Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Effortless English Vision

by AJ

As the new Effortless English Club slowly gets started, I have been thinking a lot about my vision for its future. Just what do I hope the club will accomplish?

I've been contemplating this question over and over. At first, I had the usual education answers- make a podcast and study guides to help people learn English. But that answer never satisfied me.

Of course, that's part of the answer. I do hope to make better and better podcasts and better and better learning guides. But in truth, I have a much bigger vision for the club. What I really want is to create an international community of learners- founded on the principles of lifelong learning, autonomy, independence, hospitality, mutual encouragement, equality, and respect.

I envision a community in which every member is both a learner and a teacher. I envision a community in which members help each other, encourage each other, support each other. I envision a community that offers mutual respect and hospitality to one another. I envision a community that encourages independent learning. I envision a community that supports curiosity, engagement, and a passion for communication.

In many ways, this vision is born from my frustrations with traditional schools and education. Schools, in many cases, are actively opposed to these principles. Most schools are bastions of authority, isolation, humiliation, and boredom. Schools tend to kill passion, kill curiosity, and kill the love of learning. Schools foster an authoritarian social model, in which the teacher and administrator are believed to have more power and influence than the students.

My vision for the Effortless English Club was born from the many negative stories I hear from students. Many students talk about the trauma of their English classes. They tell tales of being corrected and embarrassed in front of their class. They tell stories of feeling foolish and stupid because they struggled with tests and grades. Many have deeply negative feelings about the English language as a result of their terrible school experiences.

I want to change that. More than providing audio and learning guides, I hope the Effortless English Club will grow into a positive, enthusiastic, supportive community of learners. I hope members will help and encourage each other. I hope they will chat, trade emails, and start Skype discussion groups.

I even hope they'll visit each other and offer hospitality to one another- so when one member travels to a new country, he or she will have a place to stay with other members.

I envision the Effortless English Club as a positive force-- a community of motivated, independent, passionate learners- dedicated to lifelong independent learning, hospitality, mutual respect, and mutual support.

In short, I hope to undo the trauma (and boredom) caused by wretched school systems- and help adults rediscover the amazing thrill of learning, connecting, and communicating.

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