ESL – Why the English Today Academy!
Hello everybody !
My name is Cyril and I am the founder and manager of the English Today Academy.
In this article, I would like to briefly introduce myself and explain the philosophy behind the English Today Academy.
Who am I?
I have been teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) for 25 years and I have taught it at all levels, from university to Junior High school or Middle School.
So, Why the English Today Academy?
Last year, I had a tutoring session with one of my new students. After I gave him the results of the first assessment, he told me about his frustration with everyday and business English.
He told me that he had been studying English for eight years and that he had done so both at regular school and at language schools abroad where he attended intensive summer courses. Based on this long and intense learning experience of ESL, he could demonstrate solid grammar skills. He could easily make the difference between past simple and past perfect, could recognize the present perfect and theoretically knew how to use the English tenses. Yet, on the other hand, he had just discovered the meaning of the adjective ‘glad’ and was still unable to simply write a CV or a complaint letter.
I was flabbergasted. I didn’t know what to say but that was the moment when I fully realised that English, as it is taught and learnt nowadays, doesn’t fully work. This is all the more true in France where we attach more importance to writing skills at the cost of oral skills. Anyway, this was the conversation that made me aware that ESL teaching was quite ineffective because it is too often irrelevant or unadapted. Through this student’s words and distress, I felt the the need, or, should I say, the urge for designing courses meant to help ESL students access and use both everyday and business English. The English Today Academy is the result of this new teaching and learning shift.
English students generally fail
Worldwide, ESL students face the same problems – students find it hard to understand, speak, and write English. Despite considerable efforts and access to state-of-the-art technologies, they struggle to acquire or develop their skills and expand their knowledge.
Moreover, the submitted ESL courses and related knowledge and skills often don’t meet the learners’ needs. For example, you spend weeks studying English grammar and literature, and you don’t know either what ‘eventually’ means or how to handle a job interview.
English has become an inappropriate business product
The main reason for this alarming observation is that English teaching has become a highly lucrative business for which quantity is easier to implement than quality, for which content conformity is more common than course innovation.
For instance, a lot of big educational companies and online platforms mainly offer out of date and similar teaching materials. Despite the boom in innovative learning technologies, they all deal with the same topics, they offer the same type of activities and exercises, go through an identical learning process and pursue the same goals. Also, these big teaching corporations keep submitting vocabulary lists, grammar lessons and other learning materials that are cheap to design and that have long proved inefficient. The irony is that they are very expensive to access for both students and professionals willing to better their English. Another problem lies in that these large groups offer courses covering broad topics such as ‘Business English’ or ‘English Grammar’ whose massive content is impossible to digest and assimilate.
Don’t just learn English – Learn the English you need!
Well, faced with such a problematic industry, I am an English teacher who thinks differently, who thinks that English teaching and learning should be offered an alternative – it is my belief that it is necessary to challenge the way English is taught, studied and learnt.
My ambition is to change English teaching by introducing an innovative format, more motivating learning processes and student-centered topics based on their everyday needs and real-life situations.
That’s why I have created the English Today Academy !
My slogan – Don’t just learn English – Learn the English you need !
I am convinced that we need another way of teaching and learning English and the time is NOW !
If you are the type of person who strongly believes that today’s English teaching is not really efficient, that no teaching solution is working, if you firmly believe that vocabulary lists are not effective, if you are tired of grammar worksheets and of other unadapted learning resources, if you are ready to learn English differently, I have something in store for you!
Go on a mission!
I have designed and made available high-efficiency, short-term, goal-centered courses, i.e., micro courses, called ‘Missions’ with specific goals to be attained. Schematically, these missions are –
– short-term courses since the duration of my missions doesn’t exceed 6 days and require a daily investment of a maximum of one hour and a half.
– highly-efficient thanks to motivating, accurate and entertaining learning workshops called ‘Capsules of knowledge and skills‘ that are stuffed with original and accurate learning activities.
– goal-centered since the learning materials aim at specific goals defined in accordance with your everyday needs as an ESL student and user.
Last but not least, all the Missions have been designed like a space rocket mission. They include a particular launching stage where all the various learning objectives are clearly set as well as the required level and other aspects of the overall learning process. They are also composed of different capsules of knowledge and skills. They all end in a landing stage where you will be required to take on one or several assignments playing the role of a final assessment.
If you would like to improve your English, come and visit the missions offered by the English Today Academy. I will gladly welcome you on board!