The World of Berlitz®
Corporate Information
Berlitz International, Inc. is the world's premier language services firm, providing quality language instruction, translation, and publishing services throughout the world.

Berlitz has been providing language services for more than 120 years, with millions of alumni. The time-proven principles of the Berlitz Method are supplemented by a constant flow of new and updated information and the latest multi-media lesson materials. Translation and publishing services throughout the world complete our full-service portrait.

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Berlitz International, Inc. Worldwide Headquarters
Berlitz International, Inc. Worldwide Headquarters
400 Alexander Park
Princeton, NJ 08540-6306

Telephone: (609) 514-9650
Fax: (609) 514-9689

The Berlitz Worldwide Headquarters was opened May 14, 1996. Approximately 140 employees are housed in this facility.

The headquarters features a prototype of the new Berlitz retail concept center which also serves as the Princeton Language Center.

The design of the 70,000 square foot, four story headquarters facility reflects Berlitz's international presence and incorporates a variety of cultures - a fitting design for the world's leader in global communications!

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The Berlitz Story
For more than a century, people from around the world have been coming to Berlitz to learn the languages they need for business, pleasure, travel, and to improve their ability to communicate with people of other cultures. They come because they know they can count on Berlitz to teach them the languages they want to know quickly, enjoyably, effectively, and with unmatched expertise. Berlitz's tradition of excellence in language instruction goes back to the very beginning of the company more than 115 years ago.

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Maximilian D. Berlitz
The organization now known as Berlitz International, Inc. was founded in 1878 by Maximilian D. Berlitz in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Descended from a long line of teachers and mathematicians, Maximilian Berlitz grew up in the Black Forest region of Germany. He emigrated to the United States in 1872 and arrived prepared to teach Greek, Latin, and six other European languages according to the strict traditionalist grammar-translation approach.

After building a successful career as a private teacher, Berlitz joined the Warner Polytechnic College as a professor of French and German language instruction. The college, however, was less imposing than its name, and Berlitz found himself at once owner, dean, principal, and only faculty member.

Needing an assistant to teach French, Berlitz hired a young Frenchman who appeared to be the most promising candidate, possibly because of the impeccable French in his letter of application. Invited to Providence, Nicholas Joly arrived to find his new employer ill and feverish from overwork, a condition that was not improved when Berlitz learned his new assistant spoke no English. Casting about desperately for a way of using Joly, Berlitz told him to try pointing at objects and naming them and to act out verbs as best he could. He thereupon took to his bed, emerging anxiously six weeks later prepared to face the wrath of his neglected students.

Instead, Berlitz found the students engaging in lively question-and-answer exchanges with their teacher, in elegantly accented French. The characteristic solemnity of the formal classroom had vanished. More important, the students had progressed further than any ever had under six weeks of his own tutelage.

Berlitz quickly concluded that his emergency measure held the seed of an innovative teaching technique. By replacing rote learning with a discovery process that kept students active and interested, it solved many of the problems that had plagued language instruction in the past.

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An Overview of the Berlitz Method TM
After experimenting with the new technique and finding it consistently effective, Berlitz developed a system of language teaching which today is still the basis for the world-famous Berlitz courses.

The principles he laid down were deceptively simple. Only the target language would be spoken in class, starting with the first greeting by the teacher. Emphasis would be on the spoken word, with students learning to read and write only what they had already learned to say and understand. There would be no formal grammar instruction; instead, students would absorb a grammatical system naturally, by using it. Above all, to develop fluency, students would have to learn to think in the new language, not translate - to associate new words with objects and ideas, rather than with the distractingly familiar words of their mother tongue. Teachers would have to constantly encourage students to speak the language being taught, employing a barrage of questions to be answered and a quickly expanding vocabulary. And, most importantly, each Berlitz teacher would have to have a native command of the language being taught.

While the unique system of instruction developed by Berlitz has been refined, enriched, and modernized throughout the years, these elements remain at the heart of all Berlitz language instruction.

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Years of Rapid Growth
Maximilian Berlitz's innovative approach to teaching languages met with almost immediate success in Providence, and by 1880, he was encouraged to open a language center in Boston. This was followed in quick succession by language centers in New York City and Washington, D.C. Their success led him to open centers in other American cities and in Europe, where the popularity of Berlitz's teaching technique spread even more rapidly.

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Expansion and Diversification
As the company moved into the 20th century, increased international trade and the rise of multinational corporations stimulated a new period of growth for Berlitz. In Europe, Latin America, and the Far East, the demand for English soared, replacing French as the accepted language of the business world. At the same time, the demand for language instruction increased in English-speaking countries as well.

In the 1950s, Berlitz opened its first Latin American language center in Mexico, following shortly thereafter with locations in Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, and Chile, for a current total of over 50. A Tokyo language center was established in 1968; today there are approximately 50 Berlitz centers in Asia. Berlitz continues to enjoy a strong presence in Europe, with more than 126 Berlitz centers in operation today. The North American division has more than 70 centers in the US and Canada. The current number of Berlitz centers worldwide is more than 320, and that number is certain to grow with continued expansion into new markets.

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A Changing Student Body
From the founding of the company in 1878, Berlitz was geared primarily to the needs of travelers and those studying for personal enrichment. In the 1950s, however, it found the composition of its student body changing. Berlitz was increasingly confronted with business people, professionals, and technicians headed for foreign posts and needing language skills for their new assignments, while major corporations were seeking to enroll large numbers of personnel - and their families - and the first requirement was speed.

To meet this need, Berlitz accelerated the changeover from conventional classes to private and small group instruction and instituted a research program to develop new techniques of intensive instruction.

After several years of research and testing, Berlitz created a stir in academic circles with the introduction of its Total Immersion(r) ("T.I.") instruction program. Total Immersion teaches languages quickly to students with an urgent need, such as an impending relocation overseas. The program immerses the student in language instruction for more than eight hours a day, for two to six weeks.

The faster pace of learning required by students led Berlitz to develop a new application of its basic approach to instruction. Home study materials were introduced in 1970 to enable students to supplement their classroom lessons through vocabulary review and pronunciation. Today these materials include books, cassettes, video and CD-ROM. Berlitz's curriculum and training department continues to develop new materials to keep pace with changing technology and student needs.

Berlitz continues to answer changing student needs through new programs offered in addition to traditional language center courses. Berlitz Study Abroad™ offers students a complete travel package and an opportunity to study their new language in the country where it's spoken. In 1988, Berlitz acquired the Language Institute for EnglishTM (L.I.F.E.), now known as ELS Language Centers, which provides intensive English instruction, recreational opportunities, and accommodations for foreign students on campuses in many U.S. locations. Berlitz Jr. offers special foreign language programs for U.S. elementary, middle, and high school students both "on site" at schools or camps and at Berlitz language centers. Finally, Berlitz strengthened its offerings for the rapidly growing cross-cultural market by acquiring Cross-Cultural Consultants in 1994.

A significant Berlitz achievement in 1996 was the launching of our new franchising program. With the added strength of current and future franchisees all over the world, Berlitz Franchising is now poised to enter a new area of growth into markets we have never served before.

Berlitz has also expanded its offerings in the translation field. In addition to traditional document translation, Berlitz is one of the leading providers of software localization. Berlitz Translation Services offers its clients full production capabilities including foreign language word processing, desktop publishing and typesetting, graphics and layout, and a full range of audio-visual services. Berlitz also provides interpretation services in all languages virtually anywhere in the world. With technical and linguistic resources around the globe, Berlitz is now one of the largest commercial translation companies in the world.

Berlitz Publishing enables millions of people to study independently before a trip and to feel more comfortable once they have arrived in a foreign land. For 25 years, Berlitz Publishing has produced language and travel-related publications recognized throughout the world for their quality, accuracy and ease-of-use. Today, Berlitz publishes more than 1,000 titles in multiple languages -- from full-scale travel guides to a European Menu Reader, from inexpensive paperbacks to state-of-the-art CD-ROMs. Their popular book line includes guides for both the novice and experienced traveler as well as a comprehensive line of home-study audio language programs based on the world-famous Berlitz approach to learning languages.

Last year millions of travelers around the world relied on Berlitz travel guides and foreign language phrase books, dictionaries and audio products. As the number of people traveling internationally, for both business and leisure, continues to grow, Berlitz remains committed to providing first-rate offerings for a diverse and growing audience, through conventional as well as new media.

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Corporate History
After the death of the founder, Maximilian Berlitz, in 1921, Maximilian's son-in-law and associate, Victor Harrison, assumed responsibility for the organization. Upon Harrison's death in 1932, control passed briefly to Victor Harrison, Jr., who was succeeded by Jacques Strumpen-Darrie, a man who had built an outstanding career with Berlitz in Europe and the United States for more than 30 years. Jacques' son Robert was to succeed his father as president in 1953.

In 1966, Berlitz became a subsidiary of Macmillan, Inc. Robert Strumpen-Darrie continued as president until his retirement in 1970. The company was then led by Mr. Elio Boccitto through most of the 1980s.

In November of 1988, Macmillan, Inc. was acquired by Maxwell Communication Corporation, plc. As a consequence of Berlitz's strength and long-term potential, Maxwell took the Company public on December 13, 1989.

Berlitz was subsequently acquired by Fukutake Publishing Co., Ltd. Fukutake, which underwent a recent name change, is today known as the Benesse Corporation. The term "Benesse" combines the Latin roots of "bene" (meaning "good" or "well") and "esse" ("to live" or "to be").

Benesse, a leading Japanese publisher of correspondence courses and other educational materials, is Berlitz's ideal partner -- bringing substantial expertise in education, database management, and correspondence marketing. The collaboration began in the winter of 1990, when Benesse purchased a 20% stake in Berlitz Japan. In February, 1993, the merger was concluded, resulting in Benesse now owning approximately two-thirds of Berlitz's common stock, with public shareholders holding approximately one-third of the outstanding shares. Berlitz's stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BTZ.

The combined resources of Berlitz and Benesse uniquely position the company to provide for the language needs--instruction, translation, and publishing--of the global marketplace.

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