What is the pedagogy behind EnglishCentral?

EnglishCentral's approach of "Personalized Language Immersion" is based on a method of teaching English where the student is surrounded by or "Immersed" in English.

With EnglishCentral's content-based language immersion, students can focus on General English and dive into particular subjects -- what we call 'Topics' at EnglishCentral. They can quickly learn English in topics that interest and engage them with authentic engaging videos. Topic-based immersion results in a higher level of engagement by learners and ultimately faster progress in English language acquisition.

Progress on EnglishCentral is measured by vocabulary acquisition. At EnglishCentral, this means exposure to words in the context of a video, learning words through our interval-based learning system, and speaking words using our proprietary speech assessment technology.

EnglishCentral teaches students to speak like Native English speakers.

Students are graded by how similar they sound to native speech. When the student's speech differs significantly from that of a native speaker, the grade is reduced.  The places on the line that differ are highlighted by the word turning yellow.  The student should click on yellow words, and compare their speech to that of a native speaker.  The system will help the student identify differences by highlighting the locations in the word that differ. The student should try to imitate the pronunciation of the native speaker.

Students can gain up to a maximum number of points for each line spoken.  These maximum possible points are different for each line, and are set by the difficulty of the line.  Every time the pronunciation of a student differs significantly from that of a native speaker, points are deducted from the those awarded.  Perfect native speech will earn the maximum possible points.  Speech that differs from native will earn less.

As the dialog proceeds, the maximum and awarded points accumulate. The student is graded by the ratio of the earned points and the maximum possible points.  This grade is displayed after every line. After the final line, the student is given a grade, and earned points for the dialog.

We have worked with a diverse group of English language learning experts to develop EnglishCentral. The unique learning features of the platform include:

  • Scientific Approach to Word Choice. The EnglishCentral vocabulary learning system is based on an analysis of  over 400 million words.The EnglishCentral vocabulary learning system uses this analysis to identify and rank the most important vocabulary words by difficulty level, and then tracks every word the learner sees, speaks, and studies over time to track and accelerate learning. These words can be sorted and learned by frequency, by correlation to test scores such as TOEFL or TOEIC, by goals such as learning business English or English for movies, or by studying the specific words contained in particular videos.

 

  • Spaced-Repetition Vocabulary Learning. Research shows that spaced repetition is the most efficient way to learn new words quickly. This learning technique is prominently used in flashcard based system.  EnglishCentral goes farther by providing spaced-repetition learning in the context of authentic videos.  Providing authentic context increases retention and improves the experience. EnglishCentral’s computer-adaptive learning system teaches words in the authentic contexts in which they occur, allowing learners to develop definitional and collocational knowledge of the words they are studying in a wide range of contexts.

 

  • Graded, High-Interest Learning Materials. EnglishCentral delivers the largest video library designed for English language learning. Our massive library of engaging authentic video content provides vast context that YOU, the learner can select. This makes EnglishCentral both a highly relevant and motivational learning experience.

 

  • Noticing the Gap. EnglishCentral provides a clear consistent interface that provides learners the opportunity to “Notice the Gap” between their voice and in-context native speech. This well known principle, which EnglishCentral enhances with focused feedback, creates focused improvement in pronunciation skills.

 

  • Speech Assessment System. EnglishCentral has developed a proprietary pronunciation assessment model using advanced speech technology.  EnglishCentral system is based on the over 100 Million utterances we have collected in our system.  Using this data, we have developed a system that provides users consistent measure of pronunciation quality. EnglishCentral provides detailed progress information and targeted practice suggestions and courses so learners can focus on key areas for improvement.
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