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A Former Berlitz Teacher Who Struggled as a Berlitz Student

By       Message Rachel Gladstone-Gelman       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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As I taught for Berlitz, I suffered as a student with the same method.

Granted, the method changes from region to region and level to level. But for people who have ADD, as I do, the Berlitz Method can leave you in the dust.

This is not dissimilar, though, from what you'd find in any classroom where the teacher is either not adequately trained to work with varied learning styles, or the administration is too rigid. When I taught for Berlitz, I broke the rules left and right. It was a sanity gesture for students and me, craving to get off the train at unscheduled stops.

Revealing the Berlitz Method here is inadvisable, although it's not difficult to find out what the basic method is. Just apply to be trained. Or you can, of course, be their student. But an aspect of the method is commonly used outside of Berlitz, even as learning styles are better understood today. Drills are helpful even for this a point. Going beyond quick, brief, introductory bits of information, the very basic conversational material, a student needs to think. Especially when teaching literacy, time to think is time to learn is time to build a linguistic foundation. And students at any age and any level need time to think.

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You might say that classroom management could be at risk and cultural variations could impede the thinking process, and, in some cases, that's true. In general, however, I have seen the "permission" or opportunity to think and absorb lead to empowerment, which is something that the people who run the Berlitz network of schools rely on when building trust with their clients.

So my question is, "Why can't teachers and students get off at unscheduled, yet appropriate, stops?"


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Rachel emigrated to Canada in the summer of 2006.- She has an M.A. in Teaching ESOL, and her poetry, short stories and articles have appeared in print and online. Rachel is a member of Fair Vote Canada.

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