Today I would like to talk a little bit about our principles for teaching early language learners.
What are the principles that drive our Curricula?
LANGUAGES4KIDZ Curriculum Resources are:
They respect each child’s uniqueness, their stage of development, their needs, abilities, interests, learning strategies and learning styles.
- Developmentally appropriate
Lessons are planned around activities that provide a lot of exposure to the target language and respond to the development of the “whole child.” They are engaging, make sense and are relevant to very young learners.
At LANGUAGES4KIDZ we believe that children learn through interaction with materials, other children, adults around them and immersed in a rich language environment that fosters creativity and the development of their thinking skills.
- Fun and enjoyable
They mimic the natural way in which children learn their native language. First they listen, then they speak and later on they learn to read and write. Our curricula provides for meaningful interactions using repetition, body language, puppets, songs, finger plays, games, drama, Total Physical Response (TPR) exercises, arts and crafts projects, and aural and visual aides.
In LANGUAGES4KIDZ curricula all these activities have been interwoven together to create a unique path for successful acquaintance and learning of the target language in a fun and natural way.
- Inclusive of parents
We know that parents are the most important people in a child’s life. From the time they are born children learn most from their parents and/or caregivers, and it is in their company that they feel more comfortable.
In LANGUAGES4KIDZ Teacher’s Guides it is recommended to have parents attend classes until children have made the transition toward independence. But once children are attending alone, it is important to keep parents informed and involved in their child’s language education. They continue to be a vital part of the process and they can help maintain the teaching-learning process at home through the materials from children’s packages. We need to keep in mind that an interested and informed parent is an invaluable resource.
- Delivered in the target language
LANGUAGES4KIDZ Curriculum Resources (English and Spanish) have been designed to “immerse” children directly and immediately into the target language from the first opening day or hour of class. We strongly support teaching the language by using the language.
It is clear that young children take their mother tongue and a new language through their ears. It is their listening skills the ones they acquire first. Therefore, we recommend talking in the target language at all times and using different techniques and strategies to give children as much back up as possible.
- Process oriented
The methodology used does not force early production in the second language, but allows children to produce when they are ‘ready’.
We know comprehension precedes production, so we focus on the process rather than the product.
At Languages4kidz we believe in the importance of creating an environment that is safe, loving, caring, stimulating and pressure free. An environment that notices children’s progress and provides encouragement and praise. We believe on focusing on the positive in order to draw more attention to it and apply the universal law of, you attract what you focus on.
Praise and encouragement are fostered by respecting each child’s rate and pace of learning and the stages of language development. Lessons in our Curricula provide guidance on asking questions appropriately, providing time for children to respond, expanding and building up children’s vocabulary and providing enough challenging activities using routines and scaffolding as strategies to help children grow as they acquire a second language.