top of page

Our Founder

Dr. Robert Lado

LADO International is proud to be a family-owned institution. Our founder, Dr. Robert Lado, opened LADO over 40 years ago. In addition to being an expert in Applied Linguistics, Dr. Lado was also a researcher, author, professor, and scholar. In his lifetime, he fathered ten children, wrote over 150 articles, and published many books on language teaching and testing, including The Lado English Series.


After a lifetime of teaching and award-winning research, Dr. Lado put his Total Approach methodology into practice at the LADO Institute. His Learning – Acquisition – Facility (L-A-F) hypothesis of language learning, and his own personal experience learning English, made LADO the leader in ESL education that it is today, and we are confident that it will continue to help students (just like you!) to learn English for many years to come.

Lado founder Robert Lado


Total Approach Method

Our founder, Dr. Robert Lado, did not believe that adults should learn a second language based on a first language model. Instead, he believed that adults could be very active and efficient learners by simultaneously using both natural exposure to English and a more structured approach to learning.



At LADO, our teachers follow Dr. Lado’s legacy of teaching excellence by using the Total Approach methodology and the LAF learning model in their classrooms. The Total Approach methodology is a student-centered, communicative approach to language teaching.  It considers the native language knowledge and experience that learners bring to the classroom as valuable tools for learning. Finally, Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing skills are taught together starting at the beginning levels, so that you can start communicating as quickly as possible.

Lado method phone

In the learning phase, students experience language samples and learn words and expressions in context.


In the assimilation phase, students discover the structure and patterns of the language through examples, grammar explanations, practice exercises, and corrections. Assimilation involves thinking by analogy, induction and deduction.



In the final phase, facilitation, students demonstrate mastery of the language in new contexts that require thinking and choice. Students move away from manipulation of the language structures and concentrate on meaning and intentions.

Lado Series

Like many other ESL programs, we believe that students learn better when they have a clear structure to follow. Unlike other programs, however, LADO’s specialized textbooks have been designed to help you learn English according to the best ESL research available, and revised to fit modern learners’ needs.

For Levels 1-6, students use textbooks developed by Dr. Robert Lado himself, and each book follows a clear path to great proficiency using a blend of grammar, practice, reading & writing, and listening & speaking.

For Levels 7-TOEFL, the NorthStar series of textbooks brings an additional component of technology to class, allowing learners to focus in on more advanced skills with practice in real-life interviews, lectures, and videos.

Regardless of level, teachers also include authentic English examples and fun activities to supplement the textbook and keep learners engaged and enjoying the learning process.

Lado books
bottom of page