Nearly everyone who has studied a language for a considerable amount of time and then traveled to a country where they speak that language has concluded the same thing: “I can understand a majority of what people say to me, but find it difficult to get my point across”. Some of the reasons this may occur:
- It’s easier to listen than to articulate
- It’s easier to understand a sentence quickly than to construct an accurate sentence immediately
- It’s easier to create sentences using contextual clues than to try and create them off the top of your head
An approach to relate sentence structure to the language the adult already knows
The Graf Method is designed for adults to relate the new language’s sentence structure to their own language. This is opposed to the vocabulary or total-immersion methods. The Graf Method is based on understanding how a language works and then developing a simplified set of tools to improve conversational and translational skills. It is based on the Grammar-Translation method; a system that scholars have used for centuries to study Latin and Ancient Greek. However, our method takes a modern approach that focuses more on spoken language.
Adults have no time for games
Many common methods currently being used typically underestimate an adult’s brain capacity to understand language structure. Therefore, it makes no sense to use the same approach that’s used for teaching young kids who are still developing their native language skills. Adults don’t have much spare time, but they do have well-developed speech skills. A solid language method needs to take that into consideration and use it in their favor.
A basic set of rules
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 that’s commonly used in modern day conversations. These tools are presented in simplified manner so you can absorb and apply them easily. We don’t focus on technical words in Spanish (medical, business, etc), but instead we focus on helping you express what you want to get across in conversational Spanish.
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 (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.