Learning a new language is a complex process for adults that often comes naturally to kids. When young students are in a fun environment where they feel comfortable and supported, they are positioned to grow by leaps and bounds in their world language development.
Language Stars prides itself on providing the ideal learning environment for students ages 12 months to 12 years. In addition to age-appropriate curriculum, we take steps to ensure we connect with all learning styles.
Teaching to different learning styles is important in order to make progress with every child. This stems from the theory of Multiple Intelligences, which was originally developed by Howard Gardner in a 1983 publication titled "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences."
There are many different ways that Language Stars classes embrace multiple intelligences and provide curriculum that appeals to each child's unique learning style. For example, Gardner's Interpersonal Intelligence addresses people who crave relationships with others. They enjoy discussion and find energy in interaction with the teacher and other students.
In our classes, we have both small and large-group activities so that there is an appropriate time for students who enjoy group discussions and others who prefer a more intimate learning environment. Over time, all children, despite learning style, forge deep relationships with teachers and lasting bonds with fellow students.
Another one of Gardner's intelligences is Bodily-Kinesthetic, which refers to movement's influence on learning. You likely immediately think of sports or dance, as people with this intelligence often thrive in athletic pursuits. Beyond movement of the body, it's believed that people with this intelligence also typically express themselves through creative projects that require movement, such as making arts and crafts.
The Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence is embraced by Language Stars educators. Small bodies are meant to move, and we know young students don't want to sit at a desk reciting vocabulary. Our FunImmersion approach to learning means classes include enjoyable activities such as cultural dance and spirited games that get students up and moving. Because art is a central part of cultural teaching, classes often include craft activities that underscore language retention.
Musical Intelligence plays a central role in Language Stars classes. Students with this intelligence have a strong sense of rhythm and excel in music-related pursuits. Of course, cultural songs are included in foreign language classes as well as learning songs to help support vocabulary expansion.
Musical intelligence helps in other ways, too. Consider the cadence of different vocabulary. The pitch of each letter and the stress of different syllables connect with the musical mindset. This is particularly important when teaching a tone language like Mandarin, which means different words change meaning depending on voice inflection.
Gardner's intelligences serve as guidance for all educators to find innovative ways to connect with students of all learning styles.