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.

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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 the 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.
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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

Frequently asked questions

The Berlitz Method lets you approach a new language in a natural way. During your Berlitz course, you only speak and hear your target language – which means you learn it as though you were in the country where the language is spoken. This immersive experience allows you to overcome any inhibitions about speaking and apply your new skills in everyday situations.

The Berlitz Method provides a systematic approach that focuses on meeting specific goals and draws on the latest findings and innovations in linguistic research. Our instructors also receive intensive training – in addition to special learning techniques, they apply methods that boost your self-confidence and motivation to learn a language, encourage you to speak, and keep a firm focus on your personal goals.

Grammar is always learned in a communication- and topic-based context and internalized through structured practice. Our trainers make certain to strike a balance between fluency and accuracy of expression.