Sunday, October 24, 2010

Studies Confirm What I Have Been Preaching for 15 Years

It is amazing what academia spends millions of dollars to confirm. Please read this article. Among the results is that language is learned in social interactions and that we as humans are wired to acquire language.

I have spent the last 15 years of my career working as an applied linguist, teaching language acquisition to others and help others acquire languages such as Arabic, Farsi and Pashto. Using the right strategies and methods I found out that you can help anyone, repeat anyone, acquire a new language starting at level 1 to level 3 (ILR-Interagency Language Roundtable) within a period ranging from 4 weeks (40 hrs/week) for level one to 24 weeks (600 hours) for level 3.

Despite of my proven bone fide results the unbelievers are plenty and the most common objection I hear is that aptitude matters and that some people just cannot do it. These fallacies are propagated by myth makers and academics who usually do not want to do the work needed to help their students acquire a new language. One big reason academics cannot do the work is that they excel at teaching 'about' a language rather than teaching the language. The key to my success is that I have put together a business process for language acquisition where you can turn ANY native speaker of the language into a very efficient language instructor and produces uniform results. These results are replicable across languages as long as the process is followed.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Getting to an average ILR of 2+ Has Just Become Easier

I would like to thank those of you who continue to subscribe or even visit this space despite my apparent lack of commitment to it. However, I write bearing good news, I just finished an exciting project in Florida with an exceptional group of Airmen. It was our usual MSA 24 weeks Arabic course which was supposed to be about 960 hours of instruction to achieve an average OPI ILR of 2+. The bad news is that we never got to 960 hours, not even close. This was a different program in the sense that we took all holidays and training days, plus, being in Florida during the Hurricane season there were some days when we did half days or none at all. That was a blessing in disguise though because it forced me to go into territories I never explored before and try things that are on the cutting edge of brain and education science. The results were astounding! We had five students and we ended up with barely 700 hours of class time. That is almost a 30% reduction in time. The scores were stunning. We had five students who were tested by ACTFL certified testers with ALTA and the scores were 3, 2+, 2, 2, 2.

Traditionally we needed 960 hours or a little more to achieve these results. In this Florida project there were no specific environmental factors that would have caused this surge. Instruction was the same and I would say motivation in class was the same. These results were truly the best Christmas present I could have gotten. I am still analyzing what happened and pouring over the data from the class and I will post my results here. We have several projects this year starting in a couple of weeks that will include Pashto, Chinese and Arabic. I will implement some of the lessons learned there and see if we can do it again in under 960 hours.

Finally, I just got around to doing blogging by SMS and email from my Blackberyy which will allow me to be more current with this blog so stay posted. I also started a GLS page on Facebook and a Twitter account for those of you who Tweet and FB. Please send me your feedback and ideas. I would love talking to you.