Language skills are necessary for successful communication and relationship building in the business world. And English is considered to be the lingua franca of much of the world.
Yet learning English poses a challenge to many children around the world as the native or national languages are often used as the medium of instruction in schools.
Why learn a second language at an early age?
Harvard Professor Burton L. White (1994) thinks it is advantages to learn a second language, such as English, at an early age. According to him the learning capabilities of younger learners at the early age does not have to work through an already established first language in order to develop the skills of a second language.
On the contrary, learners from ages eight and above is said to gradually lose their ability to “absorb the sounds, structures, intonation patterns and rules of a second language intuitively”. Thus older children often need to work harder at language acquisition.
Not only is it easier for younger children to acquire fluent language skills that resemble native-speakers, the exposure to a foreign language provide cognitive benefits of better problem-solving skills, enhanced spatial relations, higher creativity as well as aid in memory, planning, and multi-tasking.
These skills developed at the early age would later play a vital role in their studies and career.
Learning English through Practical Communication
Listening and speaking is critical in the learning of a second language. Yet practical communication is often neglected while theory of language and grammar is given more weight.
This could well be because deliverance of language through communication is more demanding on the teachers. There are no easy right or wrong answers nor straightforward explanation for exceptions in language as is the case for mathematics or science.
To hone in the ability to listen and understand, to speak and communicate with confidence in public, Scholar Base teaches English in the form of games. A holistic teaching approach that disguise learning as a game so children are encouraged to try without the fear of failing a test.
Such an approach to learning helps draw out the students’ potential, develop their abilities, and most importantly, allow them to enjoy the lessons without unnecessary pressure.
Learning English through Games
Andrew Wright, David Betteridge and Michael Buckby, believe that “’Language learning is hard work … games help and encourage many learners to sustain their interests ….”.
Games most certainly provide a break from the monotony of an average language class, giving children a chance to practise what they learn in theory and motivating them to learn from the context instead of memorising definitions. Games also give ample opportunities for students to speak, listen, read, write and express themselves freely.
Learning English through Acting
Using plays and drama help the children “use their innate language resources”. Acting out roles helps them articulate their words with confidence, learn new vocabulary in a very “hands on” manner and help them learn sentence structures as they memorise the lines
At Scholar Base we fully understand the language development stages and the importance of a holistic approach to language learning. We immerse children in the language (where English is the only spoken language used) to help them develop communication, reading writing, cognitive and acting skills.
We disguise their learning as games so children not only develop linguistic, visual, and social intelligences with ease, they look forward to classes. Our unique teaching program has helped engaged many younger students to learn English successfully and if you’d like to find out more, just leave us a comment below or contact us for some free lessons.