Intuitive Language ConstructionWe are excited to continue sharing our language learning methodology–we call it the linguistic science behind the Mango Languages Online Language Learning Software.

Intuitive Language Construction was developed after looking at current products on the market and listening to feedback from users. The one thing we heard over and over is that they wanted a program that was fun, easy, completely integrated, and that included the following components:

1. Vocabulary (Click to see previous post)
2. Pronunciation (Click to see previous post)
3. Grammar (Click to see previous post)
4. Culture
5. Comprehension
6. Retention

In this post we are going to discuss the fourth component of Intuitive Language Construction…Culture.  This is another big difference in the Intuitive Language Construction methodology.

Mango integrates cultural notes and tips into every lesson, ensuring our students develop an understanding for the expectations, traditions, and etiquette of the people with whom they want to communicate.   Most language learning systems simply ignore culture, but at Mango we think it really is critical to a student’s success in a foreign country.

For example, imagine you didn’t understand the difference between formal and informal greetings.  You wouldn’t want to walk into a meeting with your new boss and exclaim, “Hey Dude. What’s up?”  It would be inappropriate, and in some cultures, it would be a really big offense!  It could possibly even get you fired.

At the same time, you wouldn’t want to be introduced to a new friend at a café, and say something like “I’m very pleased to make your acquaintance.”  That’s a little too formal and can be off-putting.

Understanding culture helps people understand which conversational tools are most appropriate for which situations and which audiences.  Our curriculum is developed by native speaking professional language teachers – many of whom teach at the university level and hold PhDs.  They really understand the cultural challenges that a learner will face for a specific language, and they carefully design each learning experience to help students overcome those challenges.  You just can’t get that through the common word and phrase lists that other learning systems offer.

Why do you think culture is important in the language learning process?  Or do you have a funny cross cultural story to share?

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