field of interest. If you’re an architect, engineer, scientist or business person, you will find a huge selection of informative presentations. It can also be an excellent way to get ideas for how to improve your own presentations. Just watch TED to improve your English and also see your general knowledge expand. It’s really the best way to place yourself on the cutting edge in all respects.

Different Accents and Voices

The huge variety of accents you’ll hear on TED is also very helpful, there are speakers from every country you can imagine. Instead of only listening to the voices of British and American actors pretending to be medieval characters and heroes, you can hear normal, educated people, like you, sharing their ideas, their research, their experience and their conclusions.

Music Classroom

Music in the Classroom

If you want to know what music is playing in the classroom at the moment, try this list:

Here are some older playlists:

Music is a really important part of all of our lessons .  We use music everyday and we love the atmosphere it brings to our classroom.  If you come to our lessons, get ready to party!

Many students ask us about the music we are listening to… and now you can hear what we’re listening to everyday!  This list is updated all the time.

DJ EXPERIENCE

Ian spent years working around the world as a DJ.  Having toured France, Germany, Holland, Australia and the UK, Ian has taken music to many different countries.  He has also worked with the international community during his time at Cambridge University where he played at weekly parties organised for foreign students.  Many people remember those crazy parties from the summer of 2004.  For years, Ian played at private and illegal parties around Brighton including some unforgettable events organised in incredible venues.

Music in the Classroom

It’s true that sometimes we dance in the classroom… but most of the time, the music is only there to help students to feel comfortable speaking.  When the classroom is very quiet, students often feel uneasy starting a conversation.  Music brings a relaxed atmosphere where everyone can quietly tap their feet, nod their heads and work at the same time.

When the music is quite loud, like in a cafe or nightclub, students are less nervous about talking.  If the classroom is too quiet, students feel like everyone is listening to what they say.  This can be stressful for people who are learning a language.  It’s easier to have greater confidence when our conversations feel private.

Sometimes, students feel extremely anxious about making mistakes, especially students from China and Japan.  Music helps to create a more friendly atmosphere.  It also helps to encourage students who tend to speak quietly.  The gentle throb of music in the background forces them to speak more loudly.  If their partners can’t hear them, they must ask them to repeat what they’re saying more frequently.  Eventually, everybody learns to speak with greater confidence.

Our playlist is always being updated to feature the music of the day.  If you want to hear what we’re listening to that day, simply play the playlist above.  If you want to get a taste of all the music we’ve used over the recent years, simply play using the random function.

Music in the Classroom - random playlist

Sound quality

One important factor to the experience of music in the classroom is the quality of the loudspeakers.  If you are listening to music with just some tinny sounding computer speakers, the effect can be quite unpleasant.  If you want music in the classroom to be a positive experience, you need to have good quality amplification and Globalised English uses the best that money can buy.

Music in the classroom – pronunciation

As well as helping students to speak more confidently and more clearly, music can also be a great way of helping students to practice pronunciation through singing.  The vocabulary that comes from looking at the lyrics of a song can be a great way to introduce common language and slang (or street language).  Once students are familiar with the words to their favourite songs they can practice the pronunciation while they are singing in the shower.  This can really help students whose native languages are more monotone, especially in the way that songs emphasise the pronunciation of vowel sounds.

ONLINE CONVERSATIONs

There’s no better way to feel more confident about speaking than to practice regularly… and the students who participate in our online conversation lessons have often started out in our real -life classrooms face-to-face, growing with confidence as music plays in the background.

Superlatives and The Present Perfect

This weekend I had fun with my daughters recording some answers to questions using superlatives and the present perfect. It might be difficult to understand them because they have a way of speaking which is typical for young English girls at the moment: nearly every word is followed by “like”, which they also use as a form of punctuation. It will be interesting to see how many of you can understand what they’re saying!

The present perfect is a great way to find out about people’s life experiences. It doesn’t provide much detail, for that we use the past simple. Superlatives are also limited in their interest, we don’t always want to talk about the best, the worst, the most or least, but they do give us an idea of the highlights and lowlights of our experiences.