Invented by our founder, Maximilian Berlitz, the Berlitz Method is the first-known immersive teaching method and has shaken up traditional language learning styles since its inception.

How the Berlitz Method developed

Like many great discoveries, the Berlitz Method came about because of chance, specific circumstances, and a creative mind. While teaching in Providence, Maximilian Berlitz hired Joly, a young Frenchman as his assistant. However, upon Joly’s arrival in the U.S., Berlitz found out that his new assistant did not speak a single word of English.

During this time, Berlitz fell very ill and had no choice but to let Joly take over his teaching duties. Berlitz instructed Joly to use gestures to act out his meaning, encouraging him to use vocabulary in context so his French students could begin to understand the meaning.

After six weeks, Berlitz returned to the classroom expecting his students to be far behind in their language development. Instead, to his surprise, his students were more engaged than ever, communicating in an animated exchange of questions and answers – in perfect French!

Having been forced to learn from a French-only speaker accelerated their learning. As a result, a completely new and highly effective method of teaching was created.

The Berlitz Method today

The Berlitz Method is still the most effective way to learn a language and continues to be used today.

The key elements of the method are:

  • Immersive. Your instructor teaches and addresses you in your target language only. Language is presented in context of real-life situations with a focus on grammar and vocabulary.
  • Goal orientated. Each lesson is task-based with specific learning goals. This allows you to put your new language to use in actual situations right away.
  • Present, practice and perform. To help you absorb your new language, every lesson follows this structure. New content is presented by your instructor, you take part in both guided practice and general practice, and are then encouraged to perform what you have learnt.

How learning with Berlitz works

When you inquire about building your language skills and cultural understanding with Berlitz, you’ll follow a few steps to help us define your learning path to ensure you’re matched to the correct proficiency level and can quickly progress towards your goals.

We call this the Berlitz Learning Cycle, and it’s designed to act as a quality assurance tool for you as you work through your studies.

We’ll find out your situation, your specific goals, your proficiency level and what you want to achieve out of your language and culture program.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Getting to know your needs Once we understand your aims, we’ll clearly explain the training options that would suit you best and how they can help you achieve your language and cultural understanding goals.
  2. Orientation We’ll explain how it all works and help you get started. You’ll meet your language instructors, get to know your way around the learning center, receive your program materials, and learn about our platforms.
  3. Reviewing your progress We’ll check you’re on the right path to achieving your learning goals, successfully retaining what you learn and give you any extra learning support you need to embrace your new language and culture with confidence.
  4. Testing your achievements We’ll measure your understanding and skills so you can see how much you’ve progressed before moving to the next level.
  5. Certifying your achievements You’ll receive a certificate to celebrate your accomplishments!
  6. Progressing to the next level We’ll check you’re happy with your achievements and advance you to the next language proficiency level.

Putting the Berlitz Method into practice