Language 360 Method in Practice
In order to maximize the benefit from the the Language 360 Method, the learner is strongly encouraged to listen to the point where he or she can nearly word-for-word recite vocally or mentally the content of the compositions.
The Sense of Hearing
Given the impracticality of presenting context by taste, smell or touch; given the inconvenient and inefficient methods of presenting context by sight, where a learner would need to continuously reference a piece of paper or a screen; and given the nature of the modern world where few have the opportunity to learn in country; the Language 360 Method takes advantage of the one remaining, albeit very effective, sense for staying connected with context - the sense of hearing.
Language 360 Audio Compositions
Each entry in the Audio Library contains eight audio compositions. These audio compositions consist of language used in real-world moments and during real-world events. The audio compositions are always produced using the voice of the original speaker, if such audio exists. If the original content was in written from only, in a newspaper for example, the audio compositions are created from the source text using native speakers. The original source can be any language, but in all cases, a Language 360 Method audio composition contains a Russian audio version and an English audio version.
The Language 360 Method uses hearing, or sound, to keep context ever-present. This is accomplished by arranging simple but powerful audio compositions that alternate between one language and its translation. All material where the Language 360 Method is employed has been translated and is recorded in both languages. The audio translations are not an end, but serve as a loose tether to keep the learner attached to context. The translations also serve as a reinforcement of what has been heard, or as cue to what will be heard.
The Language 360 Method requires a transcript for all audio compositions. While learning by hearing is emphasized, the Language 360 Method recognizes the value of seeing the written language. The transcripts should only be a reference and not the primary source of learning. They serve as an important tool to help fill in gaps until comprehension by hearing is attained. In addition, transcripts serve to improve grammar understanding.
Grammar is the science of a language. The Language 360 Method encourages grammar study but also maintains a principle of flexibility in this area. For some learners, grammar study is an important part of language acquisition. For others, grammar plays a less prominent role. Grammar study can be a shortcut to find answers and understanding quickly. For this reason, the Language 360 Method provides grammar instruction in the form of footnotes that lead the learner to sections in A Comprehensive Russian Grammar, 3rd Edition.
Speak with Spontaneous Imitation
Language 360 approaches speaking unconventionally. When it comes to learning a language, speaking is rarely without benefits. However, the Language 360 Method encourages learners to identify optimum moments when speaking should be practiced. These moments, which reveal themselves at any place or time, are identified by a natural and spontaneous urge to speak what has been repetitively heard in the distant or recent past. At these moments the learner should let the language flow. Speak when you can't help it.
The Language 360 Method relies on hearing as the primary and most effective human sense for language acquisition and as the most efficient way to ensure context and meaning are always known to the learner.