At the heart of all Berlitz programs is the Berlitz Method®. Developed by language teacher Maximilian Berlitz in 1878, this enjoyable conversational style of teaching has been proven effective by millions of Berlitz graduates from all walks of life – a record that has yet to be matched.
With the Berlitz Method, all conversation during class takes place in the target language. Our instructors use a conversational approach based on listening and speaking versus rote memorization. We emphasize practical vocabulary and grammar in the context of real-life situations, and reinforce study with relevant reading and writing exercises.
The Method, which has been refined and enhanced by over a century of research, customer feedback and learning technologies, is still founded on its original basic principles:
- Language is an oral phenomenon; therefore, all teaching and learning is done in an oral context.
- Reading and writing skills are essential, but must be preceded by and rest on oral mastery.
- The acquisition of oral skills involves the development of habits, both intellectual and physical.
- The proper mastery of language involves active student participation in all stages of instruction.
- With the Berlitz Method one focuses on the target language in the classroom and in the student review materials. By totally immersing the student in the new language, we can most closely simulate the real-life situations in which he or she will be using the language, and eliminate the cumbersome process of introducing a concept first in the student’s language and then in the target language. The “direct” approach (from concept to language) is the essence of the Berlitz Method.
- The Berlitz Method is based on a “building-block” approach. During the early stages of instruction, primary emphasis is given to establishing basic structures and grammatical points. Each structure is introduced and thoroughly practiced, and serves as a foundation for new information.
- Berlitz proceeds from simple concepts to complex ones, from concrete to abstract. In the early stages, students deal with simple declarative sentences, then questions. Only later are they exposed to relative and subordinate clauses, compound and complex forms, and sentence embedding. Likewise, students are first taught to identify and describe the people and objects in their immediate surroundings. This is then expanded to permit them to discuss abstract relationships, feelings, emotions, conditions, cause/effect relationship, etc.
- All instructors have a native command of the language they teach.