Carolyn Cobb, ESL Instructor, Peace Center, United States
Thank you for you for providing such a great tool for learning English...one that has the potential to change lives! One can learn to read, speak and understand English, but one needs to be understandable in English as well. You emphasize that point clearly!
I am an ESL instructor and we teach over 100 highly-motivated students at our school. During each 2 hour class, a portion of the time is set aside to view the Pronunciation Workshop videos. There are over 70 languages represented at our school. English is our common denominator, the way we communicate with each other. Because the nations of origin are many, and our students’ pronunciations of words are so diverse, I’m particularly impressed with the way Paul identifies specific pronunciation pitfalls which are quite different for someone from Germany or Russia than for someone from one of the Asian countries. I also love the way he emphasizes and has “us” practice the tongue and lip positions, the voiced and unvoiced sounds that make understandable English possible. For some, it’s quite a steep learning curve, but as he demonstrates, and we follow his instructions and examples, I can quickly see and hear the changes in the way our students speak. It is a joy to see this diverse group of immigrants from nations all over the world, watching and listening with rapt attention to these videos, then pronouncing the sounds, words and sentences with you. We have students from Russia, Argentina, China, Korea, Mexico, Iran...and many other countries.
One of my students said, “I want to speak like an American.” And that’s exactly what this course helps him to do. Though I’ve volunteered in several ESL programs over the years, none of them offered this essential component. Understandable English is essential!