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Free Online English Lessons

English listening is extremely important. Real English is the only site with interactive multimedia exercises for ESL students using spontaneous native speakers. No actors here. It's the real thing. Serious learning fun is guaranteed thanks to our smart exercises at the heart of the Real English experience.

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Be prepared for something really very different in English learning. Our ESL library of natural English video is huge. We have interviewed thousands of people on the streets of over 40 of the major cities and small towns of the US and the UK, and we have kept only the best for our lessons starring these volunteers. They are in fact, our best teachers, providing us with the spontaneity so sorely lacking in ESL teaching and learning materials.

Real English

A lot of ESL teachers, especially new ones who want to guide their students before giving them a Real English lesson as a homework assignment, for example, ask "Where should my students begin? Are the levels based on grammar difficulty or do the more difficult lessons simply include people who speak the fastest?"

The answer to this question is not simple. Real English is really different. But as you will see, I conclude that everybody should begin with lesson 1, even the intermediate and advanced students.
But even more important than Lesson 1 is the second half of Lesson 3a. Students of all levels should absolutely not miss this spelling test. It makes it very clear that spontaneous spelling at normal speed is very difficult, even for the so-called "advanced" student! I've been teaching with it for over 25 years and it is very rare to find a student, who is able to spell all the names of the 12 people he meets in this second half of Lesson 3a!

A woman thinking Which Real English lesson should I do first? How is this english language course organized?

Let's go back to the teacher's question "Where should my students begin?" because the answer will also reveal why Real English is so unique.

There are 2 ways to measure the level of difficulty of a real English conversation:

1 -The grammar structure used. Is it a simple structure such as the present tense of "be" in "My name is Rachel", for example? Or does it involve the need to use the past perfect with the past simple tense as in "Before I knew it, she had run out the door." The first example is covered in lessons for beginners, and the second example is usually covered at the upper intermediate level.

2 - But there's a second way we measure the level of difficulty, which is all about the nature of the spoken word. Is the listening comprehension easy or difficult? It's probably easy if you're listening to a person who is speaking slowly and distinctly, talking in a way that some people think will help "foreigners" to undestand. But listen to the same person saying the same thing spontaneously, in a normal, natural way, not worried about who might or might not understand! Now you're in Real English territory and the real challenges begin.
Real spontaneous esl video with accent on learning grammar and vocabulary

In other words, the Real English conversations that you hear in the interviews are based on simple grammar structures at the beginning, progressing towards the more difficult ones towards the end. It's truly classic. It's the same type of progression that you find in ALL the books and online courses by Cambridge, VOA, the BBC or the British council. However, all these English-learning companies don't begin with ordinary people speaking naturally.
In Real English, you will hear at least a few people speaking fast, and perhaps with an accent that you never heard before in lesson 1, but in lesson 55, for example, dealing with the 2nd conditional, you might hear people speaking a bit more slowly, but using a grammar structure that is considered as much more advanced. Real English is a bit complicated, but a lot of serious fun for learners.

This shows us that there are clearly 2 ways to think about "levels" and how hard any one lesson might be. All of this simply shows that listening comprehension always comes first when learning any language. Sticking to a curriculum is not as important as training your ears. You must listen A LOT, preferably to the real people you will also be speaking to when you are finished with all your English courses!

A young lady being interviewed for Real English One last comment: the important point is to watch the video WITHOUT subtitles the first time you watch it. Listening with subtitles is fine for reading comprehension but not the best way to train your ears. And if you want to have the best pronunciation possible, listen several times without the subtitles. Immerse yourself in the music of English before bothering seriously with the meaning and the structures.

Elena Benito-Ruiz wrote a good review of Real English!Elena Benito-Ruiz, creator of the E|FL 2.0 Blog, wrote about Real English:
Highly recommended for you, learning English, or for you, teaching English because contents are excellent. And that’s what really matters. I’m fed up of posting about sites which claim to have great multimedia resources, and when you go deeper you realize it’s just another 2.0 sleek site without a methodology behind, with just a bunch of videos form youtube or bliptv and stuff. Here’s the opposite. Probably the best EFL content ever. They own a great treasure, i.e. probably the largest array of video resources/realia for EFL learners.

Read reviews of Real English® from American Universities and EFL & ESL Specialists.

How to use Real English:
On our blog: basic instructions in 42 languages.

1 -Watch the video without subtitles. This is always the first video at the top of a lesson page. This is an example of a lesson page.

2 - Click on exercise1 button and do all the exercises!

3 - Answer all the questions in the exercise and click on the button for the next exercise.

4 - Come back to the lesson page where you began and watch the video with subtitles.

Mike and Valérie Marzio, the team responsible for Real English.
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