Hi everyone,

My name is Syl. I'm an English teacher.

A few weeks ago, I started to make some videos to help my students with their listening. They know enough English to understand slow English, but if they watch regular movies, TV and news, they can't follow it because it's much too fast and the vocabulary is very hard.

So, I am now making some news videos where I speak in slow easy English. They said that it helps them a lot.

I also got a few emails from people around the world who saw them and liked them.

So, I thought other might enjoy watching them too.

Please check them out and tell me what you think. I am trying to improve them every time, so if you have any suggestions, comments or questions, please ask me!

You can find the videos at http://www.sloweasyenglish.com
or you can just search for "slow easy English" on YouTube and you should be able to find them easily.

I hope they help you with your English.

Hello, Syl.

1. You have done a good job with your project.
2. You are doing your students a serious disservice in not using natural English from the start. You will only retard their growth. I use natural speed with even the most basic students and although they panic at first, they soon become accustomed to natural speech and do much better on the listening sections of the proficiency tests than students who are coddled.
Hi MM,

1. Thanks for the compliment!

2. I appreciate the comments but the English is pretty natural. It's spoken more slowly and not quite at the same level of CNN, but it would be hard to argue it is "unnatural". I don't break the English, omit articles, etc. Even the pronunciation is not really all that enunciated.

Perhaps you missed the point of the videos?

It's not to "coddle" learners so that they don't have to make an effort to understand. A student who could, with some effort, understand CNN-level reporting should be watching CNN.

But some learners watch CNN and all they understand is, "lajflajsf man vonvkvorofl lasfowunn gun owunsnnllafjouwourwljf police alsjfouiwr jsfflja owwljflsajflsfjowufjlfkj lksjsljfsouwoow Miami." Most students don't have the desire to sit through that for 20 hours a week until they figure it out.

These videos are for them and are the intermediate step between the introductory textbook and full-on university-level English.

I don't believe throwing 120mph fastballs to someone who's never held a bat before is better than building up to it. But you are absolutely correct. Lobbing the ball to an MLB player is just a waste of his talent.

Anyway, I'm sure there will be lots of different opinions on the need for these types of videos. That's OK. It's what makes the world so interesting.

I just want to help those who like them. Gladly, it seems many already do.
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Dear moderator,

I just wanted to say thank you for letting my post through!

Hello Syl,

I agree slow English is a valuable adjunct to any L2 acquisition. The fact of the matter is that many people, myself included, normally speak slowly, and your diction is not substantially different from normal at slow pace. I recall years ago my main TESOL/TEFL instructor parroting the common dogma about natural pace, but without peer-review research to back up that counter-intuitive nonsense, I have continued not only with my own slower than normal delivery, but added syllable-timing to the equation where appropriate, with great success.

Some newscasters speak slowly, and the VOA Special English have been a great contribution to many students.

If I have a criticism, it is the static, talking-head quality of your presentation, although I concede a more interactive approach with copyright materials, for example, might take some time to set up. I suspect that many students, especially young ones, will not watch more than 2 or 3 episodes before going on to something more lively.This is something you may wish to develop down the road. Good luck.

Hi Syl,

I've done a lot if international sales business over the years, presenting in English to people who use English as their second or even third language, and at various levels of competence. I have found without fail that the best way to help them to understand what I am saying is to speak naturally, but a fraction more slowly and more clearly than I would naturally speak to my English friends and colleagues.

It works.

I moved to live and work in Switzerland a couple of years ago, and have struggled to learn German. One thing I found that has helped me IMMENSELY in improving my German understanding is a podcast called "Slow German" where the presenter talks naturally for five minutes or so about a subject, but speaks a little more slowly than would be normal and speaks with very clear diction. Where I might catch 2 or 3 words in a sentence at "normal" conversational speed, I find I can hear now all the words, and even if I do not understand all the vocabulary I often understand enough of the sentence and the context of the preceding discussion to be able to work out what the missing words most likely mean.

It works.

Ignore the people who suggest you just rattle it out like a machine gun and hope people will eventually catch up.

Keep up the good work. Speaking clearly and slowly always helps understanding. And it gives confidence to then go a little bit faster and a little bit faster until suddenly you are listening at full speed and understanding, and didn't consciously realise it.

Best regards
Try out our live chat room.

It's great that you are doing so much to help your students. But stop, speaking unnaturaley and too slowly is not going to help any of them in the long term.

Best of luck.