How To Do Just About Anything… In English!
Babbel’s newest English course teaches in-demand skills like rapping and surfer slang… entirely in English! The monolingual “How To” course for advanced learners is available now!
Chad has been an editor on the Didactics team at Babbel for over three years and is the resident expert for all things American English. Having lived abroad for nearly 20 years, he speaks a bit of Spanish, Thai, Khmer, and, most recently, German. Here he writes about his latest project, and the maxim “give the people what they want.”
Aloha, dude! So you’ve always wanted to rap like Shakespeare, huh? If you’re utterly confused after reading that… you should be! We’re just demonstrating how varied and diverse Babbel’s new course for advanced English learners is. Everything from surf lingo to writing an old-school rap song to understanding Shakespeare can be found in the brand-new “How to Do Just About Anything… in English” course. Still confused? Ok, here’s a little background information that might clear things up…
After tireless months of industrious content optimization, it was time once again to get creative and produce new content for English learners. (Yaaay!) But what exactly, and how? Well, it came to us in a vision… literally. “Give the people what they want!” Revolutionary, right?
So we went straight to the source: Customer Service. Babbel’s customer service team works hard to make sure our learners have a say in what Babbel offers; they even maintain internal blogs to keep a record of the most requested features, new languages and courses. With their priceless help we quickly had a comprehensive list of exactly what Babbel users have been asking for. The overwhelming demand? More Advanced English courses! This was fantastic news for the English editing team, as we’ve been dying to break the mold by offering our users something extraordinary (especially after they’ve so diligently plowed through our grammar-heavy beginner and intermediate courses).
This is where the how comes in… What if we taught the course entirely in English?! Giving credit where credit is due, we trusted that our advanced English learners knew the past tense of basic verbs and had a fairly decent-sized vocabulary already. What they needed were speaking, writing and comprehension skills. And, of course, the most useful and relevant lexicon across a wide range of topics!
So, based on your feedback, we narrowed the list down to the most popular requests – easy enough. But how would we present it in a fresh and exciting way? Voila! The “How To” format was born! Inspired by literally millions of DIY youtube videos (yes, we are big fans of youtube around here), we thought this could be a practical and effective approach to language learning as well.
The first lesson in the course is an invaluable one: How to Understand Words From Their Root. By identifying word roots in English, you’ll quickly and effectively increase your vocabulary (and look quite smart along the way). Boom, then we get straight into the fun stuff… How to Write an Old-School Rap Song! Maybe you had this filed under “unachievable bucket list item”? Well, here at Babbel, we want to make all of your dreams come true. The next lesson spawned from a staggering number of customer requests, it’s our How to Understand Medical Jargon lesson. Whether you’re lying on or standing over the examination table, we’ve got you covered with the most useful medical terminology in English.
Learning all that “doctor talk” can be quite a challenge, so next up is the whimsical How to Speak Like a Surfer lesson. Did you ever feel a little insecure around those ultra-tanned, amazingly-built surfers who never seem to have to go to work and are always saying things like, “Yeah bro, you should have been here yesterday – it was gnarly!”? Well, after this lesson you’ll be one step closer to joining the Surf God/Goddess ranks. And once again from the whimsical to the practical: How to Use Prefixes and Suffixes Effectively. Building on your knowledge of word roots, we now look at the most common prefixes and suffixes that go with them… indispensable!
Finally, we wrap up this installment of the “How To” series with a Babbel employee favorite: How to Understand Shakespeare. You will be challenged… you might be frustrated… you could be confused… yeah, it’s Shakespeare! See if you can wrap your “noddle” around the outlandish and eccentric writings of the English language’s premiere wordsmith. But don’t get discouraged, many of the native English speakers here struggled a bit as well!
We look forward to your feedback on this “having fun while learning” approach, taught entirely in English! So wax up your board, grab that cordless mic, and don your frilly shirt – let’s learn how to do stuff!