About The Foreign Service Institute Method
The Foreign Service Institute and Loquella
Loquella developed the language course based off the well-respected Foreign Service Institute's language lessons. The method Loquella uses to teach you languages is not new, the Foreign Service Institute has been using this method for over 30 years to teach thousands of serious language students. Loquella simply developed the language tool that you use to view and hear the Foreign Service Institute course, and we also improved on the Foreign Service Institute system by adding Dialects Interviews for the Spanish lessons. The Foreign Service Institute method emphasizes language drills and pronunciation drills to ensure that language students retain and comprehend all material before moving forward.
"The Foreign Service Institute is the Federal Government's primary training institution for officers and support personnel of the U.S. foreign affairs community, preparing American diplomats and other professionals to advance U.S. foreign affairs interests overseas and in Washington."
- U.S. Department of State website.
The main method for teaching used by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), and also used in all the language courses offered by Loquella.com, is called "guided imitation". If you listen to the way you speak your native language, you will notice that you do not use the exact same variation of common phrases in every context. Instead, you change your way of speaking to adjust to each individual situation. Therefore, this language course is designed to help you master the foreign language in most situations that you could run into in daily life in a new country.
The Foreign Service Institute method focuses heavily on teaching proper pronunciation. We focus the first language lessons in each level on pronunciation due to the importance that correct pronunciation will have on your ability to master the new language.
Basic Language Dialogs
The basic dialogs are the core of each language lesson. These dialogs are recreations of the real situations a language student is most likely to encounter, and the vocabulary and sentences are those he or she is most likely to need.
In the first language lessons, new vocabulary is introduced mainly in the basic dialogs. Sometimes, in the illustrations of grammar points, new words are introduced in order to fill out patterns needed to do the exercises. Each new word will reappear many times later in the language course to help you associate each word in many different contexts.
Language Pattern Drills and Grammar
The basic dialogs are the theme throughout the language course, and the language drills are the variations of those dialogs. Patterns of basic dialogs are expanded and changed in the drills.
Pattern drills are designed to allow you to practice the sentences and phrases you have learned, and the grammar tips are there to provide further explanation. At the beginning of each drill you will be given a basic sentence or dialog, then various kinds of drills that offer variations of those basic sentences and dialogs.
The language course consists of listening to and repeating basic sentences that illustrate the grammar point that is to be learned. This structure will give you enough clues to understand and use the pattern correctly in the drills that follow. These drills are mainly exercises that use substitutions, responses, and translations that highlight the grammar points that are being covered.
There are four kinds of language drills in each unit. Two are designed to vary some basic dialogs within the vocabulary you have already learned. The other two are oriented toward the structure of the language to provide coverage of important patterns.
Notes On Specific Language Lessons
The Spanish language lessons are set in a mythical country called Surlandia. A mythical country is used to represent a typical Latin American country due to the diversity of Spanish speaking countries.
You Choose Your Level Of Difficulty
No matter which language tool you decide to use, you choose your level of difficulty. You can skip ahead or continue to repeat a language lesson until you feel comfortable with it. Using the MP3 downloads, you can buy just the level you want, or the complete 50 hour package. Using the free online language tool, you can skip forward or backwards through each language lesson until you find your perfect level of difficulty.
Learning Dialects Using The Language Tool
As anyone who has tried to learn a language will tell you, it's one thing to understand and respond to a question in a foreign language when it is spoken in a slow and well-annunciated manner. It's completely different to listen and repeat when actual people are talking in real dialects. As you get deeper into any language you will start to hear that people speaking the same language have very different dialects. That's why we provide sections that allow you to hear dialects used in various parts of the world.
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