Intercomprehension between related languages
In the approach termed Intercomprehension between related languages the learner works on two or more languages of the same linguistic family (Romance, Germanic, Slavic languages, etc.) in parallel. One of these languages is already known, being either the learner’s mother tongue, or the language of education, or even another language having been learnt previously.
In this approach there is a systematic focus on receptive skills, as the development of comprehension is the most tangible way of using the knowledge of a related language to learn a new one. Of course, this does not exclude some added benefits for productive skills.
In the second half of the 1990s there was innovative work in this area with adult learners (including university students), in France and other countries speaking romance languages, as well as in Germany, Scandinavian and Slavophone countries. Many were supported at a European level in the programmes of the European Union. Examples of this approach are to be found in certain materials produced for awakening to language approaches, but in general there has been little development of intercomprehension in schools.