berlitz method

method of learning foreign languages

After the American teacher Maximilian D. Berlitz (Württemberg 1852 New York 1921).

As director of a trade school in the US, Berlitz developed a method of teaching a language that did not rely on a thorough understanding of the language rules, but on a rapid acquisition of the colloquial language.

In 1878 he founded his own school in Providence, the capital of the state of Rhode Island. The success was so great that he could immediately start schools in New York and Paris.

In principle, only teachers for whom the language taught was their mother tongue worked in the Berlitz schools. Berlitz assumed that a foreign language is best learned in a country where it is spoken, but that not everyone has the opportunity to spend a long time abroad.

The school therefore had to create an artificial piece of foreign land.
Strong expansion took place through his cousin Harrison Berlitz (1873-1932). Today, there are still 300 Berlitz centers and 26 associated translation agencies worldwide.

Charles Berlitz (°New York 1914), a grandson of Maximilian, graduated from Yale in 1936. Under his leadership, the company boomed during World War II when American soldiers had to be trained in all possible languages.

Later he became fascinated by all kinds of mysteries that plague our world.

In 1974 he published De Bermuda Triangle, about an area in the Atlantic Ocean where a remarkable number of ships and planes would disappear, and in 1980 Het Roswellindicent, about the alleged crash of flying saucers in the village of Roswell, New Mexico.