Our youngest students age 1-3 years, are experts at learning language. The language portion of the brain is quickly stimulating synapsis' and building "language tracks" for each language they hear. Foreign language input, builds a better brain, for which the benefits will be lifelong.
Children age 3-5 listen and understand their new language, the second step in the learning process. These language learners are more expressive and able to use Total Physical Response to show comprehension. They learn that an "apple" is also una manzana. They do not differentiate the language it belongs to. A young brain sorts "like sounds" and re-occuring phonic blends, automatically. New language is stored in the language portion of the brain, and not in memory (different than adults.) Thus, they most likely will not feel the need to "translate" a new language prior to speaking. It will happen naturally and automatically for the rest of their lives.
Children age 5-10 speak in their native tongue, but must backtrack, to listen, understand, then speak, in their
new language. The language portion of the brain, (the last part of the brain to completely develop,) is still
'at work' stimulating neurons. The tendency to translate, as the brain becomes more analytical, starts to
appear with older children, and it is discouraged. Children are encouraged to speak without worrying about being right or wrong. An enjoyable approach is taken. Because kids can talk, we expect them to speak right away. But this is not necessarily the case. A new language is "foreign" to them and we need to recreate the same atmosphere where they learned their first language. The principles of the Rassias Method, are applied in this class. Rapid strides are made in this class, learning a second language, and preparing the brain for bi-lingualism.
Our approach to language instruction, is the natural way to learn a foreign language. It is based on the way children acquire their first language. Kids are placed in their prospective groups based on their age. All age groups begin their coursework using the same three step focus. A child's progress through these steps, and the delivery of the curriculum, is guided by the stages of child development, and the natural stages of learning a second language.
Cultured Kids listen, learn, and speak...
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