Learn It Town and The Learning Pyramid
Learn It Town uses the Learning Pyramid in a unique way. We use it in an online immersive environment. This tends to help the students learn a language quickly and the brain holds the language for a long time. Since 2006, I have worked this theory while teaching over 70,000 students and seen remarkable results. Some people are critical of this Learning Pyramid. They don't like it because they don't use it to its full potential.
In my younger days, I was working in a therapeutic community as a counselor. In this community, we watched individuals from 17 to 70 change their behaviors. Learn new ways to think. Addictive and criminal behavior and thinking were modified by doing. They were forced to live by rules 24/7. I was amazed at how in 9 months to 16 months, lifelong behaviors were changed. The recidivism rate of these individuals by basic classes was 80% within 2 years. I noticed after working in the therapeutic community, these individuals had a 40% recidivism rate of re-offending. It was amazing. Then I became ill. My MS kept me from work and I was bedridden. Now, what should I do?
I took to my computer and found a small group of people from the UK's King College that wanted to develop an English City. Shiv Rajendran and the CEO wanted to use actors to inhabit an online City used with ESL learners. Since I was bedridden in Texas, it became easy to stay online in this city and I started to develop the online city as a therapeutic community for learning a language.
We tried many things. At first, we just had basic English teachers, but the students didn't respond well and only the serious sat in an online class. So our students were losing interest. What they responded to were the actors and the role-play. So I developed adventures and events. They were bored sitting in an online classroom learning grammar, but they loved sitting in a restaurant or home with someone playing the restaurant owner and learning the vocabulary, phrases, and idioms of going to a restaurant. We had the same success with the owner of a clothing store, theater, newspaper, etc. Then we had events and experiences that the students enjoyed. We had many students that attended every day and would go from an elementary level speaker to an intermediate speaker within 6 months. This is unheard of in most English classes. Even those traveling to America or the UK for immersive English were not learning this quickly. But we were having great success.
As we were working with the students, management changed, this city went away for something more profitable, and switched from an educational model to the corporate model. There was a new name as turned into a training institute for oil and gas. The ESL students were dropped as well, as were the teachers. I spoke with some of the teachers and students and we developed Learn It Town.
Learn It Town continues to teach English and is also incorporating a Spanish program. We have great people that have brought their experiences with them.
Professor Shelwyn Corrigan, from the University of San Francisco, is important to the development of Learn It Town. She has been a pioneer in online learning for many years. She has taught ESL teachers to teach for a long time. Then we have Ana Gema Gallego Garcia. She was a student from Spain, who was learning English. She had tried many ways of learning English. She had gone to school for years, used private tutors and went to London for Immersive Learning. Only through her online experience in our first school, did she actually become fluent in English. She tests all of our classes and teachers to make sure we have the best possible experience for the students. Dr. Sharon Miller, of Texas, also has been instrumental in helping us with our online experiences. She has studied online learning for years and been working on ways to help some of the most difficult to teach students to engage and get excited about learning. Then there is me, Laura Jeffcoat. I started out as a theater major, became a counselor and then a pioneer in the creative development of the Immersive Learning Community.
Learn It Town is an Immersive Learning Community. Our students become life-long friends. They meet up with each other all over the world. They share each others life experiences. This year we have had teachers and students become mothers and fathers and soon to be grandmothers and grandfathers. We have had students meet and fall in love. We have shared sickness and health. I even found my health and today enjoying the Spanish Mediterranean. You not only learn English in Learn It Town, you experience life. Life and culture from around the world as a student and a teacher.
There are many more people that have brought Learn It Town to were it is today. Great people, who deserve to be recognized. Wonderful teachers and then our amazing students. Many who started with us, are still with us. We are a community of friends from over 180 different countries around the world. Our students help others, they learn in our English City, they experience classes, interactive experiences, and experience all different ways of learning.
Our students are at different levels in their language learning journey. There is something at Learn It Town for everyone.