Automatic English For The People

Who are the evil ones?
Hi, Today I am going to talk to you about an old student that I had and, also, I‟ m going to talk more about why I decided to create the English System; about why I felt it was important and why I felt that something new was necessary. Now this story happened when I was teaching English in San Francisco. So I was an English teacher in San Francisco and most of my students, in fact, all of my students were adults from other countries, mostly young adults, so people in their 20‟ s usually, who came to San Francisco to do intensive English study. So they came from Asia, they came from South America and they came from Europe and the Middle East. Those were the main areas, which is most of the world really that they came from.
The goal of most of these students was to improve their spoken English. Most of these

students already knew lots and lots and lots of grammar, too much grammar in fact. They had already studied a lot of academic English in their own countries and so what they wanted was experience and improvement with real spoken English. That makes sense. They came to the United States to San Francisco in order to improve their spoken English. Now, what was interesting was that most of the students who came to our school thought that they were already advanced. See, in their own countries they had studied so much English in schools; in colleges, in universities, in conversation schools and with private tutors. They‟ d studied and studied and studied and taken all these tests and everybody told them they were advanced, right? They were using all the advanced textbooks, for example, and they were in the advanced classes back in their home country.

Now. many of them. I told them they needed to read English but not formal academic English. they would be at a bus stop. I was just starting at that time to record some of my lessons so she started listening to those recordings and she found 2 . Then when they tried to talk the other person -.the American person -. Not textbooks. I was still developing it. I would say two examples. Jackie and Jeannie. my Seven Rules of English. oh. I told them about the Seven Rules. however. but I had most of the general ideas and principles already and I remember one particular example. quite advanced vocabulary. Now. Now the reason I find these two students very interesting and I find their stories to be interesting is that each of them did something very different after hearing my advice. in fact. for example. two Korean students. but instead to read very easy novels that used common. They came to America thinking they were advanced and they discovered that with spoken English.But what happened was that when they arrived in America in San Francisco they discovered that they could not understand the Americans. All the things that I teach you in my Email Course I told them. I told them to stop worrying about tests. very upset and emotional about it and so then I would try to teach them the English System.didn‟ t really understand them and it was always a really big shock for these students. but. the system I was developing at that time. at that time it was new. They would come to my class frustrated saying. still trying some new ideas. casual English. They came to my class and I told them both the same thing. For example. you know. She started listening to my podcast and listening. One of them. in English like the „New York Times‟ . I told them to forget grammar. Their reading ability was high. and understand it. Jeannie. just focus on listening a lot and that they needed to focus a lot on very easy listening. An American would be next to them at the bus stop and start talking to them and these poor students would be totally confused and not really understand what the person was saying. They could read newspapers. for example. Now with reading they could do quite well. I can‟ t understand anybody and people don‟ t understand me. They were very. they were not. I didn‟ t call them the Seven Rules at that time. She started reading a lot of easy novels and books and things. I‟ m having trouble meeting Americans and communicating. I thought I was advanced and I can‟ t understand. both of these students I‟ d say were at a similar level. Stop analyzing grammar. So that was the situation. They were reading very advanced English. to throw away their grammar books. not even newspapers. took my advice and basically followed my advice. their spoken ability – listening and speaking – was quite low. Don‟ t worry about speaking. I told them they needed to listen a lot and focus on listening first. actually.

Burn your grammar books. You need to read lots of easy novels and I want you constantly listening to English. Jackie. ah. She did the opposite. She came to me very frustrated because after four or five months she took the TOEFL exam and she failed. She went to a church. took all these TOEFL tests and I didn‟ t pass it. trying her best to memorize. She listened. She totally did the opposite of the Seven Rules. See. The other student. She took lots and lots and lots of sample TOEFL tests. did the opposite. So she came to me upset. Fairly easy stuff until you can understand it automatically then you can listen to a lot of English that ‟ s a little bit more difficult until that becomes very easy. Burn your TOEFL books. Not difficult stuff. When I say failed I mean she did not get the score she needed in order to get into an American university. She didn‟ t focus on textbooks at all. trying to memorize vocabulary words and she ‟ d study them again and again and again with tons of flashcards. So I said okay. in other words. She studied huge. long lists of vocabulary. you know. I don‟ t know. She wanted to go to a nursing program to become a nurse in the United States and to become a nurse.other fairly easy English to listen to. thousands of words. Jeannie made progress. ah. constantly trying to memorize and rememorize grammar rules. um. a lot. on the other hand. So Jackie ignored my advice and instead what Jackie did was every single day she studied and studied and studied TOEFL preparation books. Oh. It was like oh. Jackie was obsessed. meaning totally focused in an almost crazy way on the TOEFL exam. Jackie. etc. listened. She studied tons of grammar. I studied every day. but not the television. She found that she could communicate with them. I said stop taking those TOEFL tests. After four or five months her speaking had improved a lot. She was really a religious person so she went to a church and started meeting lots of American people at the church and talking to them and connecting with them. I‟ m frustrated. you know. did not. She improved her speaking quite quickly. Jackie. okay and then she walke 3 . um. What‟ s interesting is the results they got because after one semester. She looked at me like I was crazy. to get her nursing license in America she had to have a certain TOEFL score and she did not get it. I said I want you to totally stop thinking about grammar. remember what I said. She started to make friends. passing the TOEFL exam. She was doing all this listening and she started feeling much more comfortable with spoken English and she made quick progress. etc. And she was very hesitant. She did not get that score. what should I do? I studied and studied and studied. Stop studying grammar.. Oh. listened. say four or five months. totally obsessed. get rid of those TOEFL books and follow my system. hundreds of words. of everything I advised her to do. She didn ‟ t study grammar.

Several months passed and she continued doing the same thing. at least not while I was at that school. read books. So. They have a little coffee shop in there and I used to go there a lot and. Grammar is the key to everything. she never listened to me. she just kept doing the same thing and getting the same bad result. They‟ re just not effective for most people. it still now has a good amount of speaking and listening on it and she didn‟ t improve her score. Memorize vocabulary. the vocabulary is very academic. unfortunately. buy books and I would always see her in there studying and every time I saw her guess what she was studying? TOEFL books. conversation schools in their home countries. Oh. The new TOEFL exam requires a fair amount of speaking and listening. you know. a lot of speaking and a lot of listening. I always would see her at the downtown Boarders Bookstore in San Francisco. I didn‟ t pass the test again. high school. people who are super analytic and super mathematical in their thinking and they just love memorizing and they have like super photographic memories. Unfortunately. TOEFL textbooks and grammar books and vocabulary lists. a lot of people who are stuck. do what I tell you and I guarantee your TOEFL exam score will improve. what happened? She came back to me again super frustrated and upset. but I have to study the TOEFL books. I said no. a fair amount of spoken English. you know. of course. What should I do? I‟ m so upset. It ‟ s not just a grammar test anymore. it ‟ s focused on school vocabulary. Study textbooks. this system. Studying the TOEFL books is not going to help you. because I always see you studying TOEFL books and she made a lot of excuses. you don‟ t. Practice fake dialogues and drills. real spoken English. for a few people it might work. Of course. stuck in this school mentality. she was taking the new TOEFL exam which has speaking and listening. university. So she continued using the same system she had learned in school in Korea and after several more months she took the TOEFL exam again and no improvement at all. They‟ re just stuck with this same thing. This is what happens in schools all over the world everywhere and they ‟ re just not very effective. Now. Yes. Take lots of tests. Oh. I don‟ t know. maybe there are a small percentage of people 4 . Yeah. I said did you do what I recommended. there are a lot of people like her. Get rid of those books. Even though the TOEFL test is very academic. because a few months after that I left the school and yet sometimes I would still go by the bookstore in downtown San Francisco and she her still studying TOEFL books. still trying to memorize vocabulary lists and. my God! Of course. still memorizing grammar books. In fact. this mentality that they learned in middle school.

I mean that ‟ s a problem. not directly. they worked hard. But even worse than that is that schools train people to fail. but indirectly they teach these beliefs are. These were good people. That should tell you that something‟ s not working well. number one. that I must develop a better system. Most of my students were very motivated. I didn‟ t like to see my students so frustrated. but in my experience as a teacher it ‟ s only maybe five percent of the students. I didn‟ t like to see them so upset. I could see that they were also sick of English and bored with studying all these damn rules and memorization of lists and all that stuff and I realized that they were not the problem. She was not stupid. She was not lazy. I could see they were suffering. Even though she kept getting the bad result she was afraid to try something new because all her life she had been taught this one way and that it was the correct way. I hated to see them failing again and again and again. The problem was her beliefs. They teach them beliefs that hurt them later in life. I mean middle school. I didn‟ t like seeing them coming to America feeling confident that they were advanced and then discovering that they actually could not communicate verbally with Americans. this school mentality. 5 . one right answer and then everything else is not correct. a new system to help my students. So they‟ re teaching their students years and years and years and years and years. I don‟ t know. See. three-four-five hours more. I didn‟ t like seeing that. the problem is schools really train you to be afraid. the only way and she was afraid to change it and do something different. Two of the main beliefs that most schools teach. The other 95% do not do well using the methods taught in schools and that ‟ s why I felt compelled. I mean she studied hours and hours every day after class. I felt I had to. In other words. Well. They train you to lose confidence. all these years and then after all of that many of these students still do not feel confident speaking English. that work. high school and for many students university too and for some even grad school. The schools are the villains. that mistakes are bad and must be avoided and the other belief is that there‟ s a right answer. It ‟ s the schools that fail not the students. it shouldn‟ t be that difficult. I could see they were frustrated. My students were very intelligent. So she came to my class four hours every day then she went home and studied. It ‟ s the schools that are causing people to fail. because the schools are not using methods that are effective. Jackie worked hard. In other words. So whose fault is it? Who ‟ s the enemy? Who are the bad guys? In my opinion it ‟ s the schools. She was stuck using terrible methods that are not very effective and she was stuck in frustration. They train you to be afraid of taking risks and trying new things and all of those things are necessary for success. The schools are the failures. in my opinion. She was stuck in this school mindset.who can use those systems and that way of learning and succeed.

How did I learn and master English as a small child? As a baby did I speak perfect English? Of course. I make grammar mistakes. minus five. I was born in the United States. sometimes I just keep going. I‟ m just speaking quickly and I drop “the” or I drop a certain word. That you must avoid mistakes and if you make a mistake you feel nervous. for example. I promise you you ‟ re going to make mistakes when you speak and when you write. And. I grew up with English my whole life and I still make mistakes when I speak sometimes. It‟ s natural. That‟ s why she was afraid to change. As a child did I speak perfect English? No. red mark. right? We are punished for mistakes in school. you know. they did the opposite. If you get a wrong answer minus one. We get embarrassed when we make mistakes and so by the time you finish high school or university deep in your unconscious you have this belief that mistakes are bad. I‟ m speaking naturally. that goes deep into your psychology and it continues as we get older into middle school. Whenever I said like a new word or 6 . That ‟ s why she just kept trying the same things again and again and again never succeeding. If I recognize it. so mistakes are bad. That‟ s bad. Sometimes I pronounce a word kind of strange because I‟ m excited and I‟ m speaking very quickly and I say the wrong word or I pronounce it weird. in school what is a mistake? In school a mistake is having a different idea than the teacher. Don‟ t make mistakes. Did my parents smack me or yell at me or criticize me every time I made a mistake as a child speaking English? Of course not. In fact. You‟ re wrong and then you get punished. you feel upset. you feel embarrassed and then you want to avoid that situation. that‟ s not good. So what do we learn from a very young age in school? We learn that mistakes are bad. it ‟ s quite clear very quickly to any child that oh. the simplest way is that we lose points on tests. Many times in these audios we do not correct my mistakes. My parents get upset when that happens and my teacher obviously doesn‟ t like it. if I realize I made a mistake sometimes I‟ ll pause and correct it. isn‟ t that what it is? The teacher asks a question. I make pronunciation mistakes. Sometimes I forget to say “the”. you‟ re wrong and for someone who ‟ s very young. You ‟ ll have a difficult time being happy and you‟ ll have a difficult time having really great success because they‟ re both lies. How are we punished? Well. right? Well. Really. Can you see how that would hurt you in trying to be successful with English speaking? Because when you speak English if you‟ re not born as a speaker and you come to a country and you start speaking you will make mistakes. If you give an answer that the teacher doesn‟ t agree with then the teacher says you made a mistake. Minus one or they just say no. of course. They‟ re both not true and see Jackie believed both of them. I want you to see that it happens. into high school.If you believe those two things you will have a very difficult time in your life. not.

So. The other thing that school does is it creates in our brains this idea that there ‟ s one right answer. maybe they don‟ t like my teaching method and they don‟ t agree with my Seven Rules. but I don‟ t 7 . One is correct and the other ones are wrong. Your fear of mistakes slows your learning. you‟ re wrong. right? You have a question on the test and then there‟ s four or five choices. Oh. I was afraid to fail too. four or five. So this fear of making mistakes destroys our lives. There‟ s one right answer. but very rarely some student will try to argue with me about it. A lot of people. They‟ ll say no. right? We don‟ t punish babies for making mistakes. ah. it kind of ahah-ah. it happens in all parts of life. There are only a few choices. you know. but in school suddenly everything becomes so serious and we can‟ t make mistakes and as adults we fear this making mistakes and here‟ s the bigger problem. no. you‟ re wrong. Mine is the right way. I mean when I started my business yeah. speak in a really terrible way. This happens to me in Spanish. We‟ ve all had this feeling. B. They got excited and I got excited. it doesn‟ t happen very much. and school kind of creates this strong fear of mistakes. This is the way. for example. Because you fear making a mistake you will avoid situations where you might make a mistake.something they got very excited and happy. You become shy about chatting with people. and that one of them is correct and the other ones are wrong. You become shy about communicating with people. Occasionally. That ‟ s true with anything. but they never do because they are afraid of failing. emailing them or writing on a Website or something and because you get shy and you don‟ t communicate as much you don‟ t get to listen to other people as much. That ‟ s cool. even worse than I normally would. D. he said that word. A. We have to study textbooks. After years and years and years of taking those kinds of tests we just naturally unconsciously start to have that mentality that there are only a few possible answers. want to start their own business. This is what my teachers told me. Another thing that it does is having a fear of making mistakes. C. I learned a little bit of Spanish in high school and now I fear making mistakes. but I did it anyway. even a small amount. Wow. It ‟ s not just with English speaking. right? They‟ re expecting me to say no. Like some students. for example. no. Even though my Spanish is terrible I get really. in other words. Oh. This is the right way and then they wait and they ‟ re expecting me to argue with them. ah. you become shyer as an English speaker than you really are in your normal life when you speak your own language. You become shy about writing to people. You don‟ t get as much experience with communicating in real spoken English and because of that you learn more slowly. you know. makes you more nervous which means your speaking will be worse right. kind of nervous about speaking it even just really simple stuff and that causes me to ah. Well the risk of failing is always there. anything in life. I try to break it.

when they‟ re trying to speak English they freeze. oh? They think in their mind that there‟ s only one right way to say it. oh. based on research and my teaching experience I do believe that the English System is best for most students. I am super happy to teach those students. They want to say something but then they just start thinking. They‟ re not happy with the results they‟ re getting. you know I find that this method works best for most students. I‟ m sure all of you know. If someone argues with me like that and they have this mentality there ‟ s only one right answer I just tell them. all the many 8 . For the small group who are using normal methods. It‟ s totally wrong. keep doing it. I just tell them great. in my experience about 95%. Most of my students are not happy about using grammar and vocabulary lists and all of that stuff. but they‟ re still nervous and shy and not very good when they really need to speak English. I never say to somebody this is the only method and that ‟ s it. for example. okay. That‟ s fine. however. You‟ re probably one of them if you‟ re listening to this. My system is for people who are frustrated. studying grammar books and tests and they‟ re just doing great and they‟ re really happy and they‟ re getting fantastic results and improving so much. in this situation I must use the past tense. It‟ s working for you. They might use the present perfect. If it ‟ s working great keep doing whatever you‟ re doing. Don‟ t change anything. However. That frustrates them. but that ‟ s what we learn in school and so that ‟ s why a lot of people. I say. whatever it is. people who are not happy with the results they‟ re getting from normal methods. if you are improving quickly. That ‟ s great. I don‟ t argue at all. If you‟ re getting great results. keep doing it. If it‟ s not working you should probably try something else. depending on their own sort of perspective. I say well. Like a lot of students will think. if you ‟ re very happy with your improvement and your progress keep doing what you ‟ re doing. maybe it ‟ s not best for you.do that because I don‟ t believe there is only one right way handed down from heaven. Now. If you prefer to study vocabulary lists and grammar. so they looking for something different because they‟ re not happy with the results they have gotten with normal methods. you know? That ‟ s bullshit. There are several choices. depending on the emotion they want to express. listening and speaking. who want to master spoken English. continue doing exactly what you ‟ re doing. How do I say this. Most of my students have studied using normal methods for many years. All of them. but the truth is that native speakers might use the past tense. again. when we talk about the future we might use the present tense sometimes and sometimes we might use the future or various versions of the future and sometimes they‟ re both totally correct. See there‟ s not just one right answer.

is it gets you thinking too much. it just depends on how you want to say it. because the truth is in some situations all of those could be correct. If you get rid of all of that. You can‟ t have five right answers. They make students nervous about using English. I just chose one of them. they‟ re all equally correct. you know. Each one gives a little bit of a different feeling or a slightly different meaning. They destroy their students‟ confidence. trying it. very quickly. They‟ re all right and they‟ re all wrong. you know. Each of them has a slightly different feeling. when you start getting into the school system. I didn‟ t think about it. if you‟ re not nervous. Then you‟ re all worried about making a mistake and choosing the wrong one when the truth is maybe all of them are correct and it doesn‟ t matter. you get all these ideas and worries in your head. That‟ s what we‟ re taught in school. the past perfect is correct and other people will say no. if you‟ re like a child just listening and communicating and that ‟ s all you care about you will improve very. I see this kind of thinking sometimes on our member forums. 9 . Is it this one or this one or this one? Then you start thinking of all the rules in your head and oh. the simple past. and so the problem with that. Schools are the villains. Schools destroy confidence. here they are analyzing one sentence and debating the one answer because they‟ re stuck with this idea from school that there‟ s one right answer. all these analytical methods of analyzing one sentence and trying to debate which grammar tense or which grammar rule is the correct one. but there‟ s not one right answer. They make students worried. You take one sentence and you freeze when you want to speak because you‟ re not sure. quick. People will pick some sentence from one of my lessons and they‟ ll have this debate and argument about. if you‟ re not worried about making mistakes. no. It just happens quickly.different ways of saying it. All of this discourages students from just trying things and using the language to communicate and improving naturally and easily. but he should have used the past. no. They can‟ t all be correct. Well. Suddenly. When you use your own native language you ‟ re not analyzing it all the time and. It can be a little complicated. Then other people will say no. right? It‟ s this unconscious training we get from school. natural way. just say one of them. well he used the past perfect here. That is the worst sin of schools. my God. But. yet. what is the right answer and what is the wrong answer. you become really confused and it ‟ s hard for you to understand when someone is speaking to you fast and it ‟ s hard for you to just speak in an easy. in my opinion. You can‟ t have 10 correct answers. ah. So that‟ s why I believe that schools are the enemy. That ‟ s the advanced part of it. you get all that in your head. he should have said the present perfect. it must be this. They make students constantly worried about making a mistake or choosing the wrong answer.

have a great day and enjoy your English learning. in fact. the English System. schools are the enemy. Stop debating and analyzing what the right answer is and just focus on listening and understanding the meaning. It ‟ s not effective and. I believe that the English System is a much. All right. All of these problems caused by schools are the reason that I created my own system. because I saw this in almost all of my students. This is why. Schools are the villain. 10 . I could see how unhappy they were. how confused they were and I realized the way that schools are teaching is not working. I hope you agree too and I hope you ‟ ll use it most of all to improve your spoken English and to enjoy it again. Stop worrying so much about mistakes. See you again. Focus on communicating clearly your own thoughts and ideas and feelings and don‟ t worry about the rest of it because the rest of it will happen naturally and effortlessly. much better way and most of my students agree. yes.So. it ‟ s harming the students and we have to find a better way. bye-bye. much. And. how frustrated they were.

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