Feedback on the ULAT

Homeschooling mother from Arkansas

"Thank you so much for creating The ULAT. We home educate and have been sorely disappointed with the types of programs out there for foreign languages. This fits so perfectly with The Charlotte Mason method that we follow and I couldn't be more pleased. Apart from this being an excellent program, you are a great teacher and we often laugh at the screen because it seems like you can see and hear us. Our little children walk around saying little French phrases because they enjoy being a part of the lessons as well.

It's so important for others to know that your program is worth the investment. Your program creates real learning. And like Plutarch said, 'Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.'"

Homeschooling mother from South Dakota

"I've been using the ULAT for the last couple of years to teach Spanish to my three children in our homeschool. They are 11, 9 and 8 years old. We take things slow and only cover a part of a lesson each day. I've been very pleased with what they have learned. I've also retained more Spanish than I did from my four years of classes in high school and college. Thank you for such a great resource!"

John Frederick Shoffstall, high school Spanish teacher at Lansing Christian School in Lansing, Michigan

The ULAT is a foreign language acquisition curriculum that gives students the opportunity to learn a second language naturally. Through the use of pictures, gestures, video, and audio, students learn to orally communicate and converse in the target language. The goal is that students become fluent speakers and listeners first. After the conversational component is realized, the student will then pick up a pencil and begin to focus on written communication and more extensive readings. This manner of learning reflects the way a person learns a language naturally: speaking and listening first, and then reading and writing.

Furthermore, the ULAT gives the educator a strong foundation to provide the immersion setting the world language classroom requires. The teacher is able to present vocabulary contextually by gestures and pictures which are linked to audio clips in the program. Students learn by relating verbs and other vocabulary to motions and pictures which represent the meaning of those words. As students click on pictures, they hear the target language and immediately start to connect the words to a meaning tied to the picture. Again, this is a very natural way of learning the target language and eradicates the need of translating from the first language to the target language. A tool like this leads to true fluency and acquisition of a world language.

The program has had a tremendous influence on my capacities with the Spanish language as well. As a high school student, I learned Spanish from this program. In college I was commended often during my first year for my knowledge of the language and my ability to communicate. The program (and great teaching) gave me the base I needed to succeed in college-level Spanish courses. Now I am teaching Spanish and use the program as the foundation of my curriculum. After one semester, I have seen students grow by leaps and bounds. Furthermore, due to the program I have a structured resource that allows me to teach my classes completely in the target language. I would recommend that this program be used in any school where acquisition is truly the goal. It truly provides a great foundation for students and educators who work with a world language daily.

Parent of a student using the ULAT in her private school in Arizona

"This is the program that I am using to learn French and that my daughter is using at school to learn Spanish. I chose the ULAT for my personal use because it makes so much sense to learn French in the same manner in which I learned English. As a parent, I did not teach my children English by handing them a textbook and a list of verbs to conjugate. I used repetition, gestures and visual cues long before introducing printed material (and so did you). As a learner, I want true ownership of French, not just the feeling that I'm constantly translating my English thoughts."

Homeschooling mother from South Carolina

"I am happy with this program. My daughter is too. She was going to a co-op once a week last year where she signed up to take a Spanish class, and she certainly benefited from your program. One day she told me, "Mom, today my teacher asked me, 'What country are you from?'" Thanks for this great program you provide!"

Sara Sanchez-Mustapha, former Spanish teacher at Grand Ledge High School in Grand Ledge, Michigan

"I had an incredible visit to Lansing Christian School. The teacher (Mr. Nesbitt), students, curriculum (the ULAT) and classroom environment that I observed were of the highest caliber. I observed both Spanish I and Spanish II and was astounded by the level of the students' fluency. I felt like I was observing a beginning college course rather than high school Spanish students...I am so thrilled to have had the opportunity to observe this awesome teacher. The creativity, effort and passion put forth to create this cutting edge curriculum are absolutely noteworthy. Students that experience language learning in this rich environment exhibit remarkable Spanish skills in the present, and will undoubtedly reap many rewards from this class as they continue their academic careers and studies of Spanish."
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A tutor in northern Mexico using the ULAT to teach English

"... your ULAT concept is outstanding. Using sign language as you introduce new words is very effective in helping students understand and most importantly, retain the English learned. The exercises which follow each lesson provide the perfect reinforcement. My student learned quickly and she really enjoyed the course. Like many students, she felt anxious about her ability to learn English. But the ULAT concept gave her almost immediate confidence, which of course, greatly facilitated her progress.

Homeschooling mother from Minnesota

"I am a homeschooling mother of two high school students who just started using the ULAT course this year. We love it! We have used several other programs, and never before have we found one so easy to use, so thorough, or so reasonably priced. We are learning to speak and to communicate faster and more easily than ever before and the videos are both helpful and entertaining. Thank you, Mr. Nesbitt! We now look forward to learning more instead of dreading it!!"

Homeschooling mother from the state of Washington

"What my children have most enjoyed about the program is the teacher's gentle sense of humor and the ability to work at their own pace. The semester my son spent with ULAT French gave him a jump start on his high school French class. The lessons are a perfect mixture of review and new learning, with vocabulary that, unlike some oral language programming, is appropriate for older students and families. We follow the Charlotte Mason approach in our homeschool, and the oral-first method is exactly what she recommended for second language learning. The kids both wonder if Mr. Nesbitt really has a twin brother, and they both feel they know him personally - the best way, I think, to learn a language is by getting to know a new friend in that language. The lessons feel very true to life, very natural in that way."

Homeschooling mother from Tennessee

"We have already begun the French lessons in our homeschool setting. I am thoroughly enjoying the format. I have great respect for the technique you have done so much work on, and I certainly think it's the right track as far as language acquisition. Clean visuals, exposure to fluent speech, and the closest attempt at interactive conversation I have yet seen in an online curriculum. Bravo!"

Homeschooling mother from South Carolina

"I am a part of a homeschool email group, and one of the moms recommended your program. I couldn't believe the price. I thought it was too good to be true, so I had to check it out for myself. I intended to check it out for just a few minutes but ended up watching your videos for several hours! I learned so much!!! Your program really is incredible! I'm so excited to learn Spanish next year, as I will be right alongside my children. I know they will love it! I will also be sharing the program with my friends."

Jim Koan, headmaster of Shoals Christian School in Florence, Alabama

"Steve's self-created teaching method (the ULAT) is unique and effective; it was thoroughly reviewed by our administrative team and embraced as the model by which we would conduct foreign language instruction. Steve was able to efficiently and effectively teach his fellow foreign language teaching colleague his ULAT methodology so that a more effective means of teaching Spanish could be conducted at the Elementary and Middle School level (his primary teaching assignments are in the high school). His daily lessons are filled with his energetic and engaging demonstrations which reinforce to the students the meaning of the words they are learning. He uses props, high tech visuals, and persistent, patient one-on-one dialogue with each student to ensure that every student in his class learns Spanish. In a little over two years Steve reversed the trend before he arrived of discouraged students and declining interest in a foreign language to a program in which students are pursuing AP and CLEP test opportunities in Spanish. Students are clamoring to take 4 years of Spanish when only 2 are required."
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Carol Stines, world language department chair at Phoenix Christian Preparatory School Phoenix, AZ

"We began using the ULAT program in our foreign language classes about 7 years ago. We were impressed by the emphasis on verbal communication right from the start. The combination of actions and words causes the students to remember. As has been said, "There's memory in muscle". Combining logical actions with the vocabulary makes a huge difference in student's ability to acquire the language. Plus, there is no translating, The students think in the target language without going through the wasteful step of going back to their English to comprehend. I would recommend the ULAT program for any school for use in teaching foreign languages as well as English."

Homeschooling mother from Arkansas

"Thank you for offering such a wonderful language program!! We've tried them all without success. Yours is truly top notch! Thank you for making it affordable for our family of 11."

Starr Velasquez, K-8 Spanish Teacher at Lansing Christian School in Lansing, Michigan

"The ULAT program is truly an amazing tool for teaching students how to speak Spanish. They learn not only by hearing but by seeing and also performing the gestures that they have learned. This type of learning targets students at all levels. The students are able to remember easier because they are using a variety of senses as a way of communicating. The gestures are very natural as they are the signs that we would normally use while speaking with someone, which makes learning the ULAT that much easier. One of the many advantages to the program is that the students can go online to hear, see and mimic what Steve does in the classroom and that is wonderful! I have had the privilege to work with the program owner for over 6 years..."

Graduate of the ULAT program

"I entered college with the intent to be a Spanish major, after having thoroughly enjoyed Spanish under Mr. Nesbitt. I was discouraged that the college-level teaching was not as rigorous and helpful as what I'd experienced in high school and ended up dropping the major due to frustration. I continued studying Spanish via the ULAT while in college and consider myself a fluent Spanish speaker because of it. I am heading to Spain this summer to study the language further. Thank you, Mr. Nesbitt, for teaching me to love Spanish and for making learning so accessible."

High school student concurrently taking a college French class

I cannot tell you how much I miss your class. I began taking French at (name of college) this year and my professor, though he's a Frenchman, translates everything from English and it hurts my brain. You taught me to think in French and I'm now realizing just how unique of a teaching method you had, and oh I miss it! Thank you, Monsieur, for everything you've taught me - not just French, but confidence as well. I know I wouldn't have thought I could speak a word of French in a college class if it wasn't for you. As it is the class I'm taking now is quite a bit below my level, but I was very excited to see that the ULAT was still up and running and I plan to use it for some serious review.

Graduate of the ULAT program

"I really enjoyed your Spanish classes in high school, and found them to be more useful and well-run than the Spanish classes I took at the collegiate level (in fact, there really is no comparison.) Because of my solid background in the Spanish language from your classes, I was far, far more advanced than my peers in speaking the language. It was frustrating to see my professors place such a high premium on writing the language, almost to the detriment of a student's conversational skills. I have been tempted, over the years, to use the ULAT to teach myself French, and to use it to brush up on Spanish---it's enjoyable, user-friendly, and quite simply, EFFECTIVE, and I hope you continue to use it in the future with your students."

Graduate of the ULAT program

"I wanted to tell you about how much my Spanish training has already come in handy this summer. I went on a mission trip a few weeks ago and one of the girls on my missions team is from Costa Rica. I did not have much of an opportunity to speak with her while we were working, but when we had some down time I decided to give it a try. I found that it was very natural for me to be able to converse with her, and we could understand each other very well. She later told me that I am the first high school student that she has been able to have a real conversation with, which was very special to me. For that, I have to say thank you. "

Graduate of the ULAT program who used its methods to teach English in China

I'm just writing to you to thank you for your amazing and unique teaching method because it helped me SO MUCH in a recent experience:

Last month I spent a few weeks in a high school in a remote town in Southwest China (near the border of Laos) teaching English as a volunteer to around 60 Chinese high school students there. The students barely spoke any English and disliked the subject because, for them, it was mainly useless memorization and grammar. While they had lists of medium-level English vocabulary memorized, they had no idea how to use them in sentences.

As I was planning my lessons there, I knew that I mustn't continue to teach the students "useless English" and at least help them love learning English (and see its purpose) during the short time I'm there. So I reflected upon how you taught us French and basically borrowed your methods of teaching languages in a way that people would learn their first languages: I used pictures and videos instead of Chinese translation, had an "English and sign language only" rule, focused on conversational English instead of vocabulary/spelling, encouraging them to talk even if they mess up the grammar, and occasionally played games that allowed them to practice what they had learned...

The students loved this teaching method and I saw them improving so much. Originally shy students who became so embarrassed when called upon because they could only speak separate English words - by the time we left, they were able to introduce themselves, talk about the weather, greet others, and make easy conversation in English confidently.

Without your class and your influence, I definitely wouldn't have come up with so many teaching ideas and methods, and the students I taught would not have improved as much. So again, thank you SO MUCH! Your foreign language teaching methods are indeed amazing and so beneficial!

Graduate of the ULAT program

"I had my first Spanish class (in college) ...it was AWESOME. Suffice it to say, I am not nervous. I was one of the best speakers with basically the best accent when we were practicing in class. One girl asked me if I had lived in another country. I am not saying this to brag, but rather to tell you that you prepared me more than I could have asked."

Graduate of the ULAT program

"I am not sure if you remember me, but I was a student of yours and graduated in 2007 from LCS. I loved, and I mean loved, your Spanish classes and didn't realize how intelligently designed and formatted your lessons and website were until I got to college and took Spanish classes here. I started out with a minor in Spanish, but decided to change to math because the Spanish program here was unimpressive to me after your classes. I am developing a Spanish curriculum for my own students as I enter the teaching world next fall and would love to have access to your website in order to see it again. I haven't found anything since then as helpful as the ULAT that you used in class!"

> Graduate of the ULAT program

I went to orientation the other day, and I was asking about class credits. Since I was there, they told me I should take the 15-minute test that determines your real capabilities in the language. So, I took the test, and, as it turns out, I'm actually taking a 300 level Spanish class, and if I pass, I'll already have a minor in Spanish."

Graduate of the ULAT program

"The ULAT has been so helpful in having "sticky" language learning. After being taught with this program and the instruction of Mr. Nesbitt, I am still able to have basic conversations in Spanish after only two school years of study. It's also created a desire in me to work in Bible translation, and hope that it's possible."

Graduate of the ULAT program

"I learned Spanish in high school using the ULAT taught by Mr. Nesbitt and I am so thankful for having done so. It is something that had been crafted over a number of years and strategically designed to integrate a new language to your mind. It breaks down the extensive task of mastering a new language in such a way that allows for comprehension that goes far beyond most conventional methods. It not only allows for greater comprehension, but its presented in a way that allows your mind to retain the information. It isn't something you grasp for 6 months and then it's lost. I am so thankful for both the ULAT and the inspiring work of Mr. Nesbitt."

Graduate of the ULAT program

"It made my college Spanish class like 5 times easier, even a couple years after high school."

Graduate of the ULAT program

"My college professors said my French accent was impeccable and my ability to actually speak the language was impressive compared to most incoming students - most students only knew how to write."

Graduate of the ULAT program

"The method of your teaching style is one that I will never forget, using hand movements for each word, and associating that mentally really makes recall fast and accurate. I wish all language classes in schools everywhere were taught in that manner. Thank you sincerely for sharing your ULAT teaching program with me. I hope and pray that you keep expanding it, and reach out to as many people as possible."

Graduate of the ULAT program

"I am very grateful to have had such a wonderful French teacher. I think your method of teaching is both revolutionary and effective. By involving so many senses in the learning process (hearing, speaking, doing, seeing and eventually reading) it helped us to be quick to remember and slow to forget. I appreciate how much time you have put into the ULAT and as well as your effort to help us master each topic."

A college freshman and graduate of ULAT program having had just two years of high school Spanish

"Thank you so much for all the hard work you've put into me and the other Spanish alum. I'm currently taking Spanish II at (name of college), but they're already looking to put me in Spanish 3. That really has to do with your program and your teaching style. Whether it reflected a lot in the gradebook, I really have learned quite a lot from the ULAT. So, thanks again for all your hard work since it's really paid off at least in my life...and another sidenote, please please please keep your theulat.com up and running. I think it will help me more than these textbooks. Thanks."

Graduate of the ULAT program

"I took the Spanish placement exam for college and placed in the highest possible entry course - Spanish 202. Thought you'd be pretty excited about that :) I know I am. So extra thanks for all the hard work you have done to teach us. I'm still thinking about minoring in Spanish."

Graduate of the ULAT program

"I just wanted to write you and tell you thank you for your teaching all four years of my high school career. On Thursday of last week, I took the CLEP test. I ended up receiving a score good enough to earn me 8 credits at my college next year and tested me out of Spanish I and II. Eight credits is half a semester's workload for me and will aid me a ton in college. The score I received on the CLEP gave me an equivalent credit amount as an AP test score of "4" and all this is because of your hard work and dedication to teaching students Spanish. I will never forget the huge impact you have made on my life."

Doug Olsen, former high school principal in Southfield, Michigan

"Without exaggeration, Steve was genuinely one of the most outstanding, creative, hardworking teachers we have ever had on staff. Steve's knowledge of the French language is immeasurable, his creative style is contagious, and his communicative approach has set the standard for all teachers who have followed him. In the classroom, Steve is top-rate. Not only did he write our textbook and curriculum, but his personal energy level and commitment exceeded all expectations."

Graduate of ULAT program having had just two years of high school Spanish

"Thank you very much, Mr. Nesbitt. I just also wanted to mention that I cannot express how much of an impact your Spanish class has had on me. Even I cannot believe how much of the language I understand most the time. I have a man that I am friends with at my job out at (name of a golf course), his name is Antonio and I would not have been able to be friends with him had I not taken your course. I know this for a fact. Antonio is a very great man but understands almost no English. He was amazed when I told him that I had only taken two years of Spanish. I told him that I had a very good professor.

I had another situation not long ago where I needed to change reservations for some plane tickets me and (classmate's name) had gotten. We had tried countless times to call the airlines 24 hour number but just could not get through. So then I kinda jokingly suggested that maybe I should try to call the Spanish number that was listed and try my best to get the gist of what our situation was. And of course the call went straight through and all of a sudden I was on the phone with a Spanish-speaking lady. I was hesitant and unsure to say the least but managed to stick to the basics like you had taught us and she was able to fix the problem on the computer and that ended up saving us over $100 in penalties for the errors on our tickets.

Well I just thought that you might enjoy hearing that your Spanish course is effective to say the least. I am really glad that I was able to take your class...thanks again for everything Mr. Nesbitt, you are a magnificent teacher and role model and I hope God continues to bless you for your dedication to young men and women."

Okemos, Michigan resident and viewer of the TV25 Spanish class

"A few weeks ago, while searching for a TV show, I came across Channel 25. I was truly amazed. I couldn't believe that there was a teacher who actually believed that the best way for a child (or an adult) to learn a language was to be totally immersed in that language. Even at the college level, the teaching method for some language courses is still to speak English. My daughter now watches with me and wants to know why Okemos doesn't have someone like Mr. Nesbitt."

Graduate of the ULAT program

"I wanted to thank you so much for your service to LCS and all the great things you have done as a teacher there. I still think that you are the best language teacher ever. You taught me so much and have been a great encouragement to me. Thanks for organizing the trip to Mexico this summer; it was an amazing experience. I know you don't get enough thanks for all that you have done for LCS. You are truly a blessing to the school and to me. Thanks for everything."

Haslett, Michigan parent

"On Halloween night, a kindergartner came to my door and, after I gave him candy, he said, 'Gracias'. Having had 8th grade Spanish, I of course said, 'De nada. Buenas noches.' This stopped the kid in his tracks. 'You know Spanish? I know Spanish!', he said with eyes wide with excitement.

When I told him I watch Sr. Nesbitt on TV25, his arms flapped, his eyes grew wide, he jumped up and down and he yelled excitedly, "I KNOW SENOR NESBITT!!!!!!" He proceeded to tell me every word he learned in class, what he knew about Mr. Nesbitt, how often he got to see him. Other trick-or-treaters came and went and he regaled me with Spanish. In the past, I have only seen such reverence and awe for someone running into David Bowie, The Spice Girls, or Jerry Garcia. Thanks to Mr. Nesbitt for making language better than MTV."