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Bruce Balmer

Bruce speaks 6 languages and has been a headmaster, private tutor, provided SEN and CPD training, lectured to over 350 private schools in the UK, France & Canada including Benenden, Roedean, Gordonstoun, Cheltenham Ladies College, CharterHourse, Moreton Hall etc. and lectured to 65,000+ students world-wide. He has taught accelerated language learning in adult education where his average feedback per lesson was 9.2 / 10.  

Bruce helps  people feel the same excitement about learning a language that they felt when they started.

Check out Bruce’s Blog – HERE! 

LANGUAGE GCSE’s ARE NOW WORTHLESS?

The GCSE curriculum (A2) is based on a theoretical vocabulary of 2,000 words. I know a young man who just received a distinction in this speaking exam while only knowing 831 of those 2,000 words. So now completing 40% of a curriculum gets you a distinction. Nice standards! Either the GCSE examining boards are totally lying about what is required, presumably in order to look credible, the examiner on the day has either lost their mind or the examining standards have become so low that that -...

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Are you being efficient and effective?

It's easy to know if you are being efficient. Zero to B1 requires not more than 3,000 fluency units (words, conjugations, grammatical constructions). We know that a reasonable expectation and the basis for many language programmes is 900 hours. So that is 3 learned, retained and useable per hour. If you are progressing at less than 3 per hour NET then you are being relatively inefficient. If you are progressing at a greater rate then you are being relatively efficient. Simple. How do you know...

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Saving time improving listening

Lots of people are quite good with a language but still struggle to listen well. The last time I saw this an A* language pupil came out of the listening part of her GCSE and said "I didn't understand a word of it". No doubt an exaggeration, but not the comment of someone who found it easy and relaxing and came out sure they had performed well. Of course, it is true that any normal human exposed to ENOUGH listening is eventually going to master listening and finding the language almost as easy...

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New Focus Coming

We'd like to congratulate one of our students, Freja, for her stellar performance recently. Having finished our A1 curriculum in less than 25 hours, she took a test administered by U.S. Universities to determine the language level of students studying foreign languages, so they may be placed on the right course. She had as little French as you can have when starting the course (we all know a couple of words due to movies and other exposure). Her reading was evaluated at B1 and her reading at...

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The Random Walk

There's a thing in statistics that goes like this. Take a dice, throw the dice 100 times after ignoring any time you throw a 5 or a 6. Starting from the centre of a piece of graph paper move upwards one square if you throw a 1, downwards one square if you throw a 2, left one square for 3 and right one square for four. Where will you be at the end of your 100 throws? The intuitive answer is right back where you started. The correct answer is the square root of the number of throws from the...

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