Frequent Asked Questions
Children are born learners. The younger the child begins, the easier it is to take in a foreign language, as long as he/she is regularly exposed to it. Important however is that the child easily identifies the language with a person (One person–One language). Studies show that the earlier a baby starts listening to a foreign language, the better her pronunciation and grammar will be as she grows up.
At SmartKids, we offer Parent-Child Classes in English. Although these very young infants may not fully understand what is being said to them, they are absorbing the sounds and intonations of English, just as they are learning their own mother tongue.
Up to the age of seven, a child’s mind is hardwired to learn languages. Learning more than one language from an early age expands a child’s mental capabilities, not only in terms of language acquisition, but in general learning and mastering of new skills as well.
Special English classes for children-only; we run from the age of 3.
Children begin learning from the moment they are born, and maybe even earlier. Before they are ready to speak, infants are absorbing the sounds and intonations, they will form words from when they are ready.
Children understand each other even if they speak different languages. Socializing in class where only English is spoken, where songs and rhymes are used for an enchanting repetition, will make them enjoy and learn English and get exposure to the English sounds all at the same time.
Often parents report that they immediately see the influence the SmartKids approach has on their children. Obviously each child is unique and acquires languages at her own pace. Scientific research has noted that bilingual children may begin verbalizing a little later than their monolingual peers. It is also common knowledge that bilingual speakers very quickly catch up and often surpass their playmates.
During the twice weekly teacher-child-peer interactions in class, the children engage in songs and activities and get enough exposure to the English language to remember and convey. The child has enough school activities already and also needs to have time to be a child and play with peers in a non teaching environment. SmartKids is convinced twice a week is suitable for enhanced learning.
Yes, lessons are conducted entirely in English. Also the Vietnamese assistants will speak English only to the child. This style of teaching a language is called the immersion method. There are little exceptions to this rule; for instance, when there is a crisis in the classroom.
If you as a parent do not speak English, we always have Vietnamese support staff at the reception to answer your questions and explain the programs.
No, it is not necessary for parents to speak English in order for their children to be successful learning English. It is, however, advisable that parents stimulates the child to play the SmartKids Program English CDs daily.
Up to age 7 children easily learn multiple languages that are spoken (and sung) to them. They more or less absorb the grammar they need to understand and communicate.
Our SuperTots English classes are non grammatical. Grammar is learnt by repeated hearing and speaking, just as a child acquires his mother tongue. Emphasis is placed on kids having fun and naturally learning English for use in conversation. Only in our SuperKids (3-6 years) programs grammar is introduced.
There is much flexibility when choosing which SmartKids English course is appropriate as a starter course for your child. We recommend that you discuss this with us during your visit at SmartKids. Together, you will decide based on your child’s previous exposure to English, other children’s English level and weekly lesson schedules.
3-6 years / SuperTots - level 1 or 2 or 3
6-12 years / SuperKids - level 1-2-3-4-5 or 6
12-19 years / UpBeat - level 1-2-3 or 4
A central component of the SmartKids approach is repetition at home, optimally twice daily for 15-25 minutes each time. This provides the ongoing exposure to English that is so important at young ages. When you sign your child up for a SmartKids English course, along with other course materials, you receive CDs to play each week. There is no need to force your child to actively focus on listening to the music and stories. Important is just that—the sounds and rhythm of the language is absorbed naturally in the background. We recommend playing the CDs during daily activities such as dressing, playing, and traveling in the car. CDs should not be played while watching television and during mealtime conversations.
Because young children thrive on repetition. They love to hear the same story over and over again. In the same way, they love to hear the CD’s over and over. Parents may tire of hearing them, but kids don’t! All SmartKids English courses are modeled after the immersion system. Children hear CD’s twice daily, while playing and dressing. Repeated playing the CD is as close to the natural immersion as a mother tongue learning as possible, when English is not spoken freely in the home.