Rus Articles Journal

English from the cradle

the set of stereotypes, myths, prejudices is connected With training in a foreign language of children of preschool age. Opinions fluctuate from unconditional pro to categorical contra. The truth probably is somewhere in the middle. We decided to understand at what age optimum to begin acquisition of a foreign language.

Myth 1. The earlier, the better

Those who support the earliest training usually cite as an example children whose parents speak different languages, and kids begin master both languages since the birth. But being engaged in 2 - 3 time in a week on 45 minutes, it is difficult to simulate effect of immersion on language Wednesday. Besides in a bilingual environment the child is forced to master languages to communicate, and here he does not feel such need.

Opponents of early training in foreign languages say that at first the child has to master the native language. That is to pass “mute“ and “oral“ stages, and then to begin to read and write. And only then, that is with of 6 - 7 years, possible.

the Communicative technique adheres to golden mean.“ We put the lower age limit in four years, - the teacher of EF English First “Mitino“ school Marina Podvoyskaya tells. - In three years the child is still focused on individual communication and cannot be engaged in group. And in 4 - 4,5 years children are already ready to work in society, in group and understand that they will ask every minute not specifically this kid“. It is necessary to consider psychological features of different age. To acquire the same information, the two-year-old kid spends a lot of time and efforts, and the chetyrekhletka grabs on the fly. One more argument in favor of the beginning of learning of foreign languages since four years: psychologists say that at this age the child already understands where Russian and where English therefore the learned language does not influence native. As also good help serve the children`s susceptibility and tendency to imitation: kids quicker than “the senior companions“ begin to understand the foreign-language speech aurally, and foreign sounds which do not want to leave lips of the adult student in any way, the child easily and joyfully “imitates“.

Myth 2. Training of children needs to be begun in September

Adults can begin training at any time, and training of children is traditionally planned for the beginning of academic year that any developing occupations were synchronized with the training period at comprehensive school. And, really, many courses calculated on children conduct a set generally in September - month. And often, parents without having managed to write down the child on language courses in September, postpone the beginning of occupations for the whole year, depriving of own child of an opportunity to grow and develop. For this reason in EF English First decided to optimize the program of training thus that children could begin comprehension of English in any month of year. Groups will be formed during the whole year and to open in process of formation, in February - March new groups will open every Monday!

Arguments Pro
  1. Not only training in language, but also personal development
  2. the Prevention of emergence of “language barrier“
  3. Formation of richer lexicon and base for earlier training in reading and the letter
  4. Socialization of “house“ children
  5. Stimulation of interest in learning of foreign language

the Myth 3. Logopedic problems

are possible

One more argument of opponents of training in foreign languages of preschool children sounds as follows: at this age at children the articulation base was not created yet, and the foreign phonetics can spoil a pronunciation in the native language. At first sight the argument seems convincing, especially, if the child has any logopedic problems.

of the Practician, however, confirms the return. “The child who does not utter several sounds comes, - the teacher of EF “Zhulebino“ school Irina Spiryakina imparts experience. - We with it are engaged few months, and he begins to speak both on native, and in English languages is quite pure“.“ For example, we tell that the English lion is not able to growl, and the Russian is able. In general, in the course of statement of the English phonetics, we teach children to work with the articulation device, - Marina Podvoyskaya explains, - that is we do practically the same, as the logopedist who corrects the Russian sounds“. That is it turns out that the Russian sounds remain Russians, the English pronunciation is put, and the articulation device develops.

But in principle before training consultation of the logopedist will not prevent


Myth 4. Lengthening of the period of studying of language at the elementary level

Other “traditional“ objection: on average two teenagers, one of which began to study English in four years, and another - in seven years, own it approximately at one level. That is it turns out that in the first case the period of learning of foreign language at an elementary step is extended. Why it to do?

“What to consider as knowledge?“ - Marina Podvoyskaya asks and itself answers:“ If to present the human head really the suitcase will be filled with a suitcase in which there are things - knowledge then at one level, the child began to learn language in four years or seven years. At such approach this position is almost right. But the lexicon of “chetyrekhletka“ all the same will be more including at the expense of the words designating the subject world of the kid “semiletka“ will not face the whole layer of lexicon any more. And degree of confidence and spontaneity of the speech at the teenager who began to learn language in four years is much higher, than at his peer who generally uses the learned models. And if to speak not just about textbook volume for some class, and about the level of language thinking, then the first child reaches qualitatively other level, even having the same amount of knowledge - things“.

Myth 5. Absence of motivation

In general, motivation - one of the main difficulties when training in a foreign language of kids. It is useless to explain that the knowledge of English is useful in the future. The only motive for the preschool child is only his own interest in occupations. How to create it and to support? Game comes to the rescue. “The main thing in work with preschool children is ability to so construct a lesson, - Irina Spiryakina considers, - that kids were sure that the true purpose of a meeting consists not in study, and of desire to play together, to communicate to children, to have fun, sing songs - all in English“.“ Really, game - a primary activity at this age, - Marina Podvoyskaya agrees. - But there is also other problem. Kids have an unstable attention therefore some one kind of activity occupies them all on of 3 - 5 minutes, and the lesson lasts 60 minutes. Therefore the teacher has to paint all occupation on minutes and plan at least 12 kinds of activity. And their skillful alternation, but not just game, allows to maintain interest of the child in occupations, does them fascinating and available“.

Councils to parents
  1. Consult with the psychologist, the logopedist, the methodologist.
  2. by
  3. Choose the way of development of a foreign language suitable your child: tutor, specialized kindergarten or language school.
  4. Consciously approach
  5. the choice of the teacher. It has to possess not only the corresponding qualification, but also certain personal qualities. Whenever possible visit a lesson, observe how his little pupils and their parents treat the teacher. It is very important that your child liked his first English teacher.
  6. Believe
  7. in the child. Be not excessively uneasy and do not ask the teacher after each occupation, “when we at last will start talking, we will begin to read, write“, “how many words we already learned“, etc. You praise the child even if you do not notice result so far.
  8. Trust
  9. to the teacher. Do not show excessive activity, studying lists of words with the child of the house. It is that case when “feather“ it is worse, than “nedo“. Leave teaching to the teacher.

Myth 6. All this the toy, about serious study of the speech does not go

Is valid, the main training materials for preschool children are toys, the picture, a song, dances, animated films and textbooks. Content of training - the elementary designs and the lexical material corresponding to the subject world of the child. Articles, link-verbs, a special word order, “strange“ structures, times are included into the speech of children “anonymously“ and taken just for granted. It is also called “method of an oral advancing“ at which is absent realized studying of grammatical bases of language, and emphasis is placed on development of skills of speaking and perception of the speech aurally. Reading and the letter appear as a rule on the second year of training, and grammar - still later.

of Kommunikativ it is considered p the prevailing technique of teaching foreign languages to children, but there are nuances.“ If our slogan during the work with adults and teenagers, even beginners, is “any Russian word on occupation“, then with kids it is excluded, - Marina Podvoyskaya explains. - To them it has to be comfortable at a lesson. Therefore, of course, I greet, meet them, I give the elementary tasks, I show toys, etc. in English. But if I feel some slightest misunderstanding, constraint, confusion, then naturally I pass to Russian“.

As for textbooks of English for kids, as many experts note, their offer in the market is not so big. The main lack of many grants is that they are calculated on one year of training and do not provide a transitional stage from “oral“ to a “written“ step. Therefore in EF created own course, osnovnanny on a unique author`s technique - Small Stars. This course consists of textbooks (different levels - for three years of training), audio and video - materials, a flash - cards and unique online - the Practice & programs; Play. Having begun to study English in of 4 - 5 years, the child in 5 - 6 already reads years and has quite serious lexicon.

Myth 7. The tutor - the foreigner

is required to

of Ways to acquaint the child with a foreign language much. The first - independently to be engaged with the child of the house. The second option - to find the tutor or the tutor. The main feature of this way is that lessons usually pass houses. It both advantage, and shortcoming. On the one hand, the kid is in a situation, habitual for himself. But with another - the child needs socialization, communication with peers, especially if he does not attend kindergarten. Individual occupations lack real-life communication, spirit of cooperation and rivalry which group training gives.

the Third way - kindergarten where kids, besides other objects, learn foreign languages. But, unfortunately, not in each preschool institution language to children is taught by the teacher having the corresponding special preparation.

I, at last, language course. Here you can count on high qualification and special training of teachers, and also a constant control of quality of teaching. Homeworks are present, but not in the form of traditional exercises. Children just continue also houses “to play in English“, watch video, listen to cartridges, cut out paper dolls, paint pictures. As an important component of educational process on the courses EF serve out-of-class actions: morning performances, concerts, theatrical performances, quizes, holidays, competitions, games - all in the learned language. The third year in EF ART Festival, a competition - competition between students in several nominations - a vocal, the recitation and a theatrical performance is held. Children, since 15 years participate in a competition. The final of a competition is held on a big scene of one of concert halls in Moscow.

Thus, learning of foreign language in the early childhood is one of ways of development of the identity of the child. Among priority problems of preschool language education most of methodologists calls formation of skills of communication, work in group, training of memory, auditive, phonemic and imitating abilities, development of a language guess, expansion of a lexicon and the prevention of emergence of “language barrier“. But it is important that the first linguistic experience was positive then further development of foreign languages will go most likely successfully. And to a graduation class your child will be able easily to express not on one, and on two - three languages. You represent? Elementary.