Learning a new language creates all sorts of fear and apprehension, as it’s very easy to make mistakes and lose confidence to try and speak – If you eliminate this fear with lessons that allow the children to progress naturally through games, activities and creativity, the motivation to speak, and hence improve quickly, is huge!
For example, each vocabulary set in our primary school courses has a purpose for producing active sentences –
Now, this is not re-inventing the wheel, it’s common practice for language courses.
However, for us, knowing all of the words is not important. It’s not our aim.
They are there for learning to communicate with confidence.
Some words are easy, or similar to German, allowing weaker children to participate more, and others are trickier giving a challenge to stronger students.
The children want to communicate, and all the children know a few words to be able to use with the functional language that follows.
Additionally, the sets of language that follow are designed to allow the children to explore creating new sentences – Not just say set phrases and then not know how to express themselves further.
This is where we are different, and where you can make a difference too.
Move away from the typical “How are you? I’m fine. Good morning, What’s your name? ABC, sing a song and finish approach”. This has its merits for passive understanding, but let’s aim higher!
Younger children are great sponges for picking up language patterns, and if you expose these to them in the right way they learn quickly!
Instead, think of a set of vocabulary and apply a useful set of language that the kids can really use and adapt. Build your games, activities and creativity around this topic.
This way creates more confidence, leading to motivated children who want to speak more.
Better retention of active language as they have used it more repeatedly, as well as attempting to create their own, new sentences in a fun, relaxed, confidence building environment.
Hope that helps a little, and in the next blog, I’ll touch on how to use film & theatre in the classroom to enhance language learning.
Feel free to get in touch if you have any thoughts or questions!