Learning to speak English as a second language is hard. English breaks its own rules, can never seem to decide how to pronounce words that should sound similar but don’t (think of words that end in ough–enough, slough, dough, bough, cough, etc.), and changes drastically depending on locale (Jamaica, Australia, Yorkshire, Brooklyn…).
Trying to design a method of teaching English to students for whom English is not their native language has been the subject of much research and discussion among experts and educators alike. Many computer-based and Internet-based efforts have been impressive but, perhaps, none more so than NYC English. New to the field (and to the BESSIES, where it won High School ESL/ELL Website for 2017), NYC English brings a definitive 21st Century approach to teaching ELL/ESL.
NYC English consists of three levels: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced, and each level offers 30 contemporary life themes. The themes are divided into sub-units and begin with a young mentor who introduces each topic and encourages active participation. Writing prompts are added as students advance to higher levels, and all student work is recorded and displayed in both student and teacher dashboards.
While similar to other English language learning programs, the differences are startling: High-definition seamless videos, sleek graphics, high-quality sound, and a clean user-friendly interface are the most obvious. NYC English provides many opportunities for students to practice targeted words and phrases – key vocabulary; line-by-line reading, which can instantly be translated into the learner’s native language (currently ten languages are offered with six more coming soon); and analysis of pronunciation after recording and playback. NYC English can be used on any device, at any time.
The goal of NYC English is to accelerate learning of conversational English and we believe that, as the designers add to and refine the program, it will truly do just that. We look forward to seeing what the staff at NYC English can accomplish in the future.