Lango does a number of things differently from other programs that make our classes especially strong. First, we select and train our teachers through a rigorous model that's informed by Intrax Cultural Exchange's 30 years of experience in international education. Additionally, because we don't operate our own centers, we can pass along cost savings to our students' families through low prices, while offering our classes in various convenient locations. Finally, we have invested heavily to develop a unique, proprietary curriculum that kids and parents love.
Language instruction is a special kind of children's activity because the benefits extend far beyond the obvious results. Knowing a second (or third!) language is becoming vitally important in today's increasingly global economy and culture. Beyond the obvious practical benefits, though, learning a language at an early age has been shown to have a secondary cognitive benefit. Learning a second language is like exercise for the mind, and kids who do so tend to do better in other subjects, including math and English, and even score higher on standardized tests.
Definitely! In fact, the best time to begin learning a second language is when a child is learning his first. From birth through about age 8, a "learning window" is open that allows kids to learn a language naturally and easily. The younger the learner, the more likely he is to acquire the language with an authentic accent and to retain vocabulary and grammatical patterns over time.
In developing our curriculum, we created our own approach to learning languages, called "Adventure Learning." This approach draws on various methods of teaching languages, including Total Physical Response, the Rassias Method and Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Taken in combination, these methods suggest that kids learn best when their entire person is involved–not just listening and speaking, but moving, singing, dancing, playing, feeling, creating and solving problems as well. With Adventure Learning, we take these approaches a step further, as kids follow the adventures of our characters the Lango Kids, and then go on their own "adventures," challenging activities that they feel great about completing.
When it comes to learning a language, the more exposure the better. That's why we provide our students' families with various instruction reinforcement tools that any parent can put to use. These include our storybooks, which include an English translation; a native speaker-read recitation of our books on our website; Lango CDs which are aligned with the subject matter we teach in our classes; and our Lango flashcards, which feature the same images and vocabulary as our books and our classes.
Our unspoken motto at Lango is "let the parent decide." Some three year-olds respond better to the less structured format of our tot-and-parent classes, while others are ready for the simple art activities and other more structured elements of our preschool classes. We invite you to try both formats with your child and to decide for yourself. (We won't charge you for either trial class!)
Young children learn language best when they choose their approach to learning, discovering the new sounds and patterns on their own. At Lango, we encourage our toddlers to try specific modes of instruction, but also make sure that the learning follows them should they decide on a different activity. We find that all of our students begin to respond to and speak in their new language, regardless of whether they typically spend class sitting and listening or running and jumping.
While we don't assign homework, even to our students in our after-school elementary classes, we do provide a wealth of ideas and resources for reinforcing instruction at home, as described above.
While any kind of exposure can help a child learn a language, face-to-face instruction is by far the most effective method, and should serve as the basis for instruction. Learning a language is a dynamic process, and children (and adults) learn best when they can watch a speaker's mouth, see her expressions and movements and then mimic all aspects of communication. Meanwhile, face-to-face instruction enables the teacher to respond to the learner; Lango teachers are great at picking out which parts of the learning experience work best for your child!
We plan to be! We hope to bring language instruction to kids all over the country. If there are no Lango classes near your home, keep an eye on our website - or contact us and let us know you'd like to see us there!
We encourage you to bring your child to class twice a week. Our curriculum introduces new material early in a week, and then reinforces it later in the week through a different set of activities, so that students can attend just once per week if necessary. However, students who attend twice gain a greater depth of understanding and typically progress more quickly.
Definitely. We've structured our curriculum in "spiraling" fashion, so that even when new material is introduced, earlier material is continually reinforced. This makes it possible for students to begin at any time. Lango will pro-rate your session tuition accordingly.
All of our teachers are native or bilingual speakers. Those who did not grow up in a Spanish-speaking country have been tested by native speakers to ensure that their accent, grammar and usage are authentic.