About

EnglishConversations.org provides language learning materials to a global audience. We believe that education is the key to making this world a better place.

In addition to all of the free language learning resources we make available on the site – all under a Creative Commons share-alike license – we also offer some more comprehensive lessons in our store.

We believe strongly that education is the key to a healthy, thriving society. In the long term, a society that provides free knowledge will be able to solve all its problems. A society that limits the free flow of knowledge, however, places internal divisions on itself and thus hampers human growth.

Human knowledge is stored and transmitted in human language. This means that language is a key to understanding, and in order to act wisely we need to understand our situation and our neighbors first. Understanding is the key and because of this, language learning, in many ways, must be the basis of an educational system.

That goes for every language. We should all try to master other languages, not just English, in order to expand our outlook. Language is not just a means of communication. It is also the framework upon which we build our ideas; the operating system we use when we think.

Why has English become the world language? It is not because of any innate superiority of English culture. It is the result of an historical accident. Both the British Empire and the English language economic empire which America developed in the vacuum after World War Two have greatly contributed to the spread of the language. In some parts of the world, Russian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Swahili or Mandarin are more effective as the regional lingua franca. English however is the second language that is most widely spoken on earth

We recorded most of our early podcasts with a variety of different people. All of the participants were fully aware that we would use the recordings on this site and we have their permission to do so.

The header is a collage of creative commons photos from Flickr. They are (from left to right):

Yuki – http://www.flickr.com/photos/semansco/69424291/
Diwali Sadhu #1 – http://www.flickr.com/photos/meanestindian/160791405/
Natural Beauty – http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigblonde/361192173/
Big B Fan – http://www.flickr.com/photos/meanestindian/333519903/
Untitled (Connie) – http://www.flickr.com/photos/babasteve/168875315/
Malawi n001 – http://www.flickr.com/photos/babasteve/5398817/
My New Employee – http://www.flickr.com/photos/frischmilch/99659191/
sally – http://www.flickr.com/photos/72146625@N00/621415883/
California Girl – http://www.flickr.com/photos/babasteve/210262232/
Aiden – http://www.flickr.com/photos/lidarose/227514578/
Mason I – http://www.flickr.com/photos/elroy/130966340/
Kashmir – http://www.flickr.com/photos/babasteve/1302175379/
p – http://www.flickr.com/photos/renfield/516829325/

To learn more, visit How to Use This Site. If you still have questions, please contact us.

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109 Responses to “About”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. edo says:

    I was thinking like an archive or an index of comments orposts for the whole site might be useful. Hard for me to remember where I left a comment and to see if somebody responded or not. Thread list ? I don’t know the exact jargon for it.

  2. apc33 says:

    Good suggestion Edo. I’ll look into a better way to locate comments.

    Glad you and your student(s) are liking Interactive Stories!

  3. edo says:

    The RSS feed for comments works well for finding comments.

  4. shotaro says:

    Mark, how have you been??

    I’m shotaro
    I was your student at Ryukoku UNI.

    last semester, i belonged to your friend’s class, John.

    he told me about this blog. it’s really nice site.

    I lost your e-mail address, so cloud u give me a e-mail?

    take care

  5. Mark White says:

    Hey Shotaro

    Nice to hear from you.

    Are you still taking pictures? I bet you have taken a million since we last talked. Email me at

    studyenglishwithmark@yahoo.com.au

    Cheers Mark

  6. Lynie says:

    hi aaron,

    good day!

    I want to take a TOEFL examination. Could you give me some suggestions on how am i going to pass this exam and what could be the areas in english language that i have to review or learn more?

    Thank you very much…

    Lynie

  7. apc33 says:

    Hi Lynie…

    If I were you, I would take as many practice tests as possible. As we say in English, “Practice makes perfect.”

    I am sure that there are plenty of online sites offering practice tests. If you are serious about getting a good score, if might even be worth paying a fee to access more of them, or perhaps a site that offers a course in TOEFL strategies. Remember, the TOEFL doesn’t test your English ability as much as it tests how well you have prepared to take the test!

    English Club offers a few simple tips:
    http://www.englishclub.com/esl-exams/ets-toefl-tips.htm

    While you can listen to a TOEFL podcast here:
    http://www.eslpod.com/toefl/

    Good luck! Maybe Mark has a few more ideas?

  8. Julie says:

    Hey bro!
    I finally got a chance to look at this site. Pretty awesome to see how many people you have influenced. I will make sure to let more people know about this site. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

    Julie

  9. apc33 says:

    Thanks Julie – what a surprise to see you here! We’ll have to get you talking about the world of nursing in the U.S.

    See you soon,

    Aaron

  10. Lynie says:

    hi aaron,

    thanks for the suggestions and now i always check the net to test my vocabulary in the free online test. and mind me asking, i have a little problem in my teaching english language with one of my student. My student is 4yrs. old, she’s korean and she in nursery at Brent school, her mother hired me as a private teacher for two hrs everyday, and there’s this another teacher that teaches her how to write and some other stuffs. It was going along fine until today, the kid doesn’t want to study with me because she said i dont have a chocolate and a candy. I said why? we dont need to eat when studying and chocolate is bad for small kids like you. I was so depressed and i really feel sad. Im thinking if my idea of not bribing a kid or threatening is not good strategy to gain your students interest in studying.

    in this situation, im really mad at the other teacher because she bribed the kid just to study with her… and i think its not good.

    ooohh please help me, i dont know what to do…

    thank you very much…

    Lynie

  11. apc33 says:

    Lynie…In my opinion, a 4-year-old child should NOT be forced to study any subject for two hours day. And if there is another teacher, that means the poor girl is studying many more hours than that. All children should be playing and having fun – that’s how they learn best. Reading and writing should wait until the child is ready.

    Given your situation, however, I think you should find ways to integrate what you are trying to teach her into lots of play and games. The focus should be on playing games, not the material itself. If you use English in the games, she will become familiar with it naturally. Change games every 10 min or so, or whenever she seems bored. Use music, color, lots of running around, have fun, laugh – go to the playground down the street, catch insects and worms, kick balls. Take her to the zoo.

    The other teacher is probably giving her chocolates out of desperation. If you lock a child up and force her to do boring things, she naturally will resist. Don’t concern yourself with the other teacher and her methods. Just give the child as much freedom as possible and do your best to celebrate life together. Let her lead the way and have fun. Then she will forget all about chocolate and come to love and respect you.

    Good luck…

  12. Lynie says:

    Hi aaron,

    wow! This is a nice suggestion… that’s what im really doing you know, we’re playing games and she’s leading, i’ll just follow her and if i have the right timing, i integrate our lesson and i always correct her grammar. We always pretend to be in a situation, like in the supermarket, in school, in the clinic, at home, we’re getting along fine but this other teacher suddenly bribe her with candies and chocolates, thats why im really irritated.

    I would like to ask you if you could give me some sites where i can pick other games to integrate in our lesson. Thank you so much… you’re really helping me.

    Thanks a lot,
    Lynie

  13. murugan says:

    hai

    good for this site

    very excellent

    very super

    by

    murugan
    india

  14. apc33 says:

    Glad you like it, Murugan. If you have any suggestions, please give them to us.

    Lynie, I haven’t worked with children in a classroom setting for many years, so I’m totally unfamiliar with websites that give game ideas. If you find any good ones, please email them to me or post them here.

  15. Brian says:

    Hi Mark, hope you ok? just took a look at your website, i think its a good way to approach English, if i ever get to the stage of teaching in Sakon Nakhon it will be very usefull.
    At the moment we are still in Bangkok and we are going to get Married tommorow. We still havnt sorted out what we are going to do about a visa yet, if we dont go for one i will be back November ,December and will try make arrangments to meet up with you. Take care. Regards Brian

  16. Mark White says:

    Congratulations Brian
    Make sure you give us a call when you get back.
    Travel safe
    Mark

  17. Dear Mark and Aaron,

    First, let me congratulate you on your website: it’s really original and inspiring! I am currently working on a language learning website project I would love to tell you about (briefly!) I’d actually like to ask your permission for linking our website to yours. So if you would be so nice as to send me a little message I would really appreciate it!!!
    Many thanx,

    Eglantine

  18. Mark White says:

    Hey Eglantine,

    Thanks for your nice message. Please link!

    I would love to hear about what you are doing. You can tell us about it here or if you prefer, email me at:

    studyenglishwithmark@yahoo.com.au

    cheers
    Mark

  19. Carlton says:

    G’day Irv.

    Finally a web site that can help so many people, just goes to show that there is still some good in this world.
    Well done keep up the good work we all need to communicate and have some fun doing it.

    Cheers,

    M Carlton

  20. yoshi says:

    hi, mark.

    nice to meet you again!

    i’m back in japan and found your web site.
    it is always very exciting to talk with foreginers. i hope we’ll meet you again. i guess i’ll be back there in next april, thogh i don’t know if you there.

    cheers,
    yoshi

  21. Les Wilkins says:

    I have used one of your conversations on a music track I have done with a friend – I assume that this is OK under the Creative Commons License, but we are both new to this so thought it best to check with you. If you visit my MySpace page as above, the track in question is ‘Replaged'; I have credited your site as the source of the vocals in the blog section.

    We do not anticipate this track being used commercially (some hope!) other than to exist on MySpace and to be used in our DJ sets. If you wish it to be removed, please let me know.

    Thanks for your unwitting contribution!

    Les

  22. Aisha Ilyas says:

    Hi Mark,

    Your work is just wow!

    I have been using your website for last 6 months, Its a great help for zealous English learners like me!

    I suggest you to add some sorts of tests or trails so that learners can judge their level…

    There must be some sort of Conversational exercises on your website where everyone can record his creation of dialogs or stories etc and can receive the correction and feedback from you people.

    There must be a specific portion, Conversations for Professionals.

    Warm regards,

    Aisha Ilyas

  23. Aisha Ilyas says:

    I am seeking another favoure from you, have you got any website where I can get improved my bussiness letter writting. As I have search many times but could not found except some letters samples repeasting on different websites.

    If you know tell me .

    Thanks

    Aisha

  24. Mark White says:

    Hey Les

    I really liked what you did with the track. Gord has a great booming yet subdued voice and I mumble so bass-ically. Then the overlay and interplay of your rhythmic whirring electronic beat..wow!…..

    I could not listen to the whole thing easily as I am on a dial-up connection in the Thai netherlands but next time I get to Bangkok and a fast connection I will listen properly.

    It reminds me of the original HG Wells “War of the Worlds” (Was it 1936?) with the voice-over by this Richard Burton-sounding guy and the rhyming (or alliteration or whatever) of “WAR of the Worlds” and “Watercar”…the words.

    Text and music. Thoughts and sounds. Mixing. Lots going on. ..and then the music coming in..what was that “war of the worlds” album and who did it..in the seventies..eighties?

    Taking things out of context is really interesting artistically. I remember I was blown away to see the town of Kanazawa on the coast of Japan; Wow! A town with the name of a song on a Bowie album. But it was the other way around. Bowie had been to Kanazawa….. and John Lennon’s “Shaved Fish” was a common Tokyo menu item. (katsuo bushi) I love the bizarre. It is not really bizarre. But the feeling of bizaare-ness that it awakens in us is magical. It is the opposite of boredom.

    beautiful night mate

    mark

  25. Mark White says:

    Hey Aisha

    It is great to hear from someone who loves learning any language. I really like the idea of making the site more user-friendly as a forum and as an interactive feedback venue.

    Aaron is much more tech savvy than me but I know the problem is related to finding the right kind of software to do what we want to do.

    Specific language for professions is needed, right?

    Business Writing (correspondence) Skills are needed, right?

    We will get to work on that.

    Many thanks mate

    cheers
    Mark

    ps : keep us posted on how it works so we can keep working to improve it

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