Teaching children languages in Bahrain

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Make learning another language child’s play, Patricia Leveque of Languatots, which teaches through immersive play, tells us how.

What is Languatots and how does it work?
Languatots has been established to provide play-based foreign language activity classes for the youngest of children. Each class consists of five 50-minute lessons, four of which focus on individual topical or child-friendly themes and associated vocabulary words and a final review lesson to wrap up the class. Classes are available in Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Italian.

Where was the concept developed?
The original Languatots concept was developed by me, I’m an American educator based in Bahrain for more than ten years. I wanted to support, encourage and share my young daughter Josephine’s bilingual learning activities.

What age group is it aimed at?
Languatots provides classes in two age groups - six months to four years and four-and-a-half to seven years - and provides activity programmes for the young participants who will be supported by their care-givers who attend the lessons and will also actively participate in the lessons.

Where do your teachers/play leaders come from, are they native speakers?
All of the Languatots play-leaders are either native speakers or fully qualified linguists in their chosen language(s).

How many kids are in each group and what sort of activities do they do?
Each class consists of a maximum of ten children who engage in simple songs, movement, visual storytelling, simple games or craft all in the target language. The Languatots classes are play-based and feature activities that cater to various learning styles (visual, aural, musical, verbal, physical and social). Parents and children alike build their confidence and appreciation of the target language in a friendly, relaxed and child-centred environment.

How long has Languatots been running and what have the results been so far?
The first Languatots course - Arabic - was held in October 2012 and the last year has seen the number of languages and classes expand significantly as the concept has been fine-tuned with feedback from the play-leaders, parents and care-givers.

When, where and how much are the classes?
Classes are offered at regular intervals throughout the year in various locations across Bahrain which include Aminals Soft Play Hall in Amwaj, The Children’s House in Janabiyah, and My Gym in Seef with plans to extend classes to Fontana Towers in Juffair. The next term starts during the fourth week of January 2014.
Email languatots@gmail.com for the most current schedule. The fee for each term of five lessons is BD25 plus BD5 for an activity kit and study packet that is given to each child.

By Time Out Bahrain staff
Time Out Bahrain,

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