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Posts Tagged ‘romance’

As The World Learns Season 3: The Wedding

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

The end of last season last left the characters of our English lesson soap opera series in bad shape. Jason and Devan had broken up and called off their wedding. Dale was gaining weight and his life was out of control.

The most recent cycle of episodes resumes the excitement of the first season in which Devan and Jason got engaged, and takes it to the next level. Each episode, which teaches a particular slang term or idiom, saw things slowly improve for the characters and move toward the wedding finale.

We had a lot of fun with this season–about half the episodes feature musical sequences. We hope you enjoy learning from them or sharing them with your students. As always, these videos are semi-scripted in order to show authentic English dialog.

Watch all 10 videos here and see the guide below for links to the full lessons.

3.01 – Misery Loves Company: Devan and Mason watch a sad movie together.
3.02 – Man Up: Marni gives Jason advice about how to fix things with Devan.
3.03 – Face the Music: Ella (and music by Workout) helps Dale with his weight problem.
3.04 – Take Someone Back: Jason asks for Devan’s forgiveness…in song.
3.05 – Hottie: Mason tells everyone at the office that he has a girlfriend.
3.06 – Get Over Someone: Ella considers that maybe Mason has gotten over her.
3.07 – Heartbroken: Ella has a strange feeling. What could it be?
3.08 – Bro Down: Jason holds his bachelor party at an arcade (music by Spamtron).
3.09 – Held Up: A robbery makes Devan late to the wedding.
3.10 – Without a Hitch: After she arrives, Devan and Jason’s wedding goes perfectly.

As the World Learns Season 1: The Proposal

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

After 165 nonstop episodes, it seemed time to start producing the English, baby! soap opera, As the World Learns, in seasons. Watch all 10 episodes of the romantic first season right here. Each episode is an English lesson focused on a particular phrase. See the episode guide below for links to the full lessons.

1.01 – Left Out: Get to know the Ebaby! cast while the men of the office get left out.
1.02 – Glass Ceiling: The women of the office have a plan to break the glass ceiling.
1.03 – Girls’ Night Out: On a girls’ night out, the women make a discovery.
1.04 – Plant the Seed: Devan starts planting the seed to get what she wants.
1.05 – Pop the Question: Mason catches Jason practicing to pop the question.
1.06 – Break the Bank: Jason asks Jeff how to get a ring that won’t break the bank.
1.07 – Have Second Thoughts: Trouble at the office gives Jason second thoughts.
1.08 – Spill the Beans: Mason spills the beans about Jason’s plan.
1.09 – Chicken Out: Jason has a plan, but will he chicken out?
1.10 – It Just Slipped Out: Jason let’s something very important just slip out.

Season 2 starts in November. Don’t miss the wedding planning drama! Thanks for supporting coolest English lessons anywhere. Tell your friends!

Amanda and Mason: A Look Back

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Since Amanda is leaving English, baby! and her character is breaking up with Mason on the soap opera, I thought I’d put together a few highlights from their relationship, which was at the center of the soap opera plot when it began in late 2007, and has continued throughout it’s first 60 episodes. (It was also loosely based on my real life.)

Crush on a Friend

Before there was the soap opera, there was this lesson. I asked Mason and Amanda to improv a conversation on the topic, and the members demanded more.

 

 

Mason’s Date

This was the first soap opera episode and the first in a long series of episodes in which Mason is oblivious to the fact that Amanda likes him.

 

 

Cuddling on the Couch

One the best Mason-is-oblivious lessons and probably our most sexually suggestive lesson ever. It’s also worth watching for hilarious Friends references.

 

 

Foul Ball

Meanwhile, my character tried to hook up with Amanda. It didn’t go very well. This was the first of several episodes in which Amanda and I are fantastically awkward.

 

 

Triangulate

And Devan developed a crush on Mason, which made for tension between her and Amanda. I love lighthearted Mason is when he enters the scene.

 

 

It’s Raining Men

Amanda couldn’t decide what to do. Was it worth it to try to wait for Mason? What if he never noticed her? Marni gives her advice, and Amanda wonders if maybe Jason would be a good option after all.

 

 

Magic Moment

But just in time, they finally got together in a very unique, pre-scripted English, baby! lesson, which was filmed in Amanda’s actual living room.

 

 

Trouble in Paradise

After some months of happiness, Mason and Amanda had a fight that was rooted in the drama that took place before they got together.

 

 

Awful Flirty

During her fight with Mason, Amanda spent some time with Jason in order to make Mason jealous. Amanda is so good at acting flirty, that I actually got king of embarrassed here and had a hard time thinking of things to say.

 

 

Make Up

But before too long, Amanda and Mason realized they were being silly and made up on an afternoon walk. I wanted this scene to recall the cover of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, but in the take we wound up using, they didn’t lock arms.

 

My True Love Gave to Me

When the holidays rolled around, Amanda got Mason a great gift and he got her a not so great gift…and then surprised her with 7 more!

 

 

Healed

Then, when Devan and Jason were both in bad health, Amanda prayed for them to get better. It worked, and she shocked everyone by announcing she would become a nun.

 

 

Farewell

And in her last Ebaby! appearance, Amanda leaves Mason to become a nun. It’s a sad and awkward scene that’s difficult to watch. Just minutes after shooting this, Amanda left Ebaby! forever and Mason and everyone else were sad to see her go in real life too.

Language Learners Love to Love

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Guess which of our nearly 3000 English lessons has the most comments? Last year’s Will You Be My Valentine lesson is the winner with 230. I think it has a lot to do with that hilarious photo (thanks, iStockphoto)!

This year we have a whole series of Valentine’s lessons planned for next week, but our members beat us to it with a love poem forum thread. The topic of romance is definitely a favorite among Ebaby! members. Almost every week we feature at least one, sometimes two lessons about relationships and dating. The response to our Crush on a Friend lesson was so positive that it inspired us to start a soap opera that’s now on its 58th episode. The most popular episodes and plot lines are ones where couples get together, like the first time Mason realizes he likes Amanda and when Marni starts her long-distance relationship with a guy she met online. My favorite episodes to act in were actually the ones where my attempts at romance were failing, and people liked those too.

And don’t forget the most popular of all pages on the site, our Turkrainian Wedding video.

I think it’s really great that this topic is so popular. I was just reading today about how you can get in trouble for kissing in public in India, so it’s kind of amazing that despite great cultral differences about love and dating, people from all over the world can relate to stories about it.

Behind the Soap

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Since Ebaby! TV was officially launched today, I figured it was time to share the story of the genesis of the Ebaby! soap opera.

First of all, in case you didn’t know, all the dialogues in the Ebaby! lessons are improvised since the whole point of them is to teach people real, conversational English. We just start with a topic and see where it goes, and then I take the recordings back to the office and make lessons out of them.

While most of us are pretty straight forward in the scenes, Amanda is the only member of the Ebaby! cast who is an actress by trade, and she likes to throw us curve balls for fun. Most of them don’t make it in the lessons because they tend to be a little risque. Her goal is to make the other person in the scene laugh.

Amanda’s main target for these shenanigans has always been Mason. She would just throw in some comment that would imply they have a child or are married or are dating or were dating but now she’s mad at him. Marni started trying to keep track of it, as though it were a plot line, “But, wait, last month you were just dating and now you have a child? What’s going on?” Which gave me an idea.

I had also noticed that the cast, particularly Mason, had some fans among the members. There are occasional broken English comments of the oh-you’re-so-cute nature. So I figured, what better way to tantalize these members who had developed a crush on Mason from watching him talk about movies and music than to actually depict him in a relationship?

All I needed was a plot. Luckily, around this time I went on a couple of dates with a girl I really liked. I met her through a friend and asked him if he thought it would be a good idea to try to date her. He said go for it; he’d date her himself if they weren’t so close. Then one day, whoops, they started dating. Sound familiar?

The cast didn’t know that I was basing the soap opera off my life until a couple of months ago when we filmed this scene in which Mason apologizes to me for giving me the go ahead to date Amanda and then making a move on her himself.

Now, even the soap opera episodes are improvised, so no one really knows what’s going to happen exactly until the scene is over. The direction for this scene was just, “OK, Mason, you sit down with me and apologize for pulling a 180 and I forgive you. Ready? Action.”

So when the scene was over, Amanda asked if I would really be that forgiving if I were in that situation. So I told her that I actually had in been in that situation and I was.

I mean, if there’s anything I’ve learned in this life, it’s that there’s no point in wishing for things that are impossible or trying to get people to do something they don’t want to do. What, was I going to steal my Amanda back from my Mason? Forget it. Couldn’t be done. So my options were, be angry at a friend who meant me no harm, or not be angry with him. Life’s too short to waste it being angry at your friends, so the choice was obvious.

The 19th episode of the soap goes on the site today, and it’s actually the first one that isn’t loosely based on my life. My Mason and Amanda actually aren’t seeing each other anymore, and if I wanted to keep basing the soap on their lives, I’d need another male cast member. But that’s another story.

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