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Philosophies - Speak Your Mind Method

2013/11/13

Whenever the Callan Method comes up, the Speak Your Mind Method is always soon to follow. Because the two are different enough to be considered 'opposites', but similar enough to be readily compared. Both share commonalities with their heavy focus on teacher-guided conversations. While the Callan Method takes an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" approach towards their time-tested lesson plans, while Speak Your Mind is constantly evolving and changing. While the Callan method is a more robotic, "one size fits all" (albeit effective) approach. Speak Your Mind (like it's name sake) encourages student originality and thinking.

A hybridized 'audiolingual method' Speak Your Mind has a set, but not scripted, dialogue framework that aims to build unconscious reflexes in students to answer and ask questions without having to translate in their heads before speaking. The method puts a lot of emphasis on speaking, such as answering questions, and (unlike Callan) on students asking original questions as well. The philosophy behind the method is that speaking is the most rewarding aspect of learning another language, and the primary reason for learning with most students as well, therefore it is the central focus of Speak Your Mind.

The course attempts to do away with "one theme at a time" lessons, instead layering its themes, grammar, and vocabulary together to gradually grow and reinforce learning with topics that engage students by addressing things that they can relate to and are interested in... or at least that's what it says on the website.

Reading and writing skills are developed eventually over time. But the philosophy is that the learning order is Listening to Speaking, and then Reading to Writing. With 18 units, and 10 lessons per unit with books and CDs even an iPhone app available. But the book is generally closed during lessons and meant to be used outside of class.

Reviews and opinions for the method tend to be positive, with less of the love/hate extremes roiling around the Callan camp. The consensus seems to be that the method treats students like responsible individuals wanting to speak and learn... so if that doesn't sound like your students, maybe this is not the right method for you!

Otherwise it is a well-liked, intelligently designed, and ever-evolving, up-and-coming English teaching method with emphasis on student speaking, and self-expression.

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