Thank you for dropping by and letting us share with you our good practice of teaching English! PowerEnglishByLana is the best of English in the form of exciting, educational online lessons. Each lesson contains a video tutorial followed by audio/video materials and an interactive test that help you master English through real-life situations. Check it out and get back to us!

 

Intro video 1
About the Concept of the Platform
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Hello and welcome to PowerEnglishbyLana! I am Lana and my team and I are happy to be here for you in this online form. I do prefer face-to-face interaction but the online  version also has many benefits. It is practical, you can turn us off anytime and you can be selective about which videos, subjects and lessons you  are going to watch.We created this platform for all of you who want to learn English and improve it, who need English in every daylife or occasionaly, for business, if you travel or just want to connect with people on  social media. People need English for many reasons and in many situations. And we know that. How do we know that? Because we are English teachers – we teach people of different profiles and age groups. We teach and coach managers, professors, students, schoolers, and they all face pretty much the same challenges along the way. Most of them also share the same goals which is to speak English more fluently and naturally, to understand better and feel more confident about it. In the following videos and lessons we will be sharing ideas, methods and tips on how to get you there. This is our school’s best practice.For now in this introduction let me just tell you three things: English does not have to be a barrier in whatever you do.Why am I saying this? Because in practice and trust me -I have been teaching for 15 years and I manage a successful language school, learners tend to  have a mental block when they have to communicate in English. They say it’s  quite stressful for them. They are sure they could have better results  and could connect better with others if the language wasn’t limiting them. If you feel the same ..that’s not a good place for you, is it? So let’s make English your comfort zone rather than a barrier. We are here  to guide you through it.The second thing has to do with levels of learning English. The main question is where to start from when learning English? Start from what is familiar to you, Familiar = what you know from before, and what is relatable to you, relatable = what matters to you, what you can identify and connect with. Then continue building your vocabulary, grammar and confidence. At our language school we have 12 levelsAt our language school we have 12 levels ranging from elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper-intermediate and advanced. Students are first tested and then placed in the  appropriate program. Appropriate = suitable, right for you However, the concept of this platform is to present ideas and lessons in the intermediate level; ,  suitable for pre-intermediate, intermediate and upper-intermediate language learners.Intermediate-level students can keep up with the dynamic and language difficulty presented. In practice, pre-intermediate and intermediate English learners are  most common in our school and environment. So some of you will find more new words and structures, and some of you will just stay in touch with the things that are familiar to you, which is also practical. I believe this average level of English ( average = middle, standard, typical ) will work for most of you. We are also preparing a section for elementary levels, we’ll keep you informed.Ok, and the third thing for now, you will be getting a lot of input from us – you will listen to us, hear a lot, read a lot, but what is also very important is your output – what You produce in English. So we want to help you speak and write better. The main idea is to help you out produce yourself what you hear and read. That’s why we structure our lessons to in video and audio formats, with conversations and examples from real-life situations. You can also fill in our interactive tests and check your progress. On top of that, to practice your production even more, you join our interactive online classes where you get to meet us, your teachers and other learners, and practice real conversation. Please check out my Intro video 2 about the structure of the Platform for more details, to be clear about how it works.My final point here is: learn from these videos and lessons as much as you can, we have presented them to bring English closer to you and empower your communication! As I said in the beginning, this is not a live classroom and we really want to hear back from you and keep in touch so please send us your feedback in any form, write e-mails, comment, send us your videos, tell us how it works for you, which ideas that we shared have been helpful and where we can get better and improve our platform.Ready to make progress?  See you there!
Intro Video 2
About the Structure of the Platform
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Hello again! This is the follow-up to the first video in which I talked about the concept of the platform. Now I will explain the structure of the platform and how to use it.Powerenglishbylana.com is a place for all of you who want to improve your English skills and stay in touch with English.
We understand that English is not you first language and that it’s difficult to express yourself in a language that doesn’t come naturally to you. We also know that English is a diplomatic and not-easy-to-master language. There are plenty of words, phrases, structures and tenses that can really complicate your life and cause stress to you at your business meetings or in social situations. Now we know how tough it can be for two reasons:
First of all, some members of the team (including me) are NOT native-speakers. Who is a native speaker? A native speaker is someone who speaks a language as his or her first language or mother tongue. In this case, that would be people from English speaking countries – Americans, Canadians, Australians, the British, the Irish and others.
Since I wasn’t born nor raised in the USA or the UK, I studied and graduated English language and literature at a university in Croatia. This means I’m familiar with the process of learning English and I understand all the challenges and pitfalls on the way.
Secondly, we have been teaching English for 15 years now. Although we have mastered the language, we also know the process of acquiring a language from a position of a learner.
In reality, you never fully master the language, there is always room for improvement and my teachers and I keep improving our English.
And we are here to bring the structures, vocabulary and grammar closer to you.
We will wrap and package them for you in a way that is understandable and relatable to you.
We have structured our input in the form of video and audio recordings, with tutorials and real-life conversations. We believe this is the most appealing (attractive, interesting) way of presenting English structures. We show you how English is used in real-life context and engage you to watch and listen at the same time. It’s like watching short movies or reading a book. Learning has to be fun!
Each lesson consists of three parts, we call them steps.
Step 1 is a video tutorial in which my colleague or I present a subject and related phrases and structures – it can be vocabulary, grammar or some other particular skill.
I must say that sometimes you can’t strictly separate grammar, vocabulary and skill learning because in communication it’s all interconnected. However, we do our best to organize it as clearly as possible for you.
Step 1 is a video tutorial where we provide notes as we speak, we call them highlights – the most important points. As you watch us and listen to us, the highlights will be written on the background next to us, just like now, as you can see. Because this is how we teach our students in the class – we write notes on the board behind us, right?
You can also read and download the full transcript of the tutorial below. You can replay it as much as you please within 60 days.
Step 2 is a follow-up video or audio recording. “Follow-up” is something that continues or completes the previous activity. In a follow-up you will watch and hear conversations, presentations and dialogues in the context of real-life situations.
Here the same structures and highlights as presented in the tutorial in step 1 are used. This is how you learn from the context, because you practice by repeating and by using English in real situations.
So Step 1 and Step 2 are basically input, because you get to hear a lot of information relatable to you. However, the key to learning is your output – I talked about it in the previous intro video about the concept of the platform. “Output” is everything you produce; say or write in English. This is real knowledge and our goal is to take you there. We’ve guided you so far and now we want you to actually use the phrases and structures in speech and writing. “To guide” means to show, to take you and give you direction, you know, the same as a tourist guide shows you around places and sites. The difference is that we guide you through learning English with our stories and situations.
For that reason, to make your production; your speaking and writing skills better, we have created Step 3.
Step 3 of each lesson is an interactive test where you need to fill in the phrases and structures that have repeatedly been presented to you in the tutorial and follow-up.
This is the moment when you are tested and you demonstrate that you have memorized – “to memorize” means to remember, to learn – the points we wanted to teach you through our highlights and conversations.
The test is scored and you can have an overview of your correct and wrong answers.
Once you’ve selected a lesson, and purchased it – “purchase” means to buy – you will receive a link with an access to the selected lesson. We will be uploading lessons that are free-of-charge as well, so stay tuned.
Also, there is Step 4, but that is not part of the lesson.
Step 4 has to do with your output as well, as we will be organizing online sessions (classes, in this case online face-to-face conversations) with my teachers and me. Here we will discuss these subjects, we can hear you speak and practice speaking with you.
Let us teach you how to improve communication rather than struggle (have difficulties) and show you how to interact with others in a way to make them respond to you more positively
Let me repeat again:
English does not have to be a barrier and you can easily boost your confidence, speak fluently and naturally, write letters and emails faster and understand English better. By empowering yourself in English you can communicate more effectively and achieve better results in your social, business or academic life.
See you there!

 

Discussion on advantages of
native and non-native speakers as English teachers
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Lana:     Hello! Hi there! We are back on track with some novelties on the menu and the thing is that,  Larry, it is time to discuss and compare the difference between you and I😊 Why would students opt for a native speaker like you rather than a non-native speaker of English? Like, how can a non-native  of English teach anybody English? I mean, it doesn’t make any sense. This is the first thing to open up this discussion and second thing that we have had all kinds of experiences in our school. People in the first place ask for a native teacher, American preferably, or British, and later on they would complain about the same teacher because they think they simply couldn’t relate… the teacher wasn’t able to transfer the knowledge… And some groups that are seeking a native speaker and they insist on having one, are usually more advanced learners. Where are we at?Larry:     Well, in regard to your first question, I think it really has to do with WHY. For example, if a student comes up to me, and I’m teaching, well WHY do you do that? I’m like, I don’t know, I’m at a loss, I go and ask a non-native speaker of English, teacher of English. And that’s when you come in, you see, you have a lot of knowledge about the grammar, about WHY it is the way it is, OK?Lana:     Why is it the way it is? Well, it is what it is, you can always say that. Don’t ask me so many questions😊Larry:     Yes, well that’s what a native speaker will say and that’s why maybe the frustration is there. I think that you can relate actually because of the fact that you are Croatian and you are teaching English and you can relate to other Croatian students because they encounter the same problems that you encountered when you were learning it.Lana:     Exactly. I’ve been through the process.Larry.     Yeah. And I didn’t encounter that. There is a little frustration going on there. Because I can’t relate what it’s like, the struggles they are going through as you can, for example.Lana:     And in particular with reference to their own language, how something is constructed in their first language and how it’s constructed in English, so basically you should have the knowledge of both languages to make the relation, to find common ground, to transfer the knowledge.Larry:     Sure, and some actually want it explained in their own language, it makes it easier for them, You know, sometimes that’s really helpful.Lana:     What do you think about, now that you have brought it up, translation? Because some teaching tools exist and some teachers insist – do not translate, stick to the language you teach. But in reality, in your mind you always translate, it’s hard to get out of that process. You do that, you will be doing that.Larry:     Sure. Yeah.Lana:     Do you miss having the translation part, do you use translations in teaching?Larry:     Well, of course I don’t, but I’m sure you do.Lana:     I do a lot.Larry:     That, like I said… As long as it’s not overdone, it can be helpful. It’s a way of trying to help people grasp the language. I think that in regard to the things a native speaker will bring…Lana:     Advantages of a native speaker, bring it on!Larry:     I think that, I again go into the frustration, a native speaker sometimes challenges their students. They might speak relatively fast and the reason is to try to make students get used to that, because they will encounter that. The accent, obviously, the ears, all about the years, how the language actually comes across in its native, natural form. And also, by the way, culture. You know, changes. I’ve done tutorials on that in the past, where the words come into the play and the ways of communicating – a native speaker is more on top of that then a non-native speaker.Lana:     Yes, you are kind of tuned in. So, this is funny what you have just said. At the same time this is an advantage  – you’re speaking dynamics, the naturalness of the language and the cultural aspect of it, you offer that in a package. But at the same time it can be a frustration for the learner. It has benefits but it can be frustrating if they can’t keep up with… What is your personal experience, can a native speaker actually adapt, accommodate to a learner who is much lower in their level of English? Is that a challenge for you?Larry:     Well, I can say about the techniques that I use, that comes naturally to me and hopefully it’s helpful to my students, is that I will repeat what I say and use different words, synonyms…Lana:     Reformulate…Larry:     Yes, absolutely! That’s a good word to use – reformulation. To change the sentence structure and so forth. That actually can be helpful… Just expanding vocabulary alone, right?Lana:     Especially replacing the translation part with reformulating. I’ve been training our teachers to do that –  don’t translate when students ask “what does this word mean”? Reformulate it…go around.Larry:     Yes, as a native speaker, one thing that we have advantage on is vocabulary. We have extensive vocabulary. And If I am a reformulating it, it means I am introducing your words, and English has a lot of synonyms, right? We have one word and there are many synonyms describing it in similar ways. Maybe even in the same way. So this is, I think, very helpful.Lana:     It is, you kind of…how do you say? You… “immerse”, and some courses are even called “immersion courses”, because you kind of immerse into English, and with the native speaker, you kind of just whoosh!, go into the ocean and then you struggle, you keep up… Yeah, sink or swim 😊Larry:     Yes, that’s right, throw the person in, exactly! 😊Lana:     And see what happens!Larry:     Exactly!Lana:     But, I would say that native speakers would be more appropriate for higher levels, to be honest.Larry:     Yes, that’s true. Most of my students are at least intermediate, if not almost advanced.Lana:     Yes, and that’s when you step in. I find it difficult to provide a teacher to a class of our upper-intermediate levels. I wish it could always be a native speaker, you know, for the upper ones. I really rarely find a non-native teacher who can relate to, who can kind of click with the higher groups, because that spontaneity can only be given by native speaker. OK, any other tip? That’s it. I love everything you’ve said. I learn from you a lot and I could not even think of any other teacher to “work” on my English than you, honestly.Larry:     Oh, well, thank you. That’s just such a great complement!
Lana:     It is, thank you. OK guys, let us know about your experience with native or non-native speaker as a teacher, particularly in aspect of advantages and benefits. And if you have had some negative experience, try to reflect on it – what went wrong and why so we can provide some new solutions.
Larry:     We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Lana:     Yes, bye!
Preview
Native and non-native speakers as English teachers

 

Preview
Discussion on learning English
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Lana: Hello dear students, thank you for watching us. For all of you who have been following us for a while, we’ve been talking a lot not only about learning English, but about the communication in general as well. And that’s a deep ocean, right! So so today I’ve invited my friend and colleague of mine, Larry. Larry, thank you for coming.
Larry: Well, thank you for having me! I enjoy it very much.
Lana: Likewise! Not only that it’s always nice to talk to you but I always learn a lot, not only in terms of English, but in terms of life and skills in general.
Larry: Same here. I learn a lot from you as well.
Lana: And from students as well, right?
Larry: Absolutely!
Lana: We have to give them some credit! What’s your experience?
Larry: I learned a tremendous amount from students. Students basically inform me as the challenges that they have in speaking the language, in speaking English. And in doing that, I’m able to learn and progress as a teacher and be more effective.
Lana: Exactly. So it’s always kind of learn and teach process, give-and-take process.
Larry: Absolutely, yeah.
Lana: OK, Larry, please, for those students who haven’t seen you around, because this is the first video we are shooting together, and I’m so proud, OK, Larry is here with me, please introduce yourself and tell them something about your background. You are American, they may have noticed that by your accent, but give them some more background information, please.
Larry: OK, as you’ve heard, my name is Larry and I am an American. I’ve traveled the world, I’ve taught in different contexts, on the university level, on a high school level, I’ve taught even on elementary school level, and so I’ve had a quite a bit of experience, intercultural experience. In regard to my credentials, I got my bachelors degree, my masters degree in the social sciences.
Lana: To back it up, right? You can just teach English, you have to back it up with some other aspect of education. Larry, it’s very important and relevant, as our audience we are addressing are our learners from around the world. And you have this cross cultural, intercultural experience, and this is really valuable for the platform and I guess for our learners as well. Speaking of that, you have taught in various cultures, what have you learned about learning and what people have in common when it comes to learning?
Larry: Well, learning is a process. It takes patience. And it takes effort. And you have to want to. And that’s something we can talk about, maybe address in our tutorials. You need to be interested, enthusiasm. And the process continues, and you become better and better.
Lana: So, it’s lifelong learning.
Larry: Absolutely.
Lana: You know, there is a name for it.
Larry: Absolutely, that certainly is true.
Lana: OK, and talking about cross-cultural learning, is there any advice you can give to them, generally speaking?
Larry: Well, you know, one thing that is always the case, no matter which country you go to, is the need to be polite to each other. That way people will basically be interested and wanting to talk to you, they won’t feel offended, they won’t close off the communication. And I think that’s very, very important. So I think that that goes across all cultures, no matter where you are.
Lana: And that point you have now brought up will be an underlying point in all your tutorials, because the reason we have asked you to come here is that you are a specialist in raising awareness of the importance of being polite and diplomatic.
Larry: Absolutely. I think that this is essential even for beginners, when they actually start learning skills. And these are very concrete skills you can learn.
Lana: OK. In our follow up tutorial we’ll talk more about exact structures about how to be polite, but for now let me just ask you: is it about, how do I put it, the level of English you use, or is it about the attitude? What does actually being polite and diplomatic mean? How far does it go? You said it’s about opening up or shutting down the communication, which is really important, but how far does it go? Is it only about knowing the structures, what is it about?
Larry: Well, of course, of course it’s about non-verbals, how you are coming across nonverbally, are you smiling, I mean, it’s whole, it’s holistic, right? It’s not just the techniques that you use. But the techniques are something that I, as an English teacher, can teach. And I can teach that also from a humanistic field, as well as from a linguistic field. And I think that this is something that everybody can benefit from, whether they’re speaking English or their native language.
Lana: OK so this is where we’ll stop now, and will go on from that point, and will be going more in depth. So, see you soon later.
Larry: Yeah see you soon, bye!
Preview
About Making mistakes in English
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Lana: Hello. Thank you for coming to the follow-up to my tutorial on making mistakes. In all kinds of forms – making mistakes, not making mistakes, avoiding mistakes, correcting mistakes. The reason why I’m saying this is because we have been receiving a lot of your questions. Let me divide them in two types of questions. I would say that the first type comes from our students and learners, they ask – I’m afraid of speaking, I’m actually afraid of making mistakes, and this is kind of hindering me. To hinder means to hold you back, to keep you in a position where you’re not progressing. And the second type of question has been asked more by teachers, believe it or not they also follow us. So, teachers ask for tip wether it’s better to correct students or not correct. So these are our answers. I have my own answers, but for this purpose I’ve invited my Larry, he is the perfect back up. Hello, Larry, welcome back!
Larry: Hello. Thanks for having my back!
Lana: Thank you for coming, I’ve been asking you to come because, you know, I’m really interested in your experience. But please let me just for a minute say what my observations are and then you make a reference. The question is – when I teach, sometimes it’s motivational, but it can also be demotivational, there’s a thin line, in correcting students’ mistakes. You know, when I do, I don’t correct and I don’t interrupt them each and every time, I kind of let it be, but I don’t leave it unnoticed. I point it out but in a more subtle way, for example I write it on the board, or I can give it back to them at the end of their output. What do you think about making mistakes as a native speaker and as a teacher?
Larry: I think exactly how you do is how I would do it. You know, I think writing up on the board when you hear the mistake so you can remember the mistake that was made. And then address it all after, if you have a good memory. I don’t think I can do that because I’m too old to memorize 😊
Lana: Yeah, it comes with aging! The older you are, right it down!
Larry: Yeah, exactly! Or you can actually use a tape machine. You can tape the class and then later replay back and point out the mistakes and you can go through the lesson that way too. But as far as interrupting, I agree with you. If you’re going to interrupt somebody in the middle and correct, that would probably stop the flow of the conversation.
Lana: Well said! Stop the flow… Interrupting stops the flow… Just to recap, we do pay attention, we do track mistakes, but not in a very explicit, interruptive way… When there is a flow. Tell me more about the flow.
Larry: Well, you know, I mean, it’s already difficult for a lot of students to actually communicate. Many feel inhibited, and if you interrupt them in the middle, that’s just adds to that inhibition. And it’s probably the best to avoid that if you can.
Lana: Yes, that’s a good point. To find our ways and tricks to address that, but not to be too brutal about it, not let them speak. So this is what teachers should do. And how about our students, being afraid of making mistakes when they speak? And that’s the worst thing that holds them back – they don’t want to open their mouth. I’ve seen it so many times Larry. What about making mistakes when a teacher is not around, when other people are around?
Larry: I say just go, go with the flow. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. I would say that there is not really any mistakes that you can make in English that any native speaker will hold against you… it might get a good laugh out of them, it might even make a connection 😊 But that’s good, you know. But they are very forgiving. I think everybody is very forgiving. If you have to be at all concerned, in any shape or form, about anything, that would be in trying to be polite. And if you make a mistake there, that might be an issue. Depending on the person. Usually they know that you were having a difficult time and they might be able to say – oh they’re not a native speaker, they’re not doing this on purpose, but then others might not be so understanding. So, I would say, if there was only one area you might have to be a little concerned about not making a mistake, is there.
Lana: Bravo, not to make mistake when it comes to not being polite not being rude. We have been talking about this a lot, but it’s never enough, to make people aware that the only mistake you can make is to be rude, whether you were aware or not, or not to be polite. But, other than that, your grammar mistakes will be excused, right?
Larry: Absolutely! Or accents, or anything of that sort, all else will be excused.
Lana: So don’t be concerned, don’t worry about making mistakes in that way.
Larry: No, not at all.
Lana: OK, I would say – communicate with your open heart, people will appreciate your trying, your effort, they will not hold it against you because, Larry, we all learn from making mistakes. Isn’t it?
Larry: Absolutely! I mean, come on, now we are on camera and we make mistakes.
Lana: Oh, tell me about it!
Larry: We have to go back and we have to repeat and it’s a part of being human, right? We are not perfect.
Lana: It seems frustrating, but if you took it from the other angle, you learn from it. As long as you don’t repetitively make the same mistakes over and over again. So, learn from your mistakes, do them, make mistakes, don’t get frustrated, don’t get concerned. The only think you should think about is being well-intentioned and polite in the language.
Larry: That’s right. And you know, the thing is, you may repeat mistakes over and over again, you may do that. And that’s fine. You can do that. And, eventually, over time, you’ll get the message. Eventually you will learn.
Lana: And keep watching us! See you then, bye!
Larry: Bye!

 

Follow-up Preview
About Making Mistakes
Follow-up Preview
About Business vs. General English