Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Friday, April 06, 2007

Community, Not Marketplace

I have recently re-thought my idea about making a Teacher Skype Marketplace on Effortless English. I have decided not to do this in the future.

Why not? Well, I have two main reasons:

1. Commercialization
I don't want to commercialize the member site. I want The Effortless English Club to be a true community... in which all members are working together to develop the site. I don't want it to be a "marketplace". Our lives are commercialized enough. And I must already charge members a fee to join. After that, I don't want to have more ads in the member site.

2. The Linguist
There is already an excellent site that offers Discussions with native speaker tutors: The Linguist. The Linguist offers both group discussions and individual discussions on the internet, using Skype. In fact, I still periodically do discussions with them.

I have always thought that Effortless English and The Linguist complement each other. In fact, I encourage my members to also join The Linguist in order to get speaking practice and writing correction. In truth, they do a great job and its much simpler to just refer my members to them for tutors. Click here to Learn English With The Linguist

What I envision for Effortless English is a true learner-designed community. Now that we have a membership base and the basic site design, I'm trying to give more control to the members. I want them to have more control over lesson topics, materials, layout & design, recruitment & marketing,... in fact, everything.

I have no desire to repeat the hierarchical structure of traditional schools. The truth is, traditional education is failing across the board. Recent posts by Tom Peters and Seth Godin have attacked business schools for being irrelevant. My own Social Work program (a Masters degree) and Journalism program (Bachelors) were also irrelevant.

The truth is, the old hierarchical, passive method of education is no longer useful. Sitting in a class listening to boring lectures is a waste of time... whether you are studying English, business, social work, or journalism. Real learning happens on the job, in life, through mentors, individually, and in learning communities.

These are the kinds of communities you find at Effortless English and The Linguist. These are communities that support self-study... where members are equal, enthusiastic, and responsible for their own learning.

If you are tired of learning or teaching the old way... join the future.. join a learning community online.

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