At the Means Language Center in New Jersey and NYC we guide our students to their desired level of proficiency in the target language. What sets us apart from the competition is our research-based methodology.The Means Method® is a form of task-based instruction and it follows these scientific principles of how languages are learned best:
- Students will accomplish small tasks in the target language
- Consistent exposure to the target language (100s of hours)
- Students will use the language to express authentic information
- Communication comes first, grammar is at its service
- The teacher is the Architect, and will share learning strategies and feedback
- Students will see the vast similarities that exist across languages
The basic premise of the method is that languages are better learned when students are required to use them in class and not just analyze them. In this way, our students are encouraged to develop fluency and accuracy. This type of classroom agenda simulates the difficulty of really using the language in the target culture, and it creates some of the “good” tension associated with learning to speak well in a second language. Our method also places a high priority on input—arguably the most important aspect of second language development is feeding your brain with floods of input – you have to hear and see the target language for hundreds of hours. We also push you to speak and write in the language in meaningful ways. Students who learn through this methodology are shown some necessary structure (vocabulary and grammar) and then, critically, are encouraged to use it immediately. All programs utilize textbooks, workbooks, CDs, videos, web, and self-recordings. The method is predicated on the value of experiential learning: After successfully using a language for several hours, students’ proficiency and confidence build up accordingly. The Means Method® is a structured and clear roadmap that leads people to a working knowledge of Italian, Spanish, English.