Learn English in context
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+ By WebStar School of English
CATHIE (Camille around the house in English) contains something for everyone learning English thanks to the diversity of the app's functions.
The 50 videos in CATHIE were designed to enable any level of learner to understand the vocabulary in a clear context
- these videos contain over 400 words, including 120 irregular verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and more...
The three dictionary pages in CATHIE are unique
- the 1st dictionary contains the vocabulary used in the app and a simple click reveals a photograph of the word
- the 2nd dictionary is 120 irregular verbs, complete with sound file and examples
- the third dictionary is of the 36 actions from our videos.
CATHIE contains a games' page with four educational games designed to use the vocabulary and grammar in the app.
Our notes’ page allows users to store new vocabulary or other personal notes on their device.
About us and our teaching philosophy
Many foreign English speakers began their English studies at school, so after seven or eight years of hard studying. they should be able to speak and understand day-to-day English : we expect nothing less of our educational system. However, when the average student of English attempts to use the language outside a classroom and a notebook, they are unable to understand spoken English.
Why does our educational system focus so much on grammar and out-of-context vocabulary?
It is an interesting question and may be compared to learning how the engine of a car functions before we are allowed to get behind the wheel and drive. Schools still use a system from the 1800’s when students were required to drill Latin grammar and focus on translation and grammar rules entirely! This method of learning a second language has, of course, lost its extreme form and nowadays English teachers do incorporate listening, speaking and role plays in the English lessons. However, the very essence of English language teaching remains the same.
Students are instructed in English grammar, and regularly given new English words to memorize. After relentless English studies you’re expected to master the language by understanding how English grammar works and by being able to use vocabulary that’s acquired throughout years long memorization drills.
Our school, therefore, must cater for two different types of learners: those that would like to speak English and those that need to pass the exams imposed by the educational system.
While in many exact sciences you indeed can reap rewards by focusing on crunching numbers in your copybook, it just doesn’t work with languages! The only natural way to use the English language is to use it as means of communication, but if you go the path created by scholars, success is rare.
I have yet to meet a person that found the educational system interesting - for the most part they’re not so interesting at all because they focus on telling you everything about how the language is built. English syntax, grammar and vocabulary is scrutinized in detail and throughout your grades you’ll be required to learn more and more advanced English grammar rules, sentence structures, writing techniques and styles and so on and on.
I think that while the main focus in English learning needs to be put on acquiring natural speech patterns through speech, it’s still useful to know how the language is built. And occasionally doing grammar tests can give your English skills an edge, at least you can learn about differences between formal and conversational English that way.
New content and design improvement
new videos in the irregular verb dictionary