Children are pragmatic learners and learn gradually over time with multiple encounters with the language. Favourable learning conditions need to be created and a safe, positive, and supportive environment is a prerequisite. It is beneficial for language exposure to be regular, authentic, and rich. In other words, it is important to provide a variety of language input in terms of vocabulary and grammar. The German Workshop makes this possible.
We understand that growing up in multilingual families poses additional challenges for young learners and this needs to be carefully considered. Learners in the early stages of second language learning need time and space to practice language skills.
Oversimplified and imperative speech like “Pay attention”, “Close the door” etc. as well language that requires a predetermined answer e.g., yes, or no, do not provide opportunities for children to engage in meaningful communication and develop their language skills. For that reason, we begin by using authentic but simple and accurate speech, offer feedback on spoken language in a sensitive manner while creating interactive opportunities for language use. As pronunciation is an essential part of spoken language, our focus is on age-appropriate vocabulary and grammar and meaning-focused language exercises. The work is organized in small groups to allow genuine interaction between teachers and learners.
In our workshops, everyone in the group is multilingual and speaks German or English as a second language, so mispronunciation and inaccuracies are commonplace and dealt with in an implicit and learner sensitive way. It’s important to have fun exploring and discovering how languages work!