Let's Put the English Back Into Context!
Until recently many teachers have been teaching English in accordance to theme based learning which is how many of the foundation books (in Israel) are written. Theme based learning is learning English by themes for example, "the kitchen", all vocabulary words learned are about the kitchen. Another example is when learning the alphabet. Learning the letter 'c' and subsequently learning all vocabulary words starting with the letter 'c'. The problem with this type of learning is that it has no real meaning or connection to our everyday lives and thus children have greater difficulty in remembering the context and vocabulary.
Teaching/learning with meaning has proven to have greater learning outcomes and success. Teaching with meaning would be learning the letter 'h' and its phonetic sound which says, 'hhhh'. With Simplish – English Made Simple TM this sound is then connected to an image and kinesthetic movement of "laughing out loud" in the classroom, "hahahahaha". The children are then encouraged to laugh the sound out. The context introduced after could be talking about funny events that happened to you, telling a joke, different ways of saying hello. This is teaching with meaning.
In the Simplish classroom this method has proven be extremely successful while being fun. What better a way to learn English then to play with it!? Looking back again to classroom teaching and the textbooks being used it's time for a change! The methods in which the books are written and encouraged to be taught have no real relevance to meaningful context or life. It is fantastic that a child can say all five vocabulary words that start with the letter 'c' but in actual fact the moment that s/he steps out of the classroom door into the world what are they supposed to do with it? By teaching with meaning it means that we are teaching grammar and sentence structure in a natural way; the way that the brain was designed to receive information. Notice that children that are taught in immersion style attain a higher form of language understanding and contextual speech. Learning a language was not meant to be completely compartmentalized. It is important to categorize teaching in order to teach in greater depth certain subjects like vocabulary, spelling, certain grammar rules, etc. However, it is imperative in order to learn a language to be immersed in its most natural contextual setting.
I would like to take the opportunity to invite you all on June 2nd, 2016 at 8:30pm in Kfar Saba, I Sharon Shenbaum the CEO & Founder of Simplish – English Made Simple TMwill be hosting a workshop for parents on how to learn English through the senses. Much of what was written here will be discussed and more. Parents wanting to introduce English at home, maintain English, strengthen their child's English, or begin to teach reading and writing will receive tips on how to do so in a fun and interactive way; the way that Simplish only knows best. For registration and more information please visit: