What does a Callan Method lesson look like?
Q&A work. This is the main part of the lesson, ans consists of asking an answering questions at high speed, with the teacher constantly pushing the students to answer by feeding them the answers, as well as correcting mistakes immediately as they are made. There are no pauses between the question and no silences, the speech is constant.
Reading. The reading portion of the lesson takes place around the middle of the lesson. The students are asked to read one fragment (Lesson) from the book, and one which they have already covered four or five times during the speaking parts. Reading takes about 10 minutes.
Writing (dictation). Writing in the Callan Method is practiced in the form of a dictation, during which the students have their books closed. The dictation takes place after the reading or at the end of the lesson and takes about 5 minutes. In order to save time, students normally correct their own dictations at home, but there might be cases in which the dictations are corrected with the teacher during the lesson.
Why do the lessons have to be conducted so fast?
The high speed is a very important feature of the Callan Method lesson. Faster speaking pace saves time and allows more words and grammar to be introduced to the student, it also enhances the student’s focus level. The high tempo does not allow the student to think about anything else than what is happening in the classroom. Also, it prepares the student for the real language experience, because in real life, people tend to speak quickly.
Why does the group size matter?
The group size is crucial in learning a language. The general rule is simple – the smaller the group, the faster the progress. The fewer people in the group, the more speaking time there is for you, and the more attention of the teacher can be focused on you and your particular challenges.
How is the progress measured in the Callan Method?
The progress in the Callan Method is measured in two ways. First of all, through constant feedback the teacher can decide how fast and how many vocabulary and grammar elements can be introduced to a particular student or group during the lesson. This varies from case to case. The other way of measuring progress is through the stage exams, which the students after completing and revising every stage. This helps the students realize their strengths and weaknesses and helps the teacher decide what they should focus on more during the lesson.
Does learning through speaking mean that I will not know how to read or write English?
It is natural to first learn how to speak and then how to read or write. It is a lot easier to read and write words that you know and heard a couple of times, and that is how it is done in the Callan Method. You will get the chance to practice both reading and writing during the lesson, and you will get instant feedback on both of these skills.
Why so many repetitions?
Simply speaking, multiple repetitions of the material are the best way to remember it. If you forget what you learned the lesson before, there will be no progress. The Callan Method, through the intense repetition process practically eliminated the problem of forgetting material.
How can I learn grammar without grammar exercises?
Yes. Every element of grammar introduced in the Callan Method goes together with many examples and is practiced from every possible perspective. You can learn the rule, but also discover how the rule applies in the real-life use of the language. The Callan Method successfully introduces all elements of grammar, including tenses, passive voice or conditionals by describing them, presenting examples and lots of practice, eliminating the boring process of learning the rules in the abstract.
If I want to learn at home, how can I do it if there is no homework?
If you wish to practice your English outside the lesson, there is a number of things that you can do. First of all, the students are encouraged to record the lessons and listen to them in their free time. This really helps understand the material, especially if the student finds the tempo a little too high. Another possibility is reading the student’s book, either revising the material already covered, or preparing for the upcoming lesson.
Why is there no free expression during the lesson?
In the first stages of the Callan Method the emphasis is put on learning lots of new words and the proper sentence structure. Through gaining certain language intuition, the students can later develop their skills and participate in conversations, as well as stating their opinions. This happens in later stages of the method.
However, during free conversations students usually use words, that they already know and do not learn new words, which stalls progress. Also, in a free discussion setting there are usually only 2-3 active participants, which makes it boring for the other students. In the Callan Method it is not important whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, whether you have an opinion on something or not, everyone gets the same amount of speaking time and everyone can equally develop.
How do I know which stage I should start with?
The stage you start with is determined by the initial test administered by the teacher, as well as by the student’s wishes. It depends on how many years of learning English you have completed, what exactly do you need the language for and what makes you feel comfortable. The student is usually place in the stage a little below their skills, so that they can get used to the method itself without being challenged by the material itself.
Why are some of the questions in the method so strange?
Some questions in the Callan Method are purposely strange or funny in order to make the rules they are supposed to present easier to remember. While answering questions, it is not important for the student to tell the truth or agree with the statement, it is only important for them to use the proper sentence structure and the right words.
Why does the teacher interrupt my answer?
The rule, that the teacher has to obey is that the student should never finish a sentence with a mistake. That is why the teacher helps the student along the way, slowly feeding them the answer, sometimes asking them to repeat the answer word after word, correcting errors in pronunciation or detecting and eliminating mistakes.
How do I learn vocabulary with the Callan Method?
The vocabulary items in the Callan Method are purposely introduced without a context, as oppose to other methods, which oftentimes introduce vocabulary in themes or blocks. This out-of-context approach makes it easier to memorize particular words, and not connecting them to a certain vocabulary family. Also, every single vocabulary item in the method is practiced through at least one question, so the student never has to learn words simply by memorization.