My Basic Teaching Approach on Verbling

I am often asked about how I teach English here on Verbling. I can explain this. I have been teaching English in the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan for past 27 years. I have been an online teacher for 3 years. Here are general approaches I use with everyone online and some specific-need student-teacher approaches, too. So there are actually several ways I teach. It all depends on the level and needs of the particular student and an evaluation of these needs.

I start out by helping us both get to know each other. In the first trial lesson, I try to find out the student's experience and plans for using English. I determine the desires and needs of the student, too. I also assess the student's level of English ability. I also look for any holes or missing parts of language ability that would affect the student attain these goals. I mark down skills that they need to learn.

In the first lesson, I also try to practice a sample of two or three of the things I do in my classes. One is two-way conversation using lots of vocabulary - using words, phrases, idioms, phrasal verbs, collocations, clauses, semantic maps, lists, a few complex verbs, prepositions, articles, etc. in a question-answer format. You can find an excellent question site for use with vocabulary and conversation development; it is an intensive vocabulary-topic discussion webpage that is wonderful for use on Verbling. It has thousands of words and phrases for use when discussing 200 life topics/subject through the mode of questions and answers. The short, repetitive-style of questions is great for grammar practice. The longer questions are excellent for vocabulary development, technical term learning, and phrase-use. I use with all my beginners. This site is at:
Want some easy questions to answer? Here are some:

Here is a link to much harder but more interesting proposition discussion questions:

I also teach specialized business, academic, scientific, and medical dialog and vocabulary lessons using the following material found on the Web. It is marvellous as a professional phrase book. You should use it to develop role plays, dialogs, conversations, inquiries, etc. with your Verbling teacher:
Also, I use the following much more basic English fromulaic phrase book with beginners:
For people wanting to learn all types of nonspecific English phrases, I tell them that this goal will take longer to reach that general English competency, not the 3-6 months I usually take on Verbling using my best friend's book, Fluency Secrets, as a guide. To do the latter, I use the book at:

I also have a student study packet. Please look over it! I hope you find some hope in what it will provide for you. Even if my sample lesson does not provide that, pleaseuse these materials with the many great Verbling English teachers you can find here on Verbling:


An Annotated List of Web Links (underlined) to Free Discussion Questions, Conversational Resources, Role Playing Dialogs, English Textbooks, Business Training Guides, and General English Study on the Internet
200 life topics with 30-50 questions “at a click” on each topic. That’s a total of 6,000 to 10,000 total questions in English, including colloquial phrases, phrasal verbs, idioms, and topic-related vocabulary terms:

Another good conversation site with a some topic-related vocabulary terms, but with more subjects to learn is here. It just doesn’t have as many questions for each topic, or vocabulary-rich phrases and terms, or as long, detailed questions as the site above:

Actually, another website has more topics, over 700 in fact, but simpler, repetitive questions, though there are 14,000. There are more topics about life to discuss here. There is a drawback in discussing subjects from this site, however. You just learn superficial, basic English grammar and not specialized vocabulary, real-world word domains, associations, relationships, connections, collocations, and specialized grammar on it. Still, it has some value for simplistic and superficial topic discussion purposes:
The second best one is for beginners or easy learning. It contains only 50 topics with a total of 300 questions. But they do help vocabulary development, being questions that include colloquial phrases, technical terms, lists of related terms, idioms, and phrasal verbs. These are the key to English-learning mastery. You need practice speaking and selecting the right words. Of course! But you need a good list of words to use in specific topic conversation, too! Look for this is in topic discussions.

The next one is another alphabetically listed topics link to discussion questions. There are not very many topics, but the questions are great and very useful at developing vocabulary domains; they add a lot of useful lists, vocabulary, connected matters, idioms, etc. to the terms you look up:

ALSO, here’s some more specific discussion topics in a lesson guide format. Some are rare and strange topical areas. They are good for a change or break from the usual discussion routine or whenever vocabulary discussion seems boring:

The following sites are ESL news discussion sites. They are easy, simple-to-discuss news stories for reading:

Larry Ferlazzo’s old but still very useful English news clearinghouse of ESL websites:

For business English role plays, several dialogs for practicing office management approaches in English can be found here:

The best English conversation textbook I have found in 26 years of teaching English professionally in Japan is this: Everyday Conversation – Practice Makes Perfect. Here is a free site on the internet with many freebies associated with the text:

Do you need a simple, practical English guide to reading, interpreting, and reporting about tables, chart, graphs, and diagrams? Here’s “Charts, Graphs, and Diagrams,” the best free training, practice and explanation of graphs and tables on the internet. It is a booklet:

If you want to listen to the audio of English easy stories and simple-but-great news articles, here’s the best American audio English podcast and continuous-listening English site for world news (in the clearest North American-dialect of English):It’s the NPR One App (and site) at:

Or, you can read NPR written news and it archived articles at its home site:

For intermediate-advanced students of English and above, the following pdf download of an old edition of the best English usage and grammar reference book (by Oxford University Press) is spectacular. It gives examples, history, nuances, derivatives, and explanations about English words and phrases as well as grammar categories. It is my “Bible” for the English language:

ForIELTS and the TOEFL test preparation, I am among the best teachers on the internet for the speaking portion of these tests. However, there is one better and faster source of training, especially in writing: These teachers are former IELTS interviewers who can get nearly anyone to the Band 8 (IELTS), 28 out of 30 points (TOEFL) level in 3 to 6 months. Here’s a great website always for reports on the most recent questions: with only one question (for Part 2) and a model answer:

My Wordpress.Com blog of stories and articles including 350 short stories and a novella written by me can be found here at this site:

If you are going to be doing job interviews in English, here is a good site with many links to practice materials, study resources and actual interview questions that will help you land that perfect job in a large number ofprofessions and career fields:

Perhaps you like watching Hollywood films to learn English. I can find most of them at But you need a Bittorrent or UTorrent downloader to download them. What I personally prefer to do for English entertainment is to watch Disney World walk-through videos and Disneyland attraction ride-throughs at these the following two sites on YouTube:

Found on the website below is a very good business English textbook. It is very practical and useful for producing academic, medical, and scientific English, and not just business English. The top of each group of five per page is usually a formal, British entry. In the middle is a multiple/general-use one, and at the bottom is usually a casual, American English entry. The second and fourth entries are intermediate. That is the way the book is set up. A phrase book such as this one helps English students to choose one way to learn English production of a thought (important; using multiple ways hurt learning English production) and memorize for English speaking. So only learn all five ways on a page if you are learning for listening or writing.

Here’s another very valuable English phrase book for learning functional English in production (usually speaking):

Another booklet, one very easy to use as an English conversation phrase-book for English speaking is at the beginner level and found here:

Another useful site for guiding your productive English (speaking and writing) is “Sentence Starters and Useful Vocabulary”:

If you need pronunciation practice, the best free textbook for this in English is Ship or Sheep. A free copy of it on the internet is at both of these sites:

Perhaps you want to get into English speech and sound study in a big way. Then you need to see the following website. It has word lists for pronunciation that are for correcting speech pathologies or mispronunciation. It has great lists of words for speaking practice:

If you are a foreigner living in or visiting the United States, there are several cultural guide including free books for you to read and download off the internet:

Here are some web links to some IT English textbooks online. Some of these are old. I have used these in my IT English classes with other discussion materials:
3)Yet another:
4) And lastly:

Also, if you are going to be working in A.I. (artificial intelligence) or machine learning in an English speaking environment, you need to present a project in English that you have done just as well as this Asian man did in his YouTube video posted here at your job interview:

Try out these websites, books,posts, blogs, and applications found on the internet. I am sure at least one or two of them will help or at least surprise you!

FOR RUSSIAN NATIVE SPEAKERS ONLY: The “OK English” channel on YouTube is the best grammar and basic conversation site for Russian native speakers. It is based on the most popular grammar textbook series on italki and in the world: Cambridge’s English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy (the best-selling English grammar professor in the world):.

Thank you for considering me as a Verbling teacher. Thanks, also, for looking over this list of English materials. I hope at least some of this help you in reaching your goals in English study.

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