FAQ -Frequently asked questions about Next Level English
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Key information about Next Level English
Next Level English is an e-learning platform for improving English communication for adults with school English. The Next Level English learning program is optimized for customer facing professionals to quickly improve their English ability, confidence, as well as reading and listening comprehension. Learning takes place on smart-phones, tablets, or desktops via the web and in live online practice sessions with Alexander Harmsen.
The Next Level English learning content is not generated by an algorithm. It has been carefully crafted and curated by Alexander Harmsen based on his 25 years of broad and deep experience helping 1000s of German speaking professionals quickly and easily reach the English proficiency they need for their work. The course trains the vocabulary each participant needs for their work while guiding them to master making the types of sentences they need to be clearly and immediately understood. Instead of talking about ‘grammar’, Next Level English empowers intuitive understanding and immediate transfer by explaining how to master English as a set of easily understood technologies to best get your message across. This ability and self confidence are then transferred to the communication outcomes participants need. This includes mastering the essentials and the details of customer relations communication, small-talk, professional emails, and many other aspects of English interpersonal communication.
One lesson takes between 10 and 15 minutes on average, letting learning be integrated flexibly into a daily routine. The course's unique fitness studio method turns every learning step into a 5-minute English fitness routine that can be done anywhere, anytime until each step is mastered before making the next one.
Employees dealing with English speaking customers and/or colleagues need to feel confident speaking English about the topics they work on. The Next Level English method let’s you or your employees expand customer focused English language skills and a targeted way. Find out more about learning high impact business English and communication quickly and efficiently on our website.
Next Level English offers free online lessons, personalized open courses for individuals, and customized private group courses for companies and institutions. You can find the price for the open and private courses on the pricing page. All participants have transferable lifetime access to their personal learning platform. The twelve weekly 50 min. live video step-by-step practice sessions with Alexander are scheduled around school and public holidays.
Learning English with Next Level English has many advantages:
- Individuals can prepare themselves for professional opportunities and job requirements that require effective self-confident communication with English speaking customers and/or colleagues.
- Companies and institutions can optimize their relationships and results with English speaking customers, including those for whom English is not their first language.
- More comfortable and confident English communication strengthens collegiality and team spirit in multinational teams.
- Job seekers improve can improve their career chances in an increasingly competitive job environment, especially in unstable times.
- Companies and institutions can Increase their customer base by being better able to serve customers who do not or are uncomfortable speaking German.
- All participants can develop all aspects of effective communication with English speaking customers such as making small talk, writing effective empathic emails, , good English pronunciation, inter-cultural sensitivity and competence with English speakers, and many more continuously expanding modules.
People in businesses and organizations don’t just need to communicate in ‘English’, they need to do so about the topics they work on. And they need to feel confident doing so. With Next Level English you or your employees can expand their language skills in a targeted way. Find out more about learning business English and confident English communication quickly and efficiently on our homepage.
Next Level English offers three products, a free for everyone set of online lessons, open courses for individual adults with school English who want to ‘upgrade’ and improve their English for work, and customized private groups for companies and organization.
Open and private group course participants receive individual access to the step-by-step language learning platform. There they learn the key fundamentals of English and many aspects of English communication in short lessons conveniently and flexibly on their mobile device or computer. The learning content is sorted into step-by-step lessons and specifically targets language skills for everyday work life and customer communication. Each course is structured as a 12-week sprint scheduled around public and school holidays. Learners practice and strengthen what they learn in weekly step-by step 50 minute live online intensive practice sessions with Alexander. These live sessions offer the opportunity to practice speaking and listening comprehension as well as expanding knowledge about cultural aspects through intensive focused practice. The purpose of these sessions is for learners to secure what they have learned and transfer it to their individual professional learning goals.
The pandemic related restrictions have shown how much sense it makes to invest in remote training opportunities. With the Next Level English blended learning method, lessons can take place flexibly digitally with personal live contact with a trainer. That way you do not give up the critical regular contact a highly qualified experienced teacher. Combining independent learning with small group face-to-face video lessons with Alexander Harmsen combines the best of self learning and personal support.
We will gladly give you an individual tour of the course and advise you of the best way to implement and schedule your private group course. Click here to contact us or set up a Zoom meeting. Click on the “Is it right for me?” button to see if Next Level English is right for you or on the “For our private group?" button to see how right it is for your private group.
English learning with Next Level English
Next Level English blended learning combines independent step-by-step online self-study with intensive small group practice sessions with Alexander Harmsen.
Learners can decide how often and how intensively they need to study a particular topic independently on their mobile device or computer. They then strengthen and test their newly learned language skills in focused online practice sessions with their teacher. In these sessions they can practice their speaking skills and get answers to their questions. You can find more information on the proven blended learning concept on this page.
Our user-friendly language learning platform is easy to navigate. Whenever a learner logs in, they will be taken to the lesson they are working on. As soon as he/she finishes a lesson and completes a short end of lesson questionnaire, the next lesson is opened. This is critical because each lesson builds on the preceding one. This way everyone proceeds through the course step by guided step.
Every lesson includes a downloadable one-page lesson overview with the key points, a transcript of the video, and a focused fitness exercise to master the topic. Unlike ‘information’ learning, language learning success means being able to do what you learn. Instead of school like knowledge tests at the end of each lesson, the practice sessions with Alexander enable and test turning knowing how into doing now. All the modules, chapters and lessons in the course are listed in a collapsible sidebar for easy navigation. You can preview the course platform here.
Listening and speaking skills are trained in the live online practice sessions with Alexander. In these sessions every participant will actively practice their listening and doing ability focused on the topic of the session.
A link in the course menu let’s participants enter text and have it read back in a variety of English accents at various speeds to practice comfort with a variety of accents and pronunciation.
Reading comprehension is trained through the lesson video transcripts, book suggestions for every level, an early lesson on the best way to read to improve your English, and reading comprehension ideas and links throughout the course.
The twelve 50 Min. Video training sessions with Alexander are 100% practice sessions in which every participant practices what they learned in the lessons for that session. They are not teaching sessions. The learning is done online before each session. Every session focuses on intensively training one or two of the steps in the course and applying them to the things they need to say and understand in their personal work context.
These sessions are meant to practice, practice, and practice some more. It is understood that participants will have watched, learned, and started to practice the lesson (s) on their own before the live practice session with Alexander.
Alexander is the creator of Next Level English based on his extensive study of linguistics and extensive English and communication training on three continents in over 12 countries for more than 4000 participants.
The value of blended learning - especially with a highly experienced teacher - is well explained in the following Harvard corporate learning video.
The Next Level method has been painstakingly optimized so that most people achieve significant increases in their English ability and comfort within 24 hours of active learning; where 12 hours is spent learning independently on the online platform and 12 hours is spent strengthening and practising the learned in face-to-face online sessions with Alexander.
Most scientific studies measure improved grammar test scores. One of the principles of Next Level English is that communication comes first. Test scores are irrelevant if they do not lead to greater proficiency and comfort speaking English. 86% percent of Next Level English participants said that the course was helpful for their ability to communicate in English about the things they need to communicate about at work. And 100% said they would recommend or highly recommend the course to their colleagues and friends.
A key quote from a meta-analysis of research on the power of blended learning: "Can virtual learning be as effective as in-class instruction? Yes, it can be. Meta-analyses suggest that online courses are about as effective as face-to-face courses. Blended learning courses, however, tend to be the best of all, with the important caveat that students also tend to perform more work in blended learning courses.
Customer service facing professionals
The customer facing professionals we mean are skilled and confident in their native language (usually German) and need to frequently or infrequently transform their native language abilities into English for English speaking customers (native and English as a second language speakers). Every department and every business/institution has its own language - a combination of its own topics and vocabulary. With Next level English every participant in this sense learns ‘their’ English. The Next Level learning journey is personalized because every participant’s journey is aligned - from beginning to end -with what they need to speak and write about with their customers.
With ‘school English’
Anyone with school English will easily understand the videos and Alexander’s speaking speed. By assuming school English, the course does not have to start with the basics and can focus immediately on mastering key aspects of English that may have been frustrating or difficult in school in such a way that they are easily understood, make sense, and can be mastered quickly. By school English we mean a roughly A2 level according to the CEF. Take this 5-question quiz for an immediately assessment of how appropriate Next Level English is for you or your private group (click on one of the top orange buttons on this page).
In German/Swiss/Austrian business and institutions
Depending on one’s native language, different aspects of English are easier or more difficult to master. Next Level English explains and trains English in a way aligned to what makes it easier and more difficult for German/Swiss German/Austrian German speakers. The same thing holds for pronunciation and interpersonal communication patterns.
Key ‘German’ sounds and so called ‘German’ ways of dealing with customers can get in the way of being understood, feeling confident, and achieving desired outcomes. More than just a set of words and sentence structures, a different language is a different vision of life. This is most obvious in often very different language specific norms of how to greet, treat, and ask questions of customers. Next Level English sensitizes learners to these key differences and teaches intuitive ways to speak and communicate better and more confidently in English.
Yes. Participants can come from different departments because the course is set up so that each participant works on the vocabulary and topics that they need for their position. The same thing is true for participants at different starting levels. As long as they have had school English! (see the question above).
The live practice sessions mean that a teacher monitors the participation and progress of each participant. Project leaders will receive a participation and progress report within three days after the end of the course. Participants will be asked to complete a detailed course evaluation questionnaire immediately after the course, and the project leader will receive the anonymous results as soon as the results are in. Most important for success, however, is that participants have enough time to complete their one hour of independent study per week. This is clearly communicated during the onboarding process and repeatedly during the course.
Details: Getting started, using the platform and technical requirements
One: Give us a call if you have any questions, would like a course demo, or are ready to book your course. Simply go to the contact page and call us or book a 10–30-minute Zoom exploration or demo meeting.
Two: You can also start by answering five questions for an immediate "Is Next Level English right for our group(s)" assessment at the top of the homepage.
Three: We schedule the start date and the face-to-face online training sessions around your organization’s calendar and public/school holidays.
Four: We set up the course as soon as you send us a list of participants with their email addresses. We then send every participant calendar invites all the online training sessions and schedule a ‘Let’s get started’ email to arrive five days before the first online training session.
Five: Participants receive regular emails guiding them through the course and telling them which lessons they need to self-study before each online practice session.
It is not possible to exchange a group participant after the first live online practice session with Alexander. It is important that all participants proceed through the course in step. It is, however, possible to transfer access to the online learning platform at any time after the last online learning session with Alexander. To do so simply send us an email and we will transfer access to the new employee. Please note that such a transfer only gives the new participant access to the self-learning part of the course. For a guided course with live practice sessions, you will need to either book a new private course or book individual seats in one of the open courses.
When you book an individual course, you can transfer your unlimited online access to anyone you want at the end of the course. The person you transfer the course to can then take the whole course online for free but would need to book an open course to experience the guided course and live step-by-step practice sessions. Just let us know and we will complete the transfer for you.
You do not need to install any software to use the language learning platform. For computers, you need:
- A processor with at least one gigahertz, 1 GB RAM
- A display with a resolution of 1024×768 or greater (doing the course on mobile devices is possible but it is not advised to take part in the online training sessions on a mobile device because it will be hard to read the interactive text produced when practicing.
- An operating system either Windows 7 or later or Mac OS X 10.12 or later.
- Internet speed: the quality of the video transfer and the online learning sessions with Alexander require a fast computer Internet connection, and a 4G or higher Internet connection on mobile phones.
- To make the most of the live training sessions, especially in shared workspaces, we highly recommend a good set of voice enabled earphones.