Listening classes

The Automatic Language Growth method is currently being implemented in only one program: at the AUA Language Center in Bangkok, where it’s used to teach the Thai language.

This leaves those who want to use the ALG approach to pick up another language somewhere else having to find ways to implement it for themselves.

This can be difficult, but there are more opportunities than ever to get comprehensible input in one’s target language using media like TV and videos online, and, with the help of tutors and techniques like Crosstalk, create input that’s highly understandable as a beginner.

It’s also possible to apply ALG for oneself by attending classes at a language school that doesn’t specifically follow the method as the AUA Thai Program does.

For this to work, the school has to have listening classes that you can attend on their own that focus on developing comprehension in a way that’s compatible with the ALG approach.

That means that they allow you to listen without having to practice speaking or reading, the language is made understandable through context without translation or explanations, and explicit study is avoided—meaning, not language, is the focus.

Ideally, the entire time you are hearing teachers who are native speakers of the language, not other students trying to practice it.

Unfortunately, listening classes that are compatible with an ALG approach of no conscious study and practice of language seem to be exceedingly rare.

There are some other comprehensible input-based approaches such as TPRS, but classes using this method appear to be largely confined to American public schools, they typically use things like translation to get across meaning, and may require reading and speaking from early on.

ALG-compatible or not, classes that focus on listening comprehension appear to be uncommon.

In Toronto some time ago, I was walking by an English language school when a sign that advertised English listening classes caught my eye.

Out of curiosity, I went in and inquired about it.

I was told there was actually was a high demand for these classes, so much so that they had to turn people away.

So why are there not more listening classes of any sort?

Listening as a skill seems to be relatively ignored in both research and practice in the area of second language acquisition.

At the AUA Thai Program in Bangkok, the vast majority of students do not actually follow the ALG method.

They also study and practice the language outside of the program and at other schools.

The reason that many of them attend AUA is because the classes offer Thai listening practice at their level in a way that is interesting and entertaining.

This kind of compelling comprehensible input is something which seems to be difficult for them to find elsewhere, inside or outside of a classroom.

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