Foreign languages inspire!

By Areti D. Boukas, English Language Teacher- National & Kapodistrian University of Athens

 

A foreign language institution should not only aim at certificates. The real purpose of learning a foreign language should be the quality of learning, the cultivation of creativity, the sharpening of critical thinking as well as the development of intercultural awareness.

 

Positive psychology should entirely be applied to the Foreign Language Classroom. This kind of psychology reduces students’ stress and converts learning into entertainment. Language acquisition is best achieved in a beautiful, friendly and intimate environment with the spirit of cooperation.

 

Every school should do its best in order to integrate the 21st Life Skills into the teaching process. 21st Life Skills are widely known as 4 Cs and are the following: Critical Thinking, Communication, Creativity and Collaboration.

According to most educators, the most suitable age in order for a child to get in touch with the foreign language is the preschool period (4-6 years old). The younger the children, the better they accept the foreign language as a natural process. We should always bear in mind that through playing kids are entertained, learn, relax and love what they do!

 

Furthermore, a multisensory approach is essential since through audiovisual stimuli and kinesthetic techniques, learners’ motive is enhanced and their learning experience is enriched. Children of the particular age assimilate what they are taught and are easily adapted to the learning environment.

 

The fundamental principle of the Montessori Method is learning through play. The particular method gives emphasis on a kid’s interests, inclinations and talents. It urges the kid to discover and explore the world and it ultimately teaches appreciation and respect towards everyone and everything.

 

The exposure of a child to the foreign language should be experiential through songs and play. Foreign language learning triggers all the senses. The learner from a very young age learns how to create, construct as well as draw and paint. The benefits of the learner’s independence are many. Students socialize and learn how to work in groups (collaboration).  Team learning is the personification of society. The development of friendships contributes to a child’s mentality. Each and every school should be friendly and should welcome its students with smile and positive feelings.

 

A great teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart. The educator’s role should not be restricted to instilling knowledge; support, human touch, encouragement and communication matter, too. Every student should enter the classroom with a smile eager to learn. As teachers, it is important to develop a relationship based on love and trust with students and parents. A good teacher inspires! •

 

About Areti

I am a passionate English Language Teacher and I believe that learning is powered by play. I place importance on early learning through motivational activities. I view kindness as a way of life! My fundamental belief is that children learn best through hands-on exploration and play. I put into practice teaching methods and ideologies that I believe my students need day by day. What works for one child may not work for the other. What works for one teacher may not work for the other.
In the end, I believe what matters most is that my students leave my classroom well adjusted, happy, eager to learn, loving school, confident, and competent in all areas of development and I will do whatever I can and apply whatever teaching philosophy or method I feel appropriate to help them find success.•

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