Learning TWO languages at the same time?

Confession: I’ve spent many a year as a cash/time strapped student and in that time I more often than not

made my income from teaching languages. From kindergarten toddlers to senior citizens, groups and individuals, I’ve been around the block, you could say, when it comes to teaching languages for more and less reputable language schools. As a teacher, there’s that tingly feeling of success that comes from walking out of a very well executed lesson leaving the kids in what you imagine to be a well-behaved euphoria of learning.

Now, let’s be honest, there’s also that equally opposite crummy feeling when it just didn’t happen and you feel like pretty much anyone in the world could have just taught that lesson better than you did.

If you ask me, a successful lesson comes down to two things: planning and execution, the latter being entirely down to the teacher, and the former needing a pretty much 50-50 effort by teacher and by the provider of the lessons i(e. The language school) by means of the material they provide the teacher.

Planning a lesson is made a whole lot easier with a well structured, easy to follow syllabus which delivers the language effectively, and does it in a way which is repetitive enough for the kids to pick it up, but not so repetitive as to be boring. It’s got to be a mix of 50% guidance in teaching and 50% freedom in practice, and when your teaching kids you bet your bottom dollar that it’s got to be 100% fun! In 7thgrade I learnt one year of Arabic from this textbook that just had the most fantastic comic strips and audio files that came with it with these hilarious voices. I loved it. It had that something extra, the next year we switched textbooks and I pretty much gave up after that. Man, I wish I still had a copy of that old textbook!

I started teaching at Little Mandarin Classes two years ago, which was right about when they had just started to adopt their