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….
Posted in Early learning, Language learning, Languages, Lingua Franca Academy, pedagogy, Projects, Uncategorized
Tagged children, communication, Early learning, education, first steps, foundation, Language learning, preschool children, reading, speak, speaking, teaching, writing
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.
Posted in Cultural diversity, Early learning, Language learning, Languages, pedagogy
Tagged child, children, communication, Cultural diversity, culture, diversity, Dutch, East/West, Europe, european project, information, language, Language learning, Languages, learning, mixed couple, pedagogy, piccolingo, preschool children, project
The European Union is backing up language projects aimed to preschool children
“Every child should learn at least two languages”. The European Council.
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 :
Encouraging language learning and promoting linguistic diversity in society.
Promoting a healthy multilingual economy.
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.