Some have ignored the local language believing their French, English, or Spanish will suffice in the next setting. “After all,” they reason, “shop keepers speak my language.” Even national workers make the mistake of assuming a national trade language will be sufficient to communicate matters of the heart with tribes of another region. Language learning is a necessity. Proficiency is very necessary to allow people to relax with your language, rather than endure “fingernails on the blackboard.” Candidates should be exposed to different theories of learning language because of learning styles and awareness that one method does not fit all people. Some gravitate toward LAMP,[i] others are taught to immediately find local nurturers or language helpers to begin the process, working with your feelings and brain.[ii] Some need to be aware of the need for a more structured setting to grasp the language and its grammar. We have seen many married couples over the years with different learning styles in language acquisition. Yet, all need immersion.
[i] LAMP stands for Language Acquisition Made Practical that was pioneered by E. Thomas and Elizabeth S. Brewster (1976). This method focuses on the learner listening, retaining a few words that are used repeatedly as a child, and growing in conversational abilities.
[ii] The GAP or Growing Participator Approach invites the whole participation of the learner rather than droning repetition. For more information see: http://www.komensky.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=75&Itemid=100