International: An Institute for Language Lovers
a city as culturally diverse as New York, the sounds of Spanish,
German, Italian, French and many other foreign tongues fill the
air like international symphonies. And if music soothes the soul,
language lures the intellect. Should the passions of your mind
and spirit merge in a quest to learn a foreign language, then
the 125-year old Berlitz International is to foreign language
students what Carnegie Hall is to concert musicians.
Aside from the expected offerings in German, French, Spanish or
Italian, Berlitz provides instruction in every language spoken
on the planet. From the first session students participate in
classes of six to ten students where not a word of English is
uttered (unless, of course, the course happens to be English).
job is to teach you to communicate the natural way, just as you
did when you were a child,” says Liliana Dussi, the NY District
Director of Berlitz International. Just as children learn pronunciation
and meaning via repetition, so too do beginning Berlitz students.
Beginning courses focus on laying a basic foundation for conversation,
Dussi explained, while advanced courses teach the more complicated
aspects of language.
Instructor Juan Carlos Ayarza puts this technique into action
in his Spanish class. In a structured but friendly approach, he
started his second class with each of his eight students introducing
themselves to one another and answering basic questions. When
memory failed, the students laughed at their mistakes and tried
make the students start thinking in the language itself, rather
than in translation,” Ayarza explained after class. This is in
keeping with the Berlitz emphasis on verbalization.
All Berlitz classes meet once a week for two hours and 15 minutes,
for eight weeks. At the end of the beginning course students should
be able to go to the country of the language they’ve studied and
get around effectively. Of course, the possibility is increased
when a student practices his foreign tongue between classes. For
this, each student receives a workbook/reader and cassette.
Student Jacqueline Snyder chose Berlitz because it is “famous
for its speak-only method.” As to her enjoyment and the effectiveness
of Ayarza’s Spanish course, Snyder said, “I wish it were more
Education Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001. Tel:
(212) 481-5519. Fax: (212) 481-3919. Email: email@example.com.
All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express consent of
the publisher. © 2001.