iQ1. My child can’t speak English. How can they communicate with a foreigner?
Immersion into English language is an important part of communicative English language teaching. Providing students with an English speaking environment, that is not reliant on their mother tongue, encourages children to adapt and follow instructions in English.
Children imitate what they see and hear, and are quick to memorise new information. Our classes feature a balance of stirring activities (active tasks that incorporate movement) and settling tasks (less active tasks such as writing, colouring, arts & crafts) to cater for the various learning styles. By engaging in tasks in an English environment, children naturally start to pick up the language used in the classroom. For example, a phrase such as "pass me the scissors please" can be visual (as they see the item), aural (hearing the teacher model the phrase) and kinaesthetic (physically using the item).
iQ2. Why is the style of the classes so different to the English lessons at my child’s school? Which teaching method is correct?
The answer is, due to their differing objectives, both methods are correct. In most local school systems the focus is on memorizing content to pass school examinations. We often note that local students have more advanced receptive skills (reading and listening) than they productive skills (speaking and writing). This can also be attributed to larger class sizes in most schools, and the teaching style of disseminating information through dictation and reading activities, with limited opportunities for students to actually practice what they are learning.
At EfA, our aim is to enhance students’ productive English skills by immersing them in an English speaking environment. Smaller class sizes - with a maximum of nine students per class - allow all students to have opportunity to practise their English skills as well as build their confidence in speaking. Students can then apply their acquired language skills to practical tasks that will benefit them in future where they are required to speak English, for instance at school, university or at work. Classes feature different types of student interaction patterns through games, pair and group work, discussions, presentations, drama and role-plays.
iQ3. How long will it take to see improvements in my child’s English?
Every child will progress at a slightly different pace. Generally, for those students that have no background of studying in an English speaking environment or that don’t use English outside of class (for example, to communicate with their domestic helper) then it will usually take around three to five lessons for them to fully integrate into an English class.
Our classes are interactive and communicative. Students are encouraged to participate as much as they can. Children learn best when they are enjoying themselves, so we make sure classes are fun and engaging for our learners.
To speed up your child’s progress, our range of after-school ENGLISH CLUB classes provide even more opportunities for students to practice what they are learning. For more information on our ENGLISH CLUB schedule and the special offers for our weekend students please speak to our Learning Centre staff.
iQ4. Does it matter if my child makes mistakes?
Is it ok for my child to make mistakes? Of course. In fact, this is often when the best learning takes place! The way we respond to a child’s mistakes is crucial to their development. Handling a child’s mistakes in a careful and encouraging way plays an important part in their linguistic development. On the other hand, responding negatively can make them afraid to speak up and hinder their development.
iQ5. Why is there no homework?
Our lessons are structured to be enjoyable and interactive – we want our students to enjoy their learning experience as part of a class. Therefore, it is preferred that all course content is discussed and studied together as a group.
If you would like your child to do homework, why not put aside time to review what they have learnt each week with you. You will find that if your child explains what they have studied, in English, they will greater their understanding.
iQ6. The classes are too active. It seems as if the teacher cannot control the students.
Communicative methodology requires interactive learning. For some students this is the complete opposite to teaching methods used at their school. Our lessons encourage student participation, discussion and communication, so the classroom environment will often appear lively and high-spirited.
From time to time a student may become excitable when participating in a game or activity, which could disrupt the class. Our teachers are trained to handle these situations. In the event that a student continually disrupts the lessons, the teacher will inform our Learning Centre Management Team and we will speak to the student and/or the student’s parents. All such instances are handled in complete confidence.
iQ7. Which online platform are you using for the lessons and how can I get started?
iQ8. Are online lessons as engaging as in-person lessons?
Yes, students have the same access to their teacher, it is just in a virtual space rather than a physical classroom. The use of multi-media, zoom and online tools enable learners to fully immerse themselves in the learning experience.
iQ9. Are the online lessons suitable for Kindergarten students? How will my child be able to focus?
All lesson content is shown on the screen and many visuals, questions and interactive games are used to engage your child. In addition, tasks are built around songs, story videos and TPR (Total Physical Response) activities to keep our youngest learners moving, active and motivated throughout.
To help students focus, we typically schedule two short breaks in a 60-minute lesson, encourage students to do stretches, drink water and go to the toilet, and find something to keep them focussed. Still unsure? Watch the video of our Online ENGLISH CLUB to decide for yourself.
iQ10. What should I do if my child does not know how to use some of the Zoom tools?
We teach students how to use the different Zoom tools to enable them to have an engaging and interactive learning experience. You will need to have a Zoom account (the free account is fine) and download recent updates to ensure you have access to the latest features of Zoom. If you need any technical support during a lesson, you can always call us on our hotline at 6612 8030.