What are the classes like?
All of our classes are active, play-based and take place in a full immersion environment. Students are able to gain language comprehension by completely engaging in the games, stories and projects they do in class. Teachers are trained to use comprehensible language and use a variety of methods such as acting, props and drawings to facilitate connections between the target words and the objects/ ideas they represent. The focus is not on teaching translation; rather students begin to develop connections in the same way as they do when learning their first language. Students will engage in games that target specific concepts and that are mindful of each child’s cognitive abilities such as comparisons, preferences and sequencing.
What if my child is behind?
There is no need to worry about your child having less language experience than others. Research has shown that all learners benefit from being in class with a variety of proficiency levels. Language learning takes time and exposure. If the learner never hears the language... they can never begin to speak it! The fundamental component to these classes is exposure and comprehension. Our teachers have experience scaffolding activities to facilitate learners of all levels.
We speak the language at home, is my child too advanced?
Children who are completely bilingual often take our classes. Lango classes provide invaluable exposure to additional adult native speakers and more importantly, children learn to negotiate speaking with their peers in the target language. These communicative opportunities give kids a space for self-awareness and self-assessment of their language use.
Will the second language interfere with the first?
There is a never-ending list of literature that proves that learning a second language does not interfere with the first language. In fact, learning a second language increases verbal ability in the native language and increases brain plasticity.... YOUR BRAIN ACTUALLY GROWS IN SIZE!!! The list cognitive advantages to learning a language just keeps growing as research discover more and more about the benefits of bilingualism.
Will my student become bilingual?
Your student will likely not leave their Lango classes as a bilingual, however, your learner will be able to comprehend and react to modified speech in the target language. With additional outside exposure, and continued instruction, students can reach near native fluency. The recipe to bilingualism is not simple, nor is it one size fits all, but the “cooking” can’t even begin without exposure. Research has shown that early exposure leads to increased motivation, which makes it more likely that learners will continue on their journey to fluency.
What can I do to help/ support?
Even if you do not speak the target language, you can do so much to support your learner. There is a wealth of free resources on the Internet, and with your enrollment, you receive access to our Lango Kids Online resource center. The key is really exposure, so even finding classic children’s movies or programs in the target language can be very helpful for learners.
But my child isn’t saying anything….
Learning languages does take time and students go through predictable stages during their language journeys. One widely recognized stage is defined by a reluctance to speak. Think back to how much language your baby had to hear before he or she could start producing sounds and later, words. Learning a second or third language works the same way. Learners need time to process the language before they begin speaking. Just because your student isn’t speaking, doesn’t mean that the learning process isn’t taking place, it actually confirms that this intake is happening!
How do I know he or she is learning?
It becomes tricky to notice learning when students are not speaking the language, but one great way to see the effects of instruction is to simply watch your child respond to the language. If learners can follow teacher instructions, and understand questions (even if they are responding with body language or in their native language) we know that learning is happening. Remember that one great way to see these reactions outside of the classroom is to use the great resources we have at Langokidsonline.com and practice at home using the suggestions in our parent updates.
How are languages learned?
We bring up this question, because there are many misconceptions about how languages are learned and some linguists can’t agree on the answer. One thing is certain, learning language is not simply learning words or grammar rules! Words are part of language, but having an extensive vocabulary or accurately conjugating verbs is not the end game. In our classes we reinforce the same themes and concepts across our curriculum providing learners with the essential element in language learning: EXPOSURE. We want to give learners opportunities to use what they do know in a variety of contexts rather than simply recognizing a long list of words. Our classes focus on what learners can DO with language, giving them space for meaningful and original communication.