The Declarative Method
Transparent Language emphasizes a "declarative first" approach to language learning. Our approach, the Declarative Method, is based on research about how the brain functions, and how best to take advantage of that when learning a new language. Neuroscientists have found that two brain systems - the declarative memory and the procedural memory - enable people to learn, retain, and produce language.
- Declarative memory collects vocabulary words, phrases, and even short sentences.
- Procedural memory manages the skill of applying grammar rules and producing language.
Linguists agree that the key to second language acquisition is first building a declarative foundation - a ready supply of words and phrases locked into the declarative memory. Successfully memorizing a sufficient number of vocabulary terms is a big part of language proficiency, especially at beginner levels. Moreover, a larger lexical reservoir also makes using the target language more satisfying for the learner and makes learning procedural language skills easier. We design our products to facilitate declarative learning as the foundation for language skill-building.
Declarative Acceleration expands on the Declarative Method by blending technology with human instruction to deliver stronger learning and sustainment outcomes in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Our Transparent Connect courses and our products for schools and institutions are built on this simple but exciting premise.
By customizing the process to each student, a well-crafted computer program can drive memorization of words, phrases, and other fixed chunks of language more quickly and reliably than a human instructor alone. A savvy human instructor can then exploit that larger lexical reservoir to build language skills and performance.
In a nutshell:
- The instructor assigns and tracks student learning of custom sets of lexical content (words, phrases, and other important chunks of the target language).
- Computers (laptops, web, mobile etc.) do what they do better than human instructors alone, which is to help the student rapidly learn the assigned lexical content, and constantly keep those items fresh in the student's memory. Good computer programs can do this with compelling activities and knowledge of exactly which items are learned or unlearned, easier or harder, fresh or less fresh, for each student at all times.
- Class time, whether in a physical or virtual classroom, is then used for what human instructors do better than computers, which is to organize and deliver appropriate, well-crafted peer- and task-based activities that build communicative skills and confidence.
Declarative Acceleration delivers speed, simplicity, and robustness to the student by means of computer technology, face-to-face instruction, and curriculum-aligned content creation. All of this is made possible, in turn, by our years of investment in specialized technology that makes the creation and implementation of all those complex and sophisticated resources economical, timely, and convenient.
More information about our learning methodologies and pedagogy are available in the white papers and blog articles below:
Declarative Acceleration in the Classroom
Language Learning with the Declarative Method
The Five Principles of Effective Second Language Vocabulary Instruction
The Impact of Language Resources on Student Success in Higher Education