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Without some kind of activity on the part of the student, learning cannot take place. The purpose of any activity must ultimately be to enhance learning. I’m sure you must agree. This should be the case in any learning situation.

In a TALK class, however, we do not believe that activities enhance learning, we believe that activities are inherent to learning, that without activity, learning cannot take place. TALK is what we call an active learning system, students not only talk most of the time, they are also in charge of what and how they study. [click to continue…]


for the Nakamura University Bulletin

During eight years of college teaching in Japan, I have seen thousands of different English language textbooks. This is no exaggeration — the market for such books is enormous. One major bookseller advertises having 18,000 different English-language textbooks in stock. Unfortunately, many of these books are not effective. I have inspected hundreds of them, and have tried many in my classes. I found that the main weakness of these “conversation textbooks” is simple: students never learn how to talk on their own. Once a student has finished studying the examples in the book, he seems like a man with two broken legs who has lost his crutches — helpless. [click to continue…]

The TALK Learning System

The Talk approach…

….is learner-centered in that it puts the initiative and choice about what, at what pace, and how to study in the hands of the learner. The system is very specific with regard to topics and methods of study, and incorporates a great deal of L1 support. This paper will examine how TALK relates to Cooperative Learning, and ways in which the TALK system might need to be modified to suit different classroom contexts, student needs, and teaching styles. [click to continue…]