Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

How to learn languages with nlp


Published on

How do best polyglots learn?

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

How to learn languages with nlp

  1. 1. HOW TO LEARN LANGUAGES WITH NLP by Sergio Clemente Aparicio. Take a look at my website: I. CONCEPT OF GENERATIVE NLP MODELING ©. 1. What is NLP? What is modeling? 2. What is a generative open source model? 3. What can this report offer to you? 4. Can anyone be unconsciously competent? 5. Why is that modeling hasn’t spread to language learning? 6. Why do I not address the whole process of modeling? II. UTILITY AND USES FOR MODELING. 7. What is modeling for? Which is it for? 8. Do you want to improve your learning system? Can you learn better? 9. What are the prerequisites? 10. What would not be a reasonable expectation? 11. Why traditional education often does not work? 12. What happens if we cannot discern the critical distinctions of a skill? III. MODELING PROCEDURE. 13. How are experts modeled? How to make things right? 14. How are patterns detected? 15. Why the installing of mental program is so important? How to install patterns? 16. How to make things wrong? 17. Which excuses are not acceptable? 18. What shouldn’t you do after having devoted your time to read this text? IV. INSPIRING EXAMPLES 19. How do best polyglots learn? 20. How do great teachers teach? How do you know that your teacher is a good one? 21. And you? How do you learn? 22. How it's difficult to learn? 23. Learning with or without tests? 24. How do you know that you don’t learn? V. HOW DO YOU LEARN . YOUR LEARNING STYLE. 25. Which is your learning style? 26. How do you know that they teach you well and you learn well? 27. Do you take your own decisions? Do you learn with a teacher o do you study by yourself? 28. What if I you didn't care for good grades? 29. Learning without a system, without plans, without records? 30. Do you set your own goals or do you follow goals that aren't yours? What is the "scope" you want to achieve? How could you design your own learning project?
  2. 2. VI. MYTHS AND TRUTHS ABOUT LEARNING. 31. What if the genetic paradigm wasn't completely right? 32. Emotional Intelligence or IQ? How about your quotient for curiosity? How strong is your will? 33. Suppose you only have something to gain and nothing to lose. What would happen then? 34. What if you had no fear or hurry? 35. Why not breaking the rules of your own grammar? 36. Knowing your mother tongue leverages you or slows you down? How to distinguish good friends (cognates) from bad friends? VII. MODELING PRINCIPLES. 37. Which principles underlie a mental program? 38. Where do they come from? 39. Are they reasonable? 40. Are those principles enough? 41. Is contradiction healthy or unhealthy? 42. What if we could not deny them? VIII. PRE - REQUISITES. 43. How much does motivation count? What motivates us? What discourages us? 44. How important is time? 45. How important is money? 46. What if I'm not motivated? 47. What if I don't have time? 48. What if I have no money? IX .BASIC DISTINCTIONS, PROCESSES, PROCEDURES, SYSTEMS AND PRINCIPLES. 49. Which are the basic distinctions to learn a foreign language? 50. In which order do those processes and procedures work? What is the difference between a process and a procedure? Which are the operating principles? 51. How many dimensions does a simple word have? How to close the circle of learning? How to modulate the intensity of distinctions? 52. How is it that we do not realize? 53. Do the size of vocabulary and grammar matter? What is the scope of your goals? 54. How is that children do not confuse use and mention? X. THE "OPEN SOURCE" GENERATIVE MODEL. 55. What consists for this model? How to learn a foreign language? 56. Which are the basics of this model? 57. How, where, when and with whom can you test it? 58. What if talent wasn't only a genetic gift and you could build artificial neuronal circuits? 59. What happens if you don't check this model out? 60. What if this model were only the beginning of a universal, useful and testable improvement?
  3. 3. XI. STUDY MATERIALS. 61. Is there more than one way to skin a cat? 62. How to use study materials? 63. Which study material fits your own learning style? 64. Can an airplane fly without a critical number of pieces? 65. Can an airplane fly without an engine? 66. Improvement without recording? XII. DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED ON THE WAY. 67. How to deal with the sound barrier? 68. How to deal with the meaning barrier? 69. How to deal with the speed of the sound barrier? 70. How to deal with the speaking skill barrier? Is there a silent period in adults? Be silent or speak? 71. How to deal with mistakes? 72. What if it seems to us that we don't progress at all or that we progress very little? How to deal with the plateau of the learning curve? XIII. INSTALLING AND TESTING THE PROGRAM. 73. Why installing is a key question? What if I don't install a program? 74. How to install mental software? 75. How long will take the installing? What if we don't can eat an elephant without chunking? 76. What if I don't have enough patience? 77. How do you know that the installing is finished? 78. What if my kite doesn't fly? What if my plane doesn't take off? What if I don't know how to land my plane? XIV. RUNNING THE PROGRAM. 79. Do you need to reinstall your program? Did you follow thoroughly all the instructions? 80. You'd rather prefer to install the program through metaphors, games or exercises? 81. What is the requisite variety principle? 82. What if I the program becomes blocked? 83. What if the program has a virus? 84. What if the program doesn't work for you? XV. YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS. 85. Have you learnt something new and useful? When, where and with whom will you apply it? Which are your own conclusions? 86. Can you improve the system? 87. Do you want to publish your own improvements for the open source model? 88. You didn't learn anything? 89. It wasn't useful at all? 90. You didn't improve your outcomes? XVI. ADJUSTING. 91. Can you tune the system? 92. Do you want to model someone? 93. Do you want to model yourself?
  4. 4. 94. You don't know how to model? 95. Whom do you don't want to model? 96. Did you find the boundaries/limits of the key distinctions? XVII. CHANGING 97. Is there something that isn't needed? 98. Is there something missing? 99. What makes the difference? 100. What if the codes are not congruent? 101. You didn't record your progress? 102. Don't you come up with something else? XVIII. IMPROVING 103. Can you combine different strategies and built your own system? 104. Leaning with native speakers? 105. How would it be your own ideal system? Could you build it? 106. What about mistakes? 107. What if you don't learn? Why don't you contrast some situations? 108. You can't build your own airplane? Nor a paper one? You couldn't fly your kite? Did you put an engine between your vocabulary pieces? Do you use your tongue to communicate? HOW TO LEARN FOREIGN LANGUAGES WITH NLP? It was December 2012. Once again, I looked at on youtube "NLP and learning languages." I found nothing. I was interested in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) modeling and I was also interested in learning foreign languages efficiently. Modeling is extracting and replicating the mental software from people who have reached excellence in a professional field. Richard Bandler and John Grinder obtained a linguistic model observing expert therapists (Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and Milton Erikson). Had someone done something like this with such a complex skill as learning a foreign language? Apparently not. At least on youtube. I did not find anything. Thus, from this personal need not covered, emerged the idea of writing these lines. I was decided to undertake a small research about the topic. Genetic limits us. If someone is 5 feet tall he hardly will play as a pivot in the NBA. Most children come with the necessary genetic load to learn multiple languages, it is almost certain that this potential is not updated without the input that usually mothers provide. Culture limits us too, considering a long time, women have lived apart from science and culture. So, we soon understand that we have lost female talents such Newton’s, Euler’s, Goethe’s, etc. along several generations. It was widespread the false belief that
  5. 5. education and especially higher education was not for women and that belief alone was sufficient to block the access of female talent to science and culture for many years. The gene-seed is of little use if it’s not planted in suitable soil in which to flourish. Cultural weeds (limiting beliefs) may also prevent natural talents from flourishing. Against the limitations of the genetic load we can do little, if anything, provide a stimulating environment . Against the cultural constraints we can use the antivirus of critic. However, it is neither genetic nor culture itself that interests me, but the will on which we do have some control. My point is: Is it possible some type of advancement that facilitates an improvement in the language learning around the world? I think the answer is yes. Just as the "Fosbury" jumping technique was revealed as a valuable technique for athletic high jumping, we all can take advantage of certain forms to learn (modeling) that are better than others . This does not mean that we all will win an Olympic gold medal, but we all have at our disposal the possibility of an impressive personal improvement. I began by researching NLP modeling. About who were the best NLP modelers all over the world? Had they published a book? I had a book on my shelf about modeling written by Robert Dilts, and I also knew that he had extracted a model for learning foreign languages observing a the polyglot named Janulus Powell. I wanted to go a little further, exploring the territories of language learning at a more advanced level. Curiosity led me to discover that Lesley Cameron, David Gordon and Michel Lebeau pioneered the modeling. David Gordon and Graham Dawes had published the last book on this matter and called their modeling camera "Experiential Array." As I advanced in my research I also discovered that Wyatt Woodsmall was one of the best examples of modeling and he had modeled the polyglot Michel Thomas. I chose the "experiential array" as if it were a camera to model those polyglots who I admired so much. This technique was cutting edge and simple. On youtube I discovered great polyglots. Luca Lampariello speaks fluently and with perfect pronunciation more than ten foreign languages. Moses McCormick aspires to learn a huge amount of foreign languages and he has reached a surprising level of Chinese proficiency. Professor Alexander Arguelles is a teacher and a pupil at the same time. Tim Ferris speaks Japanese, fluent Spanish and German. Michel Thomas was a mysterious character polyglot and spy at the same time. Canadian Steve Kaufman is also admirable because he speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, etc.. I would have liked to have been able to make an appointment with each of them. For Michel Thomas it was totally impossible because he was deceased. I don’t know personally the polyglots I admire, nor do I have a budget to travel all over the world. I do not know if they would accept to undergo modeling sessions. Anyway they had published several blogs on the Internet and many of his videos are public so I went ahead decided to model with the materials I had at my disposal. As I progressed in my research I realized that some plolyglots preferred some material over another. Lampariello prefers "Assimil" method, Moses McCormick uses the "Teach Yourself" method. The Pimsleur method was reputed to be very effective. It was evident that not only the material itself but also the order and how to learn them seemed to matter. The "Assimil method" differences between a passive phase for reading and listening and other active production phase for speaking and writing. Pimsleur quickly
  6. 6. realized that illiterate people were perfectly capable to speak and I think he was well aware of the existence of separate brain circuits for hearing- speaking and reading- writing. AJ Hoges is an English teacher and a wonderful person for many reasons. Besides, he had applied NLP modeling techniques for learning foreign languages. I think his most important contribution in addition to their joy and his crazy stories is deep learning. It is by means of continuous repetitions reinforcing brain synapses that we learn. In Spain, the most popular English teacher on the internet is Monica. She had also discovered a key I shared: learning vocabulary is going beyond visually recognizing a written word, you must be able to recognize it when you hear it, you need to be able to pronounce it, you need to know how to write it. The question of sensory preferences and cognitive and learning styles it’s not a minor one. To the classic sensory preferences revealed by NLP I added the theory of the four brain quadrants developed by Ned Hermann. I had a methodology for modeling, a lot of material on which to apply the technology. I lacked a structure for spinning the lines that follow below my blog page. By chance I stumbled upon a video where Oper Brayer presented the most appropriate structure to compose multiple clusters of ideas that sometimes combined in the form of hopscotch. In May 2013 I looked at my preferred polyglots through the prism of the "experiential array." I had several models, and it became clear that some strategies were completely opposed. There wasn’t such a thing as an only model in which all polyglots coincide. For instance: Michel Thomas said that you always need to know what you're saying, Professor Alexander Arguelles uses a technique called "echoing" and you simply reproduce what you are listening. Michel Thomas said that the responsibility of learning languages rests entirely on the teacher, Luca Lampariello postulates that foreign languages can only be learned and not taught. That's why I decided to leave the model open so everyone could choose the model according their personal preferences allowing them include improvements. Everyone can add and contribute. The "open source" model that I present is only a synthesis given in conclusion. After differences between the different strategies of the best polyglots some simple conclusions emerged. Deaf people cannot talk. Listening skill is previous to speaking skill. Listening skill is necessary but not sufficient for speaking skill. You don’t start talking overnight just after listening . Speaking practice is needed too. Reading skill is previous to writing skill, on the same terms. What it is guessed by way of agreement between all multilingual is that only through a deep learning you generate new mental circuits created by the sound inputs and visual inputs and speaking and writing outputs. This way we can decode the visual and sound signal and produce them. These simple ideas shown that there are actually very few strategies to learn the four skills needed to take over every language: listening skill (audio understanding), speaking (audio producing) skill, reading skill (visual understanding) and writing skill (visual producing). There is a very simple order you should consider when you learn a foreign language. No teacher spoke me about this logical sequence and I fear that foreign languages have been taught haphazardly. We are in the era of globalization. Today we don’t need eighty days to go around the world. Neither eighty clicks are needed to discuss real-time with a native speaker anywhere in the world.
  7. 7. Of course, it would have been better if we all had studied in an English school or American or German or a French school. Maybe your parents could not afford it, maybe your parents did not speak foreign languages. Maybe yes, and you also want to learn more foreign languages. Do what you can with your will and your time. Do what you can with whatever you have. I hope this book will serve to help you and your children to improve your learning. It is not enough to read it. The most important thing is to install a mental model to facilitate your learning. I. CONCEPT OF GENERATIVE NLP MODELING ©. 1. What is NLP? What is modeling? In 1972 the student of mathematics and systems Richard Bandler was interested in Gestalt psychology created by Fritz Perls. Reponsible for analyzing and cataloging Perl’s videos in action for a publisher, Bandler unconsciously detected certain patterns in Perl’s behavior and he dominated them to the point that he got amazing results in his therapy groups. Santa Cruz University allowed young Richard Bandler to teach Gelstat therapy to a group under the condition that his work needed to be supervised by John Grinder, Professor of Linguistics. Grinder was surprised by the results obtained by Bandler and asked him to teach himself what Richard was doing to extract the underlying linguistic patterns of that recent expertise. Later on, they extracted patterns underlying the actions of other therapy geniuses like Virginia Satir and Milton Erikson. This way born modeling, wich constitutes the nucleus of a new discipline named Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). There is not a simple definition of what NLP is. In the beginning it was defined as the study of the human subjective experience. To Richard Bandler it’s a meta-discipline, an educational tool for improving in any area of human performance. To John Grinder is a technology that looks for differences that make the difference between geniuses and average people. To Robert Dilts, one of the great developers of this discipline, is the way your thinking and self talking affects your actions. The way we think, speak and act are systemic, interactive and interconnected processes. Modeling is the process of identifying and describing in a useful manner those patterns that make up a particular skill. A model is a code of patterns that underlie a human aptitude. To the process of creating a model, system or program that allow us to replicate excellence in some expertise area we call it “modeling”. It is a methodology for synthesizing talent, creating an artificial form of skill. The result of the process of modeling is a model, which is conceived as an extension of the human mind as microscopes amplify vision or printing multiplies human memory. Nowadays modeling is not limited to linguistic patterns, it reaches other levels such identity, values, beliefs, metaprograms, emotional states, cognitive strategies, behaviors, environments, etc. 2. What is an “open source generative model”?
  8. 8. An “isomorphic” model is limited to extract and replicate the code, program or mental system o f one or more experts (usually not more than 3). It seeks to improve or simplify what experts are doing going even further. With a generative model it is possible to create a model that combines elements of several experts to generate a global model that goes beyond the capabilities of any of the modeled individual experts. Initially I did not intend to create a generative model. But the approach of addressing modeling from the dynamics and learning and the track of multiple examples of learners and teachers led my curiosity to the point of a generative model. Why is this modeling “open source”? Usually NLP seminars are expensive and they are not available to all budgets. As you surely know it is easy to find open source software with similar benefits to more exclusive programs at a really reasonable price and sometimes for free. So, I want this model to learn foreign languages to be affordable, in the sense that you can access it without economic restrictions and it’s also “open source” in the sense that each user can improve or customize it according to their own learning style and experience. 3. What can this report offer to you? The men and women of the XXI century can move around the world at the click of a mouse. Speaking foreign languages either English, Chinese, Spanish, French or German makes communication easier and allows you to reach more people. The value proposition of this site is to help humanity offering the strategies of the best polyglots, language learners and teachers in an open source manner to enhance and extend foreign languages learning. Students of all ages, from the youngest to adults, and teachers of second languages may find it useful and valuable. If what you intend is to master the principles of learning a foreign language applied by the best experts and you want to prevent second or third language dominate you, this report may be helpful. If you want to improve your system or method of language learning and avoid an uncontrolled learning this report is also for you. This report will offer strategies to improve your processes and your results. If you want a more intuitive way to learn foreign languages and take your own adventure or learning project based on your own experience avoiding rigid structures and disciplines, this book is for you. If what you intend is to expand your circle of relationships and avoid the isolation caused by the lack of linguistic skills, this book is for you. Whatever your learning style is you can set a goal, assess your strengths and weaknesses, test a model based on what the best polyglots, students and teachers in the world are doing, so you can to finish your own learning project. Probably you will learn something after reading this text, and if some ideas work well for you, you can update, improve, customize or tune the model your own way, because the code is open.
  9. 9. 4. Can someone be unconsciously competent? To acquire a skill we usually go through four stages: 1) we are unaware of our incompetence, 2) We are aware of our incompetence, 3) We are aware of our competence, 4) we are unaware of our competence. Think about when you learned to drive: conscious learning leads to automatic unconscious skill and exercise. From another point of view our brain is divided into three parts from the point of view of the genetic evolution: the oldest part of our brain corresponds to the reptile brain (which assimilates automatisms), the middle part is the emotional brain (part that records alerts and preferences), and the cerebral cortex is the youngest part at the top of our brain (the center of thoughts and decisions). The reaction time of the brain is faster in the oldest layer of the brain. Imagine a dangerous looking snake is appearing in front of you. Would you stop to think about a book of biology or would you get out as faster as you can? You, yourself have the answer. When we learn, at first glance it seems that the program can go from the cortex, through the emotional brain to the reptilian brain, although other options fit: from the reptilian brain to the emotional brain and finally to the cortex. Experts often work unconsciously and they do not know exactly what they are doing. We are unconsciously competent in the use of our mother tongue. 5. Why is that modeling hasn’t spread to language learning? It seems that commercial NLP approach put more emphasis on models (pictures), that in the process of modeling (camera). The first attempt to model learning languages at a basic level that I know comes from Robert Dilts who modeled Powell Janulus, who spoke 42 languages when he was 38. Marilyne and Wyatt Woodsmall have modeled Michel Thomas. Professor AJ Hoges modeled best students comparing what they did with average students, he interviewed Steve Kauffman (polyglot) and he researched Krashen theory, finding relevant matching patterns. The advent of the internet puts at our disposal excellent examples of polyglot people, allowing us to apply the modeling process to extract the program or code that underlies their expertise. 6. Why do I not address the whole process of modeling? Surely you know how to drive without knowing the mechanics of your vehicle thoroughly. I am interested in putting a good machine in your hands. Those interested in more details can rely on the literature of authors experts in the field. Maybe later on you can put in your hands a book about modeling, especially if you are one of those who enjoy the mechanics. You know what? If you read the whole text and practice about it you're going to learn how to model just by doing.
  10. 10. II. UTILITY AND USES FOR MODELING 7. What is modeling? What is it for? Modeling is a tool for learning. It has spread from the initial uses in therapy (going beyond the initial linguistic models) to business (leadership, sales, negotiation, communication), high performance sport (Olympic athletes), education, personal finance, music, advocacy, etc. Inevitable, it has also been given a military use to these techniques. 8. Do you want to improve your learning system? Do you think you can do it better? Often experts in any area of expertise (successful students, investors, entrepreneurs, journalist, athletes, etc) follow a system and worry about updating and improving it. Do you have one? Probably yes, but you are not conscious of it. This text put in your hands the best systems of students and teachers to learn/teach a foreign language. 9. What are the pre-requisites? What do have in common successful students, businessmen/women, or elite athletes? They make plans, manage their time and energy (motivation), resources (money, relationships, information, etc.) and scope (goals and objectives). Learning foreign languages requires your time, your dedication and your resources, you will need to set your own goals too. 10. Which would not be a reasonable expectation? Let’s take for example the meta-model originally created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. This model allows you to ask the questions that the best therapists use. Does it mean that you can compare yourself to the best therapist in the history (Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls, Milton Erickson) with only a handful of good questions? I think not, a yes would be too pretentious. You can’t in a few minutes reach levels of mastery that have been adquired for decades, not to mention the particular identity of each person. I think you can’t ask modeling more that it can do for you: improve and accelerate your learning. Robert Dilts proposes different uses for modeling: a) Learn about the differences. b) Do something differently. c) Do something better. d) Do something new. e) Have more options. d) Change perceptions. David Gordon tell us that modeling provide us with a fast, easy and secure way to access the desired skills, Lesley Cameron and Michel Lebeau talk about reproducing competence.
  11. 11. 11. Why traditional language learning often doesn’t work? We can find many reasons for the failure of the traditional education in teaching languages. Here are some of these reasons: 1.- Learning a foreign language, like any other project, is about considering learning objectives in a given time. Language learning requires the investment of much time, however it is difficult to find a little orientation specifying approximate deadlines and items to study. If someone is going to build an airplane or run a business project, time, scope and resources are specified. How is that nobody has done something similar about learning foreign languages? It is not the same to spend 2000 hours to reach a B2 level of German than saying: “it depends on the individual” or “what is to know a foreign language?”. Specific targets and deadlines may be more or less accurate but they are better than avoiding the question of how long does it take to learn a second language. For languages like English or German, we could calculate about 2000 hours to reach a B2 level and about 3000 hours to reach a C1 level. For other languages like Chinese or Russian we can ask other students or teachers about the question: how much time do we need to spend to reach a certain level. If we want to master a foreign language we need to spend a considerable time and effort, and in formal education time is pretty short. How is that a child who has studied at a British school, a French school or a German school ends up perfectly competent, while a child raised in a traditional school with the second language as subject barely finishes his education in some babbling? The time of exposure to a second language is a critical variable. It is necessary to provide students a context in which they are permanently in contact with a second language. Audio-books can be used according to the level of each student, internet facilitates relationships with people from other countries, etc. 2. Studying a second language as subject in traditional education does not distinguish between the levels of the students. You can find in the same class beginners with advanced students so the objectives of the study are blurred and distorted. 3. The inertia of the educational bureaucracy leads to some teachers to focus on grammar, vocabulary, written lists and translations away from any useful context, on reading…so it’s not clear the beginning (maybe it’s better to begin with phonic emphasis on the listening skill) and at the end you can find some students with an advanced level of vocabulary and grammar but they barely can understand anything and some of them really can’t speak a foreign language. It is know that a deaf person can learn to read but can not to speak. Being listening a necessary (in my opinion not sufficient) condition to speak: how is that some teachers pretend that they pupils can understand and speak if the focus on reading, and the listening skill is absent? How do they intend their student to be fluent in a foreign language if they don’t provide them with the necessary in put of audio? 4. Materials are most of the times texts for reading and they don’t consider everyday life or the pupil’s interests. Students aren’t provided with audio and they don’t get some keys to a proper spelling in a new language.
  12. 12. 5. There is no preference for the most frequent vocabulary, sentences and grammar. Tim Ferry uses the 20/80 rule. 80% of the time you use 20% of the new language. 80% of the time you make 20% of the mistakes. The statistical rate it’s not the same for listening/speaking and for reading/writing. Usually you begin learning a foreign language with a small vocabulary (1200 to 2000 words). 6. Sometime there are not clear standards for evaluation. Which are the standards for the exam? How can I get those standards? I prefer precise criteria as the number of known words, grammar structures, global idea and details after listening, etc. 7.. Your mother tonge interferes with your second language. Sometimes there is a common origin between the languages and you can lever your learning on that, because the vocabulary and grammar are more familiar for you (for instance between English and Deustch or between Spanish and French). Anyway, we can’t forget that the vocabulary and grammar of our first language and of our second language aren’t the same! 8. You need a great commitment to learn a foreign language. There is an element of monotony that usually isn’t balanced with the pupils interests. For instance, learning to read a little story or a comic may be more funny than textbooks. The student need clear pre-requisites (look at question 9). If you are not engaged in the learning process it could be better not to start it at all. 9. Some methods focus on vocabulary and neglect grammar. It is like having 1200-2000 parts of an aircraft and pretend to fly without an engine, you end up speaking like Tarzan. Other ones focus on grammar but neglect vocabulary: you have a big engine but no pieces. Some people focus on listening and take speaking for granted, they suppose that just listening you’ll be automatically able to speak. Some methods don’t provide audio?!!!!(visual illusion that reading is enough). So as we can see usually students need to adapt to weird and even stupid methods. On the contrary, my approach is that method should be adapted to the student’s learning style. In my opinion, the learning cycle should begin with spelling, continue listening and reading, follow speaking (without reading), continue reading without listening and finally writing. You can change the pieces of this system but for me it’s out of question that listening is previous to speaking and reading is previous to writing. There are some skills that implies links between visual and auditory: reading out load (visual, auditory and oral) and dictation (you translate auditory signal to visual signals –so there are some previous sound and images in your mind- and finally you write them out). 10. Lack of feed back. When we learnt our mother tongue, usually our mother gave us a continuous feedback about our progress. It’s imposible to ask such a commitment to our teacher, our pal, our skype friend , etc. So it’s up to you to get all kind of interesting materials that will allow you to get on the right track. 12. 8. You need a great commitment to learn a foreign language. There is an element of monotony that usually isn’t balanced with the pupils interests. For instance, learning to read a little story or a comic may be more than textbooks. The student need clear pre- requisites (look at question 9). If you are not engaged in the learning process it could be better not to start it at all.
  13. 13. 9. Some methods focus on vocabulary and neglect grammar. It is like having 1200-2000 parts of an aircraft and pretend to fly without an engine, you end up speaking like Tarzan. Other ones focus on grammar but neglect vocabulary: you have a big engine but no pieces. Some people focus on listening and take speaking for granted, they suppose that just listening you’ll be automatically able to speak. Some methods don’t provide audio?!!!!(visual illusion that reading is enough). So as we can see usually students need to adapt to weird and even stupid methods. On the contrary, my approach is that method should be adapted to the student’s learning style. In my opinion, the learning cycle should begin with spelling, continue listening and reading, follow speaking (without reading), continue reading without listening and finally writing. You can change the pieces of this system but for me it’s out of question that listening is previous to speaking and reading is previous to writing. There are some skills that implies links between visual and auditory: reading out load (visual, auditory and oral) and dictation (you translate auditory signal to visual signals –so there are some previous sound and images in your mind- and finally write them out). 10. Lack of feed back. When we learnt our mother tongue, usually our mother gave us a continuous feedback about our progress. It’s impossible to ask such a commitment to our teacher, our pal, our skype friend , etc. So it’s up to you to get all kind of interesting materials that will allow you to get on the right track. 12 What happens if you can not discern the critical distinctions of a skill? Could you save money if you spend more than you earn? No, you couldn’t. Saving is the result of spending less than you earn. Any personal finance system must include at least three distinctions: income, expenditure, and savings. Do you think that you have no talent for drawing? Betty Edwards provides a book that makes drawing available to everyone. There are some basic distinctions in her system: line, shapes, edges, positive and negative spaces, proportion, light and shadows. You have no excuse my friend, all talented people make such distinctions, you can learn them artificially. So if you don’t know how to draw it’s no because you born without a gift but because you don’t want or you don’t devote the necessary time and attention to painting following the right distinctions. What happens if we try to speak a foreign language without listening it? Such a thing is impossible. Listening is a previous condition (not sufficient in my opinion) to speaking. If we try to speak without listening we are following the worst of the possible ways, educational bureaucracy sometimes lead us through that impracticable way. Our plane will take off and move in the sky (context, pragmatic situation of communication) you’ll need some vocabulary (1200-2000 most frequent words) and a generative engine (basic and frequent grammar). Try to listen before you speak my friend. Try to read before you write. Tailor your material trying to understand at least 90% of what you hear and read. At first, it can be disheartening: too many pieces, too many vocabulary. Start flying your kite little by little, at least half an hour a day. Close the circle. The words have a sound dimension (syllables), a visual dimension (letters), a kinesthetic dimension (pronunciation and writing). The word is associated with a
  14. 14. meaning that can be visual (red, green, blue) auditory (miaow) or kinesthesic (soft). Those dimensions appear not only in vocabulary but in sentence construction too. III. MODELING PROCEDURE. 13. How are experts modeled? How to make things right? You start looking for the best experts in an area of expertise (in our case I have worked with good teachers and polyglots). You can model an only expert in three different situations probing his/her skills. Three experts may also be used for modeling contrasting what they do with average people. 14. How are patterns detected? The patterns are detected through similarities in three studied situations. David Gordon and Graham Dawes follow a protocol for the elicitation. Robert Dilts extracts patterns from differences and variations in the degree of the variables too. 15. Why the installing of metal programs is so important? How to install patterns? That’s for sure that you have sometime downloaded and installed a program in your computer. The program is given and you only need one click to install the program at once. But, you know what? Our brain doesn’t work that way! Human learning doesn’t happen so fast. To install a new program in your mind you spend time and normally you have to chunk down the material in small pieces to make it easier. How much time do you spend installing a program? There is kind of myth that says that it takes three weeks. Maybe is more exact at least a month. It may be less, it may be more, it depends on your own experience. Apparently neuroscience suggests that the period is a month. Remember this: you only can eat an elephant in small pieces. Our brain doesn’t install programs with a single click, you need to spend time and patience. As far as modeling is concerned I’d rather say that you should spend 80-95 % of your time installing and 20- 5% of the time extracting the program. 16. . How to make things wrong? Usually when people have attitude and/or aptitude problems, they make things wrong. The cause of the attitude problem can be intrinsic or derived from the bad influence of some other person (sometimes some teachers insert in your mind mental viruses: “you are not gifted for languages or mathematics or whatever…”). You can solve an attitude problem reflecting on your own motivations to learn a foreign language. If unfortunately somebody has infected your mind with a mental virus (limiting beliefs) you should start neutralizing it. If your problem is aptitude modeling could be a solution. So, here you can find a lot of systems for learning and customize or adapt them to you own learning style. Of course, my friend, starting such an adventure as learning a foreign language moves you out of you comfort zone into the unknown. Along the way you are going to find obstacles (you don’t understands, they speak too fast, too many vocabulary and
  15. 15. grammar…boredom, monotony). So, only if your motivation and confidence in your learning system is high you are going to undertake inevitable obstacles along the way. 17. Which excuses are not acceptable? You don’t have enough time? I can’t belive it. We all have 24 hours a day. So, if you are not ready to spend at least half an hour a day to kite your fly and learn a foreign language these pages aren’t for you. Half an hour a day is a minimum, you should increase your dedication. You don’t have money? Oh! Nowadays you can access to free resources and materials to learn foreign languages. How much does ignorance cost? Suppose that you earn 30 euro for each hour you devote to learn a foreign language, if you spend 3000 hours studying a foreign language you get a return of 90.000 euro. That’s the way Richard Vaughan motivates his pupils to spend their time and their effort. Try to fly your kite on matters interesting to you (traveling, reading, mode, make up, etc.). You don’t know what you want? Money and love motivate people. If your partner speaks a foreign language it can be a beautiful challenge to learn it. Maybe you need to move into another country to make a living, so if you need to speak a foreign language it can be very motivating too. Precise the scope of your objectives little by little: what do you want to achieve? Get by in a hotel or in a store? travelling abroad? Simply reading stories? Listening comprehension at B2 level? Speaking skill at a B1 level? You can’t learn a foreign languages because you are older than 5? You can’t travel abroad? It could be that children learn faster because of neuronal plasticity reasons. Anyway, my friend, take a look on youtube and check out how does Luca Lampariello speak English, French, Spanish, German. You know what? He never traveled to the USA and he masters English. He didn’t learn English when he was five. Take a look again on youtube and look at Steve Kauffman. How old is he? More that five? Yeap! More than forty? Yeap!. And he follows learning foreign languages. So, it is not a question of age. 18. What shouldn’t you do after having devoted your time to read this work? Of course, this text is not only for reading, you need to practice the system described here. Modeling is about a system working in your mind (David Gordon). This text is your friend, you can take it wherever you want. That’ s not the question. I insist, only if you install in your mind a system of the ideas here presented, you will get a return of profitability. IV. INSPIRING EXAMPLES 19. How do best polyglots learn? Usually polyglots have a solid belief system (attitude), so they can get by with the inevitable obstacles that appear along the way. At the same time they follow useful learning strategies making more fun, easy, effective and efficient their learning (aptitude). Let’s see some of those belief systems.
  16. 16. Powel Janulus, who was modeled by Robert Dilts, used to think that if even people with mental disabilities were able to learn a language, he could learn too. He had his own learning system that went directly from language to experience (objects, colors, actions). He had an original system for auditory notation common for all the languages, so he could manage quite well with pronunciation in different languages. He tried to identify himself with the culture and identity of the language he had chosen. He worked in NLP second position (he identified himself with native speakers) and he used to correct immediately his mistakes. Luca Lampariello is well known on youtube. He speaks a lot of languages really good. He is an electronic engineer, but he loves languages. He likes to make difficult things easier. He looks for simplicity and fun when he learns a foreign language. His learning system is named “to close the circle”, he basically translates from second language to mother tonge, and then from first language to second language. His system allows him to remember about 80% of the material he reads, listens and writes. Professor Alexander Arguelles is a polyglot who combines teaching and auto-learning. He has a deep interest in other cultures and appeals to well focused energy, discipline and good materials for success in learning. He follows two techniques called “shadowing” (listening and immediately speaking what you learn; like it were an echo) and “scriptrorum” (a technique that combines writing and speaking out loud). Moses MacCormick looks for fun when he learns a foreign language. He looks for big challenges with difficult languages like Chinese. He feels a big interest for foreign languages and peoples. He follows a system for speaking called “FLR” (Foreign Language Roadrunning) basically he wants to accelerate oral production (speaking skill). Tim Ferris speaks Japanese, German, Spanish…He looks for efficiency when he learns. So he focuses on most frequent vocabulary and grammar and follows de 80/20 rule. We use 20% of our language 80% of the time. He usually begins with phonetics, and then he assimilates a basic grammatical framework and the basic vocabulary. Steve Kaufman understands the foreign language process of learning as if it were an adventure. He focuses on listening. He suggests that everyone with a sufficient exposure to a second language can learn it. If you can travel and live abroad it’s up to you to create an environment in which you can become familiar with a foreign language. Stuar Jay Rag, speaks more than 13 languages. His pronunciation system uses colors. When he looks at the dictionary some word, he tries to visualize himself speaking that word. He listens, reads, writes, makes mental maps of the throat, mouth and tongue. He expands the basics to more advanced degrees. Michel Thomas used to think that anyone can learn a foreign language. It was just the responsibility of the teacher to teach it the right way. He created a relaxed and friendly environment focusing on comprehension more than in memory (what you completely understand you never forget it). He used the familiarity among some languages (German-English or Spanish, French-Italian) to somehow lever the leaning process.
  17. 17. 20. How do teach great teachers? How do you know is your teacher is a good one for you? Michel Thomas though that the responsibility of learning lies on the teacher. However, Luca Lampariello says that a language can be learned but not taught, so he follows an auto-learning system. Probably both are right. Depending on the learning style of the student may be more useful to follow an auto-learning system or hire a teacher. Professor AJ Hoges, has inspired me. He is a natural motivator and he applies NLP techniques to learning too. In Spain there is an amazing blog written by Monica Tapia Stocker for learning English. Professor Alexander Arguelles suggests to adapt learning material depending on the student’s learning style. In his opinion Pupils drive and time management are important too. So there are great teachers out there. According to Ander Ericsson the best practices to reach excellence through deliberate practice include: 1. The importance of a coach or mentor who provides motivation and feed-back about our progress. 2. Visualizing how experts work. 3. Divide and chunk tasks, make things easier. 4. Repeat many times each of these fragments. 5. Use different speed when you repeat, sometime use slow-motion repetitions. 6. Leave the comfort zone and get over our limits. 7. Maximum concentration. Achieving this state is possible only a few hours a day. 8. Feed-back to learn about our mistakes. Malcolm Gladwell estimated at 10.000 hours (2 hours a day for 14 years) the time required to achieve mastery in any skill. If we apply the 20/80 rule we can learn the basics in 2.000 hours. In the early 30s. Mrs. Maw was 70 years old and asked Dr. Milton Erickson to teach her how to read and write. She has tried it unsuccessfully for many years. Dr. Erickson became Mrs. Maw an assiduous Reader Digest reader. Some initial small successes changed her conviction that she could not learn to read and write. Dr. Milton Ericson combined simple lines “that even a child could do” and made those lines to have letter forms. When she formed the first letters, words and sentences she was sure that she was able to read and write, the rest of the process was quick and simple. Our beliefs determine the limit of our capabilities, and a good teacher not only provides a good model or system but also a set of positive beliefs. A belief system is like a leverage point where you support your cognitive system. Through modeling we can synthesize talent, we can create talent artificially and accelerate our learning. 21. And you? How do you learn?
  18. 18. What is your predominant sensory channel? Do you learn better when you see, when you hear, when you do or when you speak to yourself? Are you interested on principles or about what experts say? You think that procedures or methods is what matters? Do you prefer to explore yourself and get your own experiences? Do you learn better when you relate to other people? 22. How it is difficult to learn? A set of negative limiting beliefs stops us: if you think that you cannot learn foreign languages you have an attitude problem. It is also needed to find a model/system to facilitate the task of learning and give us feed-back about our progress. If you have an attitude problem even if your learning system is awesome you’re not going to learn. 23. Learning with or without exams? The real test, the real proof, is when you are in a position to speak the foreign language with a native speaker. I prefer auto-evaluation maybe because my learning style tends more to auto-learning. However, I must admit that when we need to face an exam we usually work harder because of the challenge. More than to get an A or a little victory the real value of exams is the information that they give us about our progress. When we must take an exam we manage our time depending on the date for the exam but learning a foreign language is a never ending story. Maybe you can combine distribute periods of learning with periods of total immersion in this never ending story. Michel Thomas and A. J. Hoges avoid exams just because they create unnecessary tension and negative physiological estates. 24. How do you know that you don’t learn? It’s up to you to answer this question. I do know that I’m not learning when there isn’t a learning project running in my agenda. V. HOW DO YOU LEARN. YOUR LEARNING STYLE. 25 Which is your learning style? Each person has his/her own learning style. NLP tell us that people usually have a preferred or dominant sensory channel: some are more visual, another more auditory, there also more kinesthesic people and people who prefer to talk themselves (internal dialogue). More than a predilection for a sense it seems that every person follows a particular order with their sensory perceptions and mental representations. Ned Hermann developed a brain model distinguishing 4 ways to operate, to think, to create, to learn and to live, according to the predominance of one of the four brain quadrants: 1. Those who have left cortical quadrant predominance, are logical, analytical, they base on facts and figures. They process information sequentially. They think, act and feel.
  19. 19. 2. Those who have right cortical quadrant predominance, are strategists, holistic, integrative, intuitive. They look for synthesis and process information simultaneously. They act, feel and think. 3. Those who have left limbic quadrant predominance, are organized, sequential, planners, perfectionist, collectors. They love procedures and methodologies. They act, think, feel. 4. Those who have right limbic quadrant predominance, are good communicators, sentimental, aesthetic. They feel, act, think. Kolb distinguishes 4 ways for processing information: 1. Through concrete experience. Divergers. 2. Through reflective observation. Assimilators. 3. Through abstract conceptualization. Convergers 4. Through active experimentation. They combine concrete thinking and active experimentation. Adapters. Once you have identified your favorite sensory channel, your brain dominant quadrant and you favorite way to process information you can get a pretty accurate idea about how do you learn. Differences between the student’s learning style and the teacher’s teaching style can create some conflicts in the learning process. Imagine an intutive student with kinesthesic sensorial preference, and then imagine a teacher who loves concepts and theories with visual sensorial preference. Could they get on? The student needs to do and experience to learn, while the teacher is more visually oriented an loves theory…a little conflict could emerge. From the point of view of language learning: 1. Communicators like interactions and relationships. Maybe they are not very interested in grammar. 2. Theorists prefer tables and grammar rules. Maybe interaction is not so important for therm. 3. Intuitive people would prefer experience to theory. 4. Organizers will look for methodology and quality in everything they do. They maybe spend less time interacting with people. Each learning style has its strengths and weaknesses. Good polyglots combine in a balanced way the four brain quadrants: the ultimate goal of learning is to communicate, so they need to master some principles and a praxis based on a sound methodology, so they can crystallize intuitively a complex system. Of course, all this is a simplification. I realized that polyglots use different ways or systems to learn. Why is that? We are all different human beings. Is there something common among all polyglots? I’d rather say yes, some circuits are universal. Maybe each polyglot learn his/her own way, but there are ways that get you where you want to go, and there are ways to nowhere. Could you write before you read? Could you speak before you listen? Noop. We need some audio-visual in put before being able to reproduce sounds and letters. Unfortunately some teachers only give you a list of vocabulary and they ask you not only to write them correctly but a good pronunciation too? Are they crazy? How can you reproduce a sound that you have almost never ever
  20. 20. listened before? Aha, bureaucracy. Aha, they have always done things so. Aha, their common sense is missing: they suppose that only visualizing some words you will be able to pronounce them correctly! 26. How do you know that they teach you well and you learn well? How do you know that they teach you wrong? In the answer to the question above I alerted about some discrepancies that once identified can be solved. This does not mean that the teacher is bad or the student is bad, there are simply cognitive styles differences: perhaps some compromise can be reached between the teacher and the student. To know if you are well taught and if you learn the right way you need to get on the track and record and evaluate your own progress. I wouldn’t accept to learn lists of written vocabulary without the necessary sound and out of context. How can you speak if you haven’t listened before? Is it really meaningful a word out of context? The teachers can provide materials according to the student’s interest and motivation (sports, business, fashion, or whatever it could be). Evaluation is only a way to give us information and make the necessary adjustments if necessary. In my opinion it’s not enough to listen, once you have the sound in your mind you have to pronounce it. It’s just my experience, although I know that following some theories listening is enough to start automatically speaking. So, I think listening is necessary but not sufficient to speaking. So, you need to close a circle: words have a sound dimension (syllables), a visual dimension (letters), a kinesthesic dimension (speaking and writing). All these dimensions occur in each word of vocabulary and in grammar, when you built and combine words making sentences. Whatever the vocabulary or grammar could be, listen to it, pronounce it, read it, write it. We have to two channels for sound and visual in put, our hears and our eyes, and we have two channels for the output: our voice and our hand (for writing). You know what? Our first language will be most of the time out there, sometimes interfering, sometimes helping, there is a double direction path between our first and our second language. Is it better to translate or to suspend our first language? At the beginning some basic cues are necessary, but you cannot always translate from first language to second language, because they are different languages with different structures, so I think that at the intermediate phases of the process of learning we should somehow suspend the interference of our first language. 27. Do you take your own decisions? Do you learn with a teacher or alone? It’s obvious that a person who prefers communication just because brain reasons will learn better in good company. Other people could prefer a rational approach and prefer to learn on their own. Anyway, a good teacher is always a valuable resource, even a critical resource. However, when there are restrictions in your environment and you can’t afford to hire a good teacher, you can always study on your own. Even Professor Alexander Arguelles admits that self-learning is a perfect way in the beginning. 28. What if we didn’t care about grades?
  21. 21. In the current education system evaluations entail some tension, some fear from failure, some risk of discredit. Sometimes the negative consequences that the school system produces in student train ruin people perfectly capable. Some teachers avoid exams because motivation for learning should go further than passing some tests. I think, that a good feed-back is always valuable to make adjustments, so I would eliminate connotations of rewards and punishment when evaluating. The award is the progress itself, and being aware of some backward movements can help you to enhance your drive. 29. Learning without plans, without systems, without records? There are people with such a big motivation for learning that they learn even without any conscious system. In the past polyglots in Africa learnt through massive listening and repetition (without distinctions for reading and writing). These days you need to read and write too. Maybe it’s a good idea to be illiterate in Chinese. Anyway, I think that some systems for learning are more efficient and effective than others. There will always be someone opposite to wheel. Do you think that a car will never replace a coach with horses. Mmm. You know what? Whatever your system is you only have two hears, a tongue, two eyes, and we usually write with a hand! 30. Do you set your own goals? What scope do you want to achieve? How to design your own learning project? Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic. The best polyglots don’t need anyone to encourage them to learn foreign languages. Each person should set his/her own goals based on their needs, preferences, beliefs, resources, etc. For setting you own goals you can follow the SMART method (look at on the Wikipedia). One could be to master 1200 basic words and most of basic grammar (present, past and future) in 9 month, other one could be to read and listen to an audio-book for one month. Some people will need to get by when they travel abroad, other will need more ambitious goals. VI. MYTHS AND TRUTHS ABOUT LEARNING. 31. What if the genetic and Darwinian paradigm of talent were not completely right? The dilemma between nature or nurture was somehow decided towards genetics. Intelligence was something inherited and immutable. Ander Ericcson argues that deliberate good practice can create talent. Malcolm Madwell has theorized that 10.000 hours of deliberate practice are needed to reach mastery at complex skills like musical composition, business skills, etc . Good teachers and an a total immersion environment can make a difference if you are learning something. It seems clear that some people are born with the virtue of making some distinctions that go unnoticed by others. NLP modeling makes it possible to accelerate learning, synthesize talent, creating distinctions, structures and systems that facilitate the process of learning. 32. Emotional intelligence or intelligence quotient?
  22. 22. Intelligence quotient predicts success. Daniel Goleman introduced the idea of emotional intelligence, that makes a difference about personal and professional success. Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory includes: verbal intelligence, mathematical intelligence, spatial intelligence, musical intelligence, kinesthesic intelligence, intra- personal intelligence, interpersonal intelligence and naturalist intelligence. The brain perceives stimuli through sensory channels, processes information in a sequential and simultaneous way, makes, executes, creates, relates to other people, etc. A good integration of the four brain quadrants seems to be behind the best results. Maybe that happens in a random genetic form, maybe it could be possible to replicate and democratize what have been a random genetic privilege until now. I don’t think intelligence is absolutely independent from will. A healthy curiosity and willingness are variables over which we have some control. The belief that the more you want the more you can could be useful and maybe you can leverage on your will. Plants need a fertile ground to grow. 33. And if you had something to win and nothing to lose? If you have nothing to lose and everything to gain you move into a double positive bound. That is a good starting point for any learning. 34. And if you had no fear or hurry? Fear is a useful tool of control and some people don’t hesitate to use it in their own benefit. Teaching sometimes is based on fear. The rush comes either from outside or we have internalized it. We can set our own pace and use our little space of liberty. 35. Why not to break your grammar rules? One of the strategies I follow to learn a foreign language is to take the Spanish vocabulary and built sentences following the grammar of the second language. I get a little advantage doing so, because if I translate from “Spanish” to second language the task is easier. 36. Is your mother tongue a leverage or a brake that slows you down? Do you know how to distinguish true friends from false friends? You master your native language, that has its advantages and disadvantages. Languages from the same family (English-German, Spanish-French-Italian-Portuguese) have a common root, so there is a familiarity between some words, and learning vocabulary is easier. Michel Thomas and the Peruvian polyglot Jorge Fernandez Gates have capitalized these partnership among some languages. The downside is that, of course, languages are different, and the first language usually interferes with the second language, just because languages haven’t the same pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. VII. MODELING PRINCIPLES.
  23. 23. 37. Which principles underlie mental programs? 1. Relax and appropriate physiology. (Michel Thomas, Luca Lampariello, Assimil method, Alexander Arguelles, Robert Dilts, A. J. Hoges) 2. Spaced learning. (Pimsleur, Michel Thomas). 3. Deep learning. (Michel Thomas, A. J. Hoges. Luca Lampariello) 4. Association. (Michel Thomas, Ramón Camapayo). 5. Total immersion. (Steve Kaufman, Krashen). 6. 80/20 Rule. (Zipf took a text and counted how many times each word appears. The French mathematician Benoit de Mandelbrot, father of fractal mathematics, devote his doctoral dissertation on the mathematics underlying the frequency of words. Tim Ferris uses the 80/20 rule) 7. Combination. (Steiner Brothers use combination and listened grammar, I think it’s a great idea). 8. Circle closing. Luca Lampariello uses a double translation system first from second language to first language and afterwards from first language to second language. I’d rather say vocabulary and grammar have an implicit visual and auditory remembered component, so you need to recognize sounds, reproduce them, recognize visually letters and write them down. 9. Leverage. Michel Thomas, Jorge Fernandez Gates. 10. Immediate feedback. Michel Thomas, María Montessori. 38. Where did I extract those principles from? Modeling polyglots, great students and great teachers they appeared. 39. Do you think those principles are reasonable? It’s up to you to answer this question my friend. This space is for you own reflection. 40. Is it enough to know these principles? No. You need to systemize them, internalize them, practice them and verify your criteria and standards. 41. Is contradiction healthy or unhealthy? Contradiction and paradox are sources for creativity. There are apparent contradictions that are partially true. For examples, Michel Thomas said that the teacher was completely responsible of the student’s learning. Luca Lampariello, on the contrary, downloads all the responsibility on the students. I think that more than a contradiction there are two different styles for teaching and learning, Moreover both of them (Luca and Michel) are excellent teachers and students at the same time. From a logical point of view, contradiction is dangerous. How is that we are forced to speak a second language without a previous listening period? How is that if you need to speak a foreign language material you focus on reading and writing? How is that some teachers don’t distinguish use from mention and prefer to explain grammatical rules
  24. 24. instead of using them in a relevant context (listening, speaking, reading and writing). There is kind of logical misunderstanding there that confuses mention/explanation and use. 42. What if we couldn’t deny those principles? If we cannot deny those principles the system would be validated. VIII. PRE - REQUISITES. 43. How much does motivation count? What motivates us? What discourages us? Motivation has to be greater than the resistance to change. Foreign languages learning involves overcoming some adversities, so our drive has to be bigger that the feeling relating to handicap. We can distinguish between needs and wants. We need bread to survive, although we want chocolate. Needs from the point of view of submodalities implicate greater motivation. Who learns before, a person who needs to learn a foreign language or someone who only wants to learn it? Well, when we were children we needed to communicate. Tod Epstein said that is amazing how fast you can learn when we have to survive. Vietnam veterans learned Vietnamese to return home alive. Language is also a social tool because it serves social needs. If we keep climbing Maslow’s pyramid speaking languages could be a form of self-realization or a way to social recognition. Mc Cleland studies motivation from the point of view of power (status), affiliation or belonging and achievement. So we move towards control, acceptation and success and we avoid domination, rejection and failure. Some people need to emigrate so they need to speak a foreign language. Money (work positions) and love motive most of the people. If your partner speaks a foreign language you can practice with her/him, you’ll probably be more interested in foreign cultures. Some people are motivated to avoid some risks instead of getting some opportunities. Fear drives a lot and it is on the base of the educational system. And you, what motivates you? What do you do if you lose your drive? Do you motivate yourself or do you need somebody to motivate you? You will find some barriers and difficulties on the way? Are you ready to overcome them? 1. The sound barrier. The pronunciation is pretty weird, oh man! Native speakers speak too fast… 2. The barrier of meaning. What does this word mean? And that? And…!!!! 3. The barrier of syntax and grammar. The order and structure of the second language is new and different of ours. 4. The barrier of writing. If you learn Greek, Russian or Chinese alphabets, so to speak, are different so you will need to become familiar with them.
  25. 25. 5. The plateau. In the beginning the study of a second language is fast, but at intermediate levels the learning curve flattens and it seems that we don’t progress despite our efforts. 44. How important is time? Time is a critical barrier and somehow it’s under our control. It’s a fact that those who have studied since childhood at an English school, a German school, a French school, a Basque school…command at least the second language. On the other hand, most of the students who simply studied the second language as a subject most of the times have a poor knowledge of the second language. So, the exposure time to a second language seems to be critical. 45. How important is money? With more money you can travel abroad or take an intensive course or buy better materials. I don’t think money is a critical variable anyway. Whatever your economic situation is there is always something you can do about that. Do what you can with what you have. 46. What if I am not motivated? The best thing here would be to stop and think if you are really interested in starting a learning project. Maybe you can change your motivation changing your beliefs. Robert Dilts has an useful test about beliefs maybe you can use it like a thermometer for your motivation. 47. What if I have no time? All people have 24 hours a day, but we occupy it in different things and those things are expression of our values. If you don’t have even half an hour a day to start learning a foreign language, it means simply that you don’t mind learning a foreign language because it is not important to you. 48. What if I have no money? Wealth it is not only about money but also about things that you can do for you and for others. You can start learning a second language with a very low budget. Perhaps the absolutely essential equipment are an mp3 reproducer (almost all cellular phones have one) and reading material (preferably audio-books graduated according to the level of each student). Oh my friend, with little money, a lot of motivation and some time you can learn foreign languages. So, here money is not the problem. IX .BASIC DISTINCTIONS, PROCESSES, PROCEDURES, SYSTEMS AND PRINCIPLES. 49. Which are the basic distinctions to learn a foreign language? 1. Pronunciation. 2. Vocabulary. 3. Grammar. 4. Listening skill.
  26. 26. 5. Speaking skill. 6. Reading skill. 7. Writing skill. Think about that, my friend: we all have in our minds some kind of audio archives (listening comprehension) and visual archives (reading) about each word. Only if we have those memories we are able to reproduce them: speaking and writing. Think about that my friend… grammar is about order and structure: has grammar an audio-visual component? It’s up to you. Yeap. So, how do best polyglots face those distinctions? Good question. We’ll address it a little later. 50. Which order to follow? Process and procedures? What is the difference between a process and a procedure? What are the operating principles? Some teachers focus on vocabulary. Others prefer to focus on grammar. Some people prefer to read and listen before studying grammar. Some people just listen a lot of time before trying to speak. Other ones start listening and speaking just from the very beginning. Of course, there is a traditional system to focus on reading and writing. Some teachers believe that after a massive input of the second language mistakes correct themselves. Other experts suggest that you should correct your mistakes from the very beginning through immediate feedback and self-correction. Oh, there are a lot of ways.. and Frank Sinatra did it him way…. Each of us will have to decide too. Most materials present progressively vocabulary and grammar. It is important to graduate materials according to the student’s level. I think we should start with the pronunciation. After pronunciation I should put my focus on listening, and most frequent vocabulary and grammar (listening and reading are critical to me, only if we have a memory of sounds and letters we are going to be able to reproduce them later speaking and writing). So I’d rather start listening and reading, later I should listen without reading trying to understand. Can I reproduce what I’m listening and reading? So, I should try to listen and repeat, read and write, listen and write. At the end of each unit I should study a little grammar. You know…Has grammar and audiovisual component? What about double translation? It could be useful because you read and write. It could very useful because even when we speak a foreign language our first language is dominant and we translate from our first language (Luca Lampariello’s systems for translating is very interesting). 51. How many dimensions does a word have? How to close the circle of learning? How to modulate the intensity of the differences? The word has an aural dimension (listening comprehension), a visual dimension (reading) and a kinesthesical dimension (speech and writing). We see and understand, that’s reading. We listen and understand, that is listening comprehension. We talk to be understood, that is the speaking skill. We write and are understood that’s the writing skill.
  27. 27. When we learn vocabulary and grammar we have to cover all dimensions, not only reading. Do you recognize the word/sentence when you listen? Are you able to pronounce it? Can you write it down? Can you read and understand it? Some people are aware of all those dimensions. Luca Lampariello’s system includes double translation first from first and second language. That makes sense, at first we think with the vocabulary and structure of our first language. Pimsleur somehow knew that there are two separates channels for listening-speaking and listening-reading. Illiterate people can’t read or write but they understand and speak. Somehow there are at least two basic circuits for listening-speaking and reading-writing. We have in our memory sounds and letters associated, so we usually don’t read and immediately write but, usually we listen and read so we create a strong aural-visual association. Once this strong association is created, we can reproduce sounds (speaking), decode sounds into visual letters, and decode letters into sounds. The complex linguistic system could be reduced to vocabulary, grammar and pragmatics (contexts of communication). The multidimensional aural, visual and kinesthesic (oral for speaking and hand for writing) applies to vocabulary (the pieces of the aircraft) and to grammar (the motor of the aircraft). 52. How is that we do not notice those circuits? We speak our mother tongue pretty well. It is easy for us to understand and be understood, we listen and automatically understand, we speak, we read, we write. We are not aware of the difficulty of those tasks and we don’t remember the time we have spent learning them. We acquire an unconscious level of mastery in which we get a deep understanding of the whole system and parts of our language. 53. Does the size of the vocabulary and grammar matter? What is the scope of our goals? An airplane of paper can fly (only a piece, a small push and it flies a little), but it won’t get very far. With 1200-2000 words of vocabulary and basic grammar you can make a pretty good basic system. To fly higher and to read, you will need to extend your vocabulary to 7.000 to 9.000 words. Depending on where you want to go you will need a simple aircraft or a complex one. Yes, the size of the vocabulary matters. The motor of the aircraft is important to, so without a good control of the grammar you won’t go too far. Without the structure of the syntax, the pieces will lack connection and the engine won’t work. . 54. How is that children don’t confuse use from mention? Children are leading experts about learning languages. Children learn vocabulary and grammar intuitively when they use the language. Because of inertia and historical reasons the educational system focuses on mention: how grammar rules work. Babies first listen and speak, the educational system asks for reading and writing. What was first listen and speaking or printing? Guttenberg came later. The natural way is to use the language first and then deduce grammar rules. It seems that education is somehow confused by the importance of writing and reading. What is the historical cost of confusing the logic levels of use and mention when learning a second language? I don’t know what Sir Bertrand Russell should say about that.
  28. 28. X. THE "OPEN SOURCE" GENERATIVE MODEL. 55. What consists of the model? How to learn a foreign language? Modeling has two important aspects. One is to extract the mental software from experts. The second one is to transfer the extracted model and install it in other people. I will focus on the second one. Here I follow basically David Gordon’s model for installation with some little innovations. 0. Ecology. 1. Primary Motivator (Yours). Why is learning a foreign language important to you? 2. Laboratory of experiences and Primary Motivator: I consider all temporary lines present (experience, good practice makes perfect), past and future. Which are your past, present and future experiences about learning a foreign language? 3. Definition/ Criterion/ Evidence + Supporting Emotion (physiology +mental state) What is important for an expert when he/she learns a foreign language? What emotion (physiology and mental state) uses he/she when he/she learns? 4. Laboratory of experiences and Definition/Criterion/Evidence. All temporary lines. 5. Supporting Emotion. 6. Laboratory of experiences about supporting emotion. 7. Supporting Beliefs. Which is the system of beliefs of our expert/s? 8. Primary Strategy. How does he/she do when he/she learns? Which distinctions are critical? Is there and order? Are the processes simultaneous or sequential. 9. Enabling Cause-Effect. What makes it possible for the expert to learn? 10. Secondary Strategy. What do we do if our first strategy for learning doesn’t work? What do we do with mistakes? 11. Self assessment. Third Position. Do we record and evaluate our practice? Does it sound weird? Let’s see some examples about each of the distinctions with our admired polyglots. 0. Ecology. Learning a complex skill as to understand and express oneself in a foreign language involves some changes in your thinking and behavior that can affect your life? It makes sense to consider in advance which could be the consequences of these changes in other areas or your life. Make sure that you make the changes that you want to do. 1. Primary Motivator. Why is important to you to learn a foreign language? Do you want to travel abroad? Do you want to study using a foreign language? Are you interested in other cultures? Do you want to obtain more professional opportunities? Do you want to read scientific articles? Do you want to communicate with your partner if he/she speaks a foreign language? Do you want to increase your status and power? Do you want to overcome a challenge? Do you want to establish new relationships? The Primary Motivator is about you, not about the expert or the model. I insist, here matters your true reason.
  29. 29. Here they are some reasons for polyglots: o Michel Thomas. The innate drive to learn. o Luca Lampariello. Moving around the world in many languages (girlfriends, relationships, information, entertainment, education, etc). o Alexander Arguelles. A deep interest in other cultures. o Moses McCormick. Learning a foreign language is a way to extend your identity and project your personality through other cultures, so you will change your way of thinking. o Tim Ferris. He is a traveler and speaking foreign languages helps you to move around the world. o Powel Janulus. He wanted to identify himself with another cultures and languages. 2. Laboratory of experiences and Primary Motivator.: o Past. Take a look at you past experience. Have you ever needed to speak a foreign country? Is there any connection between knowing a foreign language and your primary motivator? o Present. Take a look at your present experience while you practice a foreign language? Is there a connection between your primary motivator and your actual practice? o Future. Imagine that you are in the future (bridge to the future). Is there some connection between your primary motivator and your future? Although David Gordon and Graham Dawes test the Primary Motivator only in the past I find useful to extend the test trough all temporary lines, especially in present because you will need a big deal of practice. 3. Criterion, Definition and Evidence. Here I introduce 3 concepts: o Criterion: What is really important for the expert when he/she learns a foreign language? o Definition: What is to master a foreign language? o Evidence: How do you know that you master a foreign language? Here we consider the expert’s criterion, definition and evidence. For instance:  Michel Thomas. Criterion: What is important to learn a second language? A relaxed and stress free environment. You don’t forget what you completely understand. Building first the structure (grammar) and later fill it with vocabulary. Immediate feed-back and auto-correction. Definition. What is to master a foreign language? Express yourself at a functional level. Here in Europa I’d rather say it’s a B1 level (Common
  30. 30. European Framework of reference for Languages), a survival level of expression and understanding. Evidence. How do you know that you master a foreign language? When you know how to build sentences and correct your own mistakes.  Luca Lampariello Criterion. What is important to learn a foreign language? Make things easy and take it easy. Definition. What is to master a foreign language? Understanding the second language and feeling comfortable to speak it. It is a process that goes through stages. In the intermediate level the curve of learning slows down, and it seems that you don’t progress. I’d rather say that although Luca considers all levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced) he moves at a very high standard probably a C2 level in Europe. Evidence. You feel comfortable when you speak and you understand.  Alexander Arguelles. Criterion. What is important to learn a foreign language? Well focused energy, intelligent methods and good materials. Definition. What is to master a foreign language? Express yourself fluently and correctly. Understanding. He moves at very high level probably C1-C2 in Europe. Evidence. You understand and you speak fluently and correctly.  Moses McCormick Criterion. What is important to learn a foreign language? To learn as soon as possible and find ways to have fun while learning, good materials and practicing with native speakers. Definition. I haven’t found any interview answering this question. Anyway, I bet I won’t be very difficult to complete it. Evidence. I haven’t found any interview answering this question. Anyway, I bet I won’t be very difficult to complete it.  Tim Ferris.
  31. 31. Criterion. What is important to learn a foreign language? To learn quickly. Methods and materials. Definition. What is to master a foreign language? Understand 100% and being understood 95%. I’d rather say, Tim considers a functional and survival level, let’s say B1 in Europe. Evidence. You understand and are understood. 4.- Laboratory of experiences and Criterion-Definition-Evidence. Now I want you to choose only one of the polyglots, test in your experience his Criterion-Definition-Evidence. Does it work in your past experience? Does it work in your present experience? Let’s go ahead and imagine that you are in the future, would the triad Criterion-Definition-Experience work in your experience? For instance, let’s say that you choose Michel Thomas and you are a beginner student: is important to you to built correct sentences , to get immediate feedback in a relaxed environment and to be capable of correcting your own mistakes? Does this Criterion-Definition-Evidence match your past, present and future experience? Make your learning funny, take it easy and make it easy, use good methods (strategies) and materials, study regularly, immediate feed-back, self- correction…etc. are without a doubt critical aspects. By the way, when you go to the school, you have to pass an exam to get an A or B or an F or whatever, but rarely the teacher explains you which strategies you have to follow to reach the required standards (We will get to that point –strategies- a little later, so it makes sense at least to me to model the systems and strategies the best polyglots use and adapt them to your own leaning style!) 5.- Supporting emotion. All experts agree: the emotional state is a key aspect when you learn a foreign language.  Michel Thomas. It is very important to create a relaxed and stress-free environment to avoid memories of school headed by fear. It’s through little and continuous progresses that students self-convince of his/her own capability, this way enthusiasm is generated.  Luca Lampariello. Passion, joy, patience are some of his supporting emotions.  Alexander Arguelles. He introduces a physiological innovation. He recommends listening and repeating out load while you are walking/exercicing.  Moses McCormick. He loves challenge, the more difficult the language to learn the better.  Tim Ferris. To him facing challenges is very important too.  Steve Kaufman speaks about passion and patience.  Assimil Method. Lessons are brief and sense of humor is present.
  32. 32.  Sugestopedy. It is a method created by Dr. Lozanov that paces breathing and baroque music while student learn vocabulary. Pupils assume new identities and roles and can choose new beliefs and behaviours.  A J Hoges. He proposes physical and mental (NLP swichss technique, submodalites) exercises at the beginning of the class.  Robert Dilts. For Robert emotional stage is so important as content. The neurophisiological predisposition is so important as the directions given during learning. He has a pretty good job about postures and physiology. The pupil himself can contrast which states are good for effective learning and which states are distracting or blocking. The emotional state has a physiological dimension (matrix of sensations in the body) and a cognitive dimension (beliefs). Dr. Paul E. Dennilson has created a system of physical exercises that can improve the coordination between brain hemispheres. Mexican Luz Maria Ibarra has also published a book about physiology and learning. The pioneers of the cognitive component of emotions were Lesley-Cameron Bandler and Michel Lebeau who addressed some techniques to gain control over emotions in their book “Emotional Hostage” . Wyatt Woodsmall says that emotions are the result of images, the tonality of our voice (internal dialogue) and sensations (some sensations cause other sensations to happen). We could distinguish the moments about emotional states: previous to learning, during learning and after learning (probably a good emotion about the future will help to consolidate learning). What is the emotion you lean on when you learn a foreign language? Joy? Challenge? Patience? The supporting emotion will help you to sustain the Criterion in your experience when you practice them in your temporary lines (past, present and future). Look for vivid and intense experiences until you can maintain the supporting emotion. 6.- Test Criterion-Definition-Evidence and Supporting Emotion in all temporary lines. Now you have to test in all temporary lines (past-present and future) all the previous components: Criterion-Definition-Evidence and Supporting Emotion. Do they help you to express your capability in each situation (past, present and future experiences)? When you satisfy the Criterion you help to satisfy Primary Motivator 7.- Supporting Beliefs. There are usually punchy statements, kind of motto or slogan. Look for in your own experience those beliefs. Here are some supporting beliefs of our geniuses.  Michel Thomas. You never forget what you completely understand. Teaching takes place in the now.  Luca Lampariello. Studying and learning is funny. Anyone can learn a foreign language following his method.  Alexander Arguelles. I you are a mature student, you’d better learn yourself.  Moses McCormick. Try to be a foreign version of yourself. Your personality and your mindset change when you learn foreign languages.
  33. 33.  Tim Ferris. Traditional education doesn’t work, so he proposes something better.  Steve Kaufman. Learning a foreign language is just a question of practice. 8.-Test your supporting beliefs in all temporary lines (past, present and future): Do they work? 9.- First strategy. A first strategy is what the experts do when they express their skill. A second strategy is what experts do when the firs strategy doesn’t work. Here we present different strategies for: 1. Phonetics. 2. Vocabulary. 3. Grammar. 4. Listening skill. 5. Speaking skill. 6. Reading skill. 7. Writing skill. 1. Phonetics.  Luca Lampariello’s phonetic strategy. Luca’s pronunciation is awesome, so native speakers usually get amazed when they listen to him. This way the motivation for him to follow is greater. Phonetics fascinates Luca. (1) He reads a phonetic introduction of the essential sounds (2) then he goes to practice: listening and reading at the same time, this way he creates a link between the written word and the sound. (3) Understanding sounds is important in order to reproduce sounds. He pays more attention on the musicality of the whole phrase rather than on the pronunciation of simple words. (4) Once we understand how phonetic works we are ready to speak . For instance, you can start little monologues with yourself, nobody is going to correct our mistakes but we are going to gain fluency. (5) Search somebody on the skype to practice the foreign languages, this way we get feedback. The critical moment to gain a good pronunciation is in the beginning, “A good start makes win the middle of the battle”, this way you are going to listen new sounds and reproduce them gradually. He get his awesome accent through listening and what he calls “emotional repetition” of words and sentences: he imagines himself as a one more character of the film he is watching and interacts with the other characters (It seems kind of NLP “second position” when yourself in someone’s shoes).  Powel Janulus phonetic strategy. He didn’t try to repeat words to say them correctly. Instead of listening carefully to the pronunciation he observed a native speaker and reproduced his/her facial expressions, movements and gestures –In NLP putting yourself in other’s skin is known as “second position”- (Was he somehow aware of the physiological phonetic cues? I don’t know, maybe). Then he started to speak and he memorized the feeling he experienced while pronouncing those words. He used to mentally record words in his own notation
  34. 34. system. He had his own notation code of pronunciation for all the languages he knew (he spoke 28 languages). This code of pronunciation was different from the one used for spelling. So he visualized in two different languages (maybe you can use different colors) one for pronouncing and another one for spelling. A great idea! Maybe some of you know what IPA (an international code for pronouncing) is, it’s a kind of phonetic alphabet, most of dictionaries use it, but I don’t find it very useful because it doesn’t work on keyboards, and even if you somehow can reproduce it on your keyboard you lose a lot of time. So, I find a great idea to create your own pronouncing notation.  Ramón Campayo’s phonetic strategy. Campayo has his own notation system too. The international code (IPA) in my opinion doesn’t work as well as it should, so to me creating your own notation system for the sounds makes sense. Campayo uses sound associations and he creates weird and funny stories that allow him to associate some sound of his first languages (Spanish) with the sounds of other languages.  Pimsleur. You just listen and repeat sentences. 2. Vocabulary.  Powel Janulus’ vocabulary strategy. Powel Janulus learnt Pakistaní living with a Pakistani family. One day he watched a mentally handicapped speaking Pakistaní, so he decided he could learn too. Robert Dilts modeled Powel Janulus’ vocabulary strategy, he distinguishes between object and actions, adjectives, adverbs and phrases. You need to look for a native speaker and ask him/her to make a list of 6 objects (door, chair, etc) , 6 actions (run, jump, hold, etc) and ask him/her to say the word, draw, point and execute the action in the case of verbs. Student try to imitate the pronunciation and expression of the native speaker in second position, trying to say the word at first looking at the word, and later without looking. The students are asked to pronounce the words when they are shown and to write them down when they listen. In the case of verbs students will take action. In the case of adverbs and adjectives similarities and contrasts will allow to make distinctions (dancing fast, walking slowly, green pencil, green chair, red chair..etc).  Ramón Campayos’ vocabulary strategy. Let’s say that in a short period of time you are going to travel abroad. Which words would you take in the backpack? With this premise Ramón creates a list of vocabulary with his own transcription for sounds. His hearing strategy is to find a similarity with his own native language, the he creates extravagant visual stories to remember the sound, this way he fix in his long term memory the sound of words.  Tim Ferris’ vocabulary strategy. Tim seeks the 500 most frequently used words in the spoken language. His approach is statistical. While it’s pretty easy to find that kind of list for written language, it’s not so easy for spoken language. It’s really a shame but there is no statistical approach for spoken language.  Pimsleurs’ vocabulary strategy. The Pimsleur method is based on spaced repetition. The first lessons introduce translation of dialogues in your native tongue. This method is very useful for the listening and speaking skills. You learn to read later. Often the words are repeated through the lessons. So, there is a circuit for listening and speaking and another one for reading. The drawback is
  35. 35. that written texts are not included. I like this method but you need to look a solution for reading and writing to avoid became just illiterate.  Luca Lampariello’s vocabulary strategy. Luca usually works with the Assimil method. On each page you can read the translation into your native tongue. He closes the circle: listening and reading, listening without reading, listening and speaking, and then he translates (writing) from 2L to 1L and from 1L to 2L. This strategy allows him to retain what you read, listen and write.  A. J. Hoges’s vocabulary strategy. He explains verbally and provides written material about the vocabulary.  Lozanov method’s vocabulary strategy. The accelerated learning is based on a state of relaxation created by the pace of breathing and baroque music. There is an active concert music that actives the brain frequency (allegros), the material is read and pupil contain breathing while the teacher recites. In passive concerts baroque music is used, pupils listen to the vocabulary while the music sound in the background and breathe at the same pace that word are recited, the contain the breathing while the information is provided taking breathing (taking are in and out) during the breaks. Pupils try to visualize images too during the passive concert.  Steve Kaufman’s vocabulary strategy. Repeated listening is the key (some time he repeats twenty times). He reads about topic of his personal interest. You can learn the vocabulary better if you know how it sounds and if you read it. So, it’s better to learn vocabulary in the context of a sentence.  Michel Thomas’ vocabulary strategy. This teacher used to begin with basic vocabulary taking advantage of the common family between 1L and 2L (for instance English and Deutsche have an indo-european root, French and Spanish have a lof of words in common because the two of them are bad Latin). He puts a special focus on verbs, because they are the nucleus of the sentences. Frequent used phrases are studied too. Spoken active vocabulary is about 1500 words. It’s funny but you need at least 7.000 words if you want to start reading. Can we somehow design a method and combine some of those tips and procedures? I use to create a data base with an open source software “Teach 2000” you can write the words and its translation, you can put a phrase to remember it, you can put your own audio (I usually put my own pronunciation a native speaker’s one would be better), an image… you can review following the Pimsleur method (spaced repetition). You can use baroque music in the background…you can evaluate your results. Is it possible to test your pronunciation, no my friend, nothing in this world is perfect… sometimes because we just don’t imagine solutions. Not perfect, but pretty good. 3. Grammar. Grammar studies the rules and principles governing the use of languages and the organization of words in a sentence. Sintaxis is the part of the grammar that studies the ways words combine and the relationship between them. Basically we can reduce grammar to the order in which words are put together and how verbs are conjugated.  Michel Thomas’ grammar strategy. The master teacher followed a method developed through his lifetime to concentrate learning in about 40-50 hours. He focused on mastering basic grammar and vocabulary. Classes were intensive 8-