English is Crazy

An innovative handbook for teaching English speaking.

The English is Crazy method is currently making a difference for students learning to speak English in more than 60 countries.

Keep scrolling. Classroom materials for the English is Crazy system are available below.

When you get to the FREE Handouts it’s the end.


It isn’t enough to cross our arms and criticize.

For education to move forward, we have to learn new things and support progressive ideas.

Download English is Crazy Book (PDF)

NOTE: Originally published in 2009 as English is Stupid. If you own a copy of English is Stupid, Students are Not, you don’t need English is Crazy.

If this book will help you and your students but you are unable to pay for it, you are welcome to download the PDF for FREE.

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Additional English is Crazy Resources

Purchase supplementary book-PDFs and Download Free Posters, Flashcards, Handouts

#TypeNameCostQuantity
1WorkbookEnglish Phonetic Alphabet for Chapter One of English is CrazyPaid1
2Course CurriculumSpeaking Made SimplePaid1
3DictionaryHow Do You Say? Dictionary of Expressions by Sound not SpellingPaid1
4Wall Posters
24″x36″
• The Roadmap to Fluency
• Thompson Vowel Chart
• The History of English
• Vennglish – where written and spoken English meet
• The Elements of Conversation and Fluency
• EPA Periodic Table of English Sounds
Free7
5Flashcards• 3rd Person Singular Verbs ‘s’ (26 cards)
• Regular Plural Nouns ‘s’ (26 cards)
• Regular Past Tense ‘ed’ (24 cards)
• Corporate Past Tense ‘ed’ (30 cards)
• Thompson Vowel Chart ( 16 Code Words)
Free5
6HandoutsMake-Your-Own Flashcards Word lists
• Basic Color Vowel Word list
• Intermediate Color Vowel Word list
• Corporate Color Vowel Word list
EPA/IPA Comparison Charts
• EPA/IPA Color Vowel Comparison
• EPA/IPA Vowel Comparison
• EPA/IPA Consonant Comparison
Saving the Best for Last
• TLC Telephone Alphabet
• Blank Color Vowel Chart Exercise
• 10 Minute Accent Assessment Tool
Free9

Purchase Supplementary Books – PDFs

English Phonetic Alphabet Workbook

• General American Pronunciation

• Companion to CHAPTER ONE of English is Crazy

• 150+ exercise pages for each of the 40 sounds in English

• 280 page printable PDF

English Phonetic Alphabet Workbook

$10.00

Speaking Made Simple Course Curriculum

• Sheridan College Speaking Canadian English course manual

• Accelerated listening and speaking program generated for foreign trained professionals

• Information, context, Hot Tips, anecdotes, exercises and activities

• 375 page printable PDF

Speaking Made Simple Course Curriculum

$100.00

Dictionary of Expressions

• 2000 most common English words

• Ordered by main sound for easy accessibility

• Each entry includes: spelling, meaning, pronunciation and how the word is used

• Expressions are a critical indicator of fluency

A penny for your thoughts – find expressions via their main word

• 284 page printable PDF

Dictionary of Expressions

$10.00

Free Download 24″ x 36″ Wall Poster PDFs

Additional English is Crazy Resources

THE ROADMAP TO FLUENCY

• It’s the 6 chapters of English is Crazy and their importance.

• Like an image on a puzzle box the Roadmap shows the number of pieces and how they connect to produce successful communication

• From individual sounds to Expressions and Non-Verbal Communication speaking English boils down to these 6 patterns – no exceptions

• Learners love to plot their progress on the Roadmap to Fluency

THOMPSON VOWEL CHART
THE SOUND IS IN THE COLOR

• The snag with English is the alphabet (26 letters) doesn’t make sense

• Until now, there was no logical bridge from writing to pronunciation (40+ sounds)

• 16 regular color names feature the 16 vowel sounds of English and provide a framework for confident pronunciation

THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH
CONTEXT FOR ENGLISH STUDY

• How did English get to be such a mess?

• One man on one day ruined it for everyone and education has been copying a mess ever since

Context is everything. Students love to know it’s not their fault They study reading and writing but speaking doesn’t follow – because they are unrelated

VENN DIAGRAMS COMPARE SETS

• The blue set is the 26 letters of the alphabet

• The pink set is the 40 sounds of General American (GA) English

• They intersect in the middle – 18 consonant letters represent the sounds one expects

c q x are unnecessary

a e i o u make 16 different sounds

• Focus of study needs to be in the big, pink, part-moon on the right

THE ELEMENTS OF FLUENCY

• It isn’t, not in speaking

• Communication is given by Context

Listening is under taught in English class, yet it’s critical

Word stress is the cornerstone of intelligibility

Gestures support meaning

• Focus on grammar inhibits learners and impedes conversation

NO ONE LIKES THIS ONE BUT IT’S MY PARTY

Vowels A, E, I, O, U are light blue

18 Consonants are light purple

• c, q, x have no purpose, their sounds are made by other letters

• The 16 vowel sounds are pink

• The 6 consonant sounds that have no fixed letters are dark purple

18 + 16 + 6 = 40 sounds of English

Brilliant!

VENNS ARE MAGIC

• I just wanted you to see the only place writing and speaking intersect is Expressions

• ESL is taught exclusively in the blue Reading/Writing crescent on the left

• There is virtually no crossover to Listening/Speaking and that is why learners can study English for years and never speak it confidently

Free Download FLASHCARD PDFs

Additional English is Crazy Resources

Tricky ‘s’ on the Third Person Singular Verbs

• Third person singular ‘s’ makes three sounds

/s/ in sleeps

/z/ in gives

/iz/ in teaches

• 26 colorful flashcard PDFs with plenty of examples for each of the third person singular s sounds

Tricky ‘s’ on Regular Plural Nouns

• ‘s’ on regular plural nouns makes three sounds

/s/ in books

/z/ in eggs

/iz/ in dishes

• 26 colorful flashcard PDFs with plenty of examples of each of the regular plural s sounds

Regular Past Tense ‘ed’

• Regular Past Tense ‘ed’ makes three different sounds

/d/ stopped

/t/ walked

/id/ added 24 colorful flashcard PDFs with plenty of examples of each of the regular past tense ed sounds

Corporate Past Tense ‘ed’

• Regular Past Tense ‘ed’ makes three different sounds

/d/ agreed

/t/ purchased

/id/ added

• 30 colorful flashcard PDFs using corporate vocabulary and images

Thompson Vowel Chart Sounds

• basic vocabulary and images that feature the 16 vowel sounds of English

• suitable for every level of learner

• double example word to reinforce featured vowel sound

• 16 colorful flashcards

Free Download Handout PDFs

The Work is Done For You

EPA IPA SYMBOL COMPARISON CHART (ROUGH)
EPA IPA SYMBOL COMPARISON CHART (VOWELS)
EPA IPA SYMBOL COMPARISON CHART (CONSONANTS)
TLC TELEPHONE ALPHABET
  • Phones only transmit 60% of sound, everyone struggles in phone conversations sometimes 
  • Native English speakers use code words to represent letters to spell out important information when they need to be clear.  
  • This list of basic code words is a useful tool for English learners when necessary
  • Even if they never use this strategy, learners love to have a Plan B  
BLANK THOMPSON VOWEL CHART

#1 Most Downloaded chart by English Teachers

• With a good set of colored pencils (Staples brand) and a class set of this document, students create their own TLC Vowel Chart and the pronunciation of every word in English goes home with them

10 MINUTE ACCENT ASSESSMENT TOOL

#1 Most Downloaded chart by Language Coaches

• The sounds of English are in the center, go through each sound with the client

• If the sound is in their language, leave its symbol in the center, if not move it to the pink crescent on the left The sounds the client needs to focus on are isolated in 10 min

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