SUmmer School 2023
At Blossoms, we use an INTERACTIONIST APPROACH to Early Childhood Education (ECE).
On Human Nature This approach to ECE sees human nature as being partially determined by our biological endowment and partially determined by our environment and interactions with the people around us.
Role of adults in an interactionist approach Learning does not come from textbooks, curricular benchmarks, books or language learning DVDs. Children are educated by the interaction they have with the people around them, especially parents and teachers.
Importance of reciprocity Reciprocity is give and take; sometimes the adults leads the interaction and sometimes the child leads. When children and adults exchange with ideas in this way, they are engaged in what can be called 'shared, sustained thinking'. It is within this space that learning takes place.
In the global world that we live in, English has become a necessity. Learning this language has many benefits and learning it at a young age provides many advantages to the child.
Dual language learning/simultaneous acquisition There are a lot of myths and misinformation about learning a second language early in childhood. The most common is the idea that learning a second language too early can interfere with the child acquiring their first language. However, this idea is not supported by the research into second language acquisition and cognitive development. The science reveals that there are no language delays for children learning two languages at an early age.
Language learning in early childhood Children are amazing language learners and begin learning language from a very early age. Children will naturally acquire the language which is spoken in their environment. Creating an environment where children can spend a significant amount of time interacting with caregivers, teachers, and other students who speak English will allow them to acquire the English language in a way that is very similar to how native speakers of English acquire it.
The Critical Period Hypothesis It is an intuitive fact that children are good language learners. They seem to have a natural ability to learn language and can do so without explicit instruction in the language. They learn it naturally as they interact with the people around them. Unfortunately, this ability will disappear over time. There is a limited period in a child’s life when their language learning abilities are most active and they can learn the language in the same way that a native speaker would. The period that is most critical for children to learn language naturally is thought to be before age 6. Research in phonetics has shown that children who begin to acquire language after age 6 cannot acquire a native-like command of the language and the ability to speak with native-like pronunciation declines steadily with age. It is hypothesized by some that after puberty the brain becomes lateralized (control of different functions are localized in different parts of the brain) and this makes it very difficult to acquire certain aspects of language, such as native-like pronunciation and intuitions of grammaticality.
Implications for parents There are not many opportunities for children in Japan to learn English in a natural way. English education in the public school system is insufficient for most students to develop a functional proficiency in the language. The opportunity to attend pre-school and kindergarten in an English environment can provide children with a chance to learn English in a very effective, natural way. Parents have a chance to give their children a beautiful gift that they will keep with them for the rest of their lives if they choose to send them to such a school. We hope that you will choose ours :)
The following principles elucidate what we believe as educators and help to guide us in our approach to teaching and caring for our students.
We are committed to fostering intrinsic motivation in our student
We are committed to ensuring a physically and emotionally safe environment for our students
We recognize that the people, especially parents and teachers, are the most important part of a child’s early life
We aim to teach our students personal and social responsibility
We are committed to educating the whole child
We see childhood as a valid and important time in a person’s life
We are committed to fostering a sense of self-efficacy in our students