Using the ULAT in a School Setting

THE ULAT

The ULAT (Universal Language Acquisition Tool) is a 3-year language teaching program, currently containing over 300 lessons in Spanish, French and English. The ULAT seeks to replicate the natural language acquisition sequence (listening to speaking to reading to writing), only involving the students in phonics and reading instruction, and then writing, once a sound oral foundation has been laid to their knowledge of the new language. Its unusual and highly effective method of language transmission has as its goal the training of students, not merely in matters of syntax and vocabulary, but most importantly in how to think as does a native speaker in communicating in their new language. Traditional text-based language instruction enables students to analyze the language they are studying. The ULAT trains them to actually speak it effectively.

HOW CAN WE LEARN TO USE IT IN OUR SCHOOL?

There are three ways by which classroom teachers can learn to use the ULAT program. One option is to request an 8-hour onsite training session animated by a ULAT representative. The cost of that training is $350, plus the instructor's travel and lodging expenses. They can also consult the extensive "Teacher Training" section of this website. Finally, they can read the free ebook, "In Other Words", found in this website. The activities within those lesson plans are linked to extensive explanations and advice as to how each activity is to be performed. The program also provides the correct answers to its tests, as well as a grading key for each test and suggestions as to the weighting of the elements that go into assigning a grade for the course. For oral testing, the correct answers are provided by means of videos, otherwise the test answers are provided in written form.

HOW CAN WE VIEW ALL OF THE ULAT LESSONS?

The ULAT's first 15 lessons are available free of charge for anyone to try out. Exceptionally, however, we would like to give schools access to the totality of the ULAT program to enable you to evaluate its appropriateness for your school. In order to do this, if you represent a school, you may have received a temporary User ID and password in an e-mail from the ULAT. If you have not received a temporary User ID and password, you can request them by contacting the ULAT. Provide your name and the name and location of your school. Once your school's identity has been verified, a temporary User ID and password will be sent to you.

CAN STUDENTS ENTER THE ULAT CURRICULUM AT ANY LEVEL OF THEIR LANGUAGE STUDIES?

Good question. Definitely not. First of all, from a pedagogical standpoint, entering the program at the second or third year level would be contrary to the basic principles on which the ULAT is established - particularly the critical importance of laying a very strong oral foundation to their knowledge of the language before dealing with the written word. Secondly, and very practically, the ULAT is replete with thousands of images that would be largely meaningless to a student who had not begun at the beginning. Consequently, it is only appropriate to enter the ULAT program as a beginning language student.

HOW MIGHT A SCHOOL BEST EVALUATE THE ULAT PROGRAM?

We would recommend that you visit the site in the following sequence:

FEEDBACK PAGE: The comments found there should give you a sense as to whether or not the product of the ULAT curriculum is really what you desire in your context.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS PAGE: This page will provide you with a quick response to some of your most basic questions.

TEACHER TRAINING SECTION: This page provides links to information regarding the philosophy behind the ULAT, answers to commonly asked questions and resources to make the teacher's use of the ULAT more effective.