In Graded Reader Method you analyze wide variety of sentences. This expands your vocabulary and understanding of the structure of the target language. You will learn how to build your own sentences. In real world speaking you have to build your own sentences to express yourself. Graded Reader method will empower you to do so. Graded Reader method will also enable you to read on your own. Reading leads to fluency and fluency leads to speaking. Graded Readers come with CDs. Listening to what you read and understand will also improve your pronunciation and speed of comprehension.
Let's suppose you see a word or a structure on page 1 of a Graded Reader. If you continue reading you may see it on page 6 and then again on page 11 and so on. If you keep on reading, you may see the same word or the structure repeatedly. This enables you to understand and retain that word or structure permanently in your memory and it becomes easy for you to recall words and structures while speaking.
You need a lot of input as an adult before you can speak. Reading is the most effective way of getting this input, especially if you are not in a country where you are surrounded by the target language all the time. Graded Reader Method divides the process of learning a language in three stages.
Understanding a language that you hope to speak, is the most important aspect of learning a foreign language. Speaking, reading , listening and writing all depend on it. Understanding is vital for a conversation. There can be no conversation, unless you understand your conversational partner. Our set of four courses will give you a very good understanding of the language. You will acquire the ability to read on your own.
Typically you have to see or hear, a word or a structure, whose meaning you already know, 10 to 15 times before you can retain it permanently in your core memory. Once its in your core memory, you can recall it with ease for using it in a conversation. If you read between 10 to 15 Graded Readers, you will have enough reinforcements that would enable you to speak fairly well. Graded Readers come with CDs. Listening to what you read will help you with pronunciation as well. Many language teachers and students ignore this important aspect of learning a language.
Through speaking practice, you will fill gaps in your knowledge of the language. You get stuck occasionally and your conversational partner can help you with the right word or structure. If you get stuck too often or can't speak at all, the problem is poor retention or poor vocabulary. Input activities like reading and listening are the best ways to solve this problem.
You need a vocabulary of at least 2000 words and good overall understanding of the structure of the Spanish language to be at this stage. Many language teachers will tell their students, regardless of their understanding of the Spanish language, to practice speaking. Common sense will tell you that if you can not speak at all, you can not practice speaking either.
If you do not have a commonly used word or a structure in your active memory, you can not recall it and use it in speaking, no matter how much your language teacher forces you to speak. The key is to get commonly used words and structures in your active or core memory.
Most conversational classes consist of repeating commonly used phrases. In an actual conversation, you run out of phrases in less than a minute. If repeating after the language teacher could make someone conversational, everybody could become a fluent speaker in matter of days. You can speak out thousands of words in a day.
This approach of forcing students to speak without enough input, is quite widespread among language schools. Administrators of the language school are only interested in signing you up. Once you have signed up for a Spanish class, you will be forced to repeat few sentences. This is the easiest way for the teacher to do his or her time in the class. Unfortunately the blame for failure usually lies with the students. Communicative Approach and Total Immersion are the two biggest contributors to the widespread failure to learn a foreign language in the United States.
Many times a language teacher can not speak different languages of the students. It is a lot convenient for the teacher to impose his or her own on the students. Language teachers have associations which ensure Total Immersion is implemented across the board. They solve their own problem by creating one for the students. Students attending a class are usually in obedience mode rather than critical thinking mode. They do not suspect any foul play. Also subconsciously they think that how can a reputable institution be wrong. Total Immersion can work for children immersed full time in the language for several years. For adults it's waste of time.
A small percentage of students manage to learn a foreign language successfully not because of Total Immersion but despite Total Immersion. High failure rate in foreign language learning is the norm, so academia does not face any accountability for its questionable policies as far as language learning is concerned.
When academia needs funding from the education department, it presents language learning as a multidimensional rocket science, for which a lot of research dollars are needed.
After charging the students an arm and length for the language courses, it pays its teachers low salaries. If an institution does not have respect for its teachers, it is not very likely to have much respect for students, their time or their money.
Think critically before signing up for a language class. Ineffective language learning methods like Total Immersion and Communicative Approach abound in the language industry.
Modern academia for most part is not as much interested in expanding the frontier of knowledge. It is far more interested in expanding its financial power.
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Language Institute of Georgia
3355 Lenox Rd Suite 750
Atlanta, Georgia 30326.