A lot of things have been said about the pros and cons of what, on the face of it, seem like an out-dated method. One thing is certain though, taught correctly, the Callan Method has, time and time again succeeded in teaching English far quicker than most other methods. The vocabulary taught in the Callan Method appear in the Cambridge First Certificate exam. Many learners gain the Cambridge FCE at the first attempt. Whichever way you look at it, and it may not be perfect, it works…
Here’s what I found on the Callan website:
Teaching with the Callan Method
The Callan Method is a fast and effective system for the study of English by non-native speakers. Thanks to its long record of achievement, it is securely established and internationally respected. Multinational companies like IBM, Fiat, and Olivetti have used the Method to teach English to their staff. Language schools which use the Callan Method can be found all over the world. Whether in Asia, Europe, or Latin America, the number of Callan Method Schools continues to rise. This website has to be constantly updated as new schools are opened.
How the Method works
The Callan Method was invented to make students as involved as possible in the learning process, and at the same time to help them to make the best possible use of their time. The Method is a rigorously structured programme of instruction, divided into twelve stages. The teacher asks students a series of questions which the students must answer. Because the Method aims to get students to speak, classes hold the attention of students and stimulate their memory. The structure of the Method ensures that students increase their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary step by step. Students are never distracted by rare or complicated vocabulary, and must concentrate on picking up the basics of the language.
Why the Method is effective
Most people who learn English are more interested in acquiring a practical skill than in obtaining intellectual satisfaction. They want to learn English for business or professional purposes, and they need to acquire a good working knowledge of the language as quickly as possible. They value the Method’s efficiency. Students at a Callan Method school can make progress up to four times faster than at other types of language school. As many tests have shown, they learn English in a quarter of the time. The Method is like a piece of precision engineering, an intricate design which is simple to use. The key factors behind the success of the Method are its calculated and systematic approach to the teaching of language, and its determination to maximize student involvement. Students learn best by speaking and listening. The pace of classes immerses students in the language. Repetition engages the memory, while frequent revision of the ground already covered encourages accuracy.
Why the Method is trusted
Many systems for learning a language promise more than they deliver. But the claims of the Callan Method can be substantiated. There is a wealth of evidence to prove that students at a Callan Method School learn English faster than students at other types of language school, and further details are available elsewhere on this website. Question, answer, repetition, the basis of the Method, is an approach to learning a language that is often recommended by educational psychologists. Because a Callan Method class is highly scripted, students are provided with a clear structure, an advantage which is especially important in the early stages of learning English. Few teachers of English as a foreign language are professional linguists, and few students could afford to employ a teacher with such high qualifications. The Method helps teachers by relieving them of the task of preparing their own material, and giving them a reliable framework. The Method helps students by sparing them from the confusing or fanciful initiatives of inexperienced teachers. Instead the student can rely on the years of planning and preparation that went into the Method providing, of course, that the teacher understands his obligation to respect the Method’s systematic approach. Meticulous organization and clear ground-rules have made the Method especially attractive to the private sector, and to students whose language study is self-financed.
Why the Method is enjoyable
What makes the Callan Method enjoyable for the student is precisely its highly structured character. In the Method, everything comes in its proper place, which means that students do not waste time tackling complexities for which they are not yet ready. Students like the Method because it makes their work easier. But the Method also stands out from its competitors because it requires students to participate actively in lessons. Many people are familiar with the type of language tuition where the teacher speaks, the class is silent, and the students take down notes written on the blackboard. Students in that type of lesson find it difficult to concentrate, become bored, and so learn very slowly. But because Callan Method classes engage the student, the atmosphere is lively, and more is accomplished.
Why the Method benefits all kinds of people
The Callan Method is focused on teaching students the basic grammar of English and the most essential vocabulary. By the time he has completed all twelve stages of the Method, the student will have mastered the 5621 most common words of the English language. The student will now be thoroughly prepared for the Cambridge First Certificate (F.C.E.) exam. This level of competence is essential for anyone who needs to be able to read English, to live in an English-speaking country, or to work with English speakers. So the Method is suitable for all purposes of study. The Method enhances the performance of students with a flair for languages, but it also works well with students of average ability. It can be used both by young people, and by people in later life. The Method is also good value for money. Because the Callan Method is comprehensive, students who use it do not need to buy any other books.
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