Our communicative method approaches learning with a focus on the four core language skills: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. A crucial element is students’ enthusiasm and motivation, which we strive to reinforce continually.
Students receive personalized reading, listening, and writing assignments to practice at home. These may include current news articles, literature, TV and movies, TED talks, music—always authentic content tailored to students’ current level and interests.
Classes are a combination of structured and free-flowing conversation based on the homework assignment and a broad variety of topics of discussion, aimed at providing students with increasing fluency and confidence in their speaking abilities. The specific approach is tailored to students’ exact needs and learning objectives. Teachers introduce new vocabulary in the context of conversation and correct mistakes in grammar and pronunciation.
The vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation items that are most important for the student to learn are recorded through a proprietary app and become the content for students to master over time. They are organized into lessons and can be reviewed with fun games and activities, such as Crosswords, Flashcards, and the original Grammar Rush game.
The combination of authentic materials geared to students’ interests, engaging conversation with native-speaking professionals, and context-based, personalized content is what makes our Natural methodology stand apart.
Even with the efficiency of the communicative method used in our classes, beginning students have trouble understanding authentic materials and participating in spontaneous conversations. For this reason we decided to create specific teaching materials for students that have little or no knowledge of the language. One of the defining characteristics of NLI’s method for beginners is the vocabulary we teach, using the most frequent words employed in oral and written communication. In this way we are able to provide our students with the tools that enable them to actually communicate in the shortest possible time.
Each lesson includes a game or an original and interesting activity that not only reinforces the vocabulary and the essential grammar framework but also requires the students to express their ideas by creating their own questions and answers. In other words, from the start beginning students are actually communicating with their teacher and classmates, using phrases that they create in real time. For the beginning student in particular the more concentrated the learning hours the better, so as to minimize the natural tendency to forget and the need to relearn vocabulary and other skills.