You won’t mistake this for ESOL

You know that thing about you remember 20% of stuff you are hear, 30% of what you see and 80% of what you do?[1]

Well, learning English doesn’t have to involve teachers, textbooks or listening to language CDs. It can be very practical, and very action-oriented.

Among UK residents who don’t speak English, there are some people who are illiterate in their own language, some who have had very little schooling, and some who will find classrooms an intimidating place.

How do you learn English when you lack the confidence even to go to your local shops?

With Creative English, desks and notebooks are replaced with balloons, puppets and props for sketches. Learners of all ability levels come together in games, mimes and acting out scenarios, enabling everyone to take part—and letting everyone have a huge amount of fun. It’s no wonder the programme carries the strapline, Laugh your way to confident English. Even the most nervous learner soon feels safe and able to join in, without having to worry about looking silly or getting it wrong.

Learners might want to write down phrases and learn grammar—and that’s okay—and the volunteer tutor can help them with this. But what really make the learning successful is rehearsing a visit to the GP, practicising a phone call to the emergency services, and acting out a meeting with the school teacher. Groups even go on trips to the local shops to practice their language in the company of their new friends.

It’s learning English. But it’s not like you’ve seen it before.

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1. ^ Researchers say that this is a myth as retention is highly variable and dependent on many factors. For more see here