Early childhood is the ideal time to expose children to a foreign language. At birth babies are able to create the sounds of any language. As we grow this ability is shaped by the language we hear early in life. Young children have a strong aptitude to absorb and mimic different sounds. The earlier a child is exposed to a foreign language the more likely he or she will be able to acquire a native or near native like accent.
The My Little Linguist program focuses on meaningful language input. Our curriculum incorporates engaging activities with language learning. We believe that early exposure to a foreign language will open up a world of potential in your child.
PHILOSOPHY OF INSTRUCTION
Language acquisition is attained through meaningful input, we constantly absorb it in the world around us. In the process of learning a new language the input must be comprehensible but at a level just above our current ability in order to challenge us and acquire new grammar and vocabulary.
It takes time to absorb new language and therefore we are not immediately able to reproduce the sounds and structures we are learning. Your children can understand complex verbal structures in their first language but their speech may be much more simplistic. Even as babies, they are able to understand and communicate yet are unable to speak. This is called the silent period, when we are processing the linguistic input around us but are not yet able to produce the language.
TOTAL PHYSICAL RESPONSE (TPR) STORYTELLING
Total Physical Response (TPR) was developed as a method of teaching that allows students to respond to linguistic input through physical movement. In 1990 Spanish teacher Blaine Ray expanded upon TPR by using the method to tell stories. Ray used physical actions to allow students to demonstrate understanding of the language and to physically engage them in language learning.
My Little Linguist founder, Amber Money, has illustrated wordless picture stories with second language acquisition in mind. These stories are used to engage young learners in the target language. Since they are wordless, they can be used in a multitude of languages. Thus allowing our program to be adapted to Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin and more.
Authentic Children’s Stories
Using authentic children’s stories allows our teachers to introduce more complex structures and vocabulary in a way that is engaging to young learners. Using texts from the countries of origin authentically incorporates culture into our classes.
Songs and games
It is no secret that children learn best through play and music. Our classes engage children through song and games in the target language to keep learning playful and authentic.
The Little Adventurer class is a 45 minute parent child classes geared to exposing your child to meaningful second language input through music and stories. Each week you and your child will listen to stories and learn songs in the target language.
The purpose of the My Little Adventurer class is give children the opportunity to hear a second language in a fun and engaging environment. As your child listens to the language being spoken and sung they will become accustomed to the new sounds of the language.
My Little Explorer is a two hour drop off class best suited for children between the ages of 4 and 7. Each week a simple story will be used to introduce and reinforce new vocabulary. We will then expand upon new vocabulary through games, songs, play and art projects.
The purpose of the My Little Explorer class is to continue to develop their ear for a second language as well as to learn basic communication in the target language. The focus of the class will be to answer simple questions in order to communicate.
The class will begin with time to explore the play space as the teachers engage each child individually. In the play space props that pertain to the story of the week will be available in order to introduce the vocabulary first through play. The class will then move to the studio where basic greetings will be practiced and the story of the week will be told and expanded upon through play, music and art. The class will finish back in the play space where the children will be able to revisit a favorite activity while the teachers continue to engage each child individually in the target language.