Is Effortless English or English Harmony Comprehensive Enough?

by Mahendra

Hello Diana,

I've visited your website several times now and it's been a wonderful experience every time. The site is packed with a whole load of information, advice, reviews and what not. so let me congratulate you for providing english learners world-wide with such a fantastic tool and a great source of information.

I'm an English learner myself at an advanced level, I'd like to think (I scored 7.5 in IELTS). but what I desperately lack is fluency in spoken English (and of course could certainly do with better vocabulary).

I was checking the various online english courses you've reviewed, Mr. kev nair's 20 book Fluentzy course being one of them. Actually I had already seen his website and gone through the sample pages from his 20 books and I was hugely impressed with it.

Although I totally agree with your comments on it as I can imagine it getting a bit monotonous repeating all those sentences and word-groups and how much self-discipline one would need to patiently get through the entire course day in day out.

But what I liked most about the course is that it's so comprehensive in terms of vocabulary and the range of topics it covers, from talking about people and human emotions to gardening'n' agriculture to motor repairs to health problems.

I mean it's massive. It covers so many areas of life. I haven't seen such a masive range of material in any one course so far.

This is exactly what I was looking for 'coz this is exactly what we, non-native speakers of English, especilly the ones at an advanced level need.

The only misgiving I have is the text-bookish and mechanical nature of the course.

And that brings me to a couple of other courses you reviewed, which seem a bit more interactive and hence less boring, particularly the Effortless English lessons by A J Hoge and the English Harmony Course.

What I wanted to know was, are these courses as comprehensive and versatile? Do they cover such a wide range of topics and vocabulary in an organised way?

If we forget about the 'boring' factor for a second how would you compare the Fluentzy course with these two courses?

How do they measure up on the scale of comprehensiveness?

I'd hugely appreciate if you could shed some light on this. I've seen the website for both the courses, but neither of them share much about the content of the course and 'coz you know quite a lot about both the courses (you bought AJ's lessons and were closely associated with the English Harmony course) your feedback would be invaluable.

My particular focus is on knowing whether these two course are as comprehensive and whether the topics and vocabulary they cover is just as varied.

I know I've already taken quite a bit of your time but I'd really be grateful if you could share your opinion on this subject.

So once again congratulations for the fantastic job you're doing through your website and looking forward to your reply and thanking you in anticipation,


Dear Mehendra,

Thank you so much for getting in touch with me. Do not worry about taking up my time. It is a pleasure to help you. You raise a very interesting question for advanced learners.

"Are English Harmony and Effortless English as extensive and in-depth as Nair's Fluentzy 20 book course?"

I will offer you my opinion regarding these three courses and hopefully that will help you make a decision on how to continue your studies. Although remember that only you can make the final choice.

First, I am going to eliminate one of the courses right away. Effortless English.

In terms of being as in-depth and challenging for advanced learners (such as yourself) I don't believe that it measures up to Nair's vast amount of content and varied vocabulary.

It is great for starting from the beginning and working your way up to an intermediate/upper intermediate level but I don't think that it is really what you are searching for.

You specifically asked "are these courses as comprehensive and versatile?" Like I just said, I don't believe that Effortless English is right for your needs (although it is a very good course for many people).

English Harmony, on the other hand, could be a great alternative to Nair's course. Throughout the 30 sections (of the Speech Master) you work through "word chunks" or phrases that are common in that particular situation which help improve your fluency and your vocabulary.

The process is pretty much the same, although with English harmony you can listen and repeat. With Nair's course you can not listen.

One thing about English Harmony that I'm not a big fan of is the "virtual" version of Robby. He is a computer animated version of Robby who moves and "speaks". I found it a bit distracting and it would have been nice if there had been an actual video of the real man speaking. I mentioned this to Robby and it was something that he wanted to do but could not afford. It's not really a big deal though when you take into consideration all of the material that you will gain exposure to.

What areas do you cover? Here is a short sample list of the Lesson topics that you will cover...

1) New Job
5) Problems at work
8) Holidays
9) Money Matters
10) Running a business
15) Making a presentation
21) Receiving Guests
22) Having a meal
24) Health
25) Going out
28) Watching TV and Reading

Just to name a few. (This isn't even mentioning the lessons that make up the Chat Mentor!)

So my advice and thoughts?

English Harmony provides an extensive amount of vocabulary and phrases to be used in real situations. It also does this in an interactive manner. You interact with audio and visual media on your computer rather than just printed on paper.

What course is better for you? Only YOU can answer that question. You know yourself and how you study.

Are you able to work through material that could become repetitive and boring on paper or would you rather a more interactive experience?

I hope that provides you (and others) with enough information to make the right decision for you.

Do post again once you have made a decision and let us know how it goes.

All the best,

Comments for Is Effortless English or English Harmony Comprehensive Enough?

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Sep 19, 2012
Thank you
by: Anonymous

Hello Diana,

Thank you so much for your reply. I really appreciate it. I've actually read it a few times now and I quite agree with you.

The one thing that the English Harmony course scores on over Nair's course is the fact that it's interactive and that's very important, especially in language learning. 'Cuz otherwise it's very easy to stop half-way through a course which is what usually happens.

But what I appreciate about Nair's course is the fact that it's so comprehensive and I know I am only repeating myself in saying that but the reason I attach so much importance to it is that human interaction is so varied and complex,there are so many situations, so many ideas and emotions to deal with that a few number of standard EFL topics simply cannot give justice to it.

In that regard, I have really not found a match but then, I don't know much about the English harmony course so I'll take your word for it.

So, all in all, I think, both courses have their own merits. Each of them, in its own way, provides a solid grounding in fluency. I haven't decided which one to go for yet. But I'll do it very soon.

Then again, I might just end up buying them both. Thank you though. I now have at least got it narrowed down to two.

Anyways, thanks again for your advice. I'll keep you posted.

with regards,

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