I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve read ads for books, tapes or language programs that made claims like “Learn to Speak in ONLY 30 hours!” There are two things that interest me about this.
Have you ever met anyone who had learned to speak a foreign language in only 30 hours? Have you ever met anyone who ever learned to speak from using books and tapes?
You probably won’t be the first, even if you buy the books and tapes! 🙂
The ALG approach we use is not some patented program that you can buy. We’re making a single statement – “You can’t beat nature!” And we try to move our program to as natural as place as possible. No one comes close to the results of the child through adult methods of learning. No one. Not in 30 hours and not in 30 years.
Most of our students don’t want to be as fluent as the native speaker (at least not at first) and are in quite a hurry to speak before they should. That’s ok with us. Just understand that our program is designed for those who want to really become fluent. We seem to be the only program who seems to be striving for this goal. A few of our students are too.
Our logic is simple. Well over 90% of people who study a foreign language fail – by any standard. 100% of children succeed and that’s without a teacher, without a classroom, and without study.
Use the child’s methods. It’s not that difficult – but as an adult, you’re going to have to let go of a few adult ideas.
Are you intimidated by the idea that it takes a long time? Experiences form the brainside of language. Sounds, words, and phrases form the airside. The only natural way to acquire a language is to gain experiences in that language. AUA helps with that, but we’re certainly not the only way to gain experiences.
We can say this though – replacing study for experience will give you the ability to parrot the sounds, words and phrases the people around you are using, but study will never be a substitute for experience. It will only do one thing – get you using the sounds, words and phrases of people you will probably never really understand. While you’ve focused your attention on the airside of things, it’s the brainside of things that makes language work.
There’s a downside to study as well (besides the fact that I find it difficult, boring, and tedious). Study gets in the way of acquiring through experience later. It blocks you from later learning! This is true because all of that study does affect the brainside of things – it filters your understanding of what you’re seeing and hearing around you.
The choice is yours, but in our experience, those who give speaking a rest, and learn to listen first always do better – in every way!