ALG Method In Few Words

This is going to be a very short post in contrast to most of my posts. Today I just wanted to share a very concise definition of the ALG method, invented by Dr. Marvin Brown and used at the AUA school in Bangkok to teach Thai. This definition was taken from the book “The Listening Approach“.

Two teachers talk to the class and to each other as they do things in clear close view of the students. There are no books. What they do and say must be both comprehensible and interesting. (In Krashen’s terms, the teachers provide comprehensible input.) The students sometimes participate and sometimes do not, but they always look, listen, and try to understand what is going on, with as little conscious attention on the language as possible. This means not only that they don’t take notes or try to remember sounds, words, or patterns; it also means that they don’t speak—not until words and phrases come to them without their conscious attention. This may take several hundred hours.

The rationale for this method and the story of the creator can be found in his book “From the Outside In: The Secret to Automatic Language Growth“.

12 thoughts on “ALG Method In Few Words

  1. I love this! I’m reading the story of this founder. Thank you for generosity to share your experience and knowledge. I’m now off for the summer and allowing all this to shape how I will teach French in the fall. And how I guide my videos. How can I be praying for you in your business/family over the next 3 months? I appreciate you so much, Pablo! My goal also is to watch at least one of your videos a day. What else would you recommend? I am still a beginner who has just been exposed to Spanish during 15 years of attending TPRS conferences and working at it intermittantly. And is anyone else doing this in German? That’s my L3, weaker than French though.


    1. Thanks for your comment Maria!
      If you want to improve your Spanish what I recommend is watching more than 1 video! 😜
      Anything that helps you be immersed in the language is good. In general, I think at least 1 hour a day in the language is necessary to see some steady improvement.
      For German, the only videos I know are Kathrin’s. She has a few videos in which she demonstrates the Story Listening method.


      1. Do I just skip around in your videos to get my hour in? Or do you have a playlist I should follow. What do you recommend


      2. The best is to watch something you’re genuinely interested in, so you can try watching some playlists that match your interests. You can also try watching the “Superbeginner” playlist first since there are not that many videos in there yet. Please let me know if you find the superbeginner videos more easy than the rest, and whether there are anymore videos in particular that you find the easiest.


      3. Peppa Pig! It’s amazing. And Pocoyo for an even easier cartoon. If you don’t like watching cartoons then it’s going to be harder to understand until you have a higher level.


      4. I’ll take cartoons! One of our youngest son’s west point classmates was from Latvia. He acquired enough English in Latvia watching cartoon network to pass what ever TOEFL or West Point’s requirements were to be accepted at the Military Academy.Thanks!


  2. Hi Pablo, at first i want to thank you very much for your helpful, interesting and beautiful videos! The other night i woke up formulating spanish sentences, after watching a bunch of them.
    Do you know any youtube channel that teaches japanese in a way similar to Your’s?


  3. Thanks for the kind words! Unfortunately I don’t know of any in Japanese. Actually I only know one for French and even in that one the videos aren’t comprehensible for a complete beginner. I hope more people will start making similar videos!


  4. I hope so too. If they´d start now, i´d hopefully have enough videos to watch when i´m good enough in spanish and ready to begin studying japanese 😉
    Thanks for your quick answer! buenas noches.


  5. Hi Pablo, Language learner, lover and online Bengali ‘teacher’ here.

    I’ve been watching your vids for a total of 20.3 Hrs now (the website rocks, bro). I just read “From the Outside In” in two sittings. So down the rabbit hole I go…

    I’ve know about and loved Krashen for a while now, before I ever started ‘teaching’ Bengali. But reading Dr. Brown’s experiences has really left a strong impression. I found so many parallels with my own experiences and observations — and especially a clear explanation as to why I had to spend years fixing a few bad habits I picked up while studying Bengali for a few months before I was completely immersed and practically forgot about the book I had with me —”Teach your self Bengali”.

    So, like many of us here, I’m learning to become a language guide as much as I’m learning Spanish from your videos. I too wish to see a change in how languages are taught and I’m planning to be a part of it!

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much man!


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