1. Contrasting skills with knowledge.
The so-called "knowledge of the language" is the possession of four skills:
- perception by ear;
- speaking (ability to express oneself in a foreign language);
The first two can be united under the common label "speaking".
2. The subject of the TravelAndChat method is the training of speaking skills.
The method ignores reading and writing. This does not mean that reading or writing is not important.
It’s just that these are other skills that are not related to speaking skills and they should be trained using other methods and at other times.
It is assumed that the student is fully focused on speaking training until reaching a conversational level.
3. Two stages of skill training.
The technique distinguishes between two stages in the training of a skill:
- mastering the basics to the level of use with pleasure;
- skill training in the process of using.
The first stage should be as short as possible. Otherwise, the student may despair or get bored and lose interest.
Imagine that for two weeks you are trying to learn how to ride a bicycle, by training 10 minutes a day.
It is very likely that you will not learn to keep your balance during this time and decide that the bike is not yours.
TravelAndChat offers a basic course (browser application) for training speaking skills, which is designed for about 70 hours if you do 10 hours a day or 200 hours if you do one hour a day.
TravelAndChat also offers applications with relatively short and uncomplicated, but at the same time, interesting content (jokes, quotes, proverbs) for training a skill in the process of using.
4. Speaking training: listening and repeating sentences.
At the initial stage, speaking training is reduced to listening and repeating phrases (mainly questions and answers).
This is not an ideal form of training, but the only one possible for a beginner.
The phrases should be repeated aloud and the student should imagine himself as a participant in the real dialogue.
Also, peeping into the text during the listening process is completely excluded.
The direct method got its name because its creators sought to create a direct association between foreign word and concept, bypassing the translation.
The TravelAndChat method using the Direct method adds one more meaning to the word direct:
the skill is trained directly by the corresponding action. The skill of speaking is trained by speaking.
5. A large number of repetitions with a small amount of basic vocabulary.
The basic course contains about 600 phrases composed of just over 500 of the most frequent words.
Each phrase should be repeated 30-50 times. Ideally, all phrases are just memorized.
6. Tourist orientation.
The basic course contains a large number of tourist vocabulary: hotel, bus, train, plane, etc.
It is assumed that the main target group of the method is people planning a trip abroad.
This does not mean that if you do not plan to go anywhere, then you cannot study on this site.
All materials are free and the only thing you need is motivation.
7. Spaced repetition.
Spaced repetition (repetition with increasing intervals) according to the method is a prerequisite for success.
The student must repeat the lessons of the basic course according to the following scheme:
- after each lesson, the student repeats the previous lesson, then repeats the current lesson and only then proceeds to the next;
- after each lesson multiple of five, the student turns back four lessons and repeats them and the current one;
- after each lesson multiple of ten, the student returns nine lessons back and repeats them and the current one;
- Ideally, the entire course should be completed in 5 days, and the last 2 days are devoted to repetition starting from the first lesson.
8. Limited use of translation.
The method considers translation as a necessary evil.
Upon first acquaintance with a new sentence, the student can and should see the translation of the sentence and unfamiliar words.
But in the future, the use of translation is completely excluded.
The student listens to phrases without translation.
9. Focusing on question answer patterns.
What is conversation? It is mostly exchange of questions and answers.
Our Basic course consists of 25 lessons. From them 22 contains questions like Who? Where? How many? and so on.