Part of learning English as a second language (ESL) is listening to it being spoken. In a previous article, Robert McDougal of Orange County talked about the different methods a new learner could listen to English being spoken, such as in meetings, on television, on podcasts, on the radio. Here, Robert McDougal of Orange County outlines his top three free resources on the internet which help ESL students learn the language faster.
To evaluate a site for its value in helping ESL students, Robert Bouton McDougal of Orange County looks at several things. “There needs to be a wide variety of subject matter,” he says, “and the audio needs to be clear and concise.” Robert McDougal says an excellent site for learning English will ideally have multiple speakers carrying on a conversation in a casual format, not necessarily using exact “proper” English, but instead, using real, everyday English.
The first site that Robert McDougal of Orange County recommends for new students is ESL: English as a Second Language by Dr. Ron C. Lee. This free site has thousands of spoken terms including Speak Easy and Easy Conversations sections, whereby beginning students can listen to basic conversations. Contents include all types of conversations and essays in a variety of subjects along with exercises for improved listening, speaking, and reading comprehension. The audio is clear, concise, and true to life, although Robert McDougal says the pronunciation of each syllable is a little too perfect. “It very simple, so it’s a great place to start,” Robert McDougal adds.
One of his other recommendations, Activities for ESL Students, is a free online resource that includes quizzes, tests, exercises, and puzzles to help the student learn English. The site itself says it’s a “project of The Internet TESL Journal and has thousands of contributions by many ESL teachers.”
Another free site Robert Bouton McDougal says he likes is BBC Learning English. “This place is a gold mine,” Robert McDougal says, “although it’s not for true beginners.” The topics here focus on radio broadcasts and BBC-style videos, plus most of it is in the English-style accent, which he says helps advanced users comprehend conversation beyond simple American-English.
Finally, Robert Bouton McDougal of Orange County says new students should check out LiveMocha, which is an interactive language site. “Sometimes, it’s hard to get good resources where you can get speaking practice,” he says, “but the lessons on this site have that.” There are quite a few audio and visual interactive lessons here, he adds. You will need to create an account to get on, Robert McDougal explains, but it’s worth it for what you get for free.
To learn more about Robert McDougal of Orange County, please visit: https://robertmcdougal.co/
Thinking in English is easy for most of us since that’s the only way we know how to think, but for those born and raised speaking a different language, it might seem almost impossible. However, Robert McDougal of Orange County says certain methods of teaching ESL classes can help learners make the transition faster.
“I’ve had students,” Robert McDougal of Orange County begins, “who have to stop and think before they speak each time.” This isn’t an ideal situation as the goal is not memorization nor translation of certain words. “The goal is to become so immersed in the English language that even thinking in English becomes second nature,” he says. “We don’t want them to have to translate in their heads,” he explains, “since it really slows down everything.” Robert McDougal says this is mainly because not every word translates over to English smoothly. For this reason, Robert McDougal recommends ESL classrooms use the full submersion method instead.
The full submersion method is one in which English is the only language allowed in the classroom. This is something that’s been long debated, Robert McDougal of Orange County says, but it’s obvious that using only English in his lessons is a big part of what has made his classes so effective. He reports he can only recall 2 times over the past 6 years in which he’s had to revert to a student’s native language. “It does help the student learn the language more fully,” he adds, “since the students know they can’t use their native tongue.” Robert McDougal points out that although this method may take a little longer for some, most students come away at the end of it with a much stronger grasp of English.
Another tactic Robert McDougal of Orange County advises when teaching is to use this method with a lot of action. “When you associate activities with the word that corresponds with it, it’s reinforcing what they’re learning,” he says. “For example, if I’m talking about the concept of open and close, I’ll use a door or a drawer.”
Robert McDougal of Orange County also likes to use emotion to get the point across. “Sometimes, I exaggerate my emotions for the class which gets a lot of laughs.” He explains, “it’s a lot more enjoyable when it’s entertaining, and it’s a lot more memorable for the student.” He also uses props in his class to get his point across, such as pictures, drawings, models, flashcards, and anything else he can find. Robert McDougal says this is just a small part of what goes into a great ESL class. “It’s a great feeling when you know you have helped someone finally breakthrough to understanding the language,” he says.
Robert Bouton McDougal of Orange County is a seasoned educator and language learning expert in Costa Mesa, CA. With a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in English Language Learning, TESOL certification, and a robust teaching history across the U.S. and Central America, Robert McDougal has years of experience helping non-native English speakers learn to speak English. Robert McDougal of Orange County approaches every classroom and tutoring challenge with optimism and perseverance. If you are seeking a private English tutor for yourself or a loved one, Robert Bouton McDougal is a trained professional with the combined years of education and experience to put you on the fast track to fluency.
As Robert McDougal has explained to us in the past, there are a variety of methods for educating foreign language speakers on the intricacies of learning how to understand, read, write, and speak the English language. There are even more approaches to ESL education, and as Robert McDougal has previously explained, the viability of the method depends on the type of learner the student happens to be.
Task-based language learning (TBLT) or task-based instruction (TBI) is a method that’s similar to communicative language teaching, in that they are both interaction-based approaches to absorbing the rules of language. The main difference between the two methods, Robert McDougal explains, is that communicative language teaching focuses on conversational English, while task-based language learning places more of a focus on understanding the language in order to complete meaningful tasks.
Practitioners of the method point to its reliance on communication and socializing as a major boon for those trying to learn English, as these are common factors that are present in most real-world applications and learning of language. Robert McDougal explains that another merit of TBLT is the way that it encourages students to develop a deeper understanding of the meaning of the words they are learning. Those who critique the method state that in some cases, because the tasks being presented have little to no reliance on language stills, it can be difficult for students to fully grasp the importance behind the task they’re performing, or retain any meaningful information about the English language as a result of it.
Another method Robert McDougal describes is “total physical response”, or TPR. Total physical response relies on the idea that language is inherently connected with physical movement. For example, a student may learn new phrases in English by being told to do things such as “sit down”, “stand up”, “go over there”, etc. as a beginner student, and graduate to more complicated instruction such as “pick up the yellow pencil bring it to your friend in the red shirt”. TPR has been criticized as only being appropriate for beginners, but there are materials and resources available for using TPR with more advanced students. In addition, teachers that utilize total physical response usually do not make it the sole method taught in the classroom, but instead, use it in conjunction with other methods in order to bolster their lesson plan.
These are only two more approaches to teaching English as a second language, and, as mentioned earlier, there are many, many more. So, what’s the best way to choose the method you should be using in your lessons? Robert McDougal suggests not tying yourself down to just one approach: depending on the lesson being taught, the method can change freely. The subject matter and level of expertise of the class can and should both be taken into account when deciding the best way to approach the lesson. Of course, you should also be taking special consideration of what kind of learners your students are. By properly utilizing these methods in conjunction with your own better judgment, you’ll be sure to find the best methods possible to teach ESL.
Learning another language is no small undertaking. On the other side of the coin, teaching someone another language can be a challenge in its own right! Robert McDougal, an ESL teacher, explained to us some of the various methods that are used in order to educate foreign language speakers on how to speak English. While some may have objectively higher success rates than others, it is important to note that everyone learns in their own unique way. What may work wonders for most may be completely incomprehensible to a small subset of learners, and vice versa. It’s important to discover what method of language education works best in the context of a classroom, but also what techniques you can use for certain individuals in order to help them master the language as well as anyone else.
The direct method (or as it’s sometimes referred to, the “natural method”) is a method of learning another language in which the student’s mother tongue is never used. In other words, the student is only spoken to in English, with absolutely no other spoken or written language allowed. This method of education operates under the assumption that the student should be absorbing the intricacies of the English language much in the same way they (assumedly) did with their mother tongue: with no outside influence from other languages.
The benefits of the direct method are many: learners who utilize the direct method often have a greater command over the fluency of their speech, which further benefits all other aspects of their mastery over English (writing, understanding complex thoughts with multiple meanings, expression, etc.). However, this method can be extremely difficult for many to pick up on, and it often takes a long time to be able to achieve real-world level results. Robert McDougal suggests the direct method for young minds, as they’re often able to more easily pick up on new concepts without being bogged down by preconceived notions.
Robert McDougal points out that a more traditional method of teaching ESL is the grammar-translation method. In the grammar-translation method, students apply learned grammatical rules by translated sentences either from or to English. The merits of this method of learning English are tied to its emphasis on translating the written word: students who excel at this method will find themselves able to easily translate written works to their own language and understand English type with no trouble. On the downside, this method de-emphasizes actual communication with little to no speaking practice. Because of this, modern scholars do not recommend this method of teaching-however, it remains by far the most popular method in schools around the world.
Yet another method, Robert McDougal explains, is the communicative approach, otherwise known as CLT, or communicative language teaching. CLT techniques hinge on communication between the student and teacher, with a focus on the practical application of English in conversation. The downsides of CLT are tied to its lack of standards when it comes to what constitutes communicative competence. Basically, because there is no unified agreed-upon standard for what this means, the requirements of instructors are likewise varied. CLT is also criticized for not placing enough emphasis on grammatical intricacies, which can lead to fundamental misunderstandings about the language.
These are just three of the many methods that are used all over the world to teach English. Robert McDougal suggests doing a little more in-depth research before deciding which one you think would work best in your classroom.
When Robert McDougal isn’t helping others, he’s thinking of ways to help others and giving them resources to help themselves and those around them. Currently known for teaching English to non-native speakers in the Costa Mesa, CA area for the past six years, Robert McDougal is seeking to spread knowledge about teaching English as a second language to a wider audience in hopes that he can show the world the variety of benefits that the education of a new language can bring.
The term “ESL” itself is falling out of vogue for multiple reasons, Robert McDougal states. For one, and perhaps most obviously, the term (which stands for “English as a second language”) precludes the idea of anyone learning English as their third, or fourth language, or beyond. The term has also been criticized by some as implying that English is a language of lesser importance. Because of this, other terms have begun to become more popular in recent years, such as “ELL” (English language learners) or simply “EL” (English learners).
Robert McDougal‘s as-of-yet unnamed book will touch on many aspects of learning the English language as a non-native speaker. One major theme of the early parts of the book, Robert McDougal tells us, is learning English in a foreign country. There will be at least two full chapters dedicated to the differences between learning English for the purposes of moving to an English-speaking country and learning English for business purposes, such as inter-continental trading.
Another section of Robert McDougal‘s informational book describes the history and mechanics behind numerous versions of simplified English, including Basic English, Simplified Technical English, Threshold Level English, and others. As explained in the upcoming book, the purposes of these languages vary: while some were created out of a want for a global language intended for everyone to learn, others were created in order to be aimed towards secondary English-speakers for the purpose of spreading information.
Also touched upon throughout the currently unreleased book are Robert McDougal‘s own experiences in Costa Mesa, CA as an ESL teacher, helping Spanish-speaking citizens integrate into their communities more easily and providing them with more resources to help them thrive.
Yet another section of the book details the common-and some uncommon-issues non-native speakers may struggle with when trying to learn English. These pitfalls can range from problems with an underdeveloped education system to phonetic issues caused by cultural differences. For example, a Spanish speaker will have an easier time learning English than a Chinese speaker, as their alphabet is completely different.
Robert McDougal hopes the book will help answer common questions and questions you didn’t even know you had about ESL and is working hard to ensure its release as soon as possible.
Robert McDougal is no stranger to experiencing first-hand the positive impact of learning English as a second language can have on a person’s life. When people thinking about learning English as a second language, their first reaction may be to picture a child in school. However, the benefits of learning English can affect anyone, no matter what their age is. Robert shared with us some of the top benefits that come with practicing ESL.
Positive Benefits of ESL
The positive benefits of learning English as a second language are almost too many to list. Luckily, language expert Robert McDougal filled us in on some of the most helpful benefits one can expect from learning another language on top of their native tongue.
The first, and most obvious benefit of learning English as a second language should come as no surprise: the ability to understand and converse in English opens up a plethora of avenues for the speaker. English is one of the most often-used languages in the entire world, and of course, if you plan on living in a predominantly English-speaking country, it’s downright necessary for day-to-day life.
What may come as more of a surprise, a less obvious benefit of learning English as a second language, as told to us by Robert McDougal: the ability to greater comprehend other’s meaning and intentions. Robert McDougal explains: “When you learn another language, you’re adding a brand-new understanding of an entire culture’s vocabulary to your repertoire. This sort of new understanding coupled with the native speaker’s already-ingrained understanding of spoken language, body language, and so on, generally gives those who learn multiple languages a greater comprehension of social situations.”
Along the same lines, Robert McDougal goes on to teach us another great benefit of learning English: increased mental acuity. By training your mind to comprehend in another language, you create new pathways between neurons in your brain, expanding your ability to explore new avenues of thought. By learning English as a second language, Robert McDougal teaches us, you’re “exercising” your mind, leading to sharper thought in your daily life.
About Robert Bouton McDougal
Robert Bouton McDougal is a seasoned educator and language learning expert in Costa Mesa, CA. With a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in English Language Learning, TESOL certification, and a robust teaching history across the U.S. and Central America, Robert McDougal has years of experience under his belt. He is especially passionate about helping adult non-native English speakers reach their full potential by catering to the specific needs of older learners.
Robert McDougal approaches every classroom and tutoring challenge with optimism and perseverance. If you are seeking a private English tutor for yourself or a loved one, Robert Bouton McDougal is a trained professional with the combined years of education and experience to put you on the fast track to fluency.
California does offer Spanish-speaking residents courses to learn the English language. Yet, English instructor Robert McDougal believes there needs to be more of them.
These courses are ESL (English As A Second Language), and bilingual programs.
“We need to have a clearer understanding of the difference between the two courses. We also need more English education classes in California,” says Robert McDougal.
Robert McDougal is a resident of Costa Mesa, CA, and is an experienced English teacher. He has traveled across the United States, teaching English to Spanish-speaking students.
He has both the training and knowledge of this system. This enables Robert to provide insight into areas that need improvement.
Robert McDougal affirms, “ESL and bilingual courses are different and necessary. The main distinction between the two is the language of instruction.”
He elaborates further, “ESL is for students who speak different languages. The course is taught in English only. Example: Students speak Italian, Chinese, and Spanish. The teacher only speaks and teaches in English. The bilingual program is for students who speak the same language. The trainers teach using the same language as the students and English.
Example: Students speak only one language like Spanish. The teacher speaks the same language as the students and English. In this example, the educator would speak both Spanish and English.”
Robert McDougal says, “Because they are not the same, we need to have more of both of them in California.”
He feels both ESL and bilingual programs are essential. One does not out-weigh the other.
“They are equally important,” says Robert McDougal.
Along with learning the English language, each course forms more opportunities for cultural understanding. Learning about different cultures is vital for us to better understand our surroundings.
“We can do better as a state to help Spanish-speaking individuals who want to learn English. Adding more ESL and bilingual education can improve the lives of Spanish-speaking residents.
There should be plenty of access and options for those who want to learn the English language,” says Robert McDougal.
Robert McDougal of Costa Mesa has a robust teaching history. His expertise grants him the right to share what he has learned about education.
Robert McDougal has traveled all across the US for teaching purposes. Robert has come up against many educators who feel they cannot reach every student. But Robert disagrees with this notion. Robert McDougal of Costa Mesa associates this sort of thinking with a willingness to give up on students. To forget about those who do not learn the way some teachers teach.
Robert McDougal says, “Schools need to do a better job at reflecting the learning styles of every student, starting with educators.”
Every student needs to have a voice about their education and access to educators who listen. Students should feel comfortable sharing their struggles with school. Teachers should be ready to provide alternative methods to aid them.
Educators who want to understand why a lesson is “hard” can significantly impact lives.
It is not an easy task to undertake, to say the least. It could be the reason most would rather say, “not all students can be reached.” It is definitely an easier route.
But, as a result, students suffer. Just as teachers need to change, so do students.
It is not easy for students to break the studying habits they have formed over the years, but it is necessary.
Robert McDougal of Costa Mesa says, “The system is broken, but with a change of mindset and action by educators, it can be fixed.”
Schools, teachers, parents, and students all need to come together. Not as a large group, in a giant theater hall or meeting room, but as a support team for each child.
No student is like the other, and neither is their learning style.
It does not make sense to think that one way of teaching works for everyone. There must be a better education strategy to present every student with the ability to learn their own way.
Robert McDougal believes it is time for an “education upgrade.” Even if that means change can only come with one teacher at a time.
Educators must stop having the mindset that some students are just unreachable. Instead, create and commit to a plan that makes the opposite come true.
Learn more about Robert McDougal:
Robert McDougal is an experienced educator in Costa Mesa, CA. Over the years, Robert has gained insight into California’s education system.
Robert McDougal’s expertise and robust teaching history have shown him what the system is lacking. Robert has expressed this in the past.
“California schools need to better reflect the learning styles of every student.”
Robert McDougal of Costa Mesa possesses a master’s degree in English Language Learning and TESOL certification. His background includes classroom teaching and learning centers.
Throughout Southern California, he worked at language institutes and individual tutoring hubs.
Robert states, “It [California schools] must better cater to the needs of ALL learners.”
Robert sees a deficiency in California’s education system. He believes it does not deliver Spanish speakers the right to a proper education.
Robert knows a lot about the importance of inclusiveness in teachings. Robert has made many efforts to improve education for non-English speaking students.
McDougal helps facilities to develop, edit, and expand their learning curriculum.
Robert McDougal supports Spanish speakers with their studies. He feels the state of California should do the same.
Learn more about Robert McDougal:
Seasoned educator Robert McDougal expresses his strong views of California education.
Robert holds a master’s degree in English Language Learning and TESOL certification. For years, Robert McDougal traveled across the US and Central America, educating others.
Robert McDougal’s robust teaching history taught him a lot about the education system. He is now a language learning expert in Costa Mesa, CA.
Robert McDougal is especially passionate about helping non-native English speakers receive an education. He strives to help everyone reach their full potential.
Robert McDougal believes California is not doing enough to support native Spanish speakers. He feels the state needs to do more to include non-English speakers in its education system.
Robert says that English language learners often face many challenges. Some hurdles include experiencing education with unqualified teachers and limited learning environments.
The outcome of situations, like the ones listed, is never good. It causes non-native English students to struggle and develop a dependency on teachers.
The ability to gain real lessons and knowledge is unachievable.
Robert McDougal has much experience in the field of education.
He specializes in English instruction for native Spanish speakers. He is well-informed about the curriculum system and what it lacks.
“The California education system needs to improve greatly,” says Robert McDougal.
He continues by saying, “It must better cater to the needs of ALL learners.”
California has been among the states that tried to pass the law that schools teach in English only. Their efforts came true in 1998 when California voters enacted Proposition 227.
The Prop required California schools to teach in English only. Schools had to stop providing bilingual education programs.
In 2016, fortunately, this law changed.
California passed Prop 58, which undid Prop 227. The new Proposition allows school districts to present parents with native-speaking options.
Although Prop 58 wiped out much of Prop 227, Robert McDougal stresses this is not enough, and he would know.
Robert McDougal’s experience includes classroom teaching and learning centers. He has worked at language institutes and individual tutoring hubs throughout Southern California.
Robert helps many learning facilities develop, edit, and expand their existing curriculum. He strives to help Spanish speakers receive a proper education. His changes to the curriculum better reflect the learning styles of every student.
Robert McDougal hopes California will do the same. The state needs to work towards improving inclusivity in education.
Robert McDougal’s goal is for California’s current education system to include aiding Spanish learners.
Learn more about Robert McDougal: