Will my 5 yr-old speak Dutch by the end of the school year?

To be honest: no! First of all, completing 30 classes in one year is not enough to achieve complete proficiency in the target language. Also, there is a time lapse between the level of "comprehending" a language and being able to "express" oneself – just like with the mother tongue. The child understands nearly everything before being able to speak and then there is the magic moment: his or her first words! From that moment, progress is significant. However, before that there will be a period which may not be so encouraging: your child is unable to show the progress that is being made with the language! Be patient, let him or her progress at his/her own rhythm, and don't turn the learning process into a race.

Is it really useful to start so early?

Yes, because the young child doesn't understand the language in complex mental terms (past/present, subject/verb etc..). He/she is not inhibited by such difficulties and assimilates the language intuitively. In addition, he/she does not tend to automatically translate to the mother tongue and little by little, he/she will feel comfortable in the foreign language, pick it up and to a certain extent think in and live this new language.

Is the process the same when the child is older?

Yes, similar. But with children of 10 years and older, he/she will conceptualise the language through reflection and conscious memorization. Progress will be quicker and less subconscious.

Which language to choose?

The answer is simple: choose the most difficult, because nothing is really difficult for a child! To learn a language with declensions as in German is extremely beneficial at all levels. Adding other languages will become significantly easier. Choose a language that your child will have the least chance of learning while young. However for adolescents, make sure to take into account their preferences, in order to keep them motivated on the language!

How is the division in different groups decided?

It depends on the age and level of ability. Age difference within any group is generally about two years.

My child has already taken Kiddy Classes, in which group will he/she be?

Progress is continuous from year to year; a child will not repeat the same programme for two years in a row. We always ensure that the child will build on his language and make progress year after year.

Who are the teachers?

All our teachers are qualified with teaching certificates. Teaching is their profession. For Kiddy Classes, we choose teachers who are able to demonstrate patience and affection towards young children. For Junior Classes, teachers are selected on the basis of their enthusiasm, strictness and effectiveness. All teach their mother tongue.

Are the parents allowed to be present at classes?

You are all invited to attend the 'open' classes - the last classes are held before Carnival vacation and in June. Otherwise, no – “parents are not allowed"! The children are too easily disturbed, they do not behave normally and why should we allow parents of one particular child to attend classes? This would not be fair to the other pupils.

Are parents kept up-to-date with the progress of their children?

yes, by course reports and by meetings with teachers that may be arranged before or after classes.

For the Juniors, should one choose «Living the language" or "Remedial classes"?

If an adolescent has difficulties at school, or if he/she has low or average results, it is strongly advised to enrol for Remedial classes in which individual attention is possible, with proven success and effectiveness . All the Juniors who take these classes make significant progress in a relatively short amount of time. When the young person has reached the desired level, he can stop these classes or transfer to the groups "Living the language".

Due to the family situation, my child already understands another language, are Kiddy Classes suitable for him?

Yes, we have advanced groups even for very young children. They are reserved for children who have already reached a high level in the language studied.

Why do children not have vocabulary lists?

The main fault with traditional teaching methods is that children learn languages by categories and lists: lists of verbs, lists of substantives and grammar rules. We use quite a different approach; the working unit is the sentence, even a very small one, but not the word. It is not important that the child can recite lists of fruits or colors, but that he/she can ask for a red apple.

When I ask my child to translate a word into Dutch, he cannot do this. Is this normal?

Absolutely! We avoid any association between the mother tongue and the target language. This is no problem for the very young, they have no mental capacity for translation and it is important that parents do not introduce a translation process. For the older children this is more difficult as in many school environments translation is an important element in learning a foreign language. We use every effort to break this mental association "hearing the message in the foreign language -> mental translation to mother tongue -> mental preparation of reply in mother tongue -> translation and sending a reply in the foreign language". Normal communication should follow the process "hearing the message in the foreign language -> sending a reply in the foreign language", without detour via the mother tongue. Please do not encourage your child to translate.

What benefits do the discovery classes have?

We know that children and adolescents are happy with our classes and that these meet the expectations of parents. We therefore have no hesitation in proposing two discovery classes without obligation, knowing that only children who are too young or not used to group activities may have to drop out and wait a further year. On enrolment you pay for the two trial classes. After two classes, you make a decision and if you enrol for the semester, the amount already paid is deducted from the total amount due.

What material is required?

A pencil case, with the usual small items: pencils, rubber, etc.. The Juniors should bring a pad of paper and, for the remedial classes, they should bring their school textbooks and other necessary paperwork: tests, homework, note from the school teacher, etc...Books and teaching material will be given out in class, after the final enrolment.

What if my child misses a class?

Enrolment is done each term. Children who miss a class can catch up by attending another class on another day, Wednesday or Saturday. Reimbursements may be made for absence from two consecutive sessions on presentation of a medical certificate. We draw your attention to the fact that we will adhere strictly to this rule in the future. We will make exceptions only for children absent on official school trips, on presentation of a letter of confirmation from the school.

Juniors and "Study leave"

In June, Juniors stop classes at the beginning of June, but in December classes continue (absences in December do not qualify for a reimbursement). A break of 6 weeks after only a few weeks of classes would be very detrimental to language progress. The young person must get organised with some advanced preparation for their exams so as to have time to attend their language classes. Parents: encourage your Junior to plan his/her time with the inclusion of other activities.