English for Young Learners from 7 to 15
The best opportunity for anyone to have success with a foreign language is when they are young enough for learning feel like fun, not to feel embarrassed by making mistakes or pressured by exams, to go out and test their ‘language muscles’ and to take advantage of natural language learning potential.
We have taught children English both inside and outside Japan, in monolingual classes and multilingual groups, in the mainstream school system and in private language schools.
We believe the Niseko area offers Young Learners of English a unique opportunity within Japan not only to learn English but to use it.
Before the reading and writing focus of Junior High School, Primary School children can develop and build confidence in communicative English based upon:
- a Global standard approach to learning English used in over 130 countries
- a structured course specifically developed to motivate and challenge ‘Young Learners’
- expert teaching based upon in-depth understanding of theory, its application and reflecting knowledge of a range of relevant methods and approaches
The courses are structured to build up a grammatical foundation, vocabulary, reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, just as an adult would expect from a good foreign language course.
So what makes a Young Learner English course different ?
The difference is that the method and materials ‘disguise’ learning to make it feel less school-like and a more interesting, ‘fun’ experience for the younger learner.
This relies upon:
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- Small classes (maximum 12) and lots of interaction between learners
- Native speaker English as the classroom language
- A well-balanced '4 skills' methodology that enables steady, long-term progress
- Less sitting around and note taking, more doing
- Carefully designed learning materials that are relevant to children and engaging
- Avoidance of long periods on one activity to maintain concentration
- Learning through activities young learners enjoy i.e. ‘singing’ and ‘game playing’
- Discreet assessment within the course to identify when individual learners need more support or more time to progress.
- Providing a positive first impression of and association with language learning
How do we know Young Learners are making progress ?
Our objective is that Young Learners are able to pass and could if they wish receive an Internationally recognised Young Learners Certificate to prove their achievement at each of the three levels : Starters, Movers and Flyers.
These tests and have been developed specifically with children in mind are a platform for later progression along the Cambridge English ladder including IELTS or indeed for any other examination in English such as TOEFL or TOEIC.
We plan for each of the 3 levels of Cambridge Young Learners to take 60 weeks or 2 years of study with SMiLE. To study all 3 levels will take around 6 years, equivalent to the time a child spends in Primary School.
This is a long journey but we believe it is an investment by both parents and children that will influence the rest of their lives.
Just as is the case for adults, some children need more time than others for their language skills, understanding and confidence to develop. Our focus is always on real ‘progression’ and working towards a goal. Not all children will learn at the same pace and we have designed our courses and terms around that fact of life.
For more information please contact us with questions and we are happy to explain in as much detail as you wish.
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