English Language Learners (ELLs) are happy to get some good news. Thanks to a new discovery, it is easier to learn to read another language. The discovery – called the Integrated Method -- is a new way to show reading material. The student learns the foreign language simply by reading the familiar one, without extra effort.
Usually, reading material shows only the foreign language, or shows the two languages in two groups. The Integrated method shows the two languages mixed together. Whenever the student reads a familiar word in his own language, he also reads its foreign translation at the same time. This association makes it easier for the student to recognize, to understand, and to remember.
Integrated material shows the two languages mixed together according to certain rules. The rules are normally used by computers, to make sure that there are no translation errors. The Integrated method applies these same rules to two human languages.
Before the Integrated method was discovered, there were three traditional ways to show foreign language reading material. The three traditional methods are: Single, Stacked, and Side-by-Side.
The Single method shows only one language, the foreign one. It is hard to use the Single method because the reader must constantly refer to dictionaries and grammar textbooks. The Single method -- also known as the Sink or Swim method -- is the one most commonly used in ELL classes and in public schools.
A bilingual layout is more user-friendly. The student can more easily compare the familiar language to the foreign language. Stacked and Side-by-Side are bilingual layouts that show both languages in their natural contexts.
The Stacked method groups the two languages one on top of the other. To match the familiar and the foreign languages, the reader’s eyes must move up and down, as well as left and right. The Side-by-Side method groups the two languages next to each other. To compare languages, the student must make left-right eye movements.
The traditional methods – Single, Stacked, and Side-by-Side – are hard to use. Sadly, even after intense effort, the exhausted student’s translations may still be wrong.
Luckily, the Integrated method solves the big problems of wrong translations and tired eyes.
Integrated material is normal bilingual material that has been formed into little pieces called "visual units." A visual unit is a small bit of information that is combined with its translation. The information is usually only a single word, but sometimes it is a phrase. In either case, the information’s translation is centered directly underneath it.
The translation part of the visual unit can be literal or conceptual. For example, a literal translation of "método Integrado" would show "method" centered under " método," a few blank spaces, then "Integrated" centered under "Integrado" -- to form two visual units. For a conceptual translation, "Integrated method" would be centered under "método Integrado" -- to form one visual unit.
The languages, now formed into visual units, are displayed Side-by-Side. Each side’s line of text is matched for meaning with the line of text directly across from it.
On each side, the top line shows the language in natural context. The line directly under it shows the top line’s translation. As the student’s eyes see the familiar word, they also see the entire visual unit – and so also see the translation. To learn the natural flow of the foreign language, the student reads the other side of the page.
Therefore, as the student reads normally, he automatically learns the foreign language. He does not make mistakes, and does not get tired. He learns the foreign language even without extra effort.
The Mensa Education and Research Foundation has chosen the Integrated method to receive its prestigious 2005 Copper Black Award for Creative Problem-Solving. Mensa, the high-IQ society, reserves this honor for astoundingly ingenious solutions to overwhelming problems.
The Integrated method is protected by U.S. patent 5,486,111, and may be used only with the express written permission of Dr. Kay Thomas, the patent’s owner. firstname.lastname@example.org 864.439.0467 PO Box 911 Duncan, SC 29334
El método Integrado es protegido por la patente 5.486.111 de los E.E.U.U., y se puede utilizar solamente con el permiso escrito expreso del Dr. Kay Thomas, la dueña de la patente. email@example.com 864.439.0467 PO Box 911 Duncan, SC 29334