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Advice to a New Student at the EFI

Do you want to study English as if you were in a classroom, except you are talking to your teacher and classmates on the Internet?

We try to do that, but we still have some technical problems. David is our coordinator at the EFI. David always strives to overcome these problems. The latest version is Interspace from NTT. You will find Interspace is great software to enable you to meet our cyberclassmates. There are some problems you may face beforehand. First, you have to buy a camera and a microphone. I had one but David could not see me because mine is the cheapest one. It was too dark to catch my face at night. So we only use the Palace program to chat in our virtual classroom. You have to download it and check our timetable at EFI.

Second, as you know, the time is different everywhere on the earth. When you wake up in the morning, your teacher may be going to bed at the same time. When our teacher could be on line to talk to you, maybe you have to go to work in the day. This makes it hard to learn English on the Internet.

Another problem is that, since they don't need to pay money to their teacher, some students do not appreciate the opportunity to study with them. They enroll and get permission to join the class, but they often find an excuse not to be in our classroom. I don't blame them because their life is busy. Sometimes, they feel disappointed with our chatting class.

What do you think about our class? It's hard to prepare some materials to study English in a virtual classroom. We can not meet face to face with each other, so we have to pretend to be in a real classroom. We only chat by typing. It can be boring only to be an auditor. However, it can be the same experience not only when you are in our virtual classroom, but also when you are in a real classroom.

When you join us, do not be ashamed. Nobody will ridicule you. Our teacher will point out your mistakes privately. They supply "private talk" in the Palace.

The teachers sometimes discuss how to attract students to class these days. They often ask me "Where are our students?"

I am 35 years old, I have been studying English for a long time. But my English is not good enough to speak to an American or to express my feeling. That's my fault, I do not study hard enough. I do not study English day after day. I can not meet an American to speak English in my day to day life. How can you expect to speak good English without exercise?

You can not obtain knowledge without studying. That's why I am a regular student at the EFI. Initially, I went to our virtual classroom to talk to our teacher. At the beginning, I only watched the monitor and wondered how to express myself in English. The more you speak, the more you learn to speak better. After one year, I could speak English without hesitation.

To be honest, I didn't learn to speak, only to type. Anyway, I was able to express myself in English. I gained from the experience.

The first step is to download the Palace program. The second is to check our timetable. Then, we will meet in our virtual classroom.

You can download Pure Voice to record your voice to email to the teacher. It is a kind of Voice mail, and with it you can practice your spoken English.

You can also visit Webhead, to know more about our class.

I hope you will benefit from this email.

Better late than never.


Ying Lan


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Last updated: January 13, 1999