About SmartKids and its Special Approach
SmartKids started 10 years ago with a specialized early childhood care centre, with a Play-to-Learn© approach of teaching. English was the sole spoken language.
In the mean time thousands of children from some 43 nationalities have happily and successfully passed through our system.
Our way of teaching is based on imitating the way in which babies learn to speak their mother tongue.
How it all started
Some 15 years ago, Joke Van Zuijlen, a Dutch pedagogue and linguist, started teaching young children abroad in an academic curriculum based institute and became stressed by the rigid teacher led and non flexible approach expected from her.
She soon started her own early childhood centre based on her extensive experience as pedagogue and merged principles of Reggio Emilia, Steiner and Montessori; to evolve in her own SmartKids approach.
The Child Centered Approach
Thus the child centered approach began its success story with the opening of several SmartKids International Child Care Centres. Homelike midsized colourful and child teasing day-care centres, with vertical classes, with English as the sole spoken language.
Young children entering SmartKids without any basis of English were immersed in a “language bath” amongst other international peers, and would speak in no time English – to the total surprise of their parents.
SmartKids education specialists underpinned that understanding and speaking are essential before starting reading and writing. Yet in schools, teachers generally only teach a language through reading and writing.
The SmartKids approach allows children to learn to speak and understand English before learning to read and write – just as they would do in their mother tongue.
Even babies can learn English with the SmartKids approach, based on the principles of positive reinforcement and repeated hearing by using songs, rhymes and stories.
The SmartKids approach of teaching English creates a stimulating environment that mimics the natural process of learning a mother tongue. Children love it and don’t even realize they are learning! Lessons are fun and lively, and they stimulate the emotional, physical, creative and intellectual well-being of the young children.
Based on the academic parental needs, SmartKids has, alongside their own developed teaching materials, carefully selected international recognized teaching / study materials to further enhance the English as Second Language (ESL) program.
During the 10 years of SmartKids development, it has developed its own teacher training program as well as a strong pool of special trained teachers to use their exceptional methodology.