English is Crazy

The handbook for spoken English, English is Crazy is making a difference for learners in 62 countries


Purchase English is Crazy Book (PDF)

English is Crazy

$10.00

Hard copies available from Amazon.

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.


Additional English is Crazy Resources

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

Books

English Phonetic Alphabet Workbook – Companion to Chapter One of English is Crazy PDF $10 Hard copies available from Amazon EPA Workbook Sample Exercise YouTube

How Do you Say? Expressions dictionary created for ESL students by ESL teachers PDF $10 Cat got your tongue? See page page 61 Hard copies available from Amazon

Speaking Made Simple Sheridan College course curriculum suitable for all learner levels. Only available from Thompson Language Center PDF $150 SMS Sample Exercises YouTube

Backpacker’s Guide to Teaching English trilogy on Pronunciation, Conversation and Fluency It’s straight-forward and jargon-free. Homemakers, accountants, nurses, truck-drivers… anyone with no teaching education or background can effectively teach spoken English with the Cliff notes for English is Crazy. Backpacker’s Guide to Teaching English set of 3 PDFs $12 Hard copies available from Amazon

Flashcards

Large 8.5″ x 11″ customized flashcard sets PDFs $5 each Cardstock recommended. Laminate if possible

Regular Past Tense ‘ed’ (24 cards 8.5″x11″ ) Regular Past Tense Flashcards YouTube

Corporate Past Tense ‘ed’ (30 cards 8.5″ x 11″)

Regular Plural Nouns ‘s’ (26 cards)

3rd Person Singular Verbs ‘s’ (26 cards)

Thompson Vowel Flashcards ( 16 Code Words) Vowel Sound Flashcard YouTube

Posters

Series of colorful TLC wall-posters that print up to 24″x36″ PDFs $2 each

The History of English highlights why learners study English but their speaking doesn’t improve. Speaking and Writing evolved separately. How English Got to Be so Messed Up

Vennglish circles visually represent the vast disparity between written and spoken English. It explains the popularity of English is Crazy and the dire need for How Do you Say?

Thompson Vowel Chart If you get one thing from this website, let it be this. By simply associating the 16 vowel sounds of English with the color names that feature those sounds, the keys to Pronunciation and Fluency: word stress, linking and expressions, are yours on a single page. (Also available below as a Free Handout 8.5″ x 11″ )

The Elements of Conversation and Fluency showcases the aspects of successful communication and their relative importance to each other. Letting go of grammar focus or unlearning springs to mind. It’s a picture of a new day in language education.

The Roadmap to Fluency is a storyboard of the six chapters of English is Crazy, It captures and prioritizes the sequence of critical components enroute to conversation mastery.

EPA Periodic Table of English Sounds is a bone for the scientific community. Attaching new information to old is a primary vehicle for learning. Accuracy, logic, objectivity and relevance are the playing field of the scientific community. And it’s cool.


#TypeNameCost
1WorkbookEnglish Phonetic Alphabet for Chapter One of English is Crazy$10
2Course CurriculumSpeaking Made Simple$100
3DictionaryHow Do You Say? Dictionary of Expressions by Sound not Spelling$10
4BookletsThe Backpacker’s Guide to Teaching English trilogy$12
5Wall 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
6Flashcards• 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
7HandoutsMake-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
• Thompson Vowel Chart
• 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


Purchase our ESL Books on AMAZON

Click link below to purchase

FLAGSHIP OF THE TLC SPEAKING METHOD

English conversation is governed by six simple patterns showcased in the book. The book is currently part of the English education curricula in more than 60 countries.

English is Crazy is a must for every teacher who needs to help students speak English confidently. Recommended for all Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Levels.

Julia Chemali, TCDSB, Toronto, Canada
COMPANION TO CHAPTER ONE OF EiC

Hundreds of classroom exercises and activities that feature individual sounds, holding sounds as the building blocks of language.

I love English is Crazy and the EPA Workbook. In a very short time I see a big difference in my students’ speaking and listening. It is so encouraging to see breakthroughs in confidence and ability so quickly.

Gisele Freire, Brazil
EASY ACCESS TO ENGLISH FLUENCY

English is non-phonetic, spelling does not make sense. Learners access expressions and fluency through sound association not spelling.

I am a non-native ESL teacher. I set up an English Training Center here in my country. For us, How Do You Say? is the cream of the crop. We are very grateful to you. Thank you.

Abdullah Koufa, Guinea, West Africa

THE BACKPACKERS GUIDE TO TEACHING ENGLISH

Purchase in PDF format now

BACKPACKER’S GUIDE TO TEACHING ENGLISH TRILOGY

Handbooks for effective informal instructors

Jargon-free, the booklets are an easy read. Charts and diagrams in the Backpacker’s Guide to Teaching English help you stick-handle your way through razor-sharp assessment, using first language, the value of context and word stress, culture, body language and everything else you didn’t know about how English works.

Just wanted to say what an absolutely brilliant idea, to connect the sounds of English with colors!  I am an International student in South Korea. I speak English, so my new Korean friends asked me to teach them. Sure I said, but how? The Backpacker’s Guide to Teaching English PDFs arrived in my Inbox and we were good to go. Thanks to your wonderful booklets it was easy to help them learn and practice. Travelers need these books desperately! Many thanks & keep up the good work!

Tanya Cooper, Washington USA

Book 1 – Pronunciation

Pronouncing English confidently is fun and easy with the Thompson Vowel Chart color connection found in Book 1 on Pronunciation.

$4.99

Book 2 – Conversation

The Three Rules that accelerate speaking English effectively outside the classroom are featured in Book 2 on Conversation.

$4.99

Book 3 – Fluency

The secrets to the intellectual leap required to converse at the highest levels of English proficiency are in Book 3 on Fluency.

$4.99

Books 1, 2, 3

Myriad charts and diagrams help with razor-sharp assessment, using first language, the value of context and word stress, culture, body language and other goodies you didn’t know about how English works.

$12.99

Click to purchase The BackPackers Guide to Teaching English on Amazon


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 Downloads: 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 Downloads: 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

THOMPSON LANGUAGE CENTER

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Mon – Fri: 9:00 to 5:00 EST

Location

Niagara, Ontario
Canada

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