Early childhood is the best time to learn a language. By the age of four, children are making up stories and expressing their opinions. By the age of six children are getting better motor control over writing utensils and have started to 'write.' They also have the natural, open, free time available to play and explore in an unstru
Not only is a child ready in terms of their physical development- their brains are very capable as well. Research shows a child can be exposed to several languages at once without any detriment or confusion. Unfortunately, studies of the development of the human brain also show that after the age of six, a child's ability to learn a new language appears to decline rapidly. It is important to take advantage of this 'window of opportunity.' During this time children have a great chance to learn another language. Parents and educators can offer experience and exposure that children need during this time to acquire language skills. Why wait until our children are much older before we begin to teach our children English? A great opportunity may be lost. Children don't have to 'study' English; children acquire English naturally Adults approach language learning in a systematic orderly way. The memorization of verb conjugations ('to be,' 'is,' 'am,' 'are') is a typically systematic and adult-like approach to learning English. Adults study language as grammatical forms and patterns. Even older children can systematize categories of words and functions of words. This is considered formal 'learning.' Young children, on the other hand, are natural language acquirers. Young children do not need to approach language 'acquisition' in this way. Children can infer meaning from context and absorb language directly through experience. What parents and educators need to do is allow the children to explore with their own natural curiosity. The most important factor in a child's language acquisition process is exposure: the amount of exposure and quality of exposure to English.
How the ZP program works ZP focuses on increasing the opportunities for exposure to English. To do this, ZP optimizes the quality of experience and promotes a child's involvement. ZP incites the natural curiosity and intelligence of every young child. It does this through its teaching approach, age appropriate content, activities, and a rewards system. Playtime is learning time. Songs, stories, DIY, games, and activities provide English content kids can relate to by having fun. · A wide range of learning tools and materials are provided for the varied family and child needs. · 'Just enough' Chinese to make the materials understandable and useful. · Appropriate challenges to stretch a child's ability while not frustrating him or her. Bringing the child over the bridge of what he or she knows to what they don't know. · Encouragement and Rewards promote further exploration and involvement- this is not a high pressured or competitive system. For children to enjoy learning, early success is very important.