Mis Amigos Languages' mission is to provide children a multi- sensory and interactive approach to language acquisition during early childhood by means of art, music and play.
Research demonstrates that children’s brain arepre-wired to learn multiple languages. It is critical to maximize each child’s “window of opportunity” today, by providing the necessary tools they will need tomorrow to be able to live, work and excel in a global context.
FOCUS AND GOAL At Mis Amigos Languages our primary focus is to ensure that students will feel comfortable and successful from day one about expressing themselves in Spanish in order to enable the learning to take place in a manner that will be enjoyable for them. All students are expected to make mistakes and are taught to support and respect one another during the learning process. We practice whole language in context. All thematic lessons are taught in the foreign language, by means of real situations through the use of whole sentences and familiar stories and activities which can easily be reinforced and repeated outside the classroom. To increase understanding, our experienced and fluent teachers make learning fun.
Our goal is to make all learning purposeful. There is no memorization. Instead, in order to take advantage of the flexibility in the brain at this young age, techniques such as modeling, the use of gestures and positive feedback are used to elicit expressions from the student that will engage their imagination, continue to pathways in the brain while making each child feel comfortable and happy.
By building and early framework of conversational skills students are motivated and taught early on to express themselves in complete sentences. As students learn to form correct phrases and sentences, they will simultaneously practice verb conjugations which will allow them to have an increased understanding of grammar rules and concepts. A basic structure is provided in order to advance the understanding and mastery of the Spanish grammar. Teaching proper speech and pronunciation at the onset of the program and on a continuous basis will not only instill good habits, but encourage conversation which in turn allows students to relate to grammar rules and concepts as students gain a sense of self confidence and achievement about their progress.
Early language acquisition peaks between birth and ten years of age. As children age, beyond the “window of opportunity” though they are still capable of learning additional languages, due to the diminished plasticity in the brain, this task becomes more difficult. For those children who have formed links in the brain through early multiple language learning, acquiring additional languages later in life becomes a much easier task than counterparts without multiple language intelligence.
Speaking multiple languages in the near future will not be a luxury but rather a necessity for our children’s generation. Our research based program, Sube facilitates early language acquisition with ease. Sube is based on the *Theory of multiple intelligences developed in 1983 by Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. It suggests that our traditional notion of intelligence, based on IQ testing, does not reveal the wide-ranging potential and diverse learning styles of children and adults (i.e. logical-mathematical, linguistic, spatial/visual, kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal or naturalist). As an immersion program, all instruction takes place in the target language. Mis Amigos Languages encourages learning through active participation and 100% use of the new language being acquired by means of art, music and play. Techniques such as *TPR (total physical response), mime, sign language or dramatic gestures are also incorporated. In addition to reading and writing, SUBE teaches children the target language through the use of academic and social language skills through the use of the following: games, music, art, movement, role playing, story telling, singing, dancing, games and arts & crafts. All multi-sensory activities stimulate the imagination and enable children to relate to the target language. Class sizes are small and allow for age appropriate thematic units and activities to be relevant to the child’s developmental stage. A key component of the program is the incorporation of art and music. Many years of research have established a strong link between language, music and other developmental skills such as logical thinking and math. When children are exposed to language and music, measurable improvements in cognitive skills are noted. Similarly, research also demonstrates the long lasting benefits of cognitive, motor and expressive development through hands-on activities and play. All classes regardless of the program enhance the learning and socialization style of each child. In addition to the language instruction already taking place at home, school or pre-school, exposure by the pre-school age population to the program is of great benefit not only in terms of language acquisition but it also serves to enable young ones to familiarize themselves with an alternate new setting outside the home.