the fun-fast way
Accelerated Learning Systems of England, mainly for self-help learning.
It also comes with a teacher kit for classroom use. When a crew from Australia's Channel 7
television network visited the Beverley Hills French class, they found students doing
exactly what Charles Schmid has described: starting with relaxation exercises; clearing
their mind for the session to come; learning through active and passive
concerts; reactivating their learning through games and even acting out and producing
their own videotape.
TV brought in Jean-Philippe de Voucoux, an expert from
Alliance Francais, to check progress. And he was amazed "at how quickly they were
able to speak without reading" and how easy it was to have a conversation with them.
As Channel 7 summed up: it's an experiment that could
have turned Australia's education system "on its head". Unfortunately the rival
Channel Nine Network later followed up with a program highly critical of some claims for
"accelerated learning", and the New South Wales Government reacted by stopping
many of these new methods.
The army learns a foreign language in
In any event, a journalistic story is not scientific
evidence. For that we turn in brief to the American army and one of the best users of the
new teaching techniques, Professor Lynn Dhority, of Boston.
Dr. Dhority was already a highly successful German
teacher before he studied the suggestopedia method with Lozanov. He then had the
opportunity of testing the method and comparing it with other measured results using
standard-style German teaching. All materials for the course were prepared thoroughly in
advance according to Lozanov guidelines: "peripherals", including posters,
music, games, songs, activities and scripts. And because of Dr. Dhority's academic
training, he was able to ensure that the results could be documented.
His "control group" of 11 students studied
basic German, using accelerated learning techniques, for 108 hours over three and a half
weeks (18 days) at Fort Devens army base. The results were then compared with another
group of 34 army students, not taught by Dr. Dhority, learning basic German under regular
"audio drill" methods over a period of 360 hours, spread over 12 weeks.
The comparative results recorded levels of
"listening, comprehension, reading and speaking". And they were then checked by
Contents Page Preface