Guidelines for Experimentation with Transitional English
Guidelines for Experimentation with Transitional English by Volunteer, Experienced Instructors of English
Those instructors of English for speakers of Spanish who volunteer to experiment with this revolutionary approach to teaching the language may find help in the following guidelines.
These guidelines suggest ways in which valid experimentation in the classroom situation can take place. Reports via e-mail:, or: of such experimentation will be appreciated by the Global English Research Project Committee.
Experimental classes for valid results may be established as suggested in the steps below.
1) Two classes of 7 to 12 students (each with equal number) need to be taught by the same instructor. Experimental class uses text printed from the Transitional English web site:, while the control (traditional) class uses the texts for beginners used customarily by the instructor at his/her institution.
2) Prior to enrollment create a list of all students who will enroll in English language courses.
3) Prior to the random assignment to classes, all students without previous English knowledge are to take a pretest of English proficiency to verify chances of obtaining correct answers without having studied English at all.
4) Students are assigned classes at random. A throw of a die for each student on the list determines whether a student goes into an experimental or into a control class (odd numbers to experimental class, even numbers to traditional class), until both classes have equal number of students (between 7 and 12).
5) The same test, or a "parallel" test, is to be administered on the last day of class to measure the English proficiency in both the experimental and control (traditional) classes.
6) Compare the performance of Transitional English to traditional English approach either through averages, or "means."
7) Please send results to the Global English Research Project Committee by e-mail to:, or to:
1) Same instructor, as for the first semester, keeps both classes separate for the second semester, but this time, both classes use the instructor's usual approach, and the same usual texts for the second semester.
2) Parallel weekly quizzes and the same second semester final examination are administered to both classes to test their English proficiency. It is presumed that at the start of the Second Semester proficiency in the formal and standard grammar will be superior in the traditionally taught class, but by the end of the Second Semester the situation can change drastically.
3) Compare test results of both classes to determine whether a) experimental class reaches greater proficiency, or b) the traditional class does, or c) whether both classes reach equal proficiency at the end of the two semesters in comprehension and expression--both spoken and written.
4) Results, criticisms, and suggestions for improvement can be sent by e-mail to:, or to: Many thanks.
[The preceding guidelines were prepared in consultation with Dr. Edward Kifer, of the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, College of Education, University of Kentucky.]


This page was last updated 7 June 2000