Category Archives: Early learning

The sound of language

The Lingua Franca Foundation has whirl pooled  yet another one of its activities. As the Foundation wears many hats, it is crucial to crystallise some of the  lot on the plate. As to that, the Foundation is now exercising its mother wit by squeezing out the language lime to suit our important clients more than 100 hours worth of training each !

 

This tailored language course focuses more on the trainees’ Achille’s heel. As a trainer, I have constructed a special test to determine the trainees’ level of language comprehension. After the assessment, the trainees are then being drilled intensively according to their level of understanding and capacity to learn- taking into account their personal ability, character, background and culture. Each learning scheme is uniquely design to fit the dress of the wearer.

After two consecutive months of intensive training with two different trainees, I honestly discovered that all roads lead to Rome. It is not at the end of the road yet, nevertheless, so far as I can tell, it has been a very fruitful journey for both the trainees and the trainer. 

Official stamping – A STEP AHEAD !

On the 4th of March 2010, The Stichting Lingua Franca Foundation has received an official Piccolingo Campaign for early foreign language learning certificate. This Foundation has shown great interest in supporting and encouraging parents in exposing their children to language diversity! We believe that at a very early age, children are able to enjoy learning diverse languages and at the same time, gaining knowledge of other cultures and belief – hopefully this will create a new perspective over tolerance, acceptance and mutual respect amongst the younger generation.

Because of this great interest, the Foundation has created a club for kids – which one of the objectives is – to also initiate such project among children.  It is also another approach to reach out to all types of children despite their nationality, race and religion. What more of a better way than children reaching out to other children? They can learn to encourage and support each other – giving hand to-hand guidance – while having fun together and getting to know one another more thoroughly and put aside their differences to find a common ground between them so that they can live in a more harmonious way.

So, there it is! It’s now OFFICIAL ! The Stichting Lingua Franca Foundation is now a member and supporter of the Piccolingo Campaign. For your information, the Piccolingo Campaign is an initiative from the  European Union under Education and Culture DG.

Marco Bertolini, the co-Founder of Lingua Franca Foundation, has been appointed as a supporter  for the Piccolingo Campaign for Belgium from PICCOLINGO.


Uuhh?? Uuuhh?? Mama, I can read..??!

Have you ever witness little children who are able to read without having to teach them how to read the language in the first place? This is without sending them to a specific language school, or send them to special language class to enable them to learn to grasp the language and to fully understand the concept of the language itself. I am talking about literally putting a book in front of them and they start reading simultaneously, and surprisingly with almost no fault nor correction! I am not saying that you shouldn’t teach any language just by speaking alone, but believe me! It helps a lot in grasping the meaning and pronouncing the words faster than usual.

boy reading a book

I have been speaking English with my children since they were born. It’s not their only language since we speak more than three languages in the house. But to my astonishment, my children are able to recognise words and sentences from any English book and are able to read them fluently. All I know is that, all these years we never stop talking and practising the language. We speak English every single day.

One thing here that I feel the urge to mention is that I make sure the children speak proper English. Not any ‘broken’ English as most people put it. I have the tendency to keep correcting their sentences whenever there is the need for correction. This is because I know for a fact that it is crucial to speak the language correctly so that the person receiving the information will benefit from understanding fully what you want to relay in the first place – hopefully without having to repeat over and over again for clarity.

boy and girl reading a book

Now, it seems that my hard work has been paid off – slowly (I am waiting for a big fat cheque at the end of all this! Haha, just kidding…) Honestly, I am genuinely happy to see that my children are benefiting our endless effort all these years.   There are a lot of sweat and tears along the journey, however, I am more than satisfied with the fruitful result. Imagine that throughout the years,  it was I  who read the books to the children almost every night. And now? Now, it’s totally a different story altogether. It’s a total opposite, really!  The children are the ones who read pirate adventures books, or stories about beautiful princesses and the ever lasting Prince Charming. Or stories about little boys and girls, or stories about frogs and swans, gnomes and fairies and even funny comic books to me instead! You should have seen the look in their eyes once they start reading on their own. As if they have found the long lost treasure  from Treasure Island. They are so proud to tell me, ” I can read, mama…. I can read!”

With this, I am now teaching the children the proper structure of the language through writing. I do not have to start at the very beginning since this is no longer an unfamiliar territory.  I am sure that the children will have more pleasure in learning the language  thoroughly since I am already seeing signs of ‘having so much fun‘ while they are reading and writing English. I am entirely convinced that the children will be able to read, write, speak and hear the language in full gear in the very near future! Never under estimate the power of the mind of a child….

Fruitful future

There is a new project buzzing around the local neighbourhood. I heard this through a contact of mine. We accidentally bumped into each other 2 days ago at one of the Youth & Family Development centres. The last time we spoke, I told her about my idea to propose a project in exposing children to multiple languages at very tender age.

Apparently that somehow caused some sort a chain reaction since, mysteriously out of the blue, she suddenly told me that she (and other colleagues) are in the process of trying to propose some sort of programme to develop children’s mind from birth till they are 4 years old.

Unfortunately we had to cut our conversation short due to appointments we both had to attend (but at different location with different people), but now it gives me a very strong impression that people do think the idea of teaching children and exposing them to new methods of learning, or a new language, etc. is extremely important in order to maximise the potential of the child’s mind and to gear it up to its fullest capacity. I have to say; I got excited! And I fully support this notion.

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Piccolingo in the Netherlands?

The Piccolingo logo

As you have read about the Piccolingo – an European program aimed to promote early language learning for preschool children; I am wondering  and strongly hoping that this sort of project is achievable and manageable in the Dutch region.

The Lingua Franca Foundation (Lingua Franca Academy) – is seriously promoting such cause – wanting full exposure for very young children to adapt to more than one language. Having to master more than one language is considered a skill – and to be able to learn and sharpen one skill at a very tender age is a long lasting investment! Not many children having this unique advantage, but those who do, should be given full boost to further their knowledge in this field.

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Bilingual children learn better !

Two days ago, I published a post about Piccolingo, an European program aimed to promote early language learning for preschool children.  Here, is an article I wrote several month ago on early language learning and its benefits.

Some myths and legends about language learning seem very difficult to eradicate…

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Piccolingo : supporting multilingual education for preschool children

The European Union is backing up language projects aimed to preschool children

“Every child should learn at least two languages”. The European Council.

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The Piccolingo logo

For the European Union, “multilingualism lies at the heart of the EU.”  Therefore, the European Institutions, throughout the Lifelong Learning Program is supporting initiatives related to language learning.  For the European Commission, there are 3 strands of the multilingualism policy :

  1. Encouraging language learning and promoting linguistic diversity in society.
  2. Promoting a healthy multilingual economy.
  3. Promoting social integration through improved knowledge and acceptance of languages.

As languages are one of the four key activities, the Lifelong Learning Program offers a wide range of actions designed to support language learning, including language learning at an early age.

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