Crazy English


What would you do to learn a language? Joshua Leo and Liz Waid tell about a man's very interesting method of teaching English!

Transcript


Voice 1

Welcome to Spotlight. I'm Joshua Leo

Voice 2

And I'm Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1

What does this sound like to you? Does it sound like a group of people arguing? Does it sound like a large family all talking at once? If this is what you thought, you would be wrong. This is the sound of a group of students in China practicing English. It may sound a little strange to you, but this is how many people in China are learning how to speak English. Today's Spotlight is on a new way of learning English called "Crazy English."

Voice 2

People all around the world speak English. It has become the most popular language for business and international communication. This is especially true in China. Some people call China's interest in English "English Fever". For more than ten years people in China have been excited to study English.

Voice 1

But for people in China, English is more than just another language. English is seen as a tool for success. Many people believe that English can help them succeed in business and even in love. Studies estimate that between 200 million and 350 million people in China are studying English.

Voice 2

Years ago, Li Yang was one of these people studying English. Li Yang was born in the Northwest Chinese province of Xinjiang. His parents worked very hard at their jobs. They wanted Li to also work hard. If Li made a mistake on his school work, his mother would tear up the paper he was writing on.

Voice 1

Li did not enjoy school very much. He did not enjoy studying. Li Yang was also very shy. He did not like talking to people. When Li Yang went to University, he had to take an English test. This was an important test that all students needed to take. So Li Yang and his friend decided to read and speak outside every day. Li found that the louder he spoke, the better he felt. He said that he felt brave. Li believed that when he stopped shouting, he stopped learning.

Voice 2

Reading and speaking is not a new way to learn how to speak a new language. Li Yang took this method and made it louder. He began speaking English everywhere he went. When his friends went to sleep, he went outside and spoke there. When it was time to take the test, Li Yang got second place. The other students were surprised. Li kept using this method of learning. And after some time, he began to sound like a native English speaker.

Voice 1

When Li finished school he got a job as an electrical engineer. He also taught English classes in his free time. After a few years Li Yang decided to quit his job and start his own English teaching company. Li and his sister rented an office and slept on the floor. His sister helped to manage the business and Li taught the classes. The business was named "Crazy English." Crazy is another word for "insane." Li called the method of teaching "Crazy English" because it was so different.

Voice 2

Li worked very hard teaching English. After a short time, more people heard about Li and his teaching methods. People wrote to him asking for materials. They had English Fever.

Voice 1

On one teaching trip, Li Yang met Ouyang Weijian, the leader of an elementary school. Ouyang saw Li speak to a crowd of people. He was surprised by Li's methods. Ouyang invited Li to teach an English class in his city. Li agreed. But Li Yang did not know that so many people would attend. Five thousand [5,000] people came to hear Li Yang teach English. Li was very happy about the event.

Voice 2

Years passed and the business grew. Ouyang joined Li Yang as the business manager. The crowds of people got larger and larger. But you may be asking, why do these people treat an English teacher like a famous person? Well, it is all because of Li's method of teaching.

Voice 1

Going to a Li Yang English class is like going to a music event. Li Yang stands on the stage and shouts. The crowd repeats what he says. Together, thousands of people practice English words. Each word has a physical movement. The crowd raises and moves their arms together while shouting. This is Crazy English.

Voice 2

Most people in China, and other places in the world, learn English in small classrooms. They study from books. They learn the words, they know the rules of the English language but they may never feel brave enough to speak English out loud. Li Yang wanted to change this. He wanted to make people feel strong in speaking English.

Voice 1

But Li's methods were not always accepted by people. Many English teachers in China hated his methods. They said that Li's methods went against Chinese traditions of being restrained. And some people today say that these methods teach students to always shout English instead of speaking.

Voice 2

But Li Yang's students disagree. They enjoy Crazy English and they believe that it is a good way to improve speaking English. Even the Chinese government enjoys Li Yang's teaching. They have invited him to teach inside the walls of the ancient forbidden city in Beijing. He has taught soldiers on top of the Great Wall of China. He also helped many people improve their English to prepare for the 2008 Olympic events. In all these different places, Li tells his students one important lesson. He says they must "love losing face."

Voice 3

"You have to make a lot of mistakes. You have to be laughed at by a lot of people. But that doesn't matter."

Voice 1

Li Yang wants his students to know that it is ok to make mistakes. He wants them to enjoy making mistakes. Because he knows that if you are making mistakes, you are trying. And trying is the first step to success.

What do you think about Li Yang's Crazy English teaching method? Would shouting help you improve your English? Write to us and tell us about how you practice English.

Voice 2

The writer and producer of this program was Joshua Leo. All quotes have been adapted and voiced by Spotlight. The voices you heard were from the United States. Computer users can hear our programs, read our scripts, and see our word list on our website at http://www.Radio.English.net. This program is called "Crazy English".

Voice 1

If you have a comment or question about this program, you can email us. Our email address is Radio @ English . net. The audio recordings came from Camprice and PBS.  We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye!

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
chanmonchannon
said on June 23, 2009

It’s very great topic for me because I am always thinking how to speak, how to read, how to write like a native english speaker! I will be trying this method for a several months. After that I will inform you how this method affect to me.

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chanmonchannon
said on June 23, 2009

It’s a very great topic for me because i am always thinking how to speak, how to read, how to write like a native speaker!
I will be trying this method for several months. After that i will inform you how this method affect to me.

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Luong Vu
said on August 17, 2010

This is great method to learn English. Try this to get the strong, confident in your voice.
Thanks.

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Lau
said on August 17, 2010

I’m very interested in improving by myself my English pronunciation and this article has provided to me a great idea…. If iI have good outcome,I’ll tell you…..

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datvimaru50
said on August 19, 2010

This method sounds interesting.I have learned English 7 years but now I still can’t speak English very fluently. I seldom speak english out loudly. I usually listen english, read english without sound and speaking english with my friend in a normally communicative way. Spotlight, can you post some clips of Crazy English class on Facebook? I want to see how great and effective that method is. I really want to improve my English and help my friends to learn English. They have many difficulties learning this language. And this problem will a barrier to them in the way to success. I hope you can help me, thanks a lot!

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Puujee
said on August 20, 2010

I am proud of Li yang. It is really great mathod. I experiment this method.

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Adriana
said on August 20, 2010

I think if it’s good the method of Li Yang because when I sing in english I do not sing softly I sing very high and I are leaving some words in my mind and that is important to increase our vocabulary and I will try to apply this method

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nguyentruc
said on September 26, 2011

It’s great methods, i think. Many people learn English many years but they haven’t spoken loudly because they scare themselves.  They worry about have mistakes when they speaking, crowd laugh at their.
When you try to speak English, you must active your mind, your body and your knowledge, it’s very great.
You will know your ability, what your mistakes, these sentences are wrong,... That will increase your self-confidence in many times later. That’s ok!
You must practice many times, success comes back with you! Bent on!

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alegría
said on September 26, 2011

Once, an English teacher said me “Try reading out loud to yourself. This will help you to become better practiced in saying English words and as such your pronunciation will improve.”
I am using it and as Li Yang’s Crazy English teaching method, they work! I think this is a really good method. If we make mistake, don’t worry! doesn’t matter! all learned from our mistakes.
Now I feel more confident when I speak with native English speaker than some months ago. I will continue learning and keeping up!!

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alegría
said on September 26, 2011

Don’t forget smile my friends ;)

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GelezniyDen
said on September 27, 2011

Hello hey every one and good day all people who live in this beautiful wonderful and peaceful world!!!)))  So my opinion is following: that method of course correct I completely agree with author this article and of course with Li Yang and from my self want add some information. That teach English you should from first day your learning try speak communicate read and write as more as possible you can. Second you should speak and read loud with help this way you will listen your self when you speak and when you read and you will practice your pronunciation. Third you should try speak everywhere when you go even with your self and the end you should even thinking by English else try write words that remember how they spelling try learn them by heard, with new words always try compose several sentences And of course learn grammar it will help you build your sentences more correct. If speak in general try immerse with head in English environment. In our days we have one useful and powerful tool- Internet which will help us in our isn’t easy dial.I wish good luck everyone from us and that learning will just funny for you.

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bourne122
said on September 27, 2011

Thanks for this very great programme! I like English, but I find time for learning it very hard because I am very busy at my job.I might try more listen, more read loud amd more write to ever improve my English.

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Mr.Winthant
said on September 28, 2011

I think that’s a great one of the great idea of English Teaching Method. English is very useful in business and international communication all over the world. Now a day, if you don’t speak English among the business communication , you will stay behind the past. So, English is the best tool for you and also Li Yang’s teaching method is very useful for people who is crazy in English. Thanks for sharing !

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sally22
said on October 01, 2011

i think this topic is very useful to everyone who wants to learn english!
for me, i’m little afraid of learning english so that i always nervous when i have to talk to foreign.
but, i’ll overcome this problem by doing this method.
i want to make my bright future, so i should improve my speaking skill!!
everyone who read this article, cheer up :)
we can do it!!

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Narath
said on October 02, 2011

I do agree with Li Yang’s crazy English teaching method. I am sure speaking English in a loud voice will help me to improve my English but not shouting voice because I notice that speaking English in a loud voice and shouting voice it seems different for me . When you shout at someone it means you are angry . Most of people seem difficult to speak in a loud voice because they are shy , afraid of making mistakes , have no chance to speak it loudly because they are afraid of other thought about them and especially losing face .I am also one of the people who is in this situation . As for me my chance to speak English is not a lot . I always have English class on Saturdays beside this I am working from Monday to Friday and moreover most of my co-workers speak national language , Cambodian or Khmer , rather than English . I like reading and speaking and the way I practice is that : One English topic I normally read at least 5 time in a loud voice so it can improve me a lot like new vocabularies , reading comprehensive ,Fluently in reading and speaking , it makes my tongue become soft . I have just been starting doing like this for a few weeks so I can observe the result as I described above .( Cambodia )

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LOLLY
said on October 02, 2011

Hello everyone I agree with Li’s method of teaching english.it’s very important to speak loudly if you want to learn anew language. Ithink,this topic is very useful and important for me .Thanks alot for this programm and for your all comments

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tank!
said on October 16, 2011

You say “Many people believe that English can help them succeed in business and even in love”
it is really so! my friend was in Spain. she didnt know Spanish, but she knew English! and she met her love. he didnt know Russian too.they spoke only in English! they understood each other clearly, and after some months they were married! it is a true tale! So English is a language of love for people from different countries!

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Trung2409
said on October 20, 2011

i don’t think so! i tried to learn with crazy English, but it is too difficult to learn it, because it have no context, and you can not lean english or other language if you don’t have a context!

humble71's avatar
humble71
said on November 11, 2011

I am agree with crazy english.. I don’t like the grammar ..this is boring and it seems your mind is stopping when you are in real english commuicating with native english speakers… It’s better to shout, repeat and sing in english ... I like spotlight programs because I learn a lot about everything .. firstable I listen then I repeat the words and practice my accent ...  thanks for your help spotlght’s friends.

From Ecuador,

Augusto Hernández R.

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Tweetcarly
said on January 11, 2012

Hi there! I’m a new member of this website, though not for Spotlight programming. I can relate with Li Yang’s although I’m sure each person has different way of learning second language.  As for me, I prefer to use media (such as: radio, movies with English subtitles, songs and english books) to support my endeavor (that is exactly how I encourage my students to do as well). There are many types of learners: visual, kinesthetic & auditory and various types of teachers: elephant, monkey, eagle, whale, many more. You have to question your motivation in learning english & you have to learn about your own style in order to be optimal learner.

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Layla
said on March 21, 2012

Hi , i think it is a good method to learn English , and a good way to be brave in speaking English with others , i am a new member of this website and i will try this method to kill my shy personality . thank you spotlight and hope success for all

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RajiAli
said on March 30, 2012

The source of this method is to have a happy time when you study, some people can see other ways to enjoy their time, I do agree with this method 30%, for me I’ll feel stupid, so I prefer to speak to myself or my friends after listening to any source of English. I do agree this method will teach people to be annoying, because I believe that I’m studying a culture and I should respect the language as if I respect the language speakers and their culture. Thank you for this topic I liked it.

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Jeremy Duong
said on September 16, 2013

This is a power method to learn English. I believe so. In my country Vietnam, many student begin to apply this method. It’s very good! Thanks Li Wang!

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dungn9926@gmail.com
said on March 05, 2015

I haven’t imaged yet how the crazy english is.I think if many people become more progressive from this method,it’ll be a and unique and good way.I have learned English for a long time since I was in secondary school,my English is still bad.My teacher gave me wrong method such as wrong pronunciation.I didn’t have a change to practice and communicate foreigner.She only concentrated teaching grammar.It leads I can not speak English confidently.