Ella, my four-year-old daughter, began learning the violin through the Suzuki method, which emphasizes the importance of teaching young children to play musical instruments before learning to read notation. The method is based on the idea that music is a language and that children should learn to play music in the same way they learn their native language. This is accomplished through repeated home hearings of the music to be studied and positive activities in class, accompanied by positive teacher feedback.
This realization led me to believe that language learning, particularly teaching English as a foreign language, should be approached in a similar manner. In 1985, I began teaching English to young children aged 1 to 6, with the goal of testing my theory that young children learn a foreign language best through repeated exposure and positive reinforcement from the teacher.
I made audio cassettes of myself singing and playing the piano, as well as home recordings of poems and stories, to provide the necessary background exposure. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and I had many more students the following year. This made me realize the importance of training teachers in methodology and developing professional learning materials.
My true passion has always been teaching English to young children because I believe that establishing a strong foundation in language skills at a young age can have a long-term impact on a child’s development and future success. Up to the age of seven, the early years of a child’s life are critical for brain development, and the right mental and physical stimulation can help create greater brain connectivity and prepare children for success.
Discover more about the Helen Doron English and Helen Doron Academy language learning programs, as well as the benefits of obtaining a TEFL certification to teach English as a foreign language. Consider language education options like language schools and private tutors, as well as the distinct benefits that native English speakers have.