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What am I going to do with my life?

Spring is just around the corner! Warm weather and sunshine await us. Despite the trying times in which we live, there is still so much to be positive about. Being able to teach online and work remotely are things we love. It is has helped us to simplify our life and make ourselves available to travel and even do volunteer work.

What are you dreaming of? What goals would you like to reach before the end of 2022? How will you make it happen? A goal without a plan is just a dream – but it’s a great place to start. We can help you with the planning. After taking our course – people always say the same thing – how inspired they are to put into practice what they have learned and get started. In this post we want to showcase one of the extremely practical teaching methods that we train all of our clients to use.

This month, we unbox Word Frequency. If you have already taken our 5-day TESOL Certification/Language Instructor course, this little review will be a nice reminder for you. If you haven’t taken the course yet, this is a little sample of how we train teachers to help their students get the “biggest bang for their buck” when it comes to what vocabulary to focus and spend time on. It also is an enormous help when planning out a curriculum.

During our training course, everybody’s eyes always light up when they learn about “Ziph’s Law.” What does it have to do with teaching or learning a language? Michael Stevens from Vsauce sums up the main point, “For example, any book, conversation, or article will be nothing but the same 50 to 100 words, and nearly the other half will be words that appear in that selection only once. That's not so surprising when you consider the fact that one word, “the”, accounts for 6% of what we say. The top 25 most used words make up about a third of everything we say, and the top 100 - about half. In the Bible itself, only about 100 words are used for nearly half of everything written or said.” Delving into the many implications and applications of Ziph’s law would be a fascinating project, but we will zero in on the implications for language learning - specifically, how to effectively use it as a teacher or learner of a language.

First, prioritize your word list and vocabulary goals. For brevity, we will refer to learning English, but these guidelines apply to learning any language. There are many most-frequently-used word lists circulating the internet, and basically all of them are useful. However, it is helpful to first identify what category of vocabulary you (if you are teaching yourself a language) or your students really want and need to learn. Is it general English – greetings, conversation and basic vocabulary? Are you teaching English for tourism – arriving at an airport, greetings, directions, shopping, traveling, dining out? Maybe you are teaching Business English – how to prepare for a job interview, give a presentation, make a proposal, write emails? Or maybe you helping your students to prepare for the IELTS exam, perhaps the academic category. Whatever the case, choosing the most frequently used words that relate to these specific areas will keep your classes and study sessions RELEVANT. Everything must be tailored to your students’ needs. In our course we call this the “Self-Referencing Effect.” Your students will be more engaged, more motivated and extract the highest benefit from the classes. And if you are a freelance tutor, this will REALLY help you to quickly grow your freelance teaching business!

Second, “encode” and activate your vocabulary. As we emphasize in our Language Instructor course, it is vital to encode any vocabulary into long-term memory by constant practise, with a variety of methods, such as Mnemonics, specific physical gestures, physical activities and visual aids. (and 25 more!!!)Learning a language is a challenge, but having a toolbox bursting with engaging, fun and effective methods transforms the experience from frustration into a deeply satisfying journey that leaves you/your students eagerly anticipating the next study session.

One of the best “Most Frequently Used” word lists around is the Oxford 3000. It has been carefully curated by language experts and teachers. How are the keywords selected in this list? The selection is based on three criteria:

  • The words which occur most frequently in English are included, based on the information in the British National Corpus and the Oxford Corpus Collection. A corpus is an electronically-held collection of written or spoken texts, often consisting of hundreds of millions of words.

  • Being frequent in the corpus alone is not enough for a word to qualify as a keyword. It may be that the word is used very frequently, but only in a narrowly defined area, such as newspapers or scientific articles. In order to avoid including these restricted words, we include as keywords only those words which are frequent across a range of different types of text. In other words, keywords are both frequent and used in a variety of contexts.

  • In addition, the list includes some very important words which happen not to be used frequently, even though they are very familiar to most users of English. These include, for example, words for parts of the body, words used in travel, and words which are useful for explaining what you mean when you do not know the exact word for something. These words were identified by consulting a panel of over seventy experts in the fields of teaching and language study.

The Oxford 3000_by CEFR level
Download PDF • 240KB

Granted, in accordance with the principal of Organized Rehearsal, you will need an initial outlay of time to collect and prune your vocabulary lists, then plan your lessons and the methods you will employ. However, once this is done, you will start to see really rapid improvement in your or your student’s language acquisition. Before long - their English, French, Spanish, Arabic etc. will be motoring along!

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring is here! What are your plans? How do you see the future? Would you like to Simplify, Travel or Teach? How about all three? Teaching online and working remotely is an absolutely fantastic way to simplify one’s life. It also frees you up to be able to engage in volunteer work or help out in another area whenever necessary. You set your own wage and decide which hours to work. Many who have taken our course end up starting their own language-teaching businesses and this gives them the ultimate freedom to “set up shop” anywhere they find themselves. We always love to see how people use the skills that they learn in our course to get started.

Why not get paid for speaking English or any other language you are already fluent in?

All you need to activate that ability is to join us for our dynamic, 5-day , TESOL/Language Instructor Certification course. Gain the skills and even more importantly, the CONFIDENCE you need to attract more than enough students to support yourself.

If your goal is to learn another language – maybe you have already “tried and died”on that hill before? There is no need to fear! Our course will give you everything you need to succeed this time. Just imagine - with our training and your hard work, you will be speaking French, Spanish, Chinese

, Arabic etc., in just few months. So don’t hold back! We look forward to seeing you soon! Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Happy learning!

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Excellent! I appreciate the systematic approach to learning English!

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