Language education is the teaching and learning of a language or languages.
There are several methods in wide use:
Immersive places students in a situation where they must use a foreign language, whether or not they know it. This creates fluency, but not precision, accuracy of usage or beauty.
Tutoring by a native speaker gives the most perfect results. It is nearly the best all around method. However it requires a motivated native tutor, which can be a rare, expensive commodity.
Directed practice has students repeat phrases. This method is used by U.S. diplomatic courses. It can quickly provide a "phrasebook" knowledge of the language. Within these limits, the students' usage is accurate and precise. However the student's choice of what to say is not flexible.
Absorptive has students listen to or view video tapes of language models acting in situations. Most instructors now acknowledge that this method is ineffective by itself.
Grammatic instructs students in grammar, and provides vocabulary to memorize. Most instructors now acknowledge that this method is ineffective by itself.
Eclectic methods combine the above into a single course of study. These seem the best; at least, an eclective method is recommended by Barry Farber, a major polygot (25 languages) who formed the famous New York Language Club.
Mr. Farber advocates that a student follow several paths at once. In brief the method he recommends is to: 1) do the first four chapters of a grammatical textbook. Then 2) begin understanding a real text- don't go past anything you don't understand. He also advocates use of a 3) phrasebook, 4) audio aids to pronunciation, and 5) a written transcript for role-playing. Farber says that after years of study, the best way to learn vocabulary is to make up memorable stories about each words.
English Forum (http://www.englishforum.com) is a popular web portal with extensive resources for students and teachers of English (ESL/EFL). Interactive Exercises, Message Boards, ELT Book Catalog, Good School Guide, Web Directory, World News, Links, Cool Tools.
http://www.optimnem.co.uk provides online language courses which teach spatial learning strategies for English, French and German. Tutor-supported.
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