Life Life

25/06/2021 - 08:19

Let children “learn through playing”

The chirping sound of children, sometimes echoing with their delighted laugh made the customers at Olab Farm café, where the experiential extracurricular activity related to the bartender (a person who mixes and servers drinks) for 6 -12 years old children held by Hatching Eggs, had to listen and smile.

That was one of the “learn through playing” sessions to help young learners of the foreign language center to get direct access to specialized words of bartending.

The young children learn both English and the way to make fruit juices

Children can learn through playing

Following the global education trend, learning English should be carried out more and more early, without being imposed on by any specific model and curriculum. Instead, it is a learning method based on the natural development of ages and a positive living environment.

Because of that, the foreign language centers often hold extracurricular activities, especially for the children between the ages of 6 -12. The younger they are, the more difficult for them to be concentrated when they have to sit in dull classes with dry curricula. Meanwhile, they are more active, curious, and clear-headed when participating in outdoor activities.

The combination between language and action in themed games always gets attraction, as well as stimulates children’s memorization better. Many parents affirmed that thanks to extracurricular activities, their children are able to learn English vocabularies faster, especially those who are not yet literate (the age group having short concentration but easily grasp language through repeated activities).

At this age, children are keen on exploration activities. Therefore, integrating practical experiences into the learning process will kick off their enthusiasm. They will receive the knowledge with love, not being forced to do that.

The remaining problem is from the teachers, that is how to effectively integrate listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills to the learning session. To improve education quality, Pingo Center has integrated the curricula of teaching foreign languages into activities. The method which has been held most often is taking the classes to join extracurricular activities with a great number of practical experiences. “This way of learning  has helped children raise their inspiration for learning, have more fun, and be able to put vocabularies into practice as much as possible,” shared Mrs. Nguyen Dieu Ai, Director of Pingo English Center.

It is not the Pingo’s exclusive activity, other foreign language centers also often organize many chains of extracurricular activities for children, especially in the summer. To attract learners, the centers always make sophisticated plans with novel elements, which are associated with joint development.

The “little gods” can not only have a good time and learn foreign languages but also comprehend the integrated knowledge such as environmental protection, ecosystem, and vocational guidance, etc., according to specific topics.

Mr. Le Van Ky from Hatching Eggs said: “Thanks to learning right at the experience places through practical images and events, then taking practice through games and during the amusing time, the children can acquire knowledge fast”.

Set parent’s mind at rest

“I was quite hesitant about sending my child to a foreign language center cause she was only 6 years old, too young… However, nowadays, foreign language is becoming more and more important, it will be better to let my child get used to a common language such as English as soon as possible. Choosing a good and prestigious place for my daughter to learn English was our leading consideration. Since the time my child participates in experiential activities, she has been very excited and usually finds situations to use new words in daily life, etc.,” Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thuy, a mother was chatting and proudly pointing at a little girl who was playing with friends in her speaking group.

It is simple but difficult to arrange these kinds of learning classes. The tutors are not only good at their professional knowledge but also able to have good social knowledge and pedagogical certificate. The center must ensure good facilities to serve children from onsite learning to learning in extracurricular activities.

In Hue, there are quite many English centers. However, not too many of these centers can meet all requirements. Therefore, from the view of “strength” in teaching and learning English for children at centers, these are the models that need to be expanded.

The effectiveness of this method contributes to improving English learning quality for students in the area. However, to exploit this model, the governing sector needs to raise the criteria of facilities, curricula, and human sources, etc., before licensing the center to come into operation. Learning English in particular and foreign languages in general is both an opportunity but a double-edged knife if the children have to learn from a teacher with poor pronunciation and lacks social knowledge.                                 

Story and photo: Phan Phuoc Chau

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