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FLR Level 1: An Overview

FLR Screenshot

FLR (or Foreign Language Roadrunning) is a language learning method developed by Moses McCormick.

When Moses began his Mandarin Chinese studies at age 18, he didn’t have an actual strategy for quickly learning a new language. As he began practicing Mandarin with native speakers, he noticed that there were certain questions and comments (as well as answers) that almost always came up in interactions. This observation laid the groundwork for what would later come to be FLR.

FLR is broken up into two levels. Today, we will take a detailed look at FLR Level 1.

What’s Included?

FLR Level 1 includes dozens of sentences in basic question and answer form, as well as FLR keywords and phrases for expressing difficulties in understanding. The sentences included are not random. They have been selected based on Moses’ conversations with native speakers of many different languages over the years.

Who, What, When, Where, Why, How?

In your first conversation with a native speaker of your target language, there will almost always be curiosity concerning your learning of the language. How are you learning it? Why are you learning it? Where did you learn it?

With FLR Volume 1, you will be well equipped to answer these types of questions whenever they’re thrown at you. But that’s not all that’s included. You will also see these constructs in other contexts, such as:

Where are you from?

What is your major (in college)?

If you observe even your daily conversations in your native tongue, you will realize that these types of questions are used all the time. With FLR, you will know how to ask and answer these questions from the very beginning.

FLR Russian Level 1

Russian Screenshot

Sentence Building

Not only will you learn basic sentences, but you will also learn how to build more complex sentences through the use of FLR keywords, which are essentially conjunctions or sentence fragments that allow you to connect separate ideas.

Being able to build complex sentences makes native speakers more relaxed talking to you because it shows them that you have a fairly adequate grasp of the language.

Consider the following two conversations (FLR keywords in brackets):

Native: “Have you ever been to Japan?”

Student: “No, I haven’t been to Japan. I’ve been to Taiwan. I’ve been to South Korea.”

Native: “Korean food is really spicy.”

Student: “Yes, it is. I like really spicy food.”

 

Native: “Have you ever been to Japan?”

Student: “No, I haven’t been to Japan, [however], I’ve been to Taiwan [as well as] South Korea.”

Native: “Korean food is really spicy.”

Student: “Yes it is, [but] I like really spicy food.”

 

Obviously, the latter sounds much more natural than the former. With FLR Level 1, you’ll be building complex sentences from the very beginning. And there is no grammar study involved. You will infer the grammar from the recurring patterns you notice.

Native Audio

The audio that comes with the course is recorded by a native speaker. When learning a foreign language, it is important to get as much exposure to native speech as possible in order to develop good pronunciation. You can put the audio on your MP3 player or phone and listen to it whenever, wherever.

Text and Translation

All of the content is transcribed and translated. In the case of languages that use alternate scripts (Chinese, Russian, Hindi, etc.), Romanization (a transliteration of the sounds of the language in the Roman alphabet) is also provided.

FLR Mandarin Chinese Level 1

Mandarin Screenshot

If you prefer to just focus entirely on speaking at the beginning, you can ignore the native text at first and learn it later. On the other hand, some people prefer to test out the language first through text chatting with natives as they may be uncomfortable speaking at first.

And of course, you could also choose to learn it all at the same time. There is no one ‘right way’ here.

Difficulties

It is to be expected that you will sometimes have difficulties when learning a new language. FLR Level 1 will teach you various ways to express difficulties, such as:

“I don’t understand.”

“Please repeat it.”

“Please write it down for me.”

“How do you say…..?”

Putting it All Together

In Week 8, the final chapter of FLR Level 1, you will learn a basic introduction broken up into four paragraphs. By this point, you will have a fairly good understanding of grammatical constructions in your target language, and you’ll be ready to go out and communicate with native speakers.

FLR Japanese Level 1 Week 8

Japanese Week 8 Screenshot

Commonly Asked Questions

So now, we will take the time to go through some commonly asked questions about FLR.

At What Point in my Studies Should I Begin Using FLR?

This is largely up to you. Using it at the very beginning is most effective because you can take material you’ve learned from other resources and immediately incorporate it into sentences. Most other learning materials don’t focus on sentence building from the very beginning.

Who is FLR Primarily Geared Towards?

FLR is designed for those who want to start communicating in their target language as soon as possible. If you are not interested in speaking early on or if you’re only interested in studying a language for literary purposes, FLR may not be suitable for your needs.

How long after beginning FLR Level 1 will I be able to converse?

FLR Level 1 is designed to be completed in 8 weeks, however, you will be able to have short exchanges with native speakers before you complete the course.

What makes FLR different?

FLR focuses on the essentials before everything else. Memorizing grammar rules doesn’t allow you to speak a language. FLR teaches you what you need to know to begin communicating, which is for most people the primary motivation for learning a new language.

It is very easy to lose motivation when you’re not seeing progress. FLR is all about getting results as soon as possible. Your ability to use what you’ve learned almost immediately will make you excited to study each day, and even you’ll be amazed at how quickly you progress!

 

Brian Camus
Brian Camus
Brian "Camus" Corbin is an editor and weekly contributor at FLR Techniques. His interests include East Asian cultures, foreign movies, varied cuisines, and health and wellness. Brian writes about topics related to health and wellness on his blog at Content Your Way

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