Languages: Brainwashing to Teach

During his three-week ordeal, Roman Catholic Father John Hogan of Gary, Ind., lost six pounds, and "the tension was so high that I suddenly felt like crying when I was driving home." Mrs. Robert Stack, wife of the television actor, says: "You are almost hypnotized —and your mind goes blank. It's like being in a torture chamber." The horrifying experience Father Hogan and Mrs. Stack endured was distinctly beneficial: the Berlitz Schools' "Total Immersion" course, which aims to give its students a foreign-language fluency and vocabulary of 1,600 words a week.

Pioneered by the armed forces language schools (Time, July 16,...

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