By Rachel Rowland ( ABC School’s Academic Coordinator )
Many different teaching approaches have been used, throughout history, to help people acquire new language skills. One very unique method was developed by a man called Robin Callan, a former English teacher, in the 1960s. Mr Callan developed the method during his time working as an English teacher in Italy, and his reasons for coming up with this new approach were because he felt that the way in which teachers were expected to teach languages was inefficient and boring. Nowadays, the method is used successfully in more than 40 countries and it has a very high success rate. So, what exactly is the method and why could it help you to speak a new language with confidence.
What is it and how does it work?
One thing for certain, is that the Callan method is not like any other method you have ever seen before! You do not sit in silence, reading or doing grammar exercises from a book, nor do you have ‘free conversation’ in which you use only the language you have learned and are comfortable with. This is not a method which allows you time to twiddle your thumbs or stare out of the window! You are constantly kept on your toes, acquiring the chosen language in a fast- paced learning environment.
The Callan method is a direct method and uses a question-answer format. The teacher will ask questions, model the answers and get you to repeat what they are saying, whilst using facial expressions and hand gestures to help make the meaning clearer. The speedy question-answer format of the lesson means that you are listening to the language and speaking the language all of the time whilst having your mistakes instantly corrected. Classes are divided into two areas, new work and revision, but during every lesson you learn new grammar and vocabulary, explained using language that you have already learned. Repetition is key to learning and that is why this method works so well! If you don’t get it the first time around, you are provided with ample opportunities to practise, therefore the more you practise, the better you become. The added bonus, is that you do not have to do homework!
The Callan method for English has twelve levels and caters for all learners, from total beginner to advanced. The six stages of Callan for Spanish takes students from total beginner up to intermediate level. Callan is a lively, enjoyable and effective way to learn any language.
One of the most important reasons for why this method is so popular amongst students is that it is fun! Results can be achieved very quickly because you are constantly listening to and repeating the new language. Classes are carefully structured and there is no time to get bored or lose your concentration. In addition, you will be learning from native speakers of the language, so if you are learning Spanish, you will have a native speaking Spanish teacher.
Once you have signed up to one of our Callan courses, you will receive free access to the Interactive Callan Student Practice Area ( the CSPA ) which can be accessed on your phone, laptop or other device. You will be able to keep practising outside of the classes, regardless of where you are! Our Callan for Spanish classes will start in early October, so do not hesitate to sign up as soon as possible in order to avoid disappointment, as these classes will fill up fast!
The Callan method is a truly dynamic approach to learning a new language. You will be speaking your chosen language, Spanish or English, from the very first lesson. You will be made to feel very welcome at our warm and friendly school, and soon you will become a fluent, confident speaker in your new language, able to express yourself freely on many subjects. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up today!