The joy of language learning comes from increasing your abilities and a feeling of cultural discovery comparable to traveling. Language learning can however be done from home and provide an outlet for creativity and exploration needs in times of travel restrictions and home office.
We therefore are on a mission to provide this experience for subscribers to our monthly memberships. The experience should be as enjoyable as a weekly TV show or meetup with friends. And the magic of language learning is that you’ll learn and improve your mind, while having an adventurous experience.
We want nothing less than becoming the most effective, interactive and fun way to learn a language. Therefore, the structure must consist of the highly effective methods used by people who successfully learned multiple languages. Our structure combines conversations, listening-reading, and immersion activities in a way that makes it easy to start and continue.
For an enjoyable journey, we need to work with storytelling to glue together the several elements. These elements are:
- Conversation practice in a group and private
- Listening-reading videos / audio recordings
- Effective practice on a mobile app
- Group-based learning so you’re with the same people and get to know people from all over.
The best way to glue these together is through a shared story / topic through all activities. The L-R videos tell a story and the conversation session can be based on the topic of this story. The choice of the story should be based on the personal experience or interests of the tutor.
One wonderful side-effect conversation sessions is that participants engage in conversations with people from all over the world. It’s a unique opportunity to study together with others and hear their viewpoints and experiences, all while learning a language.
We want to work at first with a maximum of 20 people to guarantee the effectiveness of our program.
All participants get an email after signing up with a link to join a WhatsApp group with notifications, reminders, and instructions. From there they sign up for one weekly group session with up to 4 people. They can sign up for beginner or intermediate conversation groups. They then get placed in a group-specific WhatsApp group where the phrases and personalized instructions are posted after every conversation session.
Listening-Reading content and storytelling
Listening-Reading content is short video of 3-10 minutes in the foreign language, which comes with a transcript and a translation. For more information check our TODO listening-reading guide. To make this more exciting and easier to make, the four videos can follow a basic story-telling structure in four parts:
- The hook and introducing the context
- Build-up towards the problem
- Problem situation and and reaching limits
- The solution and the personal development that’s required to overcome the difficulties.
The story / topic should be chosen based on a problem the tutor has experienced. If the tutor is working in a hotel reception for example, the impact of COVID can be a topic:
- Introducing yourself and announcing that covid has completely changed tourism in Chile.
- Explaining how the situation has developed over time.
- What was the highest point of the pandemic and how was it experienced in the job.
- How the regional tourism took over, and how it led to a change in the way to work, as compared to before.
The topics of conversations can then be adapted to for example:
- Jobs participants had and how this changed in the pandemic
- Traveling and what memories exist and what participants currently miss
- Traveling destinations and plans for the future
- What were the best and worst experiences due to COVID.
These topics can be freely adjusted to interests of the conversation members. When member sign up for either the beginner or the intermediate conversation groups, they can also write any topic or situation they’re interested in. This can help you come up with the topics.
Learning in a structured way
Judging from the activities, this will result in some serious progress for participants. Still, participants only have to spend one scheduled hour per week, can do L-R exercises for an hour when they have time, and practice 15-20 minutes daily whenever they’re waiting or walking somewhere. Through notifications and reminders in the WhatsApp group, we hope to keep people engaged.
At the end of the month, they’ll have 4 x 25 phrases from the conversation, and another 50 per video that they can recognize, leading to an increase in vocabulary of around 300 words per month. And that’s in addition to increased comprehension and conversation skills. And the effort it takes is just two one-hour activities per week and regular practice.
Further measures for class engagement.
- Lectures about how to learn a language every week with everybody.
- Asking participants to record a 60 second video of them speaking, and post it for the others in the smaller group.
- After one month another video to visualize the progress.
- Asking for the number of peanuts earned, which is an indication for how much they practiced. Track this in a document for each smaller group. Students will appreciate if you can show them their progress.
- Asking participants to fill in a questionnaire at the beginning to understand their needs better. Choose topics and priorities for the group conversation based on this.
- Pick a series to watch with the participants of the smaller group, and set the goal to watch all the episodes over the month in the foreign language. This is great for immersion.
- Recording phrases based on the level of the participants, that are relevant for the whole group.
- Create a landing page for this offer for Spanish and Portuguese
- Set up the automations and emails to be sent
- Run an advertising campaign and free 25-minute practice lessons
- Record the L-R videos
- Announce in the emails that we’re going to start soon and that they should join the WhatsApp group.
- Introduce yourself as the tutor in the group in a video, and tell people to sign up for a weekly session.