Foreign Language – the Ultimate Brain Booster
Learning a foreign language is the ultimate brain booster. Language literally re-writes and re-wires the brain. More than any other area of learning, the process of learning a language creates more synapses in the brain and dramatically increases the density of the grey matter of the brain. These are powerful changes that make a lifetime of difference.
The physical changes in the brain manifest in important intellectual developments:
- improved deductive reasoning
- Increased divergent thinking
- Faster decision making
- Improved memory
- Enhanced creativity
The flow-on effect of learning a language impacts on virtually every area of life:
- improved academic performance across the board
- Improved communication skills including in the mother tongue
- Increased confidence and social skills
- Broader world view and cultural understanding
Interestingly, numerous academic studies have shown that the window of learning a foreign language starts to close as early as 6 years old. This means conducting AlphaTykes in child care centres is the ideal time for teaching a foreign language and capitalises on the golden age of learning for children, when their minds absorb knowledge more rapidly and successfully than at any other time during their lives.
And language is in hot demand by parents. In fact, 57% of parents think that speaking a foreign language is the most crucial skill for their child to develop for the future. That’s right: more than half of parents want their children to learn another language. To parents, foreign language is more important than learning music or playing sport. If your centre isn’t offering a language, you’re missing an opportunity.
The AlphaTykes program is the Number #1 choice for parents investing into their child’s future, with over 4,500 children now being taught across Australia.
Furthermore, the Early Years Learning Frameworks (EYLF) fully supports the benefits of language and introducing children to the wider community of the world. Plus, who doesn’t love Dora the Explorer!
A comprehensive curriculum
The AlphaTykes curriculum was developed with the assistance of specialist LOTE (Languages Other Than English) teachers, specifically for young children.
Our program is targeted to four age groups:
- 18 months to 3 years (what we call ‘tots’)
- 3 to 5 years
- 6 to 9 years and
- 10 to 12 years (collectively, what we call ‘tykes’)
Flexible yet structured modular approach
The program is a uniquely developed modular program which provides a flexible yet structured approach to learning languages.
The program has been designed so that each child commences with basic modules that introduces the children to the structure of the program and teaches core phrases and basic words which will be reinforced in future modules. After completing basic modules, the children move on to more advanced modules.
Each ‘level’ builds on the knowledge attained in the previous level, gradually building a repertoire of vocabulary, numbers and colours, the alphabet, as well as core phrases which can be used like building blocks to develop competency in the language.
Lesson structure that caters to all children
We have developed a clear lesson structure to ensure consistency, flexibility and efficiency in teaching.
The structure we employ balances audio, visual and kinaesthetic activities, with orienting, enhancing and synthesising tasks to maximise learning; providing children with a familiar program which gives them comfort and confidence.
Each lesson includes singing, music, story-telling, games and art to meet the needs of all learning styles and ensure the lessons are varied and interesting. Using this structure leaves nothing to chance.
We use a range of activities to meet the needs of children who have different learning styles, and
we systematically introduce and reinforce key concepts and vocabulary to ensure maximum language acquisition.
Detailed lesson plans to keep kids engaged
Each module has a set of lesson plans which follow the formula of the lesson structure and specify the vocabulary, activities and resources for each lesson. For example, My Family Lesson 1 has a detailed lesson plan which specifies the vocabulary, activities and resources for the lesson.
The lesson plans are tailored to each age group to ensure that the children have fun and learn fast. We use custom-designed games and resources, and incorporate music, signing, storytelling, games, art, craft and physical activities so that there is something for everyone. We keep each activity to 5 or 10 minutes so that the children are kept interested and engaged.