Monthly Archives: August 2009

Mingle with Myngle to Learn Language

Hello everyone,

I have had a request to introduce to you Myngle, a cool online language-learning company. I will now let a representative from Myngle describe their company:

Myngle is a pioneer of live online language learning. Based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Myngle removes the physical dimension for language learning, allowing students and teachers to get one-on-one real time online lessons from wherever they are. This has resulted in students and teachers participating from over 150 countries.

Myngle is free for students and teachers to sign up. It does not only provide online live individual and group lessons, but also personalized packages, asynchronous products and free resources for a complete learning experience for Myngle students.

In July 2009, Myngle had more than 65.000 students from 166 countries and 256 active teachers. Myngle website content is localized in 6 languages: English, German, Spanish, Italian, French and Russian.

Myngle selects and trains the teachers to ensure the quality of online language learning. All teacher candidates are required to send their CVs, from which Myngle will check each teacher’s experience and qualifications. If the teacher meets Myngle’s quality standards, he/she will be invited for a consultation where the teachers’ teaching skills will be tested and reviewed.

Awards and Nominations:
-Nominated for Best European Web Application or Service EMEA in Techcrunch The Europa’s Tech Awards in July 2009
-FEM BusinessTop 5 Start up Media in The Netherlands, in June 2009
-Plugg2009 People’s choice award, in March 2009
-Best ICT Company at the European Venture Summit, in December 2008
-Accenture Innovation award in October 2008
-One of 33 hot Dutch web 2.0 companies, in August 2008
-Most promising ICT Company in Benelux, in March 2008


Back to School with Myngle and a Full Immersion Package of 95EUR. For a period of 30 days you can take up to 30 lessons of 30 minutes each. There are 45 teachers who offer this programme.

You will be able to buy products that assist and complement your live online classes. For now you can choose from more than 120 products in 12 languages (Audio lessons in 6 languages, Digital Dictionaries in 3 languages, Iphrase finders and podcasts in 12 languages).

By Urmila Tamang
Myngle Customer Care
Wibautstraat 129
1091GL, Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Textbooks are the Beginning, Not the End

I love books. I enjoy flipping through the pages and seeing if the style of the book matches my learning style. In that way I will know if I will read it and understand it, or if I will be bored and waste my time and money.

I have taught ESL (English as a Second Language) since 1997, in Asia, Europe and North America. I have taught at colleges and private schools, and now I train immigrants and foreign-trained workers for my own company.

At school we are ‘forced’ to read certain books, because they are ‘good for us’. No problem. That’s life.

However, one important thing to remember, for students and teachers, is that textbooks are the beginning of knowledge, not the end. A textbook is a solid base, but it is not a perfect fit for everyone. Therefore you must ‘tailor it’ to the class, country, ESL level and even if possible, to the individual.

3 letters you should always remember: ISV. What does ISV stand for? “Industry-Specific Vocabulary”. Whether you are working or are a student, you need general English books of course, but you also need to practice your specific field of interest or career. Makes sense right?

Think of the textbook like vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Pretty good by itself. But if you add a few things that you really like (e.g. cherry, maple syrup, gummy bears? etc.) it will make a great sundae for you!  Your English study should have the same philosophy.

Start with the solid base of Vanilla or Chocolate ice cream, and then add the ‘toppings’ that will make it ‘tailored’ to your taste buds. Same as with English. Text books are great, but you need to add to them. What could you add?   Think ISV, appropriate cultural references, idioms & slang, related history, models and templates, field trips, etc.  That way you can really enjoy teaching ESL and/or learning ESL that is tailored to your unique situation. We are all unique, right?

Social Media Communications – To Tweet or Not to Tweet!

Hi folks. Have you tweeted yet today? That is the question.

If you don’t know what I am referring to, don’t worry it’s nothing dirty or too personal! It is what we do when we post an update of our life on the popular social media site Twitter.

I have recently had discussions about using current social media like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter with a few different people, and the potential benefits that can arise from being ‘on message’. Some people were managers, entrepreneurs, budding coaches, moms and new graduates. Here, in a nutshell, is my best advice that I gave them. I hope this helps you too, whether you are currently using social media like the above-mentioned, or a blog, or whether you are pondering the idea of setting up an account and profile but are not sure how to use it.

DO follow the trend. If it has not gone away after a few months, and if everyone is talking about it, including people on TV, you know it is a keeper. Stay current, especially if you need to advertise your product or service or have friends all over the place you want to really stay connected with.

DO share personal insights and stories. Sharing yourself (within reason) encourages others to appreciate your openness and respond in kindness. Building rapport is much easier when both people are sharing the same level of intimacy.

DO mix business with pleasure. There is nothing wrong with letting people know about your new blog, entrepreneurial venture, newsletter, ebook or condo for sale in your updates, as long as that is not the ONLY thing you are telling them. Share other aspects of your life too, and then it does not seem so out of place or ‘salesy’ when you want to let people know about something they might like.

DO NOT be afraid of today’s technology. It is even easier now than when I started in 2002. With a little research online you can find free and easy ways to set up a blog, website, newsletter, and of course, accounts in MySpace, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. These days everything is drag n’ drop, import photo from your computer, WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editing. There is no need to learn html or any other computer programming/language. Just point and click! Plus, these sites have online tutorials.

DO NOT jeopardize your job or education. Remember that everything you post online from an tweet to a text message is recorded somewhere. Complaining about your boss or teacher online is about as smart as advertising on bus benches that you cheated on your spouse! Some conversations are better left for the phone or face-to-face interactions. There have already been students disciplined and workers fired, regardless of what you and I may think of the ethics involved in such cases. Be prudent.

DO NOT lie. There is really no need for it. If you have something to say or something to sell, just let people in your online community know about it, and be satisfied with those interested parties that respond. People have gotten job interviews from these social mediums. Could you imagine if they lied online? What to do in the interview then? The same rules apply to online dating profiles. By lying you are only setting yourself up for embarrassment. People these days want to know what you are about before buying from your company too. On Twitter you can find profiles of coaches, sports teams, TV stations, restaurants, celebrities and of course – online marketers! Be careful not to get fooled by anyone though. It is still a ‘buyer beware’ world!

I hope you have found these tips on using current social media helpful. If you want to view my profiles or even follow me, here is where you can connect with me: (Twitter) (YouTube) (Facebook 3V Page)

*Please note I do not share my personal Facebook page with people I have not met. It is my personal space. However please join my Facebook group or follow me on Twitter.

Thank you,

Coach Ric