We are pleased to bring you a series of blog posts and an opportunity to learn from educator and linguistic scientist, Helen Doron. Helen has been teaching English to children for 30 years. She is the founder and CEO of the Helen Doron Educational Group and created a unique methodology for teaching English, maths and fitness with original and revolutionary learning materials. This week’s question: What qualities should a parent look for when choosing an English teacher for their child?
You might think that being a native English speaker would be the most important quality that a parent might look for, but this isn’t really the case. There are a number of qualities that a parent would look for that are important for children learning English, regardless of age or level. To begin with, parents need to find a teacher that truly likes children. The teacher needs to be someone the child can relate to, is truly interested in the child, and a positive person. The teacher must be able to build up the child’s self-esteem and provide positive feedback and encouragement in a genuine, authentic manner. No matter how well the teacher can present English grammar, structure or syntax, this won’t matter if the child cannot relate to the teacher.
Tip 1: Know the Two Types of Teachers
There are two styles of English teachers: one type is for school children – the teacher helps the child with their homework so that they get better grades in school. Do they get better in English? Well yes, they are being spoken to and getting individual attention with that teacher who is doing homework with them, but this can be a disadvantage. What parents really should be looking for is someone who builds up the child’s English knowledge so that the child can handle their school work on their own. They will benefit from a teacher who will give the child a background in English before he or she starts school and then while they are at school, as well.
Tip 2: Choose a Quality Programme
For a teacher to accomplish these tasks they need a very good programme and to be trained to not only teach English, but even more importantly, how to provide positive reinforcement in the classroom. In this respect I can’t be neutral because I have developed a method and programmes for teaching children English for the past 30 years that have been refined to offer the highest quality materials, lessons, resources and teacher training programmes for children ages 3 months to 19 years. Our earliest course, Baby’s Best Start, not only teaches English but increases baby’s emotional, mental and physical development. In Baby’s Best Start, the infant learns 7 skills: English, social development, pre-reading and early reading skills, music and rhythm, brain development and baby sign language.
Helen Doron English teachers for all ages and levels are trained to work with learning materials that include visual, audio and experiential learning resources. These include songs, downloadable apps and even augmented reality technology included into the learning materials. Augmented Reality (AR) has a magical dimension that brings two-dimensional characters on the page to life with three-dimensional animation and sound.
Tip 3: Training and Materials
Helen Doron English teachers have multiple teacher training courses that correspond to what each learning level needs. For the younger ages, teachers can be either native or non-native English speakers. They understand that the key to successful language learning is repeated background hearing. Many years of teaching experience has shown that the use of repeated background hearing at home is an essential tool to help a child learn English. Vocabulary, grammar and songs are all taught through repeated background hearing. Repeated background hearing does not require comprehension. At the beginning, the child doesn’t understand what he or she is hearing but the songs are playing in the background, while the child is eating, playing, washing, or going to bed. This means that the brain is getting repeated stimulation; specific neural pathways for English are being created by processing the sound and the meaning of the language. The CDs and soundtracks that they listen to at home are really the main teacher and put the language in the child’s brain, peripherally. Our teachers are facilitators that enable the child to decipher the English sounds heard in English easily and confidently. The teachers do this solely in English through many props, pictures, song movements, miming and games. Teachers for school children and teens are grammar-trained, as our English courses are compliant with the Common European Framework of Reference for English levels A2, B1, B1+ and B2. Regardless of the child’s age or the class level, the best teacher needs to love kids, teach English, in English without translating, give positive feedback so the child is motivated to speak and participate in class.
As your child progresses in his language learning abilities, you will want to make sure that there is consistency to the programme so that the child can advance smoothly and easily without learning gaps. With Helen Doron English, you can be confident knowing that our trained teachers can walk into a Helen Doron English learning centre classroom anywhere in the world and teach whatever class is being taught, because the programme is systematic and consistent, and taught entirely in English. Children receive the maximum education and parents get the maximum value for their money
Once you have found the ideal teacher for your child you will see many benefits: Your child will want to come to class because he is enjoying learning; he will participate more during class because he feels appreciated. They will love learning and feel confident in their abilities.
About Helen Doron
Helen began a small home business in 1985 and created a unique methodology with original and revolutionary learning materials. Her courses flourished and the business grew rapidly as Helen added teachers, teacher training courses and additional programmes based on her exclusive methodology of creativity and self-expression. New disciplines were added – maths, fitness, and infant development – and all were united under the brand name Helen Doron Educational Group.
Helen Doron Educational Group stands at the forefront of innovative educational systems providing exclusive learning programmes and quality educational materials for babies, children, adolescents and teens the world over. Helen Doron Educational Group has become one of the largest children’s educational franchisors worldwide, with close to 90 Master Franchisees and over 900 Learning Centres in 35 countries across 5 continents, and full kindergarten programmes in Turkey and South Korea. For more information about Helen Doron English: www.helendoron.com/english