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Every person that has studied a language for months or even for many years and then has traveled to a country where they speak that language has concluded the same thing: “I can understand a good amount of what people say to me, but it is much harder to speak and make myself understood”. There are many reasons for this problem, it is easier to listen than to articulate; it is easier to understand a well-built sentence than to build one on the spot, and it is easier to relate words you hear using context clues than to try and create them.
The Graf Method is designed for adults who can relate sentence structure to their own language. As opposed to the vocabulary or the total-immersion methods, the Graf Method is based in understanding how a language works, and developing a simplified set of tools that will result in fast conversational and translational skills. It is inspired by the Grammar-Translation method, a system that scholars have used for centuries for studying Latin and Ancient Greek; but with a modern approach that focuses more on spoken language.
Some very common methods usually underestimate an adult brain’s capacity to understand language structure. It makes no sense to use the same approach we use for teaching young kids who are still developing their native language skills. Adults don’t have lots of free time, but they have well-developed speech skills, and a solid language method needs to take that into consideration and use it in their favor.
What the Graf Method does is provide students with a comprehensive set of tools necessary to communicate in present, past, and future tense; express conditionals and commands; and know basic vocabulary about every topic that is common in modern life conversations. All of it is presented in a progressive way so you can assimilate easily. There is no business/scientific/medical specific Spanish, there is only being able or not able to express what you want to communicate so you can hold a full conversation, and our goal is that you develop this ability.
The complete Graf method at Berges Institute is divided into 5 courses. Before you register for classes you have to take the Placement Test, either online or at the institute, to see what level of comprehension you have already developed (unless you are a beginner; in that case you do not need to take the test). You can read the course descriptions and/or sign up online.