Active vs. Passive Language Learning, or
Foreign Language Learning is an Out of Classroom Experience.®



Synopsis:

Your time is valuable.  You want to begin to speak the language.  You want to learn quickly.  Our programs will get you out using the language from the beginning.

More Detailed Information: (Worth taking the time to read).

    • Knowledge of a foreign language in the business world is an asset.  Your competition may be bi-lingual or multi-lingual.  You are apprehensive about learning a foreign language now if you did not have the opportunity to learn a foreign language earlier in life or had bad teachers.

    • The ability to communicate with clients, patients, employees, etc. as soon as possible is paramount.  Even though you may personally be interested in the culture, history, literature and art of the country / language you are studying, that is not what you want at this time.

    • Unfortunately, most language education for executives and professionals takes place in the classroom or in the office.  (What we refer to as passive language learning.)  You did not learn your native language that way.  You learned it by living it; hearing it and speaking it on a daily basis.

    • Foreign Language Study is an Out of Classroom Experience.®  You need to live it or to use it to learn it.®  (What we refer to as “active language learning.”®)  You need to be put in situations where you have to speak the language with native speakers while participating in everyday activities.  This does not happen in the classroom.  In most cities or towns it cannot be done either.  Therefore, it is necessary to take the time – even if it is a very short period – a few days? a few weeks? – to study in a foreign country – to put in practice what you are learning in class.

    • Most people who have not studied a foreign language before do not realize that conversations about history, art, politics, etc. – in other words classroom type discussions – are easy.  The hard part of foreign language learning is trying to both understand and participate in the “he said,” “she said,” “if,” type conversations.  From the beginning, it is essential to build up your vocabulary and use the words in ordinary conversations while you take part in everyday activities in natural settings.  Social conversations – no matter how basic – are the most difficult.

    • How much can you accomplish in a short period of time?  The answer is much more than if you did not take those few days or that week or two weeks or one month, etc. to study.  If you wait till you have your calendar clear for one month or two months, you probably will never get to it.  You can do it for a short time now… and go again… and again…

    • And now, a few words about the age factor…  Yes, younger students learn more quickly.  They do so, in part, because they are less inhibited and are not afraid of making mistakes.  You, on the other hand, have the benefit of knowing how to study… what works for you and what does not.

    • We are in no way minimizing or putting down the importance of grammar, composition, etc. of the traditional / formal classroom.  Proper grammar is important.  However, there is more to the language learning process than what you get from a book or a video or a computer or a language lab.  Active language lessons complement formal study.

    • At some point, your classroom becomes your crutch or safety net.  Many people do not want to use their language skills till they “are more advanced” and will not make any mistakes.  That is not going to happen.  You cannot keep putting off the inevitable.  You will make embarrassing mistakes.  Language learning is not an exact science like math or accounting or architecture.  In math you are either completely right or wrong.  In a foreign language you can be “almost right.”  So do not hide behind your text book.  Get out and use what you already know.

    • If you are an executive or professional who is used to being in control, the one who others always look to for the right answers and who is known for not making mistakes, this may be a humbling experience.  A sense of humor helps.  People will laugh at your mistakes.  You cannot always be correct.  You will learn to laugh with them.

    • Learning a foreign language is learning a skill.   You cannot learn how to play golf or tennis or play the drums from a book.  You have to practice.  The more you practice, the better you get.

    • No one can guarantee results or how much you will learn in a specific time period.  Neither can anyone guarantee in advance how quickly you will learn to play golf or learn to play the drums.  We do not promise miracles.  Some people are better at languages than others; nothing can change that.  We can promise that we will help you to start using your skills quickly.

    • A good foreign language program must be a balance of formal study and hitting the streets and using your new skills.  Our programs provide the correct balance.

    • And it can be an enjoyable vacation.

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Phone: 786.216.7302

E-mail: LRH@flsas.com