The Learning Environment
An AL language class must be experienced to appreciate AL dynamics. It is helpful, though, to describe what an Accelerated Learning classroom experience might be like. When learners enter into the AL class, they might be greeted by the instructor in the language they are there to acquire. There is no pressure at this point or any other. The instructor is gracious, friendly and supportive.
Learners may be directed to select a name tag, enjoy some refreshments and mingle until all of the learners have arrived. Juices, water, coffee, and tea will quench thirst throughout the class period. Cookies, fruits and vegetables give learners a refreshing boost during breaks. Looking around the learning space, learners will notice brightly colored posters that are related to the language in question. Music that is conducive to learning, such as Baroque music, will play throughout class time.
Learners will be comfortably seated, even on sofas and easy chairs. Comfort is an important component for an AL experience. When the language learning experience officially begins (it really begins as soon as learners arrive), the instructor will guide learners through a visualization meditation to reinforce a sense of mastery.
Learning may occur in brief spurts of 30 minutes with brief relaxation periods punctuating exposure to content. The instructor likely will guide learners through games, dramatic role plays and other energetic interactions with the language to be learned. There are no tests. As a child would use his native language, learners easily participate in the various activities, using the language they wish to learn. This means that the environment is completely safe. Errors are not considered failures. Rather, errors are guided to correction with humor and supportive-ness.
An AL language acquisition course might extend over the course of six-to-eight weeks. The way that learning is evaluated is by the way that learners are able to comprehend and speak the language in AL settings.