inlingua - crossing language barriers

The Teaching Principles

1. The teacher conducts the lesson in the target language only.
The student should start thinking in the target language as soon as possible. Translation confuses and wastes time.

2. The teacher gives the learner the opportunity to speak as much as possible during the lesson.
The only way in which the student will learn to speak a language is by
speaking it, just as one learns to play golf by hitting a golf ball with a golf club.

3. The teacher conducts the greater part of the lesson orally, with the book closed.
It is a fact that a language is learned by using and hearing it, therefore, the student should be less reliant on his eyes during the lessons.

4. The teacher concentrates more on teaching structures (i.e. how words are put together) than on teaching individual words.
Language is not a collection of words, but a system of word combinations.

5. The teacher controls his/her teaching in such a way that most of the sentences produced by the learner are correct.

6. The teacher diagnoses the extent of the learner's knowledge before supplying a model or providing a solution himself/herself.
The teacher should build on the student's knowledge and fill in gaps as soon as possible.

7. The teacher keeps theoretical explanations to a minimum.
The student should be able to induce a rule from examples.

8. The teacher encourages the learner to play a creative role in the learning process.
In order for the student to be constructive and creative in his use of the target language, he must experiment. It is impossible to memorize a number of sentences and phrases which he thinks he will need one day.

9. The teacher observes the principles of applied psychology.
The goal of the inlingua method is to make language learning as efficient and pleasant as possible. The method is flexible to give the teacher the possibility to adapt his approach to the individual requirements of the student. Factors such as linguistical talent, motivation, openness and cultural particularities have to be considered.

10. The teacher combines the structural and functional approaches to language teaching.
A structural approach to language learning is one which places the main emphasis on learning the structures or grammatical items of a language. The functional approach emphasizes learning how to express oneself in situations which occur in everyday life. The most efficient teaching method is the combination of both approaches. The inlingua method teaches structure on the basis of functional situations.

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