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The TALK Learning System

Mitchell Goodmann

The TALK Learning System

The TALK Alternative

I was at a crossroads in my teaching, at the time I began considering the TALK Learning Sys tem, having just completed my first summer towards a Master’s Degree in TESOL at SIT. In this program, one of the main areas of investigation for me had been student initiative versus teacher control (Stevick 1980). I was soon to begin teaching a new conversation class at Saitama Univer sity with approximately 50 students, and I was in need of a textbook. I knew I wanted to try something radically different which would afford me the chance to explore the aforementioned issues in practice, while helping me structure and manage the classroom within the new and unknown teaching environment at Saitama University. [click to continue…]

Shall We “Chance”?


Shall We “Chance”?

Nakamura Gakuen University

In the popular recent movie “Shall We Dansu ?” an inhibited Japanese salaryman finds personal freedom in the arms of his dance instructor. On the studio floor, he is utterly transformed by dancing. Good English language instructors are always trying to create similar, albeit less dramatic transformations in their inhibited learners. Like the dancing salaryman, most language learners want to be freed from deeply ingrained habits: reticence, embarrassment, and fear of failure. [click to continue…]

Von der didaktischen Kompetenz der Lernenden:

Anfängerunterricht mit dem „TALK Learning System”


[Deutschunterricht in Japan 4 (1999), S. 99-111]

Mit der Einführung des „TALK Learning Set. Deutsch” hat der Autor im Jahre 1996 damit begonnen, ein Werkzeug für kooperatives Lernen in Gruppen im Großklassenunterricht für AnfängerInnen an japanischen Universitäten zu erproben. Vorausgegangen waren Versuche, mit Hilfe selbsterstellter Materialien kooperatives Lernen zu ermöglichen (vgl. Gehrmann 1996). Dieser Beitrag soll den Begriff des kooperativen Lernens kurz skizzieren und dann das „TALK Learning System” und seine Anwendung in der Praxis beschreiben. Auf der Grundlage dieses Materials soll schließlich die Frage nach der Anwendbarkeit kooperativer Lernmethoden für den Deutschunterricht an japanischen Universitäten und speziell des hier besprochenen Lernwerkzeuges beantwortet werden. [click to continue…]

Why you should walk & TALK

Why Everyone From Beethoven, Goethe, Dickens, Darwin To Steve Jobs Took Long Walks and Why You Should Too

Andrew Tate on March 6, 2015 . 1 Comment

One day, when Marc Andreessen, the money man behind such tech giants as Facebook, Twitter, and Zynga, was out driving around his home in Palo Alto, California, he nearly hit a crazy old man crossing the street.

Looking back at the fool he had nearly run over he noticed the trademark blue jeans and black turtle neck. “Oh my god! I almost hit Steve Jobs!” he thought to himself.

It was Jobs that day, out on one of his many walks around the Palo Alto area, where Apple are based. Steve Jobs was famous in the area for his long walks, which he used for exercise, contemplation, problem solving, and even meetings. And Jobs was not alone. Through history the best minds have found that walking, whether a quick five minute jaunt, or a long four hour trek, has helped them compose, write, paint, and create.

Here are five reasons that walking is one of the best ways you can spend your time, and how it can help you think better, get more done, relate better, and live longer. [click to continue…]


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…]