Invented by our founder, Maximilian Berlitz, the Berlitz Method is the first-known immersive teaching method and has shaken up traditional language learning styles since its inception.
How the Berlitz Method developed
Like many great discoveries, the Berlitz Method came about because of chance, specific circumstances, and a creative mind. While teaching in Providence, Maximilian Berlitz hired Joly, a young Frenchman as his assistant. However, upon Joly’s arrival in the U.S., Berlitz found out that his new assistant did not speak a single word of English.
During this time, Berlitz fell very ill and had no choice but to let Joly take over his teaching duties. Berlitz instructed Joly to use gestures to act out his meaning, encouraging him to use vocabulary in context so his French students could begin to understand the meaning.
After six weeks, Berlitz returned to the classroom expecting his students to be far behind in their language development. Instead, to his surprise, his students were more engaged than ever, communicating in an animated exchange of questions and answers – in perfect French!
Having been forced to learn from a French-only speaker accelerated their learning. As a result, a completely new and highly effective method of teaching was created.