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Second Language Acquisition (SLA)

Four fully online SLA courses for pre-field and on-field personnel

 

Are you planning to leave your home culture to live in a new cross-cultural setting? Will you also be learning a new language? If you're like most new overseas workers, you've had many years of preparation in your field of expertise. You may have more than one degree and considerable practical experience in activities similar to those you'll be doing overseas.

It is unlikely, however, that you have had specific preparation for the important task of learning another language in your new host community — a task that will be very different from anything you may have undertaken in a typical high school or college classroom. For example, your high school or college foreign language instructors made the decisions about what you learned (the content) and how you learned (the learning activities and procedures), but in your new setting you will need to take responsibility for planning and implementing at least a major portion of your own learning.

Even if you attend an excellent language school, at best it can provide only a basic foundation upon which to build. This means that you need to know how to make the most of every resource available, including working one-on-one with native speakers and learning from the broader community of people you encounter every day. You'll need to know how to make the most of the time set aside for full-time language learning and you'll need to know how to continue learning later on.

People often think that better learning results from better textbooks, better courses, better teachers, and better assessment. These are certainly important, but the most important factor in better learning is YOU — the learner. Better learning requires better learners, and our ICCT goal is to help you to become the best learner you can be, whether you are planning for long-term cross-cultural living or planning to be in your new host community only a year or two. We want you to become a successful learner, whether you are attending a language school, working with a tutor, learning independently, or pursuing a combination of approaches.

ICCT currently offers four learner training courses, and each is offered six times each year. (View the SLA Course Descriptions of this page, which also includes two charts that show how the four courses compare with each other.)

Our most popular SLA course is for individuals who plan to learn one or more new languages while living in a cross-cultural setting. Most are planning for significant use of the heart-language of the host community. Offered six times each year, and requires approximately 3-4 hours per day for six weeks. Customized to meet individual needs, and includes frequent one-on-one Skype interaction with instructor(s). Flexible scheduling for those with other commitments. 

Courses start on these dates*:

2018: 

  • September 10 - October 19
  • October 29 - December 7

2019: 

  • January 7 - February 15
  • March 11 - April 19
  • May 13 - June 21
  • June 24 - August 2
  • September 9 - October 18
  • October 28 - December 6

*If these dates do not work for you, please contact us for customized course dates.

This SLA course for non-beginners is for those who already have an intermediate grasp of the language and want to develop the competence needed for deeper conversations in the language of the host community and more meaningful heart-language relationships. Can be taken as a 6-week course for 15-20 hours per week, or 12-week course for 6-10 hours per week. Highly customized to meet individual needs, and includes frequent one-on-one Skype interaction with instructor(s). Flexible scheduling for those with other commitments. 

Courses start on these dates*:

2018: 

  • September 10 - October 19
  • October 29 - December 7

2019: 

  • January 7 - February 15
  • March 11 - April 19
  • May 13 - June 21
  • June 24 - August 2
  • September 9 - October 18
  • October 28 - December 6

*If these dates do not work for you, please contact us for customized course dates.

This course is for beginning learners who need a basic grasp of the language for daily life activities. It is ideal for those who plan to serve 1-3 years and those who may serve longer but do not plan for significant heart-language ministry. Offered multiple times each year, and requires approximately 3-4 hours per day for three weeks, or 1.5-2 hours per day for six weeks. Customized to meet individual needs, and includes frequent one-on-one Skype interaction with instructor(s). 

Courses start on these dates*:

2018: 

  • September 10 - 28
  • October 29 - November 16

2019: 

  • January 7 - 25
  • March 11 - 29
  • May 13 - 30
  • June 24 - July 12
  • September 9 - 27
  • October 28 - November 15

*If these dates do not work for you, please contact us for customized course dates.

For those who plan to serve four years or longer, this course begins with the 3-week Introduction to Language Learning course (listed above) followed by individual coaching, and then an additional 3-week course that is similar to an abbreviated version of the SLA for Continuing Learners course (listed above). The three phases usually span about 7-9 months:

  • Phase 1: Three weeks of online instruction, requiring 3-4 hours per day, for beginning learners who have been on the field no more than about two months and pre-field learners who will begin language learning within a few weeks.
  • Phase 2: For 6-7 months of the language learning process, individual coaching by ICCT faculty via email and Skype.
  • Phase 3: Three weeks of online instruction, requiring 3-4 hours per day, that is highly customized to meet each learner's individual needs. Courses start upon request for groups of four or more, and on these dates:  

Courses (for Phase 1) start on these dates*: 

2018:

  • September 10 - 28
  • October 29—November 16

2019: 

  • January 7 - 25
  • March 11 - 29
  • May 13 - 30
  • June 24 - July 12
  • September 9 - 27
  • October 28 - November 15

*If these dates do not work for you, please contact us for customized course dates.

Other Important SLA Information

Download and complete the correct application and email it to us. We will contact you upon receipt of your application with more information.

We offer our courses six times per year at affordable prices.

If our schedule does not fit your needs, email us for customized options. 

We strive to keep personal contact with all of our alumni and offer free email consultations for up to five years after learners take one of our courses. We are blessed and grateful to partner with so many wonderful workers for the sake of His Kingdom.

*For security purposes, we cannot post photos, names, specific languages, or locations, but these are all real quotes from real Christian workers around the globe that have taken our SLA courses. 

Many people have questions about the online format of our courses, what we teach, and other details. We have tried to pull together the most frequently asked questions here, but please feel free to email us if we did not address your question.