Home #7 Languages The Art of Teaching English Language ... by Giovanni A. Orlando (updated)
The Art of Teaching English Language ... by Giovanni A. Orlando (updated) PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 17 May 2011 23:00


Greetings in the day of the Green Ray of Healing and Abundance.

    This article I am writing wants to offer a view about the challenge to teach others a language, like must be the Angel-like, Anglish (English) as well any effort for new languages.

    A phrase you will find inside my books to learn English is the phrase an Arabic Woman comment to me, when I was very young.

    She told me, Giovanni ...

For any Language you speak, A New Person you are.

    And this is right!

    Teach other English is like to give a Key. The Professor that teach English to their students built a Key and give a Golden Key to each Student.

      It is a special key and is different for each user. If a student is "A woman with not too much knowledge of English or a short Vocabulary will need a strong key". "A more expert person like a frequent-flyer that travels but not a yet-fluent vocabulary will need always a Golden Key, but different ... not so heavy but more large.

       I, Giovanni consider that there are as many like almost infinite paths to teach and to learn English. Please remember that the number of games on a Chess Blackboard is finite (not infinite).

       Godfrey Harold Hardy, my absolute favorite English Mathematician, explains in its Course of Pure Mathematics that ...

  • The number of protons in the Universe has been established in 1080, and
  • the number of possible games of chess at

      After this numeric introduction I want you figure out a method ... I have reduced from five levels to 3.

      The Book, "Modern Language Testing" by Rebecca M. Valette ...


     ... speaks about the US FSI (Foreign Service Institute, it is a US Government office).

    This is normal distinction in five levels to learn a Language (of course including English).

     These five levels are:

  1. Elementary Proficiency.
  2. Limited Proficiency.
  3. General Professional Proficiency.
  4. Advanced Professional Proficiency and
  5. Functional Native Proficiency.

More in detail ...

From Vol 1 (Under development),

The FSI rating procedure.

Because this course had been designed for students that comes from not English places, I will use the FSI (The Foreign Service Institute) rating procedure, just to figure out the levels that everyone must follows.

The FSI oral proficiency rating is an overall judgment about the student’s speaking competence. The five levels of proficiency are described as follows:

Level 1.  Able to satisfy routine travel needs and minimum courtesy requirements.

Can ask and answer questions on topics very familiar to him or her; within the scope of his or her very limited language experience can understand simple questions and statements, allowing for slowed speech, repetitions or paraphrase; speaking vocabulary inadequate to express anything but the most elementary needs; errors in pronunciation and grammar are frequent, but can be understood by a native speaker used to dealing with foreigners attempting to speak his or her language. While elementary needs vary considerably from individual to individual, any person at level 1 should be able to order a simple meal, ask for shelter or lodging, ask and give simple directions, make purchase, and tell time.

Level 2.  Able to satisfy routine social demands and limited work requirements.

Can handle with confidence but not with facility most social situations including introductions and casual conversations about current events, as well as work, family, and autobiographical information; can handle limited work requirements, needing help in handling any complications or difficulties; can get the gist of most conversations on nontechnical subjects (i.e. topics that require no specialized knowledge) and has a speaking vocabulary sufficient to express himself or herself simply with some circumlocutions; accent, thought often quite faulty, is intelligible; can usually handle elementary constructions quite accurately but does not have through or confident control of the grammar.

Level 3: Able to speak the language with sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social, and professional topics.

Can discuss particular interests and special fields of competence with reasonable ease; comprehension is quite complete for a normal rate of speech; vocabulary is broad enough that he or she rarely has to grope for a word; accent may be obviously foreign; control of grammar good; errors never interfere with understanding and rarely disturb the native speaker.

Level 4. Able to use the language fluently and accurately on all levels normally pertinent to professional needs.

Can understand and participate in any conversation within the range of his or her experience with a high degree of fluency and precision of vocabulary; would rarely taken for a native speaker, but can respond appropriately even in unfamiliar situations; errors of pronunciation and grammar quite rare; can handle informal interpreting from and into the language.

Level 5. Speaking proficiency equivalent to that of an educated native speaker.

Has complete fluency in the language such that his or her speech on all levels is fully accepted by educated native speakers in all of its features, including breadth of vocabulary and idiom, colloquialism, and pertinent cultural references.

Of course, there is no someone that can confirm that you belong to the level 5. For this reason we are offering a free fly ticket to New York and London, alternatively for each 100 persons that subscribe this course. This offer is valid only to person-to-person courses.

Following our schema, we are now listing the four main topics that we need to keep clear in mind, in the order to quantify the FSI proficiency, in more detailed form.

This will fix a level number from 1 to 6, for each topic. Topics are Accent, Grammar, Fluency and Comprehension.


  1. Pronunciation frequently unintelligible.
  2. Frequent gross errors and a very heavy accent make understanding difficult, require frequent repetition.
  3. “Foreign accent” requires concentrated listening and mispronunciations lead to occasional misunderstanding and apparent errors in grammar or vocabulary.
  4. Marked “foreign accent” and occasionally mispronunciations that do not interfere with understanding.
  5. No conspicuous mispronunciations, but would not taken for a native speaker.
  6. Native pronunciation, with no trace of “foreign accent.”


  1. Grammar almost entirely inaccurate expect in stock phases.
  2. Constant errors showing control of very few major patterns and frequently preventing communications.
  3. Frequent errors showing some major patterns uncontrolled and causing occasional irritation and misunderstanding.
  4. Occasional errors showing imperfect control of some patterns but no weakness that causes misunderstanding.
  5. Few errors, with no patterns of failure.
  6. No more than two errors during the interview.


  1. Vocabulary inadequate for even the simplest conversation.
  2. Vocabulary limited to basic personal and survival areas (time, food, transportation, family, etc).
  3. Choice of words sometimes inaccurate, limitations of vocabulary prevent discussion of some common professional and social topics.
  4. Professional vocabulary adequate to discuss special interests; general vocabulary permits discussion of any nontechnical subject with some circumlocutions.
  5. Professional vocabulary broad and precise; general vocabulary adequate to cope with complex practical problems and varied social situations.
  6. Vocabulary apparently as accurate and extensive as that of an educated native speaker.


  1.  Speech is so halting and fragmentary that conversation is virtually impossible.
  2.  Speech is very slow and uneven expect for short or routine sentences.
  3. Speech is frequently hesitant and jerky; sentences may be left uncompleted.
  4. Speech is occasionally hesitant, with some unevenness caused by rephrasing and groping for words.
  5. Speech is effortless and smooth, but perceptibly non-native in speed and evenness.
  6. Speech on all professional and general topics as effortless and smooth as a native speaker’s.


  1. Understands too little for the simplest type of conversation.
  2. Understands only slow, very simple speech on common social and touristic topics; requires occasional repetition or rephrasing.
  3. Understand careful, somewhat simplified speech directed to him or her, with considerable repetition and rephrasing.
  4. Understand quite well normal educated speech directed to him or her, but requires occasional repetition and rephrasing.
  5. Understand everything in normal educated conversation expect for very colloquial or low-frequency items or exceptionally rapid or slurred speech.
  6. Understand everything in both formal and colloquial speech to be expected of an educated native speaker.

The FSI use a weighted table that gives heaviest emphasis to grammar, secondary emphasis and vocabulary, and test emphasis to accent.

The weightings have been developed through experimentation and permit the numerical score to correspond to the levels of proficiency. In using the following table, the evaluator would determine the proper description for each category and then circle the number in the corresponding column. After the test, these numbers are entered into the left-hand column and totaled from the Weighting Table.


FSI Weighting Table

Proficiency Descriptions à  (1)  (2)   (3)   (4)  (5)  (6)


Accent                                    0      1      2       2    3      4    ___________________

Grammar                                6    12    18     24   30   36    ___________________

Vocabulary                             4      8    12     16   20   24    ____________________

Fluency                                  2       4     6       8   10   12    ____________________

Comprehension                      4       8    12     15  19    23   ____________________


                                                                       Total           _______________

The total score is the interpreted with the Conversion Table that follows:

                                               FSI Conversion Table.

        Total Score    Level    Total Score   Level  Total Score  Level

16-25             0+

26-32             1

33-42             1+

43-52               2

53-62               2+

63-72               3

73-82             3+

83-92             4

93-99             4+

 We will use “daily and fluent” sources of English information like newspapers, magazines as well text from the Web, and also music from any genre as well entire Movies.


However, these my words are absolutely not about FSI or any other but to impose a mental BREAK ... to the population of English Books.

I, like a present and future teacher am discovering a jungle of thousand of books from the English as well American School of English. Of course all are necessary ... may be still more books ... but one day you will press the BREAK pedal ... When you will press the Break pedal ... and say. Well, let me read these books before to purchase some news?

This is very important ... To get the Golden Key is not an easy matter. Most questions are: What is the name in English for ... Oxford has designed an excellent "Picture Dictionary",

They have also a CD (First and Second Edition ... recently released). There are Training for Teachers, for Students. Dictionary of Grammar, Dictionary for Writers and Editors (regarding the right mode to write a foreign word).

Let me say a Word ... There are no a perfect mode to make sex. There are no a perfect mode to drive a car, and there are no a perfect mode to cook foods. Each one of us have its own method ... What is important and neither the Tests ... and there are many, TOEFL, IELST ... etc Pearson ... What is important is to communicate and perfect the English.

The first time I visit England (and was the only one ... was in 1994). Before and after that date I have lived in the US ... but just weeks ... in my first visit to England ... I have not a good and fluent English ... According to FSI ... I was Level 1.

... But if you can conquer a girl (Please Smile ... English is optional ... ) or Be funny at the level that someone can laugh from an intentional joke ... Well, you reach the expected level.

In our Training Courses face-to-face, in Italy we plan to organize a travel to England at the end of each course ... or at the end of the Advanced Course ... including to meet in a Fabulous Hotel in London for Afternoon Tea!

      BASIC English:
                 Vocabulary:     4,000 to 200,000 words
                 Grammar:        Basic
                 Pronunciation: 1000 words well pronounced.
      Intermediate English:
                 Vocabulary:     200,001 to 100,000,000 words. (1 Million will be accepted)
                 Grammar:        Acceptable
                 Conversation:  Not a Shakespearean Plays level.
      Advanced English:
                             Know all the Shakesperian Plays and visit England. Close to Oxford around 2 Billion words will be not necessary.

                             (400 Million words will be accepted)

      This is the plan.

We will do a lot more ... and the books are planned to be three ... like the Saint Germain books on Alchemy (BASIC, Intermediate and Advanced)

Therefore ... we are offering "Just Another" method ... and while the Vol 1 is based on Internet, Movies and Songs ... as well books, Volume 2 and 3 are more rigorous on Grammar, Vocabulary and Pronunciation.

Remains fundamental the main motivation ... and is to acquire ... (made yours ...) the following books.

Please remember that that first step to learn a Language is to love the Language. And you cannot love the language if you don't love the countries, the custom and the people of that countries. (A Course on Arabic is planned ... around 2013 ... Spanish is the second language to be offered ... and of course Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Astronomy too).

Because we don't plan to open other facilities in Europe, we expect people from Spain or France or other countries inside our Training Facility.


Good Bless English Language!


Giovanni A. Orlando

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 August 2017 16:32