First, I didn’t know that Learn Real English (LRE) exists, but I have noticed that several of my friends (including the readers of English the Smart Way) have been using it already. And they were all successful English speakers. So I decided to check the LRE out and see how is it. :)
In this article I am going to share my thoughts on the Learn Real English course as a complete newbie to this program. I will explore the lessons and tell you what I think about them. :)
Please note, that I already consider myself as an English speaker who can use spoken English. For this skill I am thankful to the mentioned Power English program I have used before.
Alright, let’s get to the Learn Real English review! :)
Getting the lessons
The official website of Learn Real English is http://www.learnrealenglish.com.
When you get to the website, you can see all the information about the lessons in the text and video form. You can meet the teachers here - A.J. (the author of Power English), Joe and Kristin.
In the following video I captured the process of me getting the Learn Real English lessons although a few days after I have bought the lessons, they have redesigned their website. The new website is nicer and the process of getting the lessons remained the same. :)
(Note: I am using the demo version of the capturing software - that is the reason you see the big “Demo mode” watermark throughout the video, sorry about that.)
As you could see in the video, I bought the lessons using PayPal service as I prefer it over other payment methods. But it is completely up to you. You can use PayPal or you can simply fill in the form with your credit/debit card information after clicking the big orange button on the Learn Real English website. :)
After you make the payment, you will receive all the lessons to you email address as you could see in the video above and the following screenshot:
Now you can click and download lessons one by one to your computer.
Getting started with the course
Alright. I downloaded all the lessons to my computer as you can see in the screenshot below:
I would recommend you to download the lessons at once as I did so you can keep them in one place. It's nice to organise everything into one folder. :)
The course contains 30 lesson sets plus 3 bonus lesson sets.
Before we dive into the lesson set number one, it is worth reading the Welcome Guide which consists of the following files:
Welcome Guide contains introductory audio (Intro.mp3) where English teachers Kristin and Joe introduce themselves. Then there is also a PDF file that explains how to use the lessons (Welcome Guide.pdf) and Introduction.pdf.
The first lessons set - Earthquakes
Now I am going to describe the very first lesson set. Its name is Earthquakes:
As you can see, the lesson set contains several audio (mp3) and text (pdf) files. It is important to note that each one of the full 30 lesson sets includes similar set of audio / pdf files.
Main audio - the conversation
In the main audio file, Joe and Kristin are having a conversation about their experience with earthquakes in several countries they used to live. Kristin describes her experience with earthquakes in Bangkok and Japan; Joe is sharing his memories with the earthquake in San Francisco.
What I like about the conversation is a fact that teachers use real everyday English. As if they just met on the street and started talking. It means that they use English idioms and ordinary language expressions one could hear when visiting United States or any other English speaking country. You can even hear filler words like "ehm", "so", etc.
In this first lesson set, you can for example notice expressions as "Check this out", "This seems far-fetched.", or words like "Mack truck". And even though I speak English already, I learnt so much in this single audio lesson. There were many words I have heard before, but had no idea what they mean until I listened to the conversation of Joe and Kirstin.
As I said, the conversation feels real. This can't be compared to some traditional audio lessons where actors read text from papers. Luckily, Learn Real English lessons are different - they are real authentic conversations.
When you finish the main audio file with the conversation of teachers, you can listen to the vocabulary audio. In this file, Kristin is describing the words and expressions that are used in the main audio file.
It is very helpful especially if you don't understand something from the conversation. Here I have learnt for example that when someone says "This seems far-fetched.", it basically means "This seems unbelievable". :) Well I was surprised I didn't know this expression before. Funny is that now when I learnt what this expression means I hear it everywhere! :D
Mini story audio
The next part of the lesson set is so called Mini story. If you are familiar with the teachings of A.J. Hoge, you already know that mini stories are the core of Effortless English system.
In mini story, the teacher is telling a very simple story. He uses statements and also asks questions. The questions are there to be answered by the listener as fast as possible.
For example, in the first lesson set Earthquakes, the mini story is about two friends - Luke and George. Luke says George that he can eat 50 eggs in one hour. But George thinks it seems far-fetched. George doesn't believe Luke and therefore Luke bets George 100 dollars that he can actually eat those eggs. :)
Of course this is not the full story, just a very short part of it.
The mini stories are designed to teach us the most difficult expressions and vocabulary.
In the Earthquakes lesson set those expressions are for example:
- "This seems far-fetched."
- "...a dime a dozen"
- when something is "due east" (or "due west", ...)
- "pulling one's leg"
- "It's a given that..."
- weed through, rundown, ...
- "It dawned on me..."
And there are many other expressions / words.
Don't worry if some of these expressions sound new to you or if you don't know what they mean. The mini stories are repetitive. It means that the same phrase or expression is repeated in one story several times from different perspectives. Also - you as a listener are involved in the story by answering teacher's simple questions. This way we can learn faster and the new expressions will stay in our minds. Not to mention that we learn grammar subconsciously - without even realizing it.
If you would like to learn more about the mini stories, I found the following video that describes the the idea behind mini stories:
Point of View story (POV) audio
Alright, another part of every lesson set is so-called Point of View story (or POV story). "Point of View" here means that the story is being told from different perspectives. The teacher says the story as if it happened in the past, then in the present and also in the future. Plus, story is being told from the perspective of another person in the story. Let me explain on the example:
The POV story in the first lesson set follows friends (Luke and George) from the Mini story - as you could read above. The difference now is that the teacher (Joe) makes you imagine that the story happened several months before, then today, and also a few years from now. Finally, the story is being said from the perspective of Luke - as if he told you the story. :)
The idea behind POV stories is quite simple - but powerful. Listening to the same story in different tenses makes you learn the grammar subconsciously - you don't focus on the grammar rules. You don't need to know how does let's say past simple tense look like. All you have to do is listen to the story and enjoy your time. I am saying this from my experience with POV stories in the Power English Course, which basically uses the same principle.
And that's it. :) This was the first lesson set - Earthquakes! 29 more lessons sets to go! :)
I have already started the second lesson set with the name Trip to Washington and learnt the new expression "Get the hang of something". :)
To be continued... ;)
Well, that’s where I got so far with the course. Now I am going to listen to the rest of the lesson sets and will update this review in the following weeks. Stay tuned.
Please do let me know whether you would like me to continue writing this review. :)
And if you have any questions about the lessons so far, feel free to write a comment below and I will respond you.
Have a nice day and Enjoy English!
P.S. My friend Massimo from Italy has shared with me his experience with Learn Real English in the interview. Click here to listen to it now.
P.S. 2 I have recently recorded a interview with one of the founders of Learn Real English - Kristin Dodds. Click here to check it out. :)