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Berlitz International, Inc.

The organization now known as Berlitz International, Inc. was founded in 1878 by Maximilian D. Berlitz in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Descended from a long line of teachers and mathematicians, Maximilian Berlitz grew up in the Black Forest region of Germany. He emigrated to the United States in 1870 and arrived prepared to teach Greek, Latin, and six other European languages according to the strict traditionalist grammar-translation approach. After building a successful career as a private teacher, Berlitz joined the Warner Polytechnic College as a professor of French and German language instruction. The college, however, was less imposing than its name, and Berlitz found himself at once owner, dean, principal, and only faculty member. Needing an assistant to teach French, Berlitz hired a young Frenchman who appeared to be the most promising candidate, possibly because of the impeccable French in his letter of application. The applicant, Nicholas Joly, arrived in Providence to find his new employer ill and feverish from overwork, a condition that only worsened when Berlitz learned that Joly spoke no English! Desperate to keep the school running with Joly at the helm, Berlitz instructed his new assistant to point at objects and act out verbs as best he could. He then took to his bed. Berlitz emerged anxiously six weeks later prepared to face the wrath of his neglected students. Instead, he found them engaging in lively question-and-answer exchanges with their teacher, in elegantly accented French! The seriousness of the formal classroom was gone, and most importantly, the students had progressed further than any ever had under six weeks of his own tutelage. Berlitz quickly concluded that his emergency measure held the seed of an innovative teaching technique. By replacing rote learning with a discovery process that kept students active and interested, it solved many of the problems that had plagued language instruction in the past.

Contact-Info....

  Address 400 Alexander Park, Princeton, NJ, 08540-6306 USA

   Phone(609) 514-3400

Executive Info....

   Exe-NameYukako Uchinaga, Chairman, President, and CEO
   DesignationMike Kashani, VP and Director and COO, Americas Region
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