It all started over a decade ago when a group of American and British ESL teachers at the Marzio School in the south of France noticed that the traditional materials they were using from The Big Publishers to teach their students simply weren't doing the job they were supposedly designed for. Classroom English is all too often "perfect" with slow short phrases spoken on the audio and video materials used with students. This is fine until the learners actually meet genuine Americans, British people, and other Anglo-Saxons, to discover that nobody, in the real world, speaks "classroom English".
Michael Marzio and his friends & teachers started interviewing people on the streets of the USA and other countries during his vacations, came back to his school in France, and edited the video according to classic grammar structures and functions, in order to make the spontaneous, authentic, seemingly "fast" speech usable by different levels of students, including beginners.
The idea was to take the shock out of hearing real English for the first time. Since our students now watch and listen to real people, the shock is built into the method itself, saving learners many hours of frustration during their first weeks and months in new English-speaking environments.
The first results were in the form of video cassettes (now DVDs) & CD-ROMs. We now concentrate on web video and interactive web lessons for students. Our new site for mobile devices is under construction.
2012 has been a year of consolidation, while we make new exercises and throw out the old ones. We've also done new filming in New York, Miami Beach, and Seattle, Washington. We will be doing more filming soon, and for as long as I can.
We continue to film, and make lessons based on the videos. You will not find any actors in our videos. All of our clips are based on people being themselves, speaking naturally and spontaneously, just like in the situations which learners will deal with when their training is finished, when they travel to English-speaking countries, or when they welcome English speakers into their homes and offices.
This emphasis on lexical items, functions and grammar provide an anchor and a counterpoint to the spontaneity of street video. This unique approach is greatly appreciated by teachers who have been using traditional materials, which present us with actors speaking slowly and distinctly, as if the real world were slow and distinct. The lessons include images and audio files directly related to what the speakers are saying in the videos, providing meaning for beginners and intermediate students alike.
The About Real English Video
(Credits for the Real English project):
The "What is Real English Video" (Presentation of Typical Content):