Having been on the other side of the learning process, I want to share some important details to which you should pay attention to parents who want to find a good foreign language courses for their children.
Firstly, frankly, do not expect a fast, stable good results. If you have decided to invest in a foreign language for his child, then be prepared for the fact that investments of this kind will have to do for several years.
Second, unfortunately, despite the huge number of new, visually appealing methods, there are no miracles. There are already experiences, allowing to draw practical conclusions.
I can tell you exactly what is the best age for a special teaching children foreign languages - 3 years. Let me explain why. Natural child bilingualism is acquired at birth only if all of his waking hours split in half and give one half of the Russian language, and the second — a foreign language. For example, my mother speaks only in Russian, and my father — only in English. If one of languages to devote more time, it will start to dominate. For three years the child is ready to learn and to take a foreign language through play, so at this age it’s time to start special training at a language school. Starting earlier, you, of course, give your child a good start for the development and adaptation in a team, but to learn a foreign language in the classroom to the full, he can not. Standard two or three classes per week for this too little.
Children’s Center in Kiev, where I had to teach, and later in charge of the department of foreign languages, recruited children from three years in the group of English, French and German. We proposed European languages in the complex, ie, all three at the same time for each student. Besperevodnaya technique is still very new in 2003 ensured that children begin to communicate in these languages at the age of 9 years. It sounded tempting. We, young teachers trained in. It is based on a rule — children do not need to know what the teachers say and understand in Russian. Thus, the school created a natural communicative environment. Why is this so important? For children, it is not clear when people talk to them in their native language, suddenly turns into another. Probably themselves faced with such a situation at home. Practice has shown that children are just starting to act up. It is better if in a foreign language to them a new person starts talking.
Children get used to the fact that a language school with a teacher they have their own, very special, «coded» language which is so interesting to play different games, sing songs, to get acquainted with fantastic heroes. I remember a case when I was approached by the mother of one pupil with a request to show her «just order your Peter Pan.» Long she laughed when she saw Peter Pan — it’s just a cardboard doll. And he was very special, because with them the child has developed his personal communication.
A big plus besperevodnoy technique consists in the fact that the language barrier collapses instantly. Children free almost immediately feel in a new environment and are not afraid of people saying «not in Russian.» A child who experiences with such people will feel completely comfortable abroad. I’ll tell you another story. Two families (our clients) went to France. None of the adults do not speak French. Their trouble in a provincial French restaurant one of the staff did not understand in English. Because of difficult situation helped the children get out! They were able to make an order for everyone! The parents were thrilled and proud to a seven-year polyglots!
I note that, indeed, those patient clients who have decided to go to the goal from the beginning to the end, achieved the desired results. My most senior students this year are in Grade 6, they are 11 years of age. We still meet and talk in English on various topics. When traveling, they meet new people, languages only help, and their social circle is growing rapidly.
«Govoritelny» breakthrough comes at the age of 5-6 years, when children begin to build their own phrases on the basis of all the learned. Of course, the more often a child hears a foreign language, the better the results. It is advisable to classes in the language school were carried out 3 times a week. Two — is the minimum.
If you give the child to a language school in 3 years, you should know that the aim of the first year — to teach children to understand and respond appropriately to foreign speech. Often, children will repeat the words and small phrases. Parents begin to notice that their child alone at home playing with toys, mutters something foreign. That’s four years since the goal is to speaking. If Classes are exciting games, whether in English or any other foreign language, your baby will begin to actively participate. Typically, the game entered certain speech patterns that are processed unnoticed for children. If you have a desire to help the child in learning languages at home together, you can see a cartoon or reading an interesting book. However, remember that it is important not to overreact. Let the learning is fun.
A few words about the procedures for preschoolers. Of course, reading and writing are very important, but in a language school for the youngest of these aspects should not dominate. Practice shows that reading and writing them perfectly teach in a secondary school. Pre-school age — the best age to eliminate the language barrier, so it should prevail speaking in class in the selected school.
Of course, we must remember that to teach a foreign language a child — a collaboration between teachers and parents. Try to discover your kids the maximum number of opportunities to display their talents. And suddenly you have a family grows a polyglot?