Reminder: New Blog at

Posted on November 25, 2009. Filed under: Blogroll, Contribute your Questions, EVO - CALL IS - TESOL, interactive exercise technologies, Interviewees, Lessons Based on our Videos, Plagiarism, Real English for the Deaf, Reviews, The 2008 Videos, Webheads | Tags: , , , , , , |


New Blog at

However this “old blog” has

good archives about Real English and

the Deaf, the Webheads (1) and (2),

Real English Victiom of Extreme Plaigiarism

and other items of interest to

ESL EFL students & teachers,

especially Real English users ūüôā

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Students: Try the Real English LESSONS / Teachers: Please explain to your students!

Posted on April 24, 2009. Filed under: Blogroll, interactive exercise technologies, Lessons Based on our Videos |

This is the old Real English blog. The new one is here:
I just visited Google Analytics for the very first time, and I was happily surprised to see that total unique visits to the Real English site have increased by 200% during the last 30 days. Maybe it’s because I have been doing online¬† presentations about the site. Maybe it’s because David has generously helped me create some buzz about Real English on his popular site the EFL 2.0 Classroom. Or maybe it’s because I’ve recently begun using the English Star player, with a choice of subtitles in English, French, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, finally enabling me to begin attracting a few visitors from those Asian countries.¬† Probably a combination of such things.

I was intrigued, so I looked deeper: only¬† 4% of the visitors are doing the Real English Lessons, while 27% of visitors come to this old wordpress blog, which I don’t even update regularly!

This is crazy. The best thing about the RE site is that students can actually learn English with a minimum of motivation. I spend almost all my time improving the lessons, and improving the videos for the lessons, to capture students’ interest, increase their motivation (I hope), encouraging them to get to work. But most students only look at the index type pages with videos, apparently, and go no further.

Excuse the tired adjective, but it really is fun to learn English on the RE site.

Here is a 3-step procedure I recommend, and it’s really simple:

1 – When you arrive at the Real English site, click on the “New Lessons” link.¬† There’s a really big one in the upper right corner.

2 – From this “New Lessons” page, choose ANY lesson you like.

3 – You arrive at a Lesson index page, for example lesson 29 home. Click on¬† “Exercise 1” or the picture under “Exercise 1”, or even the Real English logo on the left. Any of these links will bring you to Exercise 1 where the fun begins.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 5 so far )

French Bubbles

Posted on March 14, 2009. Filed under: Blogroll, Lessons Based on our Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


English Star¬ģ and Real English¬ģ - Collaboration at its best - Subtitles in English, Chinese, French, Korean, and Japanese!

Read in English.

Gr√Ęce √† notre collaboration avec¬†English Star¬†(sites¬†en anglais¬†et¬†en japonais), Real English utilise un nouveau lecteur video qui permet d’afficher de multiples langues en sous-titres. Le stagiaire/√©tudiant(e) choisit sa langue…¬†

French Bubbles = Bulles Fran√ßaises – Qu’est-ce que c’est que les French Bubbles? Regardez la photo. Dans cette image d’un clip d√©butant (extraite de la¬†le√ßon 2) nous voyons une exemple d’une annotation, affich√©es ou non selon les choix de l’utilisateur.

Cliquer sur¬†pause¬†lors du passage des sous-tires et les bulles. Sinon, vous n’aurez pas assez de temps pour les lire. Les personnes que vous rencontrez semblent parler vite, mais dans la r√©alit√© ils parlent √† une vitesse normale.

Ecouter/regarder/lire¬†gr√Ęce au nouveau lecteur video, et¬†parler/comparer/lire/√©crire¬†dans les phases actives des le√ßons Real English, font une combinaison pr√©cieuse.¬†

Regardons  3 photos, et ensuite nous allons manipuler une version réélle, fonctionnelle.


PHOTO: Exemple d'une French Bubble et soustitres en fran√ßais. Voici ce que vous allez voir sur la c√īt√© gauche de l'√©cran. A vous de choisir! Le vrai lecteur est en bas de cette page.

















Voici ce que vous allez voir sur la c√īt√© gauche de l’√©cran. A vous de choisir!


PHOTO, choix des French Bubbles
















Les sous-titres sont disponibles en anglais, français, chinois, coréen et  japonais. 


The Choice of Subtitles
















Dans la r√©alit√©, si votre objectif est de PARLER, il vaut beaucoup mieux NE PAS regarder des sous-titres, m√™mes pas les sous-titres en anglais, pendant la PREMIERE PHASE de l’apprentissage. “Ecouter la musique” m√™me si vous ne comprenez rien du tout! Ecoutez une dizaine de fois avant de passer aux nombreux exercices dans les le√ßons Real English, et avant d’utiliser le lecteur AVEC les sous-titres, et les French Bubbles (sans oublier les sous-titrtes en langue anglaise)!

Voici un clip Real English avec le lecteur d’English Star. Ceci n’est pas une photo. Vous pouvez l’essayer:

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “English Star¬ģ and Real English¬ģ Colla…“, posted with¬†vodpod

Les leçons déjà comprenant les French Bubbles et les sous-titres en anglais, français, chinois, coréen et  japonais:

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Say it! Listen to yourself. Listen to your teacher. Say it again.

Posted on January 23, 2009. Filed under: Blogroll, interactive exercise technologies, Lessons Based on our Videos | Tags: , , |

The New Open Source Recorder

The New Open Source Recorder

The Real English lessons now include a Record function. I have found very useful places for it so far in every exercise in lessons 1 to 7, and right after I finish writing this post, I will continue this job, beginning with lesson 8 and will continue until all the many hundreds of Real English exercises include this function.

Students now will speak. “Say it!” they are reminded, every step of the way. They listen to the teacher speaking in the exercise, or the interviewer and the person answering the questions in the video, and are again reminded Say it!

They record themselves. They listen to themselves, and then they listen to the model (the “teacher audio” or the video), and then once again record themselves, in a pleasant cycle of acquisition, without forgetting to type, or click, or drag in the exercise where they are working!

Thanks to generous Open Source folk who make tools like this, we can all offer our students more and more. Check out any lesson between 1 and 7 to see it in action. Requires Java. Here’s an example of its use on the Real English site. Support is here.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

The Electronic Village Online

Posted on January 17, 2009. Filed under: Blogroll, EVO - CALL IS - TESOL, Webheads |

I am a member of EVO (Electronic Village Online) sponsored by the CALL Interest Section of the 40-year-old, 14,000 member TESOL organization. Every January/February there are free workshops which each last 6 weeks. It is not necessary to be a member of TESOL to participate. The sessions are all powered by volunteers, mostly Webheads, and include experts in many fields related to EFL / ESL. Last year, I helped moderate the Video workshop, and this year I am one of 318 members of a new group called Images4Education (Also a must-see )

Be sure to see the summaries of all the workshops at 

This is clearly the best year for EVO workshops, with so many competent experts and facilitators taking the time necessary to do great work.

This video is my first contribution to the session I joined. One of the tasks for the first week in Images4Education is to introduce yourself and to add a few words about your general use of images for education. One member of the team of moderators had the idea of asking all participants to post a picture of the view from their window. The results show that this was a brilliant task for all of us, a pleasure for all concerned, as we see at
and so many other URLs!

¬†This video is my way of completing this task. I could have used photos and text instead, but I had this idea…

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

New Year’s Contest for Teachers (ended January 16. See last comment for winner!)

Posted on December 19, 2008. Filed under: Blogroll, Contribute your Questions | Tags: |

We need your help, and it should be a lot of fun for all of us, readers and contributors alike. What do we need? We need good questions for our interviewers! If you are not familiar with Real English questions in general, or the ones already used, check out some Real English video lessons.

I say “We need your help” instead of “I need your help” because I am blessed with true friends in several cities who are happy to interview for me. In other words, I organize the filming for Real English and I do the camera and sound work, and a small spontaneous team of close friends from College days comes together for every filming campaign. You could say that the process of getting Real English filming work done is just as spontaneous as the interviews themselves.¬†

Therefore, the invisible team of friends is one reason why I say “we” and not “I”. ¬†Actually, the interviewers become visible in the “About” video¬†(which needs updating) on¬†the RE site. ¬†The other reason for “we” ¬†is another very close friend who hosts Real English on his servers in New Jersey, USA. ¬†We are very tight.¬†

Who prepares the questions before we begin asking them? I usually do, but only after getting approval from the interviewer(s). ¬†I get good criticism from them and sometimes half of the questions are changed, eliminated, ¬†or replaced. ¬†The interviewer knows what will “work” in his or her mind. (S)he’s the man.

So – finally, to participate in this contest, imagine you are the interviewer. Write a list of 10 questions for people we will meet on the street soon¬†in south Miami Beach, Florida, USA (SoBe). We’re going to Miami because it’s warm there in the winter, and easier to film, easier for people to stop and talk, and my favorite interviever lives in Sobe in the winter.

On the other hand, speaking about the weather, it ¬†is intereresting to note that the majority of British Passersby stopped to speak with us just as easily in the rain (!), on¬†Westminster Bridge, on cold, horrible, windy days. ¬†New Yorkers haven’t hesitated to stop to speak with¬†us either,¬†¬†in front of the 5th Ave library, ¬†even in very cold & windy conditions, during February campaings.¬†

So, to get back to the point: The best entry will receive the complete set of 3 Real English DVD’s with the Workbooks and Instructor’s Guide ¬†in the form of PDF and Word files that you can print out, AND the 3 Real English CD-ROM’s.

Do you use Real English with your students? Have you noticed that we have not covered some of the basic grammar structures? There are many which are missing. Just one example off the top of my head, ¬†“there is” and “there are” are never used.

Don’t forget that the interviewer will ask your questions, or at least some of them, on the street when we meet passersby who agree to sign our release form (almost everybody we approach agrees).

Try to put yourself in 2 sets of shoes at the same time, the interviewer who must engage the people we meet with something interesting.  At the same time, imagine yourself as the English teacher using the questions and answers with your students. What do they need that we have not done yet?  There are lots of possibilities!

Come on, give it a try!  

To enter the contest, write 5 to 10 questions right here in the comments box.
Your first 3 Questions can be (if you like):
1 – Hello. how are you?
2 – What’s your name?
3 – Where are you from?
+ your additional questions. 

Remember, we try to interview two people at the same time, so the interviewees can also ask each other questions if you write your questions in a certain way. We will also be on a busy street where we can see other people… (Are you getting some ideas?) ¬†Good luck!

I almost forgot: if you’re not familiar with Real English questions in general, or the ones already used, please check out a Lesson page such as¬†

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 17 so far )

I hope it works!

Posted on November 8, 2008. Filed under: Blogroll, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

ronaldoRonaldo Mangueira Lima J√ļnior is from Brazil. His Bolg is called I hope it works!¬†He’s finishing his work on an MA in Applied Linguistics. He just wrote the most insightful review of Real English that I’ve ever read. As an EFL teacher in Brazil, he has the same problem that I have teaching EFL in France, and which many other sprouting digerati/teachers of the EFL world¬†have been¬†experiencing for many years.

Here’s Ronaldo’s review of Real English.

He brings up two very interesting questions concerning communicative language teaching and correctness, while making extremely astute observations about how these concepts are concretely related to Real English video.

Although he points out that he is a “non-native teacher teaching in a non-native country” (definitely EFL), he writes a lot better than most native-English speakers. Very clear, very succinct.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 9 so far )

Real English is Really Listening.

Posted on June 30, 2008. Filed under: Blogroll, Lessons Based on our Videos | Tags: |

July 24, 2008 – Thanks to Elena Benito-Ruiz for this enthusiastic review of Real English!

I’ve completed 53 new lessons containing¬†approx. 400¬†exercises during the past year. The content¬†begins here.¬†¬†I¬†hope the new exercises¬†“make more sense”¬†than the old ones. They¬†are¬†simpler but richer, and generally easier. I have tried to show the meaning of the grammar and functions in the¬†videos with additional images and sound files whenever possible, doing a lot of illustrating of meaning,¬†as¬†opposed to¬†“testing”.

Elena reminds me it is 2008, and all of the truly useful organisational and communicative tools in a WEB 2.0 world will, indeed, be part of a new home for Real English video and lessons. That’s the new project now.

July 25, 2008 – YouTube user “jearmin”, an EFL teacher in Chile, contacted me¬†via YouTube to show me a video of his classroom¬†situation while using the¬†lesson 3 video with his students. Thank you jearmin!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 5 so far )

Hundreds of New Exercises

Posted on May 22, 2008. Filed under: Blogroll, Lessons Based on our Videos, The 2008 Videos | Tags: , |


ESL Video Lessons for Beginners, and extensive review material for all shades of Intermediates.

I’ve been working on new quizzes based on the Real English videos. In my opinion, they are much better than the¬†old lessons.
I began at the beginning (Lesson 1)  and so far I have finished over 100 quizzes for the first 8 lessons. In fact, lesson 8 is divided into 5 separate lessons concerning different uses of numbers, so in fact, we have 12 new complete lessons. 

I think teachers can send their beginner and intermediate students here and find that their motivation to learn English will get a boost.

I always hesitate when I use terms like “beginner” and “intermediate”, since Real English is real, and real means normal speed, which means “fast” to the ears of all learners of English as a Second or Foreign language. This is why the so called “beginner” lessons are essential review for higher levels.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

How to Learn a Second Language

Posted on April 1, 2008. Filed under: Blogroll, Lessons Based on our Videos, The 2008 Videos | Tags: |

We have begun our 18th year of video creation for ESL and EFL students and teachers. Right after New Year’s, we filmed in South Beach, Miami. We concentrated on these questions:

РDo you speak a Second Language?
– How did you learn it?
– Have you any advice for people learning a Second Language?

The answers to these questions will be helpful to ESL students.

There are 2 versions of each video:

the first version is without subtitles and the second version is with precise subtitles or closed captions. Thes videos begin here:

This is a picture of Joanne. It was the first time she interviewed for Real English. She did excellent work as a first-time interviewer.

In this picture she is interviewing Colonel Roberts. We met him between our “serious interviews”, and asked him different types of questions. It’s a fun interview¬†at, based upon what he was doing when we met him: making people do push-ups on the sidewalk in Miami Beach!

All of our latest videos are for intermediate and upper intermediate levels, which is one reason I added the versions with closed captions, making them more accessible to a wider range of levels.

We’re working on new¬†exercises and quizzes¬†now. If you go to lesson 15 in the Classic Clips sections, you’ll see a new type of Real English lesson.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

« Previous Entries

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...