Imagine you are an English mother or father… Your partner could be French, Spanish or German (pick any language that the VICI Language Academy teaches!) and you move to their native country. How much would you want your children to speak English, to be bilingual?
Now you understand the motivation for parents from another country who live here and want their children to be bilingual and many of them turn to VICI for help achieving that crucial mastery of two languages and understanding not only their English cultural background, but that of the foreign parent too.
Many parents have of course spoken their native tongue to their children and others have employed au pairs from their mother country to help the children learn a second language, however this creates a contextual challenge that even Nathalie Danon-Kerr, who founded VICI, found with her sons.
“When you teach your children a foreign language at home you are often using the same vocabulary,” she explained. “I speak French to my boys and in the mornings it is all about getting dressed, eating breakfast and what the day at school will be like; just like English mothers. However the context dictates the conversation and it is naturally repetitive.”
Bilingual children have found this when they come to lessons at VICI, while they might be fluent and have great pronunciation, they may not have the range in vocabulary that their fellow students have. Naturally they can put new words into a sentence more easily, but clearly they learn much by being in a different environment. Being in a structured class gets them to ‘get out of their comfort zone’ and that is where their language skills are really benefitting
There is also the need for this formal teaching of language for simply speaking a language does not necessarily mean you can teach much more than conversation, which of course is vital, but only goes some way towards being truly bilingual.
Here at VICI they also learn to read and write which they are unlikely to do at home as it is often tricky for parents to do so: quite hard to teach people you are emotionally attached to!
Pause and apply the question we asked at the beginning again. Surely you would ensure your children had formal teaching in English?
Make no mistake though; as much as your children have to learn, what you have already taught them is invaluable and will make your children some of the most confident that we teach. When they immerse themselves in learning with VICI they receive a huge boost of confidence as they realised they knew more than others.
All in all educationally and socially, working with bilingual children helps them enormously. That’s why the VICI method is great! Our immersive lessons, use of various resources rather than stick to one popular/ big name method and structured syllabus based on age and not level means that both English children with no foreign language knowledge and bilingual kids can learn together and all do brilliantly.