Principals of Wattsenglish
Ability to Understand
Children understand basic expressions of their mother tongue long before they can express themselves. Foreign language teaching at pre-school age is based on the same principle. Children react to a certain impetus expressed in a foreign language without having to formulate a statement or vocal response. The foreign language is then acquired as naturally as their mother tongue; children understand the meaning of whole statements. Teachers of Wattsenglish® also motivate their further understanding by using facial expressions, gestures, pictures, puppets, etc.
Using Games and Movement
We use experience and cooperative learning by using games and activities based on the children's direct experience supporting their curiosity and need to discover. In children, often the strongest motivation to communicate is created while playing. Suitable learning conditions are created if the games used are entertaining and exciting, while giving children a chance to stand out. Movement represents an important means of both non-verbal communication and the child's need to be physical while still learning.
For children, language cannot be detached from the reality they experience. They like imitating voices from songs and sketches, role-playing characters from stories and their expressions. They enjoy fairytales, rhymes, puzzles, and new sounds introduced therein. This way, they engage the same brain areas that they use for learning their own mother tongue. The result is indirect, yet the most effective learning.
Development of Imagination
Children fully engage in sketches and stories. Teachers help create a fairytale environment. Thanks to children's highly developed imagination, the gradation of stories in fairytales and songs, foreign language can operate on a level identical with that of their first language.
Activation of All Senses
Children acquire their mother tongue through multi-sensual motivation; we use the same approach to teaching a foreign language in pre-school age children. In addition, during language teaching, children practise manipulation skills, and undertake constructive and graphic activities; both sensory and psychomotor games and music and music-movement games are also used.
Variety of Activities
Children do not have long attention spans; Wattsenglish® teaching is therefore lively, full of games and movement. Activities change very often during an input session; stimulating and calming games are used as necessary. Activities known to children are often used to increase their self-confidence and feeling of safety.
Repetition of activities instils children with necessary self-confidence. We must consider the fact that the process of language absorption preceding a child's ability to produce language may take a long time. Potential stress from speaking is reduced by choral repetition of songs and rhymes, as well as various entertaining drills and games.
Wattsenglish® teachers pay as much attention to individual children as possible. Praise represents an important part of the learning process. Do not wait for an independent display; praise the children for either an attempt or a correct reaction, whether vocal or non-vocal.
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