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Become a Mimic Method Teacher

The Opportunity

Hey There! 👋😀 My name is Idahosa (pronounced ee-DAU-ssah), and I’m the creator of a unique language-learning approach called The Mimic Method. The Mimic Method is nothing like conventional learning approaches, which focus on the memorization of spelling and grammar rules. Instead, The Mimic Method teaches you how to move your mouth and body the same way natives do, so that you can look and sound just like them. It uses musical techniques to tune your ears and develop your fine coordination. And it uses theater techniques to cultivate your “language persona” and get you confident communicating in a live setting. After doing The Mimic Method, students report being able to

  • Follow along with fast native speech.
  • Speak with an authentic accent that wins compliments from natives.
  • Get out of their heads and express themselves intuitively without thinking.
  • Feel more confident in conversation and more connected to their partners.

Anyone who tries The Mimic Method agrees that, compared to anything else out there, it’s the most effective and most exciting way to learn a language. So far, students could only learn through my online curriculum, or by working with me directly at a high price. But now I am training people to teach my methodology, so that more people can apply The Mimic Method with expert guidance. Do you feel called to master The Mimic Method and teach it to others? Prior language teaching experience is not a requirement. It also doesn’t matter what your native language is, as long as you are conversationally fluent in English. What I’m looking for are individuals with a natural aptitude for:

  • Music, language and imitation.
  • Feeling, reading and positively influencing people.
  • Thinking critically and communicating effectively.

As well as a natural passion for:

  • Mastering complex skills
  • Learning about the mind, the body, and communication.
  • Helping people better themselves.

If you become a fully-fledged MM teacher, you will be able to:

  • Work from anywhere and set your own hours.
  • Gain new high quality students every month to retain as your own.
  • Earn an hourly rate well above that of the average language teacher.

My business model is oriented around providing 1-to-1 coaching to students at the high-end of the market (I currently charge $350/hour), as well as cohort-based-training to students at the middle of the market ($300 for 30-day program). But more important than my business model is my public education mission. Our mission at The Mimic Method is to create and continually improve the most effective language learning materials in the world, and make them accessible to everyone for free. The Mimic Method teachers will play a critical role in the development of these materials. So this is not only an opportunity to learn well and earn well, it’s also an opportunity to serve well as a key participant in a meaningful public service mission. If this excites you, then read the rest of this post, and then submit an application using the form at the bottom.

-🌊Idahosa

The Application Process

There are three steps to becoming a Mimic Method teacher:

  1. Initial Screening
  2. In-Person Training
  3. Flow School Apprenticeship

Initial Screening

The initial screening involves taking an aptitude test and doing an informal zoom call with me. For the aptitude test, you will submit a series of short videos demonstrating your ability to follow rhythm and pitch, and imitate speech and emotional expression. These are the core skills we teach in Mimic Method, and anyone can learn these skills with proper training. But to be a teacher, you will need to already possess a basic aptitude in order to save us time in the training. If you pass the aptitude test, I will invite you to schedule a Zoom call with me to get to know each other more. I will ask you a few questions about your past and goals for the future. But for the most part, the interview will be an informal means for us to feel if there is a good fit. If it is a good fit, then we will progress to the next step of training in person.

In Person Training

If you pass the initial screening, we will arrange to meet in person for a few days to train intensively. I will come to you, you will come to me, or we will meet in a third location. I do this because it is much easier for me to transmit the core principles and techniques of MM in person than through a computer screen. Also, I’m no longer investing in purely virtual collaborative relationships with people. For me to feel proper connection with someone, I need to interact with them in the real world (call me old-fashioned). So our in-person training will be as much an opportunity to cultivate new skill as it is to cultivate a new friendship. For the month of July, I will be training people in Europe, UK and North America - so if you are in any of these regions, be sure to send your initial screening application in as soon as possible (especially if you’re in Europe). If you’re not in any of these locations, submit an application anyways so we can start the conversation and work toward potentially meeting in the future.

Flow School Apprenticeship

After we get a chance to train in-person, the next step will be for you to serve as a “Teaching Apprentice” for the next cohort of Flow School. “Flow School” is the name I give the cohort trainings, where I guide a large group of students through my curriculum with more structure and accountability. I have only ran four of these in the past year and a half. But now that I am training up teachers, I plan to run a new cohort of Flow school every month. The main appeal of Flow School to students is the chance to get precise feedback on their pronunciation. No matter how effective the free materials are, the student can’t truly know if they’re making the right sounds/movements without feedback from someone who knows better. So as the Flow School students move through each lesson of the curriculum, they will submit video recordings of themselves performing the techniques, and we will send video recordings back to them with precise instructions on how to improve. Here is an example of me giving feedback to someone on their Spanish consonants.

We will also place the students in study groups, organize zoom meetups, and apply different accountability techniques to boost their motivation and participation. Our overarching goal is to help any committed student get as much as they can out of the program. As an apprentice, you will be assigned a group of students, and it will be your responsibility to ensure each student’s success and satisfaction. You will watch every one of their lesson recordings provide them encouraging and effective feedback in video form. If a student is confused on a topic, or struggling to complete an exercise, you will arrange a call with them to help get them unstuck. These experiences helping real people solve real problems will do the most to develop your teaching mastery. When you don’t know how to solve a students problem, you will consult with me and I will help you solve it. You will also cooperate with your fellow teaching apprentices, so you can all learn learn from each other’s experiences and grow faster together. The size of your student group will be dependent on your availability for that month. Before Flow School begins, we will discuss how much time you have to dedicate to the apprenticeship, and assign you students accordingly. The speed and quality of your learning will be dependent on how many students you take on, and how much you invest in their success. In your final assessment to become a MM teacher, the most important thing we will look at is the success and satisfaction of your assigned students.

The Compensation Structure

Your compensation as a Mimic Method teacher will come from two places - the tuitions of students who do one of our programs, and the fees you independently charge to students you find through our programs. I am currently setting things up so that there are four levels to the teacher heirarchy:

  • Level 0: Teaching Apprentice
  • Level 1: Feedback Teacher
  • Level 2: 1-on-1 Pronunciation Teacher
  • Level 3: 1-on-1 Conversation Teacher

Your level in the hierarchy determines how much you earn in profit share, and from what pool of funds you get that share from.

Level 0: Teaching Apprenticeship

Teaching Apprentices will not earn any profit share, as they are still not certified teachers. At the end of their first Flow School cohort, however, I will invite the Flow School students to “Tip” based on how satisfied they are with the help they received from their apprentice, and that tip amount will be evenly distributed among all the apprentices. If during your month of apprenticeship you demonstrate sufficient mastery of the materials and the successful teaching of them, then you will be invited to lead the next Flow School cohort as a Level 1 “Feedback Teacher.”

Level 1: Feedback Teacher

Feedback Teachers will earn a profit share from the tuitions of Flow School. The profit share will be determined by your level of experience, and the number of students and administrative responsibilities you take on. Since we haven’t ran our first cohort this way yet, I cannot say precisely what the profit share percentage will be. All I can commit to at this stage is making sure the offer is fair and arrived at through collective agreement of all the teachers involved. In addition to sharing in the profits, Level 1 teachers have the right to retain their students as private clients at the end of Flow School. Though we will try to teach students as much as we can in the 30 days, many of these skills take several months to fully master, and many students will want to continue training in a structured and guided manner. And of course, they will also be looking for people to help them develop their conversation skills thereafter. Since The Mimic Method is wholly unique from everything else, and since the students who train MM tend to be fully invested in our philosophy, most students will be willing to pay a premium to work with someone who is certified in our methodology, versus someone who is not. Assuming you provide them a satisfactory learning experience, it will be a no-brainer for them to continue working with you. So as an MM teacher, Flow School should end up being your primary channel for finding dedicated students to work with professionally. Once you have gained enough experience teaching pronunciation in Flow School, you will then be invited to train as a Level 2 teacher, offering 1-on-1 teaching.

Level 2: 1-on-1 Pronunciation Teacher

For Flow School, we won’t explicitly offer 1-on-1 teaching. This will be something that Apprentices and Feedback teachers offer at their own discretion. The idea is to empower motivated teachers/apprentices to accelerate their own learning while leaving students with a sense of getting much more than what they paid for. Our premium tier students, however, are paying specifically for 1-on-1 tutoring, and we are promising to deliver the highest quality form of it. Compared to giving feedback, the live teaching context is way more complex, and thus requires more experience and deeper understanding of the materials. So I will first have to be very confident in a teacher’s abilities before I give them full responsibility over a premium-tier student. Here is a snippet of me coaching someone in pronunciation of the ‘r’ sound in European Portuguese.

If you get good enough to train our 1-on-1 students in this way, you will share in the profits of our 1-on-1 student tuitions. These tuitions will be 3 to 5 times higher than those of Flow School cohort training, so there is more leverage in this tier. Also, if you retain these students after the program, you will be able to command a much higher premium, and they will be pre-qualified as willing to pay it.

Level 3: 1-on-1 Conversation Teacher

So far, everything we’ve discussed has been limited to the realm of pronunciation coaching. But after someone learns how to pronounce and imitate, the next thing they will want to train is conversation. For the past year, I’ve been developing a model for cultivating conversation skill through the use of role-play theater. I hire native speakers to serve as “Actresses,” and I place them in a relevant “Scene” with the student. I then direct both in the interaction, based on what it is I sense the student needs at their current stage of development. Here is an example of a scene we did for a Spanish student:

So far, the results have been highly effective, and students find the training highly enjoyable. developed. The goal is to codify this process even more so that we can build another set of mid and high level services around it. I predict this will become the most successful of element of The Mimic Method once it’s fully developed. But to do this, I will first need to develop a group of Level 2 teachers, as this expertise is foundational to the Level 3 expertise. Same as before, Level 3 teachers will be able to participate in profit share and retain clients. And since conversation practice goes on forever, and since the role play environment makes the experience as much one of entertainment as it is of education, I expect this to be the most lucrative opportunity for MM teachers who make it this far in training.

The Teaching Methodology

To give you a better sense of the type of work you would do as a teacher, I put together a brief description of the methodology, along with some videos of me teaching students.

Timing

Contrary to popular belief, the basic building blocks of speech are not words. Words blend together in natural speech, and thus sound different based on speaker and context. For this reason, it’s possible (and all too common) for a language learner to “know” a word on paper but not be able to recognize it in conversation. The problem is, they’ve been trained to search for something that has no physical basis in reality, and are therefore in a constant state of feeling “lost”. The solution is to ignore words and entrain the ear to the real building blocks of speech - Syllables. Syllables have a definitive start and end, based on the way our bodies produce and emit sound. Then for each language, there is a pattern to how these syllables space themselves out across time. We teach students how to synchronize their minds and bodies with these syllable patterns using musical techniques. Here is an example of a student practicing this technique.

Once the mind and body of a student is in sync with the syllable rhythm of their target language, their listening comprehension opens up massively. Experienced learners are suddenly able to recognize all the words they learned without straining to listen. And new learners are suddenly able to feel the word boundaries and unconsciously pick up new expressions through passive listening.

Pitch

The next thing we teach is pitch, or the way the voice goes up and down across the articulation of a phrase. Again, the conventional approach tends to completely ignore this aspect of speech, mostly because they have no idea how to teach it. But as the vertical component of melody (timing being the horizontal component), Pitch plays a fundamental role in both listening comprehension, as well as the formation of our “language persona”. First, students use digitally altered materials like these to tune into the pitch layer of speech:

Then, if they are doing 1-on-1, I coach them to fine-tune their pitch perception and production, as shown here:

Finally, the students learn the skill of “Melodic Mimicry”, which is where they let the vowels and consonants slide, but keep the pitch and timing of a phrase in tact.

As silly as this may sound, it’s one of the most powerful techniques in language learning, because comprehension and self-identity in the brain loads heavily on melody. So the more a student is able to effortlessly hear and produce the melody patterns of the target language, the easier time he will have dropping into the flow of speaking and listening. Here, for example, is a before after of a student who started off speaking in his normal melody, then was trained and cued to speak in a more native melody pattern. Notice how much more fluid he is in his thinking and communication.

Body Awareness

The movements of speech happen in the darkness of the mouth and the unconscious mind. But we can bring all that to the light through the strategic use of mirrors, flashlights, MRI scans, diagrams, and mindfulness techniques. For example, here is an MRI video of the vowel in “food”.

Why do we study such things? Because to speak a new language is to move your mouth differently from how you are accustomed. If you want to do this well, you will have to develop conscious awareness of the moving parts in your speech instrument, so you can learn to make them move in a new pattern. Below is an example of a student doing an exercise to become more aware of the position of his tongue in his mouth, using a flashlight and a camera.

As a Mimic Method teacher, you will need to develop a mastery over your speech instrument, such that you are able to visualize how your student’s mouth is configured just by listening, and then provide clear instructions on how they are to adjust to create the target sound.

Articulation

Once your student knows the basics of pronunciation, it will be much easier to coach them through the imitation of their target language. Our materials lay everything out very clearly and methodically, and it is mostly up to your student to use these materials to familiarize themselves with the various vowels and consonants of their target language. Together, you will then pinpoint the movements they aren’t getting precisely, and help them fine tune. Here’s an example of me giving feedback to someone on their articulation:

This requires you to be able to accurately distinguish and pronounce all the sounds of the language you are teaching, but in general you will be expected to learn the sounds of all the major languages, as this will give you a universal perspective from which to teach any sound.

Imitation

Once the student has the elemental pieces of timing, pitch, articulation and airflow. They will then need to practice putting it all together in full phrases. This process is identical to the one a musician has to go through to learn a song. So at this stage, you will look a lot like a violin teacher coaching a student through her fingering. Here is a video of a student performing a French song he learned with our materials. In our session that followed, I helped him dial in the nuances of the articulation.

Beyond vocal imitation, you will also coach them on facial and gestural imitaiton, because this is also an essential part of holisitic communication. Here are some videos of me coaching facial expression:

Meaning

Once a student has sufficient capacity to “mimic” what they hear without knowing what it means, the next step is to place them in real context, and teach them how to find the expressions to navigate that context. This a whole other half of my teaching methodology that I won’t go into here. For now, suffice it to say that it involves a focus on cultivating social skill, as well as the use of role-play theater to simulate real world scenarios. I devise scenes relevant to the learner’s goals and development, and hire native speaker actors and actresses to play roles in the scene. Then on the backend, I keep track of which expressions came up and what aspect of communication the student needs to focus on next. Here is a video demonstration.

For now, I am not training people in this process, I am only focusing on the physical fluency aspects. Once we have teachers trained up in that, those individuals will then be trained in these aspects.

The True Mission

My true mission with The Mimic Method is to help resurrect our instincts for connecting and “Flowing” with one another. Singing, dancing, drumming, improvising, using face, gesture and touch to communicate, telling stories with our full bodies and emotions, imitating/channeling different spirits through “role-play” - these were our principal methods of cooperation AND connection for hundreds of thousands of years. Then we invented technologies that expanded our capacity to cooperate practically, at the expense of our capacity to connect spiritually. Before, everyone participated in song, dance and story, but then “Specialization” made those activities the job of “Professional Entertainers,” and the rest of us became mute and motionless “Spectators”. Before, the only way to enter another mind was to read that person’s face and body. Then “Mass Literacy” enabled us to enter other minds by reading books. This gave us enormous power to cooperate across distance and time. But it also caused us to turn our eyes away from living faces and downward toward dead letters. So this new power to cooperate with people from in the “There and Then”, came at the cost of our ability to connect with people in the “Here and Now.” And of course, this cost was amplified 1,000 fold with the advent of digital communication technology. Now we interface with more 2D “avatars” through a screen than we do with flesh and blood humans in the real world. One needs only look at the slouched posture and sunken face of a 10 year old trapped in a Tik Tok vortex to understand just how toxic this form of communication is. Modern technology is rapidly alienating us from our true nature, and I believe THIS is the primary driver of our psycho-spiritual suffering. This is where “language-learning” becomes interesting. Most people approach language learning through text and apps. Why? Because we are so deeply immersed in this technology that we never consider seeking solutions outside of it. But the student who relies solely on technology will inevitably hit a wall. They may learn how to read, write and translate, but they won’t be able to flow with natives in a natural conversation. They want so badly to connect with the natives, but they can’t, so they constantly feel the pain of social exclusion. They keep going back to the same technologies to solve the problem, but they keep hitting the same wall. Why? Because language is not technological - it’s instinctual. Therefore, the only way to learn a second language is rekindle the instincts we used to learn our first one. That’s where we come in as Mimic Method teachers. We are not only guiding them on a journey to discover a new culture, we are guiding them on a journey to discover their own true nature. This is what most calls people to learn with The Mimic Method, and this is what most calls me to teach it. For me, the most gratifying moments are when people spontaneously report how the techniques and philosophy is showing up for them in all the other areas of their life. Students report newfound abilities to focus their attention, be more in the moment, be more in touch with their bodies, appreciate art and music more, empathize with others more, feel more confident and connected in social settings…the list goes on. It has been my personal experience as a learner and that these things load heavily on our sense of “meaning in life,” and it therefore means a great deal to me to know that my work is helping people find more meaning in their own lives. This is what most calls me to teach The Mimic Method, and what I’m looking for in teachers are people who feel called to the same mission.

The Aptitude Test

You will need to use Loom on a laptop/desktop to record the following separate videos

  • Rhythm Test
  • Pitch Test
  • Gibberish Test
  • Persona Test
  • Intro video

For the intro video, you just need to answer the following questions in no more than 4 minutes:

  • Why are you interested in becoming an MM teacher?
  • Why do you think you would be a good MM teacher?

Once you have recorded each video, use the form at the bottom to paste all your links and submit.

Aptitude Test

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Anyone can learn the skills we teach in MM. But of course, the people who learn the fastest and can teach the best tend to be those who already have a knack for these things. The simple tests below are designed to see if you already have a knack. You will need to create a free account at Loom, learn how to use the app on your laptop/desktop to record a video of your camera AND your screen, then submit your recording links using the form above. I recommend familiarizing yourself with each test video before recording, but don’t kill yourself trying to rehearse everything to perfection. I can tell very easily what someone’s natural capacity, so just have fun and do the task the best you can. In the video below, I quickly talk through how to perform the test.

Rhythm Test

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The first skill we teach in Mimic Method is the capacity to track the timing of syllables across a phrase. This skill is closely related to our capacity to follow complex rhythmic sequences in music. Therefore, the better you are at mimicking musical rhythms, the better you will be at learning and teaching speech rhythms. In the video below, I tap a rhythm for 4 beats, then give you 4 beats to reproduce my rhythm. The beat never stops, so you will have to jump in right away with your echo.

Pitch Test

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Pitch in speech is not as stable or regular as pitch in music. That being said, if you can accurately mimic a musical pitch, that is a good indicator that you will be able to mimic a normal speech pitch. In the video below, I point to myself while making a note, then I point to you to echo the note I just made. Feel free to mimic in a different octave if its more comfortable for you - it just has to be the same note. I’m not testing you on the quality of your voice, just on the accuracy of your pitch.

Gibberish Test

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In the first part of this video, I saw a series of melodic phrases using the single syllable “Na”. Your task is to try to match BOTH the timing AND pitch of my syllables exactly. You continue to mimic timing and pitch in the second set of gibberish phrases, but now you will also do your best to mimic my consonants and vowels exactly. This is just a test of your general capacity to mimic the sounds of a sequence that holds no meaning to you.

Persona Test

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The ultimate thing we’re teaching in The Mimic Method is the ability to present yourself to the world through an entirely new persona. So we don’t just teach how to move your mouth, we teach how to move your face, body and inner-identity. In this test, I embody various dramatic personas, switching back to neutral with a hand swipe between each one. This demonstrates both “range”, as well as “control,” as many people are unable to switch without laughing. The task is not to mimic my every motion, but rather to mimic the persona at the same time as me. Also be sure to mimic the hand gesture and neutral face.

The Application Form