What is Lexiway?

Lexiway is a fully communicative, entertaining and practical audiovisual method aiming to provide the student with a sufficient language proficiency to get along in the most common social situations. It focuses on oral expression over the written form, which is taught at a later stage. It can also be used as a back-up or support for any other method at any level.

What exactly makes Lexiway different from any other language learning method?

  1. Natural learning: Lexiway’s effectiveness is based on the removal of any external interference created by the student’s native tongue. Its aim is to exploit the same mechanisms by which vocabulary, phonology, grammar and syntax are learned for the first time. In other words, the target language is learned as a function of itself, avoiding any comparisons, translations or  external references. This way, learning is achieved by thinking in the target language.
  2. Speaking predominance: the student learns reading and writing once he has internalized the vocabulary so that seeing its written form does not create any confusion. Furthermore, the student masters the phonologic system of the target language during the first level.
  3. Usable at any age: its graphic style allows adaptations to different ages. There are three age levels: 3-5, 6-11 and 12 and older.
  4. Quick learning: 120 hours are enough to reach a A2 English level in the European Framework of Reference for Languages. A B1 level is acquired in 280-300 hours. The required time could vary in other languages depending on their complexity.

How has Lexiway been developed?

Lexiway is the result of more than 30 years of teaching experience with people of every age. Its pedagogic value is based on the observation of the most effective learning mechanisms and routines in language acquisition processes.

Why is it so important to learn vocabulary?

Because vocabulary is the set of building blocks that will allow us building the language. The more words we know (and recognize), the easier it will be to understand and be understood. A language’s main end is communication. Thus, if communication is made, grammar correction can be considered a secondary aspect during the first stages of learning. In short, it is easier to go along by knowing a lot of vocabulary and little grammar than the other way around: no matter how many grammar rules are known, communication is impossible if vocabulary is lacking.

How can I learn grammar without talking about grammar?

Grammar is a reasoned and structured explanation of how a language works, however, when we learn our own language we have no idea of what a grammar concept is. No child knows what the passive tense is, or an adjective or an object, yet he can make perfectly correct sentences. Knowing grammar is not necessary to speak a language properly, though learning it is useful for future stages.

Lexiway teaches how to properly use the new language via practice and examples that help the student to deduce the grammar rules that must be applied, without naming them explicitly. The student himself will acquire the rules that will help him learn the language and expand his knowledge.

Why is vocabulary presented and learned using images?

Because human beings dedicates a great portion of their brains to process images, and these are more easily remembered than written words. The method’s success is based on getting the student to automatically link the images quickly with their oral expression.

Why is a certain vocabulary studied instead of another one?

Because the method is based on the most frequently used words in the studied language. The most common words are learned first, then we move on to more specialized ones at later levels. For example, we need to learn foot, hand and head much sooner than pancreas or liver

Why is vocabulary presented in groups of concepts?

Because it is much easier to learn related ideas —due to them being opposite, complementary, in similar contexts or having similar features— than random, unrelated concepts.

What are minimal pairs?

Minimal pairs are two words that have different meanings but are phonetically very close, differing only in a minimal sound element. They are presented together so the student can realize that a small difference in how the word sounds can make a big difference in their meanings. It is also very important for the student to learn to distinguish different sounds because that will considerably increase his ability to understand the new language and it will help him to properly reproduce the sounds afterwards. A certain sound can’t be pronounced properly without the ability to recognize it.

Why is it so important to distinguish sounds?

Because sounds are combined to form words. Just like babies do, we first experiment with sounds until we are capable of recognizing them and produce them; then, we will combine them to create words and we will use these to form phrases and more complex sentences. Sounds are the minimal elements forming the language and each one has its own set of sounds, even though some of them are similar.

How long does it take to learn a new language?

Learning a language is like building a huge jigsaw puzzle in which the more pieces we set in place, the easier it will be to set the next ones (plus there will be less pieces remaining). Thus, learning it depends on the time that we are determined to devote to it, the method we use and our motivation. Time: it is much more effective to dedicate half an hour every day than a couple of hours straight once a week or every 2 weeks. The brain needs to be exposed to the language all the time, repeating and reviewing vocabulary, which helps reinforce acquired knowledge. This makes Lexiway the most suitable method because all those jigsaw puzzle pieces are learned quickly and effectively, which considerably shortens the time required to acquire the new language. Motivation: there are several reasons to learn a language but, no matter what they are, it is essential to enjoy learning it. This way we enter a virtuous circle: the more we enjoy it, the more we learn, therefore, the more we learn, the more we enjoy. Learning must be a pleasant activity in order for it to be effective. Using the Lexiway® method, students can acquire a level of proficiency comparable to a A2/B1 in the European Framework of Reference for Languages in around 10 months, dedicating one and a half hours a day (200-300 hours total).

What is the best age to learn a language?

The sooner we start, the better, since the ability to identify different sounds fades as we get older. When a child is born, he is able to learn any language he is exposed to. However, as time goes by and if he is in contact only with one language, his ability to identify sounds (and produce them) will become limited to those in his own language. The rest will be discarded gradually, limiting his possibilities of speaking the language like a native. Because of this, it is especially important that children, at an early age, get in contact with different languages through games, rhymes and songs. Beyond a certain age, their ability is reduced considerably but, even in these cases, Lexiway is particularly useful because it allows people of all ages to make the most out of it since it simplifies learning routines, yielding good results for people of all ages. Besides, memorization is an important mental ability to develop in order to conserve a healthy brain.

Can I learn a language without a teacher?

It is very difficult to acquire the basic knowledge without the help of an experienced, well-prepared teacher. In order to obtain the best results, the student requires the teacher’s guiding in pronunciation (with its minimal pairs), vocabulary building and word combinations to form phrases and longer sentences. The teacher will explain why some sounds are produced in a certain way, clearly establishing the differences between them and facilitating learning. The teacher will guide us through the diverse mechanisms that a language employs to make words, granting us the ability to understand new words without using a dictionary. Using specific lessons and activities, the teacher will encourage us to use what we have learned to create more and more complex phrases. This is applied to every relevant aspect of the language until we complete all the necessary ones.

Why is the student’s native language not mentioned in Lexiway?

Because, in order to master a language, we cannot acquire it by comparing it to another one all the time. A language must be learned as a function of itself, analyzing all the elements that form it and the mechanisms it employs to make words and longer sentences, combining their elements to express ideas, and other aspects that make the language unique. Many of these mechanisms might be shared with our native tongue (for example, between languages with common origins), but many others will be new and discovering them will become one of the most exciting tasks in our learning process.

Is it necessary to take notes and study at home?

Learning is achieved with the teacher and it does not require any extra time, apart from the one that the student wishes to review the vocabulary he has learned. It is not recommended to review until the student is sure that his pronunciation is correct in order to avoid acquiring bad pronunciation habits.

Is it mandatory to follow the order of the lessons?

No matter what your level is we recommend you to follow the established order. This way you can make sure that you know every important concept and you will review your prior knowledge. You will strengthen what you know and learn those in which you might have doubts.

If you are a beginner, it is essential that you follow the established order because all the necessary elements are presented to you in a progressive and convenient way for you to make the most out of it.

If you have a certain level of proficiency and you would like to improve certain aspects, you can go to those specific lessons, especially the vocabulary ones. In any case, the method’s structure is flexible and versatile, which allows you to study according to your needs.

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