Spanish children and the need for afterschool lanuage tuition
The real and/or perceived need for extra English tuition.
This month I want to reflect upon the real and/or perceived need for afterschool language tuition for children who are studying part of their primary education syllabus in English. I hope to start a debate on this theme so please leave comments! I would like to see us discussing how many hours of week our children study English in class, at language schools, with private teachers, etc. I also think there should be an investigation into the motives which lead parents to seek extra language tuition for their children: do the students need more help, do they struggle to understand, or is it simply a desire to improve that leads them to take more classes? Does the level of English of the parents influence whether tuition is sought or not? profesores particulares ingles
Now that term is in full flow and afterschool clubs are up and running once more, it is obvious that the demand for activities in English is still rising. In Madrid there are many options available for parents to help their children learn more English in their spare time. Here at Kids In Madrid we collaborate with many soft play centres, playschools, language academies and individual companies that offer wonderful services in this boom sector. It is my belief that bilingualism can only be achieved when the lines between English as a subject taught at school and English as a means of communication with peers become blurred:
However the debate I want to raise here does not concern the proliferation of wonderful fun activities children can take part in whilst learning English along the way. Rather, it is why do so many parents seek private classes for their children? It appears that many parents look for conversation classes for their children during which they hope the teacher will go over the subjects that are being taught in English at school, usually science. The demand for these one-to-one classes is high and the need seems to be real. But what is the cause of this demand? Do parents simply have too high expectations of their children? Or is it that the syllabus requirements in English are too demanding of the young students?
There is absolutely nothing wrong in having private classes! As I said in a previous article all help is welcome. However my concern is that the growing demand for private tuition could be fueled by failings in the bilingual education program or difficulties that parents have in helping their children with their homework. I sincerely hope that neither is the case, and that this growth in one-to-one classes is inspired by the desire to make the most of the English that children are learning at school and topping it up with extra classes at home.
I hope to receive lots of feedback here! It would be interesting to look at trends such as the number of hours children spend studying English at school, what subjects they study in English, at what age parents believe children need assistance from a private teacher, what expectations we have of the bilingual program and what our feelings are about it. This could be a good opportunity to comment upon, examine and discuss the bilingual education syllabus that our children are studying and which we hope will be advantageous to all. Don’t let this moment slip by!!