The F.A.S.T. method

This venn diagram encapsulates everything that the F.A.S.T. method stands for!

Let’s take it step by step.

F stands for Fundamentals based 

With the F.A.S.T. method you’ll focus on the fundamentals. Since you are learning the language because you have a specific need to cover, whether that need is of high importance or not, you’ll focus on setting good foundations and learning what’s necessary. You’ll begin learning the language with the basics, because these basics are what is important in the beginning. For example, in Dutch, when you wish to introduce yourself to someone and your name is Maria, you need to know the phrase, “Ik ben Maria”. That’s what we call basic. Learning the infinitive of the verb ‘to be’ is useful, but not more useful than the first person: Ik ben. Another example is to cultivate the ability to have a general, practical sense of what people are saying and, later on, to focus on understanding 100%, word for word, what those people said. 

This is how it’s done with other things in life as well. We always start with the more general knowledge of a subject before we go deeper into it. We later comprehend its intricacies and become specialists. Where is the meaning of knowing how to conjugate a verb and not knowing how to form a sentence that is relevant to you? Where is the essence of learning the exceptions of a rule if we can’t even use the rule itself?

A stands for Adult-specific:

The F.A.S.T. method is addressed to adults. Adults are usually more ready to take on the responsibility of reaching their targets and of the amount of studying required. In contrast to a child or a teenager, who will need the supervision of a parent, adults can commit to these 3 to 6 hours of study time per week in order to learn a new language. They also have the life motivations to do so. 

The content of the educational material includes the current news and business subjects that our students are most interested in; activities that are relevant to our adult lives. As an adult, you already have an understanding of the learning process, something that a child has not yet mastered. This is the reason why you can learn faster as an adult than when you were a child.

S stands for Stimulating: 

Yes, our students are excited about the F.A.S.T. method!

Our teachers relish the fact that our students are genuinely interested in our materials, ask probing questions, are encouraged to share their experiences, and often want to study more. It’s also great for students to feel encouraged by their teachers and to strengthen the parts of the language that need attention. As a student you’ll feel  activated by a learning method that is different, far from boring, and happy that you have found what you’ve been looking for. We want to make our students feel unique and not transparent like you might feel in a class of many students and multiple mother tongues. 

Successful teachers must, as priority, help their students love what they learn. Rather than the lessons being tiring, they will become a fuel that will raise your energy levels and help your day run smoothly!. This is true for student and teacher. Our language center is not named Language and Motivation by accident!

We prove everyday, with all aspects of our work, that our approach encourages and strengthens our students. We’ve got that mental state, we’ve got the tools to do it and the only piece of the puzzle left is that characteristic of the student that will help them believe that they can do it. This is how everyday miracles happen!

T stands for Tailor made:

If you are a priest and you are willing, you can study the Testament with us in the language that you are learning. We have done it before! If you are the CEO of Coca-Cola, you can learn how to compose great speeches for your company’s AGM. We have done it before! If you are a member of the European Parliament, you can learn how to express yourself clearly on issues that concern you in the Parliament. We have done it before! If you are a psychoanalyst in a Greek university and want to attend lectures abroad and practice answering possible questions from the audience, you will practice exactly that, and nothing less. I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that we have done this, as well! These examples are just a few of the many particular needs of students that have completed one, to three, or even four semesters with Language and Motivation.

As a working adult, you might have a family and limited available time. What you need is to learn the language so it can be of service to you, focusing on your  main purpose first, and then all the rest later. The language is one, but the vocabulary that you use in everyday life for specific purposes is what needs to be considered the priority. This way the language lessons will satisfy your needs, fast! 

If we know your “why” and your target, we can guide you there, as long as we work together in harmony!

We’re certain that the F.A.S.T. method is the most innovative way to learn a foreign language, and that it’s here to stay. You can take advantage of it and we, all of the Language and Motivation teachers, are here to welcome you with a vibrant smile, and to help you on your way to learning a language in only a few months! 

If you keep going F.A.S.T. you won’t fall off.

Noam Chomsky

The F.A.S.T. method uses a set of practices that put the student in an active role and drive them to discover the language.

More specifically, a few characteristics of the method:

It borrows elements from the Flipped classroom teaching model in which the student is active, and the role of the teacher is limited to guidance, encouragement and assistance where appropriate.

As homework, the student works on articles and multimedia and carries out research. Then, during the lesson, the student summarizes orally and engages in discussions with the guidance of the teacher.

During each lesson, priority is given to oral production. The student would talk with the teacher for about an hour if they (properly) prepared the activities before the lesson. 

The student discovers the language, without being taught in detail everything related to it. They infer the grammar and syntax through the active learning.

Language Structure Acquisition begins from the very first lesson in which the student studies newspaper articles of a certain word-length. 

The vocabulary focuses on development of social, professional, and success competences. It serves the needs and goals of each student. Everyone speaks freely without limiting themselves to the vocabulary that a book dictates for each lesson.

Learning the correct pronunciation is achieved through tongue twisters in the second lesson and speech recognition technology.

Part of the educational material used instead of books is past exam papers. Through those papers, the student develops clear communication skills they will need in real life. 

Grammar is limited. We learn to ride a bike without knowing any of the mechanics or a child learns to speak their mother tongue before they even know any grammar rules. Just like that, we guide the student to learn properly while saving valuable time spent teaching traditional grammar. 

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  • I did the 1-on-1 3-month course from A0 to B1 with Mahdy. Indeed it boosted my Dutch language level very fast. I really like the way it was taught as it goes directly to adult’s material so that you learn the language by directly applying the language to explain things. He encourages me to try to speak a lot and it felt fun to have the lessons. It is indeed encouraging and tailor-made. I am impressed by my growth of Dutch level which one can take much more time just to reach my current level.

    Peter D., Postdoctoral researcher, student of Dutch
  • Such a nice experience! The Teacher Training has just finished, however, the networking, collaboration, and exchange of good practices of the F.A.S.T. method can go on amongst the participants. Many thanks to Sofia Karfi for coordinating the training and to all colleagues who participated!

    Spyroula M., teacher of Turkish
  • I really enjoyed my Dutch lessons with Maylu! I felt motivated to study in between my lessons and the material was in most cases interesting and captivating. I also learned to express myself in ways that don’t feel alien to my natural way of speaking and writing. I didn’t feel stuck or impatient (as I did in other courses/learning methods). I especially enjoyed my conversations with Maylu. They were effortless and I immediately felt myself open and encouraged to talk. She makes the time pass pleasantly, she is very inspirational and kind and you don’t realize you have been talking for so long in another language! She is also always open to adapt and tailor the material and the conversation to your needs. It helped me a lot that the focus of the lesson was on speaking and that led to my fast improvement. In three months I could comprehend complex texts, express views and opinions and also write different sorts of texts. The lessons are structured around you and your interests/goals, which makes it easier to learn and remember things, as opposed to standard learning books and traditional methods of teaching. I would definitely say that it would be impossible to reach that level so soon with a traditional method!

    Vicky I., Artist, student of Dutch
  • Language and Motivation is a unique language school. With one-on-one lessons and supportive teachers, this was the best learning experience I could have asked for. I followed their Dutch course and my teacher Annetta was never once impatient or discouraging. She zoned in on the areas for improvement, while keeping me happy and engaged with my development (she's literally the best). Can't recommend it enough, thanks for everything LM!

    Aiyana Z., Creative, student of Dutch, successfully passed all levels of Staatsexamen B2
  • Getting to know the Language and Motivation method has been a great surprise for me, as well as a challenge to try out a different way of teaching a foreign language. Sofia Karfi, thank you for this opportunity and for the excellent training in the method. I look forward to applying it.

    Anna X., teacher of German
  • My participation in the training was a completely constructive experience, which opened new horizons to the adult education methodology that I had not even imagined existed!

    Kostas I., teacher of German
  • After 12 lessons I started talking the language. I could never believe that could happen. Mahdy is a great teacher, with passion for his work. I highly recommend this method!

    Elina R., Assistant Scientist Drug Product Development at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, student of Dutch
  • Through my personal experience, I found the teaching methodology followed by Language and Motivation to be pragmatic and effective; better than the traditional way of learning. Before starting with Language and Motivation I was already at A1 level in Dutch, however, that felt more of a theoretical knowledge than a practical skill. After I started my language course with LM, only after 2-3 classes I began to develop good confidence in speaking Dutch. For me, I was just following simple instructions on how to study and prepare for the classes, it was after some lessons I realized that Dutch began to come out of me automatically. And that was surprising and thrilling to see. I would also like to appreciate my teacher, Jildou, for her patience & support. And for creating an atmosphere where it is easy to connect with her and develop an understanding. All in all, it has been a really positive outcome which I am very happy about!

    Mridul T., M. Tech Biotechnology, student of Dutch
  • I was a bit skeptical at first when I read about the practice-based teaching method, but learning Dutch this way has been amazing! The lessons are easy to follow, the teacher is fun and personable and my everyday life has become easier, as I now understand more and more words when people speak with me! Highly recommend it.

    Martina S., Digital Illustrator / Concept Artist, student of Dutch
  • Learning a language with Language and Motivation using the F.A.S.T. method is fun, effective and doesn't feel like studying at all! I was stunned by my progress of French and enjoyed every single private class with my French teacher Stella. Also, since it's a small language school communication is very quick and LM is very flexible adapting to your needs if possible. I felt very much being a part of LM and not just being "another student". Highly recommended if you want to learn fast a new language!

    Clara C., Lecturer Water Management University of Applied Science Rotterdam, student of French
  • Through a variety of very interesting and contemporary foremost articles, very funny and interactive videos, and a variety of tools that really really astonished me, within a period of three months, we easily reached a level of Β2-C1 in terms of text understanding and communication.

    Jenny P., student of Spanish
  • I attended the one-month training for F.A.S.T. method for language teachers in LM and it was really enlightening. I had the chance to collaborate with fellow colleagues of various languages and exchange lessons with them. As a new teacher of English I would recommend this training to fellow colleagues as it is a new approach to learning a language which allows adults to stay committed to due to the fact that certificates can be taken in a short period of time and requires only 1.5 hour per week for lessons.

    Katerina B., teacher of English
  • We saw how the method works from theory to practice: we took material, made material, taught and learned in a holistic approach to the F.A.S.T. method.

    Stella P., teacher of French
  • I took Dutch lessons with the F.A.S.T method from Mahdy and it's been nothing but a great experience. It's a really quick and effective method, it allows you to learn the language in a way that you customize so you learn what you usually use in your daily language. I definitely recommend it to everyone who is trying to learn a language and fed up with the traditional ways.

    Ipek, student of Dutch
    Ipek A., Clinical Psychologist, student of Dutch
  • During the training I discovered why it is so revolutionary. I started to feel and believe in the method more and more and now I could barely imagine teaching with a different method. Definitely the best teaching/learning method.

    Mahdy Y., teacher of Dutch
  • There are no words to describe Sofia !! I'm very glad that I had this amazing person as a French teacher!!! She loves her job and she makes you feel the same about French language!!! Not only teaches a foreign language but she helps you to open your horizons. Don't afraid to start this way of education! It is guaranteed you will succeed!!! She is the best! I highly recommend her as a teacher!!!!

    Stella M., Economist, student of French
  • The training via Language and Motivation has given me a different view of teaching. It is motivating and special to see how quickly students achieve a higher level with this method.

    Deborah G., teacher of Dutch
  • I never understand how the time passes during my classes with Bo. I have a lot of fun and learn Dutch without even noticing! She is very resourceful and helpful, which makes it super easy to tackle challenges along the way. Dankjewel voor alles!

    Dilara O., Entertainment Services, student of Dutch
  • My second lesson is on Monday but I can tell for sure that I wish to continue with the lessons and your innovative method!

    Vaggelis P., NVS Planning Manager EMEA, student of Dutch
  • How does it feel to have lessons with Mahdy? It is always a great pleasure to learn with him. It is a great inspiration and we see the success after every week. Ik kijk ernaar uit naar onze weekelijkse "date". There is a big motivation to reach my goal step by step!! Thank you both, Mahdy and Sofia.

    Katrin S., Nurse, student of Dutch
  • Thank you, Sofia and Sani very much. We haven't started and it's already a very nice and organized experience! The process is so fun! I should have started earlier!

    Nadia N.I., HPI E-Commerce Partner Content Specialist at Webhelp, student of Spanish
  • It's something different from other methods. Fast learning that investigates the language deeply. This way, both oral and writing skills are improved.

    Andreas G., Environmental Scientist, student of English
  • Sophia is an excellent teacher and a wonderful person. She likes her teaching procedure to include poems, videos and articles, in french of course, which makes the lesson amusing but also teaches you many things about the french culture as well. She is very passionate about her work and she will help you understand and love the french language!

    Alexandra M., Psychologist, student of French
  • I really feel grateful for these incredible lessons in English with my superb teacher Stella Papadimitriou! She was always there to support, encourage and inspire me with her marvelous and subtle way! I can speak English confidently for the first time in my life! Thank you Stella, thank you Sofia, thank you Language and Motivation! 💜🙏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

    Maria M., Lawyer – Writer, student of English
  • I have tried this unique way of learning french and my progress was rapid.In just a few months i got prepared to give my exams and i succeded to get a diploma of B2-upper Intermediate level. The procedure of learning was very interesting by reading articles, watcing videos or even commenting books, so you have the ability of understanding grammar and syntax by reading or watching a complete article or video. I suggest without a doubt this way of learning!!!

    Niki V., Lawyer, student of French
  • I first came across Language & Motivation website while looking for a teacher for private Dutch lessons. I thought reaching B1 in three months was not possible, except in courses with classes every day, so I kept looking. But I was so intrigued that I couldn't stop thinking about it and a week later I sent an email asking for more details. Once I had settled down and was sure I could dedicate 6 hours per week to homework in the following three months, I decided to go ahead. I was impressed from the start. After the first lesson, I found myself being able to read and roughly understand a sign that had been sitting for weeks in the common room at my workplace. I guess that’s the main breakthrough of the F.A.S.T. method: it gives the students tools to break the language down to make it easier and then build it up at their own pace as they advance. It takes effort and dedication, and you only get what you give, but teacher Jildou was there to make everything clear and keep every lesson stimulating and fun.

    Márcia G., Historian, student of Dutch
  • Watch to what Jenny has to say about Language and Motivation

    Jenny P., student of Spanish
  • Language and Motivation has not only helped me pass the aforementioned exams but has also enabled me to communicate with my Dutch colleagues at work almost only in Dutch and also engage in day-to-day communications with Dutch people in their native language more than ever. I will continue to work on to take my Dutch proficiency to the next level.

    Dong YL, Assistant Finance Manager, student of Dutch successfully passed all parts of NT2 Staatsexamen II
  • Watch to what Ornela has to say about Language and Motivation

    Ornela P., Biomedical Engineer MSc, student of Dutch
  • I started using the F.A.S.T. method with Language and Motivation to brush up on my spoken French and use it in my workplace. I couldn’t imagine how quickly I could communicate with a certain vocabulary and terminology after my lessons with my teacher Stella! It was a really interesting process that gave me knowledge not only about the French language but also about my profession itself, as my study for the courses was focus on it. I now feel more confident to communicate in French and I am sure that this is a great way to learn fast and efficiently a new language.

    Ourania A., Architect Engineer, student of French
  • It's for sure a revolutionary approach to teaching a foreign language! Sofia is the most appropriate person to communicate her knowledge and expertise to all her colleagues. Personally, I recommend her and this training without question because it opens up new roads to this continually changing and demanding field of foreign language teaching. Thank you Sofia!

    Maria E., teacher of French
  • Being a teacher at Language and Motivation is a wonderful experience. You meet new people and you also work with a great team!

    Annetta, teacher of dutch
    Anneta S., teacher of Dutch
  • Teaching German with F.A.S.T. method is a fast and interesting way to explore the language.

    Gogo T., teacher of German
  • With the F.A.S.T. method I hope to motivate many students to reach their language goals in a safe and comfortable learning environment.

    Jildou B., teacher of Dutch
  • LM understood my needs and assigned the right teacher to me in short span of time. My teacher Annetta was the best in calibrating my needs and she made me fetch the fruits of success.

    Shakthi R., Software Test Engineer, student of Dutch
  • Sofia is an inspirational and passionate teacher! She's also very understanding and adaptable to your needs. Thanks to the Language and Motivation method, you will explore a new way of learning a language that is both fun and challenging! I have already taken the 3-month course for French and I am continuing to another one, so I strongly recommend her 🙂 My only regret is not having started the lessons earlier. So don't hesitate and do it now!

    Evgenia K., PhD Candidate, INRIA, student of French
  • Watch to what Philip has to say about Language and Motivation

    Philip B.,Physiotherapist, student of Dutch
  • The training was very useful, it suggests new tools, material and ideas! Sofia is wonderful as a trainer! She is always ready to answer, to clear out and suggest solutions to your questions! Thank you Sofia 🙂

    Natalia P., teacher of French
  • The most interesting, contemporary, quick and to the point way to learn a foreign language, adapted to today's needs. Despite of the demanding, personal study you need to do in order to cope with, after my french lessons with Stella, I am always happy, satisfied and motivated to try harder. I wish I hadn't lost so much time and energy in the past, learning languages in the traditional way

    Christiana K., architect, student of French
  • Watch to what Nadia has to say about Language and Motivation

    Nadia N., HPI E-Commerce Partner Content Specialist at Webhelp, student of Spanish
  • Mahdy, the Dutch teacher is very good and always made me feel comfortable.

    Ilaria F., Medical Personnel, student of Dutch
  • I always had a really tough time with new languages. With "Language and motivation" things didn't miraculously change but I felt motivated, which wasn't the case with my previous experiences. And slowly I built my dutch language skills to pretty much get by in my day to day life. Now in some cases, Dutch people talk to me in Dutch without realizing I am not a Dutch speaker. I am not at a level to hold a fluent conversation yet but with "Language and Motivation" I feel I got the tools to get better slowly. My tip to new learners is to trust the process and move things at your own pace.

    Harry S., Director of R&D, student of Dutch
  • I have loved my French lessons. I progressed so much in such a short time! And had a great time while doing it. Stella is an amazing teacher!

    Norma T., student of French
  • Watch to what Maria has to say about Language and Motivation

    Maria T., Senior Legal & Compliance Officer – Vice President, student of French
  • I really loved the teacher's training! It was an unique opportunity to learn something new, to question the limits of our practices, to share thoughts with colleagues, to improve ourselves! Thank you so much!

    Aikaterini K., teacher of French
  • My teacher is patient and always finds a way to make the class dynamic and focused on speaking, which I need. The homework is focused on other skills too, which complements the classes.

    Raquel R., Mkt & Comms Manager, student of German
  • Your method is exceptional and Jildou is a special teacher with patience and communicability. She managed during the time we collaborated, to make Dutch more accessible. I wish to join you again as soon as conditions are favorable for me.

    Nikolaos Ch., student of Dutch
  • J'ai commencé à apprendre le français avec Sofia il y a deux mois et regardez comment j'écris! Je suis très contente, parce que je sais que je peux dire déjà plusieurs choses en français, car Sofia insiste beaucoup sur les cours oraux! Merci beaucoup, Sofia! Je pensais que le français était très difficile, mais tu rends les choses difficiles faciles!

    Fani K., Journalist, student of French
  • Sofia est une excellente professeur. Ella a une manière unique de motiver et d’inspirer ses élèves. Même après des journées difficiles au travail, je me sens contente après avoir fini un cours de français. J’ ai le sens de l’ accomplissement. Sa méthode est exigeante mais elle vous permet d’apprendre par l’expérience, ce qui s’avère efficace pour développer rapidement des compétences linguistiques. J’aime Sofia et je la recommande vivement!

    Ilia T., Coca Cola HBC, Switzerland, student of French
  • Watch to what Amanda has to say about Language and Motivation [embed][/embed]

    Amanda D., Global Autonomous Maintenance Pillar Leader at JDE, student of Dutch
  • The general structure of the course worked really well for me. I liked the pressure of having quite a bit of homework each week. This kept German on my mind throughout the week since it was more work than I could do in a single night. I also liked how the assignments were separated into the four basic language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking). Stavroula is an excellent teacher. I was extremely nervous before my first lesson and over our 3 months together, she calmed me down, walked me off the ledge, and got me to look forward to lessons. You can read the whole interview here:

    Ender T., Teacher, student of German
  • After 2 months of French lessons with Sofia I can say that these lessons are like "gym". You don't really want to go because you know that it is going to be hard, but after the class you really feel wonderful. Incredibly interesting texts, exercises, discussions, lessons.. I feel really grateful and very happy that I decided to trust her. I highly recommend it if you want to save time, money and energy by putting your forces, concentration and love into practice!

    Stefania T., Art therapist, student of French
  • Sofia is full of energy and an excellent teacher. I was afraid that Skype lessons might not be for me but I was so wrong. If you are really interested in learning French, then you should certainly have a call with Sofia!

    Vagelis A., Programmer, student of French
  • The most wonderful french teacher! And the story goes like this.. I started learning french since learning a second foreign language was required by the national educational system.. I could never have been able to imagine that through those lessons I would be initiated in a new way of life! Not only did I acquire a very good level in french quickly enough, but also I got motivated in exploring a whole culture! Reading articles related to current events, listening to songs and watching videos on a variety of topics constitute Sofia’s best methods of teaching her students that language is a way of communicating and expanding your world! This teacher definitely reveals your confidence to interact with people in a language other than your mother tongue! Strongly recommended!

    Emmanouela K., Lawyer, student of French
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