English Conversation Skills and Native-Like Fluency

One of the explicit reasons I was invited to move to Kalavan village was to help improve the English education for the village's children. So I was surprised and disappointed that there was no real interest in improving the presently poor state of the language education here, which accomplishes little more than getting Kalavan's children to memorize some basic phrases in English with virtually no real practical communicative competence in the language. I've since observed similar conditions across Armenia and the harm imposed on its populace for not being able to communicate well in the world's only truly shared language.

To this end, my book Our Global Lingua Franca: An Educator's Guide to Spreading English Where EFL Doesn't Work addresses worldwide shortcomings in helping people achieve conversational fluency in English.

At The Kalavan Retreat Center, we believe that furthering the connectivity and collaboration of our shared global community relies on our ability to communicate with each other. Though we have had many guests from several countries and native languages staying here, the one language everyone has shared in common has always been English. Spending time working and playing with some of our guests has already significantly improved the English abilities of the village children because it has given them organic reasons to get better at the language and real-world opportunities to apply what they know.

In our English language workshops, we are not shy about diving deep into the realms of philosophical discussions, starting engaging debates, asking insightful questions, and fostering critical thinking and active participation. Our goal is to provide a stimulating environment where learners can sharpen their language skills while exploring topics they care about.

Mastering English goes beyond memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules. It involves understanding cultural nuances, expressing original ideas eloquently, and engaging in thought-provoking conversations that books and courses never prepared you for.

Beyond general conversation skills, we will cover specific subjects you find most interesting or useful. We tailor the content of our conversations to ability, age, and learning preferences. We will address all aspects of pronunciation, writing, grammar, fossilized bad habits, and oft-ignored cultural nuances to communication to help you achieve near-native English fluency for advanced learners who still struggle with basic errors despite their conversational abilities.

I have more than ten years of teaching experience in several countries worldwide, including East Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America. I am 250-hour TEFL certified and well-read on linguistics research on second language acquisition.

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