Fifteen years ago, Maurice Hazan came to the U.S. from France and began teaching French to high school students in St. Louis. He quickly ascertained that, although students could say words in French, not even the best students could speak the language or carry on the simplest of conversations.
Having grown up in a multicultural household and environment, Maurice learned to speak five languages when he was young. He asked, "Do children learn to read before they learn to speak?" The answer is, "No." So, why do school language classes teach students a new language by introducing words in text form? He had an idea. You see, Maurice is also an artist. He wondered if he could create pictures to help students learn and remember words and ultimately, learn to speak. And the "picture for each word" concept was born.
Maurice has created tens of thousands of images to represent all parts of speech. By doing so, he has created a unique and natural way for people to learn to speak, as he has replicated the language acquisition process of little children.
For two years, Maurice "tested out" this new method at his St. Louis high school. The next seven years were spent creating materials for kindergarten through high school. He created materials for 8 languages, with primary emphasis on Spanish and French. He sold these programs to thousands of schools. Teachers were amazed at how quickly students learned to speak. Students surprised themselves and loved the method because they can speak the language...and because it is fun to learn!
The Problem with Current Language Classes
Most people who take 3-5 years of foreign language instruction in high school, and 1-2 years more in college, admit that they are unable to speak it. This simply should not happen! It is a result of poor methods and inadequate materials.
The problem is that language is not learned - it is acquired! Most schools teach language "information" to prepare students for exams, tests, and other tasks. This actually prevents students from learning to speak. And most schools are not even aware of the problem. We believe that students and adults simply want to be able to communicate in a new language. We also believe that high school and college courses can't help them learn to communicate. That's because students need to acquire, not learn, the new language.
The QTalk Approach
The goal of QTalk is to launch a student into functional competency, to master 250-300 words and be able to speak. Language experts say that immigrants who came to this country were able to function quite well by mastering this number of words. The QTalk method delivers this result in a matter of weeks.
The QTalk method teaches students the fundamentals of the target language through a "picture for each word" system that accelerates the semantic memory process. Visual symbols represent all parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc.). Students learn to associate a word or expression in the new language with its corresponding symbol, and instruction is delivered in a series of small and manageable steps. From the first lesson, students are able to speak in complete sentences.
The symbols help the learner encode information (vocabulary) into long-term memory. Once it is there, the memory cue is no longer needed. Over time, the instructor weans students off their reliance on the symbols, and students are able to produce genuine sentences without them.
The QTalk method of instruction has received favorable reaction from teachers and students. We've spent the last 5 years traveling across the country, attending foreign language conferences and speaking with teachers who haven't used our program...and with teachers who have.
For teachers who've never used the program, Maurice has demonstrated how quickly the method works. He teaches them to speak in a new language in 20 minutes - teachers can say up to 30 sentences...and know what they are saying.
Teachers who are already using QTalk method consistently tell us they love the results. In nearly every case, they are ecstatic about the effectiveness of our method of language instruction. They say, unequivocally, that they have never used anything so successful, and their students love the program!
QTalk accelerates the semantic memory process, teaches students to speak in sentences before they can read and write makes true language speakers better than any learning system available.