EFFECTIVE LEARNING OF
The long and the short of it.
Over the years we have used many words to try to explain to the world and to ourselves what actually happens when our students learn spoken language faster and better than many other peoples' students. It is a complicated matter, but we think it actually boils down to the following: if massively exposed to structured spoken language over a concentrated period of 8-12 weeks, most folks learn how to speak and understand amazingly well in a new language.
By "massively exposed" we mean between 4 and 6 hours a day 5-6 days a week.
We have done this and we have seen it work. That's the long of it.
The short of it is that most people do not have that much free time at their disposal. So we asked ourselves: Can the process of assimilating new language sounds, sentence melodies and grammatical patterns be done with a less massive exposure?
For grammar the answer came easily: Yes, no problem.
Sentence melodies? There are not many, yes again, quite easily.
The sounds, then? The challenge is to know what to listen for, to be able to hear early what the sounds of the new language are. Not so easy.
So we devised a system whereby the student learns systematic listening and gets systematic pronunciation training.
It worked. An initial text body of some 8 A4 pages or 20 sound minutes could be reduced to about 1,5 - 2 pages or less than 10 sound minutes, all strictly structured and repeated in various patterns.
Then we made the system available for the Internet, early mobile phones and now smart phones and tablets.
It works fine on all those devices. An hour or so a day for 8 - 12 weeks and you're on: You understand. You speak. And they answer back.
Our apps are designed for self-study as well as for teacher led classes. Many people do not have time to attend classes on a regular basis, but those who do have an advantage. It is always better to have a teacher than not to have one - provided the teacher is good, that is, very good, we think.