SKOLA recently held an Open House for parents at its London school, ICS, letting them observe their children in nursery and reception class and ask any questions they may have.
ICS has compiled a list of frequently asked questions for teachers, perfect for any parent thinking of sending their child to learn English as a second language.
Why do students spend so much time playing?
Play based learning has in early childhood has a long history in education and child development the world over. As well as building social skills and encouraging communication and independent thinking, it also helps students organize and make sense of their surroundings. This is important for both intellectual and emotional development.
Why is mark making/scribbling encouraged?
When children make marks and scribbles teachers have a starting point for talking about the marks with the child. This helps us see and understand the child’s thought process which is very important in learning. Before students reach a stage of clearly replicating an object, the less formed drawings are often a demonstration of a child’s developing ideas. We encourage children to talk about those ideas in order for them to become confident, risk taking individuals who are happy to share their work.
Why don’t we correct spellings and teach proper spelling from the start?
Current research suggests that students go through different stages of development in their writing. Whilst at first they may assign marks or draw shapes with very little clear letter formation, they will eventually grasp understanding of the alphabet, letter-sound correspondence, the concept of words and sounding out words. We encourage a safe, simulating environment, and as teachers we know that over emphasis on the mechanics of writing, though very important, initially may inhibit growth. This approach will help them make far better progress in the future.
How long will it take my child to master English?
Each and every child is encouraged to learn at a pace where they feel comfortable and secure. Very broadly speaking, the beginning stage of language learning lasts about a year and a half, followed by 3 years of familiarity, and a further 3 before becoming ‘fluent.’
SKOLA (www.skola.co.uk) is a long established group of language schools in the UK. As well as their full time junior school in London, they also offer a variety of courses, to learners of all ages and abilities. For more information, visit their website today.