UK: Manchester language school Rebuts Government 'Speak English' Threat

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed Mar 7 20:24:33 UTC 2007

Manchester Language School Rebuts Government 'Speak English' Threat

Written by Administrator
March 05, 2007

Manchester /prbuzz/ March 4, 2007 -- In a move designed to highlight
government policy experts say doesnt add up a Manchester English language
school is offering free lessons to help improve the language skills of the
local workforce. The unprecedented move comes after the A2Z Language
School in Manchesters Northern quarter decided that it could no longer
tolerate ministers' hypocrisy. According to government figures about
40,000 jobless people are unable to work because of a poor level of
English. Now the government is warning that unemployment benefits could be
cut for those who refuse to learn English.

James Taylor, Director of the A2Z School of English says this policy is
not the answer. Sure, its a good thing the welfare minister, Jim Murphy,
is placing greater emphasis put on tackling the language barrier, Taylor
said.  However cutting benefits because jobless people do not achieve the
desired level could prove counter productive in the short term, further
damaging the prospects of jobless people. What we want to do is get
students into our school, show them an effective way of learning practical
English fast, thus enabling them to integrate more quickly into the local
workforce.  Offering free introductory lessons is a good way of doing

The A2Z School of English uses the revolutionary Callan Method of teaching
English. Invented by Robin Callan the method revolves around quick-fire
oral question and answer work designed to teach English in a quarter of
the time. Taylor says: This means by using the Callan Method we can get
jobless people speaking an acceptable level of English, and back into
work, four times as fast as conventional language schools. He [Murphy]
wants the same thing we want; only we are taking practical steps to ensure
it happens at a local level. The Callan Method uniquely uses aspects of
mime and performance to mimic then correct a students pronunciation,
effectively dragging correct English out of a studenta technique
proponents claim rapidly increases proficiency in both the spoken and
written form.

It sounds a bit school-masterish if you describe it like that, said
Taylor. But thats the essence of the method. Its actually an extremely fun
and effective way to learn a language, and because it is a direct method a
student actually starts to think in English. Once reaching that level of
proficiency the prospects of employment for a jobless person are
dramatically improved. To receive free lessons at the A2Z School of
English email your answer to the following question: Do you think the
government speak English policy is fair? Yes/No to
info at email address is being protected from spam bots,
you need Javascript enabled to view it The first five emails received will
be enrolled by 20th March.

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