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Foreigners Learn English In Eight Weeks On Campus

Foreigners Learn English In Eight Weeks On Campus image
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Something pretty close to miraculous in the world of language has been goint on here.
Foreign students are being taught to speak English in a period of eight Weeks!
Of course, they don't sound like Clifton Fadimán when they get through — but they speak highly passable English (know 1,800 words) and are able to shift for themselves verbally without lapsing back into the native tongue.
This little piece of oral magic is being worked six times a year at the University's English Language Institute at the Rackham Building under supervision of Dr. Charles C. Fries. 3.500 Benefited
So far, 3,500 foreign students have benefited by the intensive course which, as Dr. Fries puts it, has perhaps progressed further in this field than other courses because it was started earlier."
On the theory level, the teaching here attempts to give students a mastery of both the English sound and structure systems.
This boils down to about 45 hours a week of hammering at pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and practice with same-plus a certain amount of homework.
Ninety per cent of the students are Latin Americans (accustomed to using only five vowel sounds instead of English's 11); five per cent are Chinese, and the other five per cent are from "all over.”
"All over" means Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Greece, and the Institute has proper English teaching materials on hand for students from each. Most Finish In Time
One happy circumstance is that students are not graded. They simply receive periodic reports on their progress during the course. About two-thirds of those who start accomplish what the Institute sets out to do. The other one third is invited back for a linguistic return engagement, if they are interested
Mostly, the condensed course attracts professional people-physicians who have come here to learn American methods and who need the language to learn with, engineers, lawyers, and others.
Almost all take the eight-week course as a preliminary to graduate study of one sort or another.
Foreign doctors and technicians are far easier to teach than foreign lawyers, according to Institute staff members. Not because they're more tractable than their brothers-in-law, but because many scientific words are similar in all languages.
Basic to the system is the oral approach with the help of lessons on recordings and what is known as "pattern practice." .
The collapsed course skips the discussion of English as a language, which is a part of traditional teaching programs. Study Through Imitation
The student learns to speak English words largely through imitation. When he runs into trouble with any given word, he is asked to use it in short sentences, then in longer and longer ones, until, finally, he is worrying so hard about the rest of the sentence he pronounces the troublesome word correctly without thinking about
The students spend all their mealtimes in English conversation, indicating how thoroughgoing the work is. This is in addition to five hours per week of after-dinner talk with one instructor for each five students.
At table, nobody says, "Por favor, podria darme la mantequilla."
It's strictly, "Please pass the butter."