Language awareness – being ‘aware of language’: it’s something that we almost don’t need to teach. If we present small groups of children with tasks which encourage a focus on the similarities and differences between languages, they bat ideas and comments back and forth and are quite capable of drawing their own conclusions.
If the activities involve manipulating a language which has words and structures reflecting those found in several other languages, imagine how that might help children access other languages.
If, in addition, the language has the added advantage of being relatively easy to learn because it has a phonetic spelling and is grammatically regular, with a system of affixes allowing words to be ‘built’ — in essence ‘created’ — by the learner, imagine the feeling of success and enjoyment which children feel playing with language
Children following our Springboard to Languages or Triple Boost courses can, from the first lesson, be introduced to other languages and invited to compare and to notice those similarities and differences.
Children are able very quickly to use the Esperanto alphabet as a key to pronouncing other languages correctly. The short audio file on the right demonstrates how children from schools in Hungary Germany and England were able to sing songs together in four languages!