Listening | Learning | Development

Integration of Foreign Languages

integrationofforeignlanguagesWhile developing, a child must learn to select the sound elements that are compatible with his or her linguistic environment, and at the same time ignore those elements which are absent from the phonetic structures perceived in his or her usual surroundings. The child will acquire a linguistic coding by adjusting to the sound structures of his or her own language.

However, because this coding is specific to each language, it will rapidly become a brake on the learning of a foreign language, insofar as the sounds of the foreign language do not conform to the sound patterns of the native language, which have been internalised during infancy.

A language is essentially a kind of music; that is, it is an ensemble of specific rhythms and sounds. These rhythms and sounds constitute the fundamental sound substrate on which all other acquisitions will be based (for example, lexical, syntactical, and semantic acquisitions).

The goal of the Tomatis Method is to accord to anyone wishing to learn a foreign language the possibility of truly appropriating these rhythms and sounds by allowing the ear to adapt itself effectively to this foreign music, so that it may analyse and reproduce it. This requires that students free themselves from the usual rhythmic and sonorous habits of their native language, habits that often have a negative influence on learning a new language.