Helen, you are best known for the pioneering work you have done creating a unique methodology for teaching English to young children but what about teens that have just started learning English? There are teens who need basic content that is appealing and geared to their interests and their intelligence. What do you recommend?
I am glad that you asked! I know that we are best known for our early English programmes. These programmes begin for children as young as three months of age and we offer 14 courses for children in the 3 month to 11-year-old age group, alone. Less well known, but equally important are our courses for teens. These unique programmes, with original pop music and stories written just for teens, were developed by pedagogic experts and offer beginner, intermediate and advanced levels that prepare students for the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) exams.
There are teens that truly need a starter level; they are either ‘false beginners’—students who have a basic knowledge of a language, but need to start to study it again from the beginning) or they have never learnt English. One of our recent projects has been to create programmes especially for these students. We have rewritten two courses to make them suitable for beginner teens: Paul Ward Explores and Paul Ward’s Adventures. We presume that these students know the Latin alphabet and with that as our base, we teach these teens the very basics of English, with emphasis on spoken language and grammar. These programmes are suitable for ages 8 to 14 years. You might wonder how a series suitable for an eight year old would be appropriate for a teen. The beauty of these materials are that the graphics and texts are more mature, the songs are engaging, and the starter level materials are suitable for an 8 year old, 11 year old or even a 14 year old. Ecology, women’s rights, animal rights are important issues that make course content relevant and interesting. Basic skills are woven into the higher level content and are quite well received.
Created by an international team, the programmes’ writers work hand in hand with the Helen Doron English teacher trainers. They have extensive experience in working with this age group and are creating programmes for this niche market. Not only is the content on target, but the key to the success of these programmes is our unique methodology. The courses are fun and lively and students learn in a small group setting. They appeal to all types of learners—visual, auditory and kinaesthetic and when taught by expert trained teachers who offer positive reinforcement, beginner teens have exactly what they need to learn English successfully.