Parent Academy 2017

MARTA KOTARBA, PhD: Can a foreign language potentially be harmful?

Even though teaching a foreign language to preschoolers and early elementary school children is a common practice, parents are still not sure whether or not it is worthwhile to start so early. Do children who are still in the process of learning to communicate effectively in their mother tongue really need foreign language classes? The session discusses benefits of early language learning, taking into account the latest developments in the field of psycholinguistics. It focuses on cognitive, linguistic and communication abilities of young children in the context of foreign language acquisition.

GRZEGORZ ŚPIEWAK, PhD: In what way can a foreign language be useful to a Polish child?

On consideration, we might come to the conclusion that a second language, such as English, is actually of no use to children at all, as they can easily make sure that their needs are satisfied by communicating in Polish only with their Polish parents, siblings, friends or preschool teacher. So how are we supposed to convince them that speaking English is – potentially – a sensible and useful thing to do?

This is what I would like to discuss in my session. I will demonstrate how a foreign language may serve as a unique super code – a language for special purposes, to be used spontaneously with mum and dad. I will approach learner motivation from a completely different perspective. All my solutions have been tried and tested in practice – click to watch to find out more!

OLA KOMADA: Do not work with your child at home!

Most of us, parents, work forty hours a week, if not longer. When we sign up our child for a language course, surely the last thing we want is to be required to “work” with our little student at home. And yet, according to experts, any form of parents’ involvement in their child’s learning process brings very positive results. So what are the options for poor, overworked parents who have their child’s best interest at heart? In my session I will try to suggest some answers, share my experiences as a teacher, but first of all as a MOTHER who has spent years searching for the right balance.