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The Callan Method

The Callan Method makes it possible for students to learn English very quickly. It’s popular with students and schools all over the world because it’s fast and effective, because it’s lively and enjoyable, and because the lessons involve constant listening and speaking practice.

For Students

Learning with the Callan Method is probably a very different experience from English lessons you have had before. The teacher gets everyone speaking by asking questions and helping with the answers. Each question focuses on a particular word or a piece of grammar, and when you give your answer, the teacher helps you to say a complete sentence so that you yourself practise the word or piece of grammar. You are busy listening to English all the time, you speak a lot, and all your mistakes are corrected. You learn quickly because you are always surrounded by English. And it is fun – there is no silence and no time to get bored or lose your concentration.

Carefully designed, for all students

The Callan Method practises English in a carefully programmed way; during every lesson, you learn some new English, but you also revise language you learned earlier. In class, you are doing listening and speaking practice about 70% of the time, but there is also a little reading and writing to revise what you have learned.

The Callan Method has 12 levels (or “stages”). Stage 1 is for complete beginners, and Stage 12 is for advanced students. So the Callan Method can help you whatever your ability.

Natural speed

The teacher in a Callan Method lesson speaks quickly. This is because, in the real world, it is natural to speak quickly. If you want to understand normal English, you must practise listening to quick, natural speech and become able to understand English without first translating into your language. This idea of not translating is at the centre of the Callan Method; it helps you to start thinking in English.


With the Callan Method, the teacher helps you when you’re speaking, and corrects all your mistakes the moment you make them. The teacher corrects you by imitating (copying) your mistake and then saying the correct pronunciation/form of the word. For example, if you say “He come from Spain”, the teacher quickly says “not come – comes”. This correction by imitation helps you to hear the difference between your mistake and the proper English form. You should immediately repeat the correct word and continue with your sentence. You learn a lot from this correction of your mistakes, and constant correction results in fast progress.

Useful speaking practice – not just chatting

Although the Callan Method involves a lot of speaking practice, this does not mean chatting (free conversation). When people chat, they only use the words and grammar that they already know, so they do not learn much. In a Callan Method lesson, you are constantly using new words and structures when you speak, so you benefit more.  No time is wasted.

Practical English, delivered economically

The Callan Method helps you learn quickly, and the Callan Method books have been designed to give you the vocabulary you need, and grammar rules that really help you. And the language requirements of popular English exams have been carefully considered.

Finally, learning fast means the Callan Method is economical, and you need only one book for each level, which saves money too. In addition, if you are studying at an Accredited School, you can practise your English online using interactive exercises.

Syllabus and content

The carefully designed lexical/grammatical syllabus of the Method ensures that beginners and elementary-level students build their vocabulary and grammatical ability step by step. They are never distracted by rare or complicated vocabulary, and so can concentrate on picking up the basics of the language.

As they progress, the Callan Method continues to expand the learner’s abilities, and content has been decided on with the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) and popular international English language exams firmly in mind.

By Stages 11 and 12 (the highest levels), the vast bulk of language being practised is appropriate for learners at level C1 of the CEFR.

Why the Method is attractive for learners

Effective: The majority of people learning English are doing so to acquire a practical skill. They want to learn English for business or professional purposes, and they need to acquire a good working knowledge of the language as quickly as possible. They like the Callan Method’s clear focus on efficiency, the practical syllabus, and the fact that they can make very rapid progress. The pace and energy of classes immerse students in the language, whilst the systematic revision engages the memory and encourages accuracy. The Callan Method’s calculated and systematic approach to teaching language and its determination to maximize student involvement are key factors behind its success.

Fun: Students want to enjoy themselves at school – not sit quietly doing exercises in a book. They want to be active and involved. They want to speak and communicate. With Callan, they know this will happen. Callan students are listening and speaking all the time – a stark contrast with what they have experienced with other teaching methods.

Feedback: When a learner speaks in a language classroom, they want constructive personal feedback from their teacher. Such feedback is difficult to provide in most classroom situations, as it often interrupts the flow of the lesson, and can make students feel self-conscious. However, the Callan Method correction techniques ensure that teachers can correct any error simply, quickly and without causing any embarrassment at all. In fact, many learners, on first starting lessons with the Callan Method, say how happy they now are because previous teachers never used to correct them enough.

Why the Method is attractive for schools and teachers

Popular: The Callan Method is known by students around the world for its fun and effective lessons, and schools using the Method can benefit in terms of student numbers by being affiliated with the Callan brand.

Low set-up and running costs: The Callan Method requires the use of no equipment apart from the Teacher’s Book and the Student’s Book (and a simple demonstration chart for lower-level courses). If you have the books, and a room, you can use the Method to full effect.

Simple administration: Callan Method courses are simple to organize and manage, and record-keeping is straightforward. The progress of any class can be determined from a glance at the class record sheet, and adjustments to progress can be easily implemented.

Negligible lesson planning: The Callan Method books are designed so that all new language is systematically revised in later lessons. This means almost no lesson planning is required, which saves time for teachers and, in many cases, money for schools.

Fun and effective: The Callan Method offers a lively and fun classroom environment, minimal concerns over planning, and the knowledge that one is using a tried and tested method that delivers fast and effective learning.

Easy quality control: A common issue for anyone running an English language school is that of not knowing what is going on in lessons and whether teachers are performing adequately.

Schools that adopt the Callan Method report that this aspect of management suddenly becomes straightforward. The carefully written Teacher’s Books mean that school managers know precisely what teachers are doing, and the unique way in which the lessons are delivered means that there really is a ‘right way’ and a ‘wrong way’ to do it. So, it is easy to spot when an inexperienced teacher needs a little further training or help.

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Mary Jane

Mary Jane Go has been teaching English for over 13 years. She believes that it is very important to learn English and learn it by heart. For her, it's always the right time for a dance party and that hanging out with friends is indispensable.

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