Balingua

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Balingua

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Making the foreign language « familiar » and accessible

Balingua is a revolutionary way of learning a foreign language. By studying the mechanisms of language acquisition, we see today that many of these mechanisms and processes are common to all languages. Traditional grammar and didactics usually emphasize differences existing between linguistic systems (phonetic, phonological, grammatical, lexical, orthographical differences, etc.) whereas Balingua is grounded on mechanisms and processes common to different languages. In this way, the “foreign” language quickly becomes familiar.

A 6-year-old child has indeed acquired and masters his mother-tongue orally and, at the same time, he has unconsciously developed a linguistic competence which is not limited to his mother-tongue. This competence is made up of different neurolinguistic mechanisms working in all languages.

Encouraging the fluidity of the learning process

Why are beginners usually drowned and frustrated from the very start of their learning? This can be explained by the fact that they are exposed from the beginning and in a very short time to a lot of new elements asking a lot of concentration and memorization: pronunciation, vocabulary, numbers, conjugations, declensions, idiomatic expressions, etc. Without any preliminary syntactic basis, sounds, words and grammatical rules require an additional memory effort. In traditional learning methods, complex rules (conjugations, declensions) are taught early and in a very detailed way. This overloads the learner’s memory and brings frustration.

With Balingua, the learner starts by discovering the syntactic bases, which enables him to get used to the language without overloading his memory with complex grammatical rules. The latter will progressively find their places in a basis of syntactic constructions, well grounded into the learner’s memory.

Evolving through 4 boosters

The Balingua method does not make the usual distinction between simple clauses (for beginners and in-between levels) and complex clauses (for other levels). From the very first booster, the learner is brought into contact with complex structures. On the neurolinguistic level, these latter are just the combination of two “simple” clauses thanks to a "word" called complementizer. The Balingua method does not introduce any hierarchy between "the weather is nice. I go and have a walk" – two simple clauses – and "I go and have a walk because the weather is nice". A beginner is perfectly able to produce such a clause as long as he has been taught the simple "because". New difficulties may arise during the process of complexification. They are dealt progressively with. From the very first unit of the Balingua method, the learner tackles with the different grammatical tenses (past, present, future) as well as with the bases of the complex clause (subordinated and relative clause, indirect discourse). No doubts that this revolution disturbs traditional ways of learning languages. In some cases, the future tense is taught from the 2nd year of study of a foreign language only! And yet, this learning is no problem at all for the learner.

This way of teaching enables the learner to start speaking in a dialog very quickly and to be able to get by in the studied language.

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