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One of the things that differentiate Transparent Language from many of our competitors is the method we employ to teach adult language learners a new language. Our approach, the declarative method, is based on research about how the brain functions, and how best to take advantage of that and apply it to learning a new language. We’ll cover the detailed science behind this in an upcoming blog post, but in a nutshell, your brain learns things using two complimentary systems: declarative memory (words and phrases) and procedural memory (patterns such as grammar rules).
Language is more than just vocabulary, of course, but the more vocabulary you know, the easier everything else gets. That’s why we focus on declarative learning, on building a reservoir of vocabulary, first in language acquisition. If you don’t know the word for “hospital”, knowing how to conjugate “to need” (a function of procedural memory) will not by itself get you to the nearest clinic in an emergency. “Hospital” by itself… probably will. It may not result in Shakespearean-level eloquence, but language is, first and foremost, about communicating your wants, needs, and intentions. And once you do know how to conjugate “to need”, you’ll be able to pair it with “help”, “doctor”, “directions”, “chocolate”, and all those other great bits of vocabulary you’ve amassed in your reservoir.
That’s why all of our products are focused on laying down a large foundation of words and phrases first, and then building on that. For general language learning, we use a basic and broadly flexible set of content. If we know your focus, your reason for learning the language, then we can hone in on more specialized vocabulary and integrate that into the learning experience. Our products designed for K-12 and higher education allow an instructor to create specific sets of content to integrate into the learning environment. Consumers can do likewise with our language products designed for individuals.
In the video below, Transparent Language CEO Michael Quinlan discusses our methodology further:
The best part about taking the declarative approach is that you start to see results fast. Declarative memory acquires new knowledge faster than procedural memory. Naturally, that helps on the motivation front, too. 🙂
Educators read more: Declarative Acceleration in the classroom.