1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Linkword - load of tosh or useful?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by minka1, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. minka1

    minka1 Occasional commenter

    Shock. Horror . Totally agree with what you have said above re CEFR and GCSE. And there it ends particularly regarding solutions to this terrible return on investment of time, money and effort.
  2. vuvuzela

    vuvuzela Occasional commenter

    My, someone's been a busy bee, hasn't he, Neil? And why do you keep inserting posts earlier on in the thread? It's throwing some of the other posts out of sequence and its just...weird!

    I'm not going to reply at length to you because for one thing, I can't be bothered, and for another - well, do you need it spelling out again?

    (1) You state that classroom language learning is very slow and ineffective. You'd better go and tell the US Foreign Service Institute and the Defence Language Institute, then, because they produce the most competent linguists in the shortest time possible IN A CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT. If you had the knowledge and experience, you'd know that, even without qualifications, which are proof of that. It's interesting what Mr Clugston reveals to be the fastest and most efficient way to learn vocabulary, which is also taught in the CLASSROOM. I've been watching a lot of his videos recently, and while I am not altogether keen on the way he expresses certain things, there is a lot of value in what he says. He also has qualifications, which back up anything he says. He'd chew you up and spit you out.

    (2) You say that Mr Clugston says that the academic way is the only way to learn. Oh my! You haven't watched all his videos, have you? I'm getting the impression you don't like him.

    (3) You say that Linkword grammar takes you 'much further' than 'even an A level course would' - Wow! Must be some course! Would you care to prove that, because I'm smelling the bovine here. Out of interest, which language(s) did you do an A level in, with which boards? You have to have done it to know it, right? We can download the specs and compare them together. My new study buddy!

    (4) I don't know why Mr Clugston doesn't offer a free trial or guarantee. That's his business, not mine. What I will say is that I can see where he is coming from with some of the people he refers to. What are they doing!

    I just can't take you seriously. You keep banging on about gimmicky programs without any knowledge or experience of anything else. You prove that in so much what you say, yet on you go trying to force others to believe what you think, when you have no qualifications or experience of real language learning to back it up. You're like someone who has a GCSE in biology trying to argue with a brain surgeon. It just doesn't wash. I'm not trying to be mean here, just realistic. Wouldn't you be better off going and playing on Benny Lewis' forum?
  3. Neil_Kendall_Languages

    Neil_Kendall_Languages New commenter

    I don't keep inserting posts earlier on in the thread actually - whenever I post a reply here, I always get the message 'your post is awaiting moderation and will not be visible to other members until it has been moderated'. By the time my reply has been moderated and made visible, other people generally will have posted replies in the meantime, thus my reply is only visible earlier in the thread. If that irritates you, don't blame me - blame the people who run these forums!

    1) We are NOT talking about the US Foreign Service Institute - we are talking about how languages are taught in school/college/university, so that is not relevant to this discussion.

    2) I am aware of the FSI method of teaching languages - it is not the classroom environment that produces results for them, but the efficiency of their language learning method (which is far superior to the methods used in schools/colleges/universities btw). The FSI language courses are also available online to download, and are designed to work equally well as home study courses, which further backs up my point that it is not the fact that they're taught in 'classrooms' that matters, but rather the methodology behind the courses that produce the results.

    Also, in an FSI 'classroom', you are not dealing with a bunch of school kids who can't stand languages - you're dealing with professionals who are motivated and keen to learn a language as part of their career, so of course that's going to produce better results than a standard school classroom.

    The bottom line is, standard classroom methods of language learning in schools/colleges/universities produce very poor results, and you don't seem to be willing to acknowledge that...

    'Reveals to be the fastest and most efficient way to learn vocabuary' - by whose study? Post concrete proof to back up such a bold claim, or be quiet...

    I'd like to remind you that both Linkword and Michel Thomas Method courses have been proven in several case studies to produce better results in schools than the traditional school methods. I can back up what I say about these courses with real world evidence of their effectiveness.

    Again, it's no big deal if he has 'qualifications' in languages or linguistics. So do language teachers in schools, yet their teaching methods still produce very poor results. The education system churns out 'paint by numbers' language teachers, who delude themselves into believing their methods are the best simply because they have a 'formal qualification', despite the fact that in the real world their teaching methods produce really bad results.

    Also, just because one has formal qualifications in languages or linguistics doesn't necessarily mean they will be a good languages teacher. It can cause them to over-complicate everything, which can make things more confusing to a language learner. Often, someone with a better talent for explaining things in an easy to follow way makes the better teacher.

    The fact is, people have created better, more effective, more efficient language learning methods than the methods used in school, and a lot of qualified language teachers can't handle this fact, hence why they feel the need to shoot down the language learning community as if 'they're all charlatans', etc.

    I have a question for you: if having qualifications in a language was a measure of how effective the methods taught by such teachers was, why do the methods by which languages are taught in the education system keep repeatedly producing such awful results?

    I did A levels in languages and I can honestly say that I learned more from a 4 level Linkword course, and achieved a better overall understanding of the language, than I did in any GCSE or A level language course. I can honesty say that we didn't learn a fraction of the vocab or grammar in school or sixth form that was taught in a 4 level Linkword course. That is my real world experience - you cannot argue with that.

    The feeling is mutual - I can't take you seriously when you still believe that the traditional school way of learning languages is the best way, despite the evidence all around you that it clearly isn't working.

    If I had a method of cooking that consistently produced burnt food, would you still tell me that method works and is 'the best'?

    If I had a method of training people to play football, but the teams who were taught by that method consistently kept losing, would you be able to claim with any validity that this method of training worked?

    Yet, it's frankly absurd that the same thing happens with languages, and you and most other MFL teachers still believe the way you teach works, when the real world is telling you very clearly it doesn't...

    There is nothing 'gimmicky' about any of the language learning programs I have used. Efficient and effective, yes. Gimmicky, no.

    You claim I have no 'knowledge or experience of anything else', but that's not true - like I said, I studied languages in school, so I can therefore compare the way languages are taught in school to the way they're taught in some of the popular home-study courses available in the language learning community. I've compared the two - and my real world, real life conclusion is that the education system method of language learning is extremely poor compared to the better methods out there on the market, and that a self-motivated language learning studying on their own can get faster and better results than they would from learning languages in school.

    Benny Lewis' methods are far superior to the way languages are taught in school, and before you go on about him not having any 'qualifications', a bit of research reveals that he has taken numerous CEFR tests to prove his ability.

    In closing, you and other language teachers just can't handle the fact that you've spent years gaining formal qualifications in languages, only for other people to come along and produce better language learning methods than that of the education system, and thus you're angry and bitter about it. Too bad, but don't take out your frustration on us language learners.

    Instead of clinging onto old, outdated methods than don't work, you could be part of the change by embracing some of the newer and better methods.
    minka1 likes this.
  4. vuvuzela

    vuvuzela Occasional commenter

  5. Neil_Kendall_Languages

    Neil_Kendall_Languages New commenter

    I've looked into all the major methods, courses and language pioneers in the language learning community, and I'd never heard of Christophe Clugston until you mentioned him in this thread. He is a nobody, an unknown self-proclaimed polyglot/language guru
    [This comment/section/image has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
    That should tell you all you need to know...

    I find it absolutely laughable that he bad mouths all these 'Youtube polyglots', yet he himself is basically only known on Youtube, and not anywhere else. If anything, he's a 'Youtube polygot'. I laughed out loud at how he writes 'experts in languages' at the top of his website - if he actually has to write that, he's clearly trying too hard to convince us he's some sort of 'expert'.

    The only reason you post links to his videos is because you can't conduct a solid counter-argument/response to the points in this thread yourself, so you have to use Clugston's videos to speak for you. If you're going to post videos to do that, at least link to someone who is well known and has some credibility, rather than some totally unknown guy
    [This comment/section/image has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]

    Anyway, this thread is a discussion about the effectiveness of Linkword, so let's get back on track....
  6. minka1

    minka1 Occasional commenter

    Mr Clugston is an object case in how not to do youtube videos. It immediately starts with his choice of wearing sleeveless vests but once you get over that his rambling method of delivery makes all his videos a hard slog . The following quote from a contributor on the lingq.com website sums up my views.
    " I know his type well, being a student of the history of radical groups: He reminds me of conspiracy theorists like Lyndon LaRouche. They ramble on and on and on but don't actually say anything. They make video upon video saying the exact same thing. They create an image of themselves as a "guru," based on nothing but hot air, and they build up a fan base of true believers who think that the guru has "exposed" the "mainstream" and, through brave "dissidence," has shown "the truth" and "the secrets" of (fill in the blank). He's a fraud."
    His "method" such as it is, seems to be going through lots of workbooks. In the video below he just presents 10 or so books to the camera.

    Could not get all the details even after stopping and starting many times because he cannot even hold a book to camera correctly but as far as i know they are
    1. Italian grammar in practice
    2. Easy learning Italian grammar and practice - Collins
    3. Practice makes perfect - Italian conversation
    4. Italian - The easy way
    5. Easy Italian Step by Step - McGraw Hill
    6. Practice makes Petfect - Italian pronouns and prepositions
    7. Italian vetb drills - Passport Books
    8. The ultimate italian review and practice
    9. Italian now - Barrons
    10. Italian grammar (cards)
    11. Teach yourself italian - 1943
    - Grammar / translation method
    12. Better reading italian.
    So no big revelation. Hit the books you lazy so and so's.
    And then there is his admiration for US Foreign Service Institute and the Defence Language Institute. Don't think their methods are applicable to UK school system. Or even US school system for that matter.
    His main interest seems to be in martial arts but I'm too afraid to watch those videos. I'm having nightmares after watching his language learning videos. Enough is enough.
  7. vuvuzela

    vuvuzela Occasional commenter

    I find him quite amusing, although I can see where you're coming from. There is plenty of interesting information in between the waffling. You know, hitting the books isn't such a bad thing. Why don't you give it a go?
  8. minka1

    minka1 Occasional commenter

    Can you suggest any books? His choices may be a little out of date.
  9. Neil_Kendall_Languages

    Neil_Kendall_Languages New commenter

    By the way, to any teachers who are still skeptical about the Linkword method, here is a link to a letter from the head of modern languages at a Rugby school. Presumably to be head of modern languages at Rugby shows he is a higher achiever in teaching languages vevuzela!

    Being in that position obviously shows the highest level of achievement and understanding of language teaching - higher than any contributor to this forum. Why should your views be superior to such an eminent language teacher, vuvuzela?


    Not only that, this head of languages later, together with Michael Gruneberg, published the results ie data of a 7 month long study in a referreed journal-language learning. Have you ever published any study of any method you've used, vuvuzela? Presumably you are not trained enough to do so to a high level!.

    You had better be VERY careful about questioning the honesty and integrity of such an individual!! Btw the paper is by Sommer and Gruneberg (2002) language learning journal.
  10. vuvuzela

    vuvuzela Occasional commenter

    I can, but I don't really see the point. You won't use any of them. Just enrol in a class - an online one in your case.
  11. minka1

    minka1 Occasional commenter

    I have enrolled in 2 classes in adult education college in the past. One for French and one for Spanish. They are just as bad as schools. Both classes had high drop out rates. Each one started out with about 15 people but after about 3-4 weeks there were only 4-5 people left so I quit. Again they told you what to remember but not how to do it.
    Same thing happened when free classes were arranged through work and though initial enthusiasm was high in this French class the high drop out rate caused course to be cancelled. Again these classes followed the same type of teaching as schools. People felt they weren't improving and had no prospect of getting better so left. In this class for once there was an acknowledgement of memory techniques at the beginning but not mentioned afterwards.
    So you'll appreciate my reasons for avoiding the teaching profession which you yourself acknowledged does not take you to a very high level and takes so long and drains away any enthusiasm for language learning.
  12. vuvuzela

    vuvuzela Occasional commenter

    Why? What did they get you to do in these classes that made you hate them so much?

    I don't think people realise how much commitment or work it takes to learn a language. If you went to classes expecting it all to be done for you, with little or no work on your part, then I'm not surprised people dropped out. I could also point to your admission that you only bother to show an interest when the World Cup is on. That's no motivation at all. How did you think you could succeed with that sort of approach? You would do far better handling that before you attempt anything that requires high motivation to see it through. There are many things you can read or listen to that can help with that.

    The school system in the UK is generally very poor when it comes to teaching languages but that is the system, not necessarily the teachers. What is needed is a well-implemented syllabus based upon real Communicative Language Teaching, and, of course, the time dedicated to implementing it instead of just two hours a week like they have at some schools.
  13. minka1

    minka1 Occasional commenter

    So no fault of the teachers whatsoever. Gorrit.
  14. vuvuzela

    vuvuzela Occasional commenter

    That is why you will never learn.
  15. minka1

    minka1 Occasional commenter

  16. minka1

    minka1 Occasional commenter

  17. vuvuzela

    vuvuzela Occasional commenter

    I don't do Facebook and I'm not signing up just to view those links.
  18. minka1

    minka1 Occasional commenter

    You dont have to sign up. Just view through your browser. The links are from 2 Facebook groups mainly contributed to by mfl teachers - 'MFL Middle Leadership Matters' and 'Secondary MFL Matters'.
    Teachers in those posts worried about getting their pupils to achieve standards expected and how to get students to learn vocabulary.
  19. vuvuzela

    vuvuzela Occasional commenter

    No. It wants me to sign up. Tell them to ask Neil. He's the expert. Apparently. LOL!

    I'm not sure this isn't a wind-up. If it is, well done - you got me! You're too obtuse to be real. You won't listen to a word you're told about languages by teachers. Now you're doing the same thing with motivation and responsibility for learning. And the World Cup thing. That can't be true!
  20. minka1

    minka1 Occasional commenter

    Sorry I forgot they are both closed groups. You accuse me of not listening but as you can hopefully see I am sympathetic to the problems for MFL teachers in the UK. I have been a member of TES for years and followed the MFL posts extensively. As well as education generally. Similarly on Facebook and widely elsewhere across the internet. When the internet was not yet genarally available as it is today I studied journals in libraries. I have read countless official govt reports on the crisis in MFL in the UK in the last 25 plus years. And nothing has really changed. So you'll forgive me if i dont agree with you on everything you say. As you have seen I try to provide references to back up my arguments.
    And you prefer to pick up little things like comnents about World Cup. Yes watching the world cup when so many countries are put in front of us and you find not a single one of the uk participants whether on tv or players even try to speak a foreign language, it does bring the problem to the fore for ne but not much more than normal . But if you want to base your arguments on trivialities that's up to you.

Share This Page