MY STEPMOTHER TONGUE WAS A RABBIT-EARED TELEVISION
I’ve always had a diverse group of close friends. In the sixth grade, at 12 years old, I found camaraderie with six year old Billie, fifteen year old Patsy, ten year old Rolando who was a recent immigrant boy from Panama, 13 year old Renee who was an immigrant from France, and Gerhardt Beck, a second generation kid from Germany whose family only spoke German in his house. When we were on the school playground, the only thing that mattered was whether you could catch the ball or not or successfully avoid being tagged out on third base. Kids typically stack their priorities differently than adults so an accent, heavy or not, didn’t make a bit of difference in our friendship. The big payoff in this diversity of friends was lots of neat new stuff to be learned.
can learn language very quickly. It comes with the territory of being a child. They’re cuddled, praised and kissed when they learn to speak a new word even if the pronunciation is far from perfect. They’re delightfully tickled or laugh uncontrollably at learning a new swear word with sexual innuendos in German or Spanish. New vocabulary acquisition has layers upon pleasant layers of immediate and long term rewards. This learning usually takes place in a non-threatening environment, with immediate feedback, and clearly understood benefits and payoffs, and is reinforced with copious repetition. Adults are often struck to see a child negotiate a twisting playground slide 25 times, watch the same cartoon 40 times, ask for a re-reading of a favorite bedtime story 60 times. Again, this comes with the territory of being a child who’s very much alive and engaged with a world of constant wonder.
A close professor colleague of mine immigrated from Iran as a young man. He had an incredible command of the English language and speaks it with an almost perfect American accent. When we first became acquainted I was amazed to learn that he came to the United States as an undergraduate student who had only recently begun to learn English from another Iranian while still in Iran. He confided in me that he acquired almost all of his spoken English mastery by religiously watching every episode he could of “I Love Lucy“, starring the comedienne Lucille Ball. To him, “I Love Lucy” was perfectly suited to new English language learners for various reasons. Your Virtual World will be featuring many of the “I Love Lucy” shows as part of its Movie Module catalog. I noticed the pattern evident in powerful learning: repetition, multi-sensory, engagement (humor), non-threatening, easy accessibility, reinforcement through mandatory use, and immediate rewards.
I’ve integrated all of these elements and more in the attempt to make English language learning through video effective through Your Virtual World’s Movie Modules. We’ve made these enhancements available at the click of a button. Available are written and audio translation tools, synchronized written English to accompany the audio, slowed video and audio for easier comprehension, exercises to test comprehension and learning, and presentation of complementary media to provide further contextualization on the topics and content engaged in the primary video. Watch the “Little Blue Car” Movie Module so you may better understand how all of these elements are woven together. Hint: open web browser in full screen mode while viewing all Movie Modules and leave the Google Translate window open and always available. Click HERE.
We help you succeed with 2,000,000,000 other people who learn, work, research, travel, and relax using English. Try a FREE Movie Module™! YOUR VIRTUAL WORLD is dedicated to helping anybody who wishes to learn English. We teach English online at this website so anybody can learn English on the Internet using interactive lessons, exercises, videos with English karaoke subtitles, and many resources like our interactive talking dictionary and language translation tools. Need ESL, EFL, IELTS, TOEFL, MTELP, TOEIC, or Cambridge ESOL preparation help? Let YOUR VIRTUAL WORLD be your English language learning provider!
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