What are the advantages of early foreign language education for children? How do children learn foreign languages?
Acquiring a language is a survival skill. Children have the innate ability to start speaking any language they hear in an active and systematic way. In their early age they can easily learn several languages because they do it in a totally different way than any other age group.
Children acquire languages. They do it subconsciously, with no inhibitions, focusing on the function and message. For them communication is a process.
Teens and adults learn languages. They do it consciously, with plenty of inhibition, focusing on the learning itself. For them communication is a goal.
Introducing a second or а third language at an early age enhances the capacity of the brain, which in turn brings life-long benefits.
Children are uniquely attuned to slight differences in tone and sound, making it easy for them to mimic accents. Their sensitive ears help them pick up on and duplicate the tricky sounds older people often stumble over.
Numerous reports have proven that students who have studied a foreign language perform much better than their monolingual peers on many standardized tests.
What is the contribution of the Helen Doron English methodology for early language learning? What methods does it use?
Over 30 years ago linguist and educator Helen Doron revolutionized teaching English as a foreign language to young children by developing a method that imitates the way in which babies learn their mother tongue. It is based on the following principles:
Repeated hearing which provides the ongoing exposure to English that is so important at young ages. CDs with original songs and stories composed especially for Helen Doron English are part of the Student Learning Sets.
Positive reinforcement. When your child said his first word, you showed your delight; this positive feedback encouraged your child to continue saying that word and go on to new words. With Helen Doron English, children learn in the same manner as they to their native language – with loads of positive reinforcement.
Small group learning. This permits the best of both worlds. On one hand, students enjoy the advantage of group interaction as opposed to private tutoring. On the other hand, small groups allow for personal attention and plenty of practice in English.
Make learning fun. The Helen Doron English teaching method takes into account children's unique learning styles and uses games, movement, music and lots of fun to maximize their natural love of learning and tendency to absorb languages. Whether aged 3 months or 19 years, children and youth enjoy our lessons which are highly structured, yet fun and dynamic at all times.
Devoted teachers. All Helen Doron English teachers pass a rigorous training course where they learn the methodology in detail and are trained to use our proprietary learning materials. We find that once they have taken this course, our teachers become passionate believers in the method and extremely devoted to making sure that every kid gets the most out of the lessons.
Specially developed courseware. All Helen Doron English programs – from Baby's Best Start to Teen English – are developed in-house under the direction of Helen Doron herself. The development teams consist of experts in linguistics, EFL (English as a foreign language) and child development.