HIPPO FAMILY CLUB
What is HIPPO? Club Meeting Members' Voice Organization Access
What is HIPPO?
Breakthrough in Language Acquisition  
Human beings can speak any number of languages. It is commonly accepted that any infant with the physical capability can acquire the language spoken around him by the age of two or three. A five or six year old who moves to another country will be able to speak the new language of that country in six months to a year. Yet, how many people believe that adults can acquire languages in this same manner, or that anyone can speak multiple languages? While people take it for granted that a child will acquire a new language in this natural setting , they have not really examined the process behind this acquisition.
Since 1981, however, the HIPPO Family Club has been investigating this natural language acquisition process. Based on this research, the Hippo Club has developed a network of community-based language clubs through which both children and adults can acquire multiple languages simultaneously.
 
   
Immersion Environment  
Our research shows that anyone, at any age, can acquire new languages. Unfortunately, the way most people usually attempt to learn a language, in a traditional classroom, does not provide a conducive setting for language acquisition. Infants don't learn their native language by breaking the language down into little pieces of grammar and vocabulary, or by looking in a dictionary, so why should a child or adult learn other languages that way either?
In HIPPO's relaxed environment, children and adults of any age come to speak any number of languages. The speed with which a new language is acquired, demonstrates that although languages are superficially different, there is an underlying universality among all human languages.
The founder of LEX and HIPPO Family Club, Mr. Yo Sakakibara, has been researching how humans acquire languages for over 30 years. First working with researchers at Harvard and MIT, and then moving his research institute to Tokyo, Japan. In 1981, he formed HIPPO Family Club, which utilizes the learning methods he developed based on this research. Currently there are over 30,000 HIPPO members in Japan alone, playing games, singing songs, and speaking in up to seventeen different languages: French, Chinese, German, Korean, Spanish, Japanese, English, Italian, Russian, Thai, Malaysian, Portuguese, Indonesian, Cantonese, Arabic, Hindi, and Taiwanese.
 
   
Whole to Parts  
We call this natural process of language development "from the whole to the parts." When babies babble in baby-talk, they are mimicking the broadest outline of the language. Later, they begin to speak in phrases, but may only pronounce the sounds at the beginning and end of a phrase while humming through the rest. Eventually, they are able to be more precise in their sounds and phrases, until they become a mature speaker. But they are always making new language discoveries.
Adults who are exposed to new languages in a similar way will go through the same natural process.
 
 
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