What do you think about unconventional English learning methods and products?

I believe English communicative integrated skills courses that practise listening, speaking, reading and writing alongside pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary are the most effective and the most comprehensive courses. There is no valid reason to reject those acclaimed successfully tested courses worldwide as inferior to untested unconventional English learning products like English Harmony (creator Robby Kukurs), Language Bridge or Effortless English that are not widely used by learners worldwide. Creators of such products are in the tiny minority of doubters inventing allegedly easier, quicker and more effective language learning methods and products, but the evidence and verified facts are not on their side. Conventional communicative English teaching and learning that include adequate regular long-term practice in listening comprehension and speaking English yield effective results. Lack of such practice in English by learners produces speculations that conventional English learning and teaching methods don’t work.

I’ve received some messages from people advocating unconventional English learning methods and promoting English learning products of that kind. I’ve explored some of their websites that contain a number of learners’ comments. Supporters of unconventional learning methods and products claim that learning grammar is unnecessary and inhibits fluent speaking.
A growing number of learners are misled and lose time experiencing delay in language learning progress because of superficial claims of promoters of unconventional English learning methods and products. Therefore I’ve launched a campaign to discuss those highly important issues in teaching and learning ESL/EFL.
I disagree with those speculative claims of supporters of unconventional learning methods and products as knowledge of grammar rules logically reduces making mistakes by learners. Without adequate knowledge of English grammar rules learners often cannot create their own grammatically correct sentences and often cannot understand what they read or hear in English exactly.

Can you show me one single person who has obtained a functional level of English (B2) by attending ‘conventional English courses’ only?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A lemonade stand[YSaerTTEW443543]

Learning, practising and mastering English is a long process. In addition to formal English and self-study classes there should be adequate regular long-term practice in using English (including communication with native English speakers) to accelerate mastering of English by learners. All English language aspects and skills must be learned and practised to eventually master English: phonetics, grammar, vocabulary, listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing.
No single English course can help you master English thoroughly, for example English vocabulary and comprehensive conversational content on a multitude of topics. Only a combination of the above mentioned components can ensure mastery of English. Thought-through content for practice is crucial to first encompass relevant content for one’s needs as there is an enormous amount of diverse content in ESL/EFL resources.


One would expect that most students that completed advanced level conventional English courses ought to have advanced level English language skills. If a student failed to achieve that level true causes of failure could be established whether it is a teacher’s or a student’s fault. Each case of failure should be assessed separately and no hasty general unsubstantiated conclusions should be made. It is a good idea to analyze the factors affecting successful learning and teaching of ESL/EFL, especially such issues as diligence, dedication, motivation, interest, memory capability, methods and practice activities, etc.

After my daughter had spent a year at a high school in the States her English was very good. However, she didn’t complete any of the type of courses you have been so in favor of. The same goes for me. I have not been able to learn good English in a class shared with people whose English is worse than mine. As a matter of fact, I have not met one single person yet who has achieved a functional level of English by attending regular English classes. This concept simply doesn’t work for a number of reasons.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Walking on the street[YSaerTTEW443543]

Most foreign ESL/EFL learners worldwide, even those living in English speaking countries attend formal English courses especially for educational, professional, employment and business purposes and do not rely exclusively on communication with native English speakers. Both are needed to develop good English language skills. Self-study and self-practice are also very helpful in this regard, especially to accelerate learning of English vocabulary and to develop better English listening and speaking skills.

They attend those classes because they have to and because they think they will learn English that way. What they really learn is how not to speak English because 90% of the time they are exposed to incorrect English in those classes.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Shopping in the market[YSaerTTEW443543]

I have a list of valuable resources for learning and teaching English that may be of interest to you as you may be looking for new interesting helpful information in this regard. Let me know the issues of your particular interest about ESL/EFL.

My particular interests are:

  • How to integrate English into our daily lives?
  • How to find and make friends with native speakers?
  • How to improve our pronunciation in a natural way?
  • How to pick books and materials successful native speakers listen to and read?
  • How to increase our self-confidence?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A large watermelon[YSaerTTEW443543]

You can search on google.com, amazon.com, youtube.com and on social networking sites using word combinations of your choice to find answers to your questions. This way you can find information of your interest: websites, publications, audio and video recordings that I think can meet your interest and needs regarding any language issue, etc. This way I’ve been trying to improve my knowledge in ESL/EFL issues.
As I see from the questions of your interest you are interested in not just ESL/EFL issues but also in some other subjects/topics.
I do not know what topics or areas of knowledge you mean in your question - “How to pick books and materials successful native speakers listen to and read?”
Successful native speakers improve their knowledge in various subjects of their interests most likely for practical benefit for educational, professional, employment, business, income, self-improvement, career, seeking success, happiness and for other purposes and needs.
There are also a lot of free audiobooks and e-books on the Internet.
What do you mean exactly by “How to integrate English in our daily lives?”
I will keep your questions in my mind. We can find good answers to your questions.

I won’t never discard conventional learning. The Root.

For I see many writers are cheating learners with bits and pieces that they copy out of conventional writers’ and selling them as their own. ( Plagiarism )

I should perfect my English by seasoning it with modern ways of learning.


Below are some quotes of other experienced ESL teachers that share my views on the issue of English grammar.

John’s ESL Grammar - johnsesl.com/templates/grammar/:
“What is grammar? Why should you study English grammar? Grammar is the fundamental building blocks of a language. As a student of English as a second or foreign language, it is important for you to have a thorough understanding of the English grammar system. As children, we all learned to speak our native language before we learned the grammar. Learning a second language is different than learning our first or native language, though. Learning the grammar system of English, or any second language, requires time and effort. It also takes the right study materials. And the study materials should be presented in clear terms so that even the beginning learner can improve and progress at a steady pace”.

A message on learnhowtospeakenglish.net/the-b … glish.html says: “While it is necessary to learn the rules of grammar, there is really no substitute for learning English through grammar exercises. Rote memorization of grammar rules may give you a lot of knowledge. However, you cannot learn how to properly apply these rules unless you take a lot of writing exercises or use advanced checking software. Essentially, grammar exercises can help you to make English a more “naturally” accessible language for you. This may be a difficult concept at the start, especially when your understanding of grammar rules is more theoretical than practical. However, as you continue on with your grammar exercises, you will soon begin to understand how the rules of the grammar are practically implemented. This gives you a more intuitive grasp of the English language which in turn makes you a better language speaker and writer”.

An EFL teacher working abroad says on englishforums.com:
“I’ve concluded that grammar is essential when learning a second language. You cannot teach the student how to speak and then try correcting the mistakes because that won’t work. I think for beginners they should have about 80% of grammar activities such as filling the gaps, drills and repetition activities and 20% of discourse-related activities. Then when we move to intermediate level - we could have half/half and for advanced students focus on their spoken production”.

In my opinion, in order to make a grammar point easier understandable an adequate number (not just one or two) of daily life usage examples (sentences) with different types of potentially occurring patterns could be provided in listening, reading, speaking and writing practice. For example when learning English verb tenses, different types of sentences with affirmative and negative verb forms, and all personal pronouns (I, you, she. he, it, we, they) and other kinds of potential subjects (as doers or agents of actions) can be included as examples to show all types of potentially occurring patterns of use which must be dealt with sooner or later anyway.
Learners of English should be encouraged to make up their own sentences on each grammar point taking into consideration their personal daily life activities (thus using English grammar for their potential relevant needs in realistic situations). Imagination and creativity play a major role in this practice as learners prepare for potential use of English grammar for their needs.