1 Billion Students Use Genki English

I was out drinking with Steve Nishida (and here) the other week and I happened to mention my new goal for the next two years:,

Have one billion students learning with Genki English.

Yeah, that’s billion, not million!  The thing is that he never batted an eyelid. He knows the projects I’ve been involved in and with the India and now China projects coming online, fingers crossed this should be a big, but achievable goal.

Goals are bad?
Conversely, goals can be one of the big things that let English learners down. We all know we should have them, but in learning a language it’s so difficult to actually set a concrete level you want to attain in a specific time. I guess that’s why so many teachers start with the ABCs, because it’s something concrete and easy to show you’ve done, even if it doesn’t really help beginner students.

Some people use the TOEIC tests. I have a friend of mine who’s been overseas and wants to get something to prove she can speak English, so her aim is to get 850 points on the TOEIC test. I guess that’s a good goal, but again it’s not the most suitable for someone who just wants to learn how to speak and communicate in English.

GE Goal
The goal I use for new learners for Genki English is for the kids to:

Be able to say anything you want to say in English.

It doesn’t mean fluent (whatever that means), it just means anything they can think or feel they can find a way to express it in English that is understood. e.g. if you can’t say “My Grandmother is ill”, you find a way around it such as “My mother’s mother is sick”.

Of course a goal without a time limit is just a wish, and the time limit I usually say is around 200 hours of lessons, or around 4 years at one lesson a week. I know that’s a little (a lot?) on the taking too long side, but you know it’s a start for less confident teachers.

Your goals
Anyway, goals are important, and your students need to know them, and it’s so easy to improve the kids’ abilities with a even a mediocre one. But then again you might as well make it a big one, you never know you might just achieve it. As I’ve said before, President Kennedy didn’t decide to go to the moon because he knew they could do it, he did it because he didn’t know it couldn’t be done!

So the question is: what are your big goals for your students?

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

2 Responses to “1 Billion Students Use Genki English”

  1. Carol

    I do not have students that are living the good life with all the amenities who worry about what they will do this weekend for example or who have a fairly functional family… my kids have many obstacles to overcome in addition to their adolescence.

    My big goal is then to use language, Genki English for example, to get them motivated, raise spirits, give them confidence, make them smile and feel proud of their accomplishments to help them first as people. They have to learn to work together,respect their differences, and share. Doing it through English is a perfect vehicule to do it. If they can also end up speaking English and enjoy the learning experience as well, it’s the cherry on top. I will not have done just half a job then!!

  2. Julian-k

    The “communicate everything you want to say” goal is a good one. I applied it to myself for learning Japanese just over one year ago and im happy to say that im getting there faster than I gave myself credit for. It’s amazing how much more we can get done when we just tell ourselves the what why and when’s of it all.

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