Thanks to a link on AJ’s site, I’ve just spent 10 minutes or so exploring this rather intruiging site. It claims to teach written and spoken English entirely online. It includes a community blog, and uses downloaded mp3 files for off-line listening. The Linguist is Canadian Steve Kaufmann, who has his own blog, too. Check it out.

Learn advanced English, professional English at the The Linguist is a proven, fun system for learning fluent English online. Learn faster, learn better, and learn on your own time. Learn to speak and write English naturally. With your personal English tutor to guide your progress you will make a breakthrough in 3 months! Guaranteed.
My name is Steve Kaufmann and I speak 9 languages fluently. Take a look. The Linguist System is based on the language learning methods I developed. Read a free excerpt from my book. Before I developed these methods I had studied languages for years in a classroom with little success. The Linguist is not a conventional English course. It really works! Now you too can learn fluent English with The Linguist!

I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who has some experience of using this system (or knows someone who has).

My brief wander through the site revealed a number of “key” points:
a) a large online library of written texts with audio files (sounds excellent idea)
b) online consultation and speaking with “tutors” and communities of learners (pretty important and potentially valuable, but depends who they are and how it’s organized)
c) online correction of written exercises (sounds like hard work for the tutors, but also useful for students)
d) a focus on goals, especially goals for vocabulary acquisition
e) a focus on learning “chunks” of language, not merely focussing on individual words, presumably for both listening and speaking (again, good, tho I was a little startled to read this in the forums: As Steve Kaufmann has discoved, people speak NOT word by word by word, but in Phrases, which suggests Kaufmann was the first to discover this, but I’m nit-picking).

3 thoughts on “The”

  1. Excellent points. Even without a degree in Applied Linguistics, even I’ve heard of “chunking” and it wasn’t first discovered by Kaufmann. And how IS this course different from other online”speak-to-a-tutor and writing correction schemes”? And speaking of cash cows, here’s another commercial site:

  2. The Linguist looks like just another cash cow website that makes unrealistic promises by reinventing the wheel. Now, if you had an education in Applied Linguistics or Psychology, you would know that chunking is a concept that has been around for ages. Besides that, ask yourself some basic questions: how do we know this Mr. Kaufman speaks all these languages, and at which level? I can say hello in more languages than that; does that count too? How is his course different from other online providers who offer the same speak to a tutor and writing correction scheme. What ever happened to some basic critical thinking skills in the world of EFL?

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