Are the classes for absolute beginners conducted in Serbian?
No, in the beginning the classes are conducted in English language.
Where do your students come from?
My students come from Canada, USA, New Zealand, Great Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, China…
Which methods do you use in teaching Serbian as a foreign language?
I introduce Serbian to the students in a communicative, fun way, and through context which they can identify with. Many of the phrases that students learn on Serbian classes are those they use on a daily basis in their first language. Many situations that I describe on Serbian classes are those that students often find themselves in.
Do you provide materials for the students?
Yes. I provide all the materials that students need for Serbian classes.
What to expect from Serbian classes that you teach?
– A highly experienced, passionate and professional language teacher.
– Individualized and effective lessons tailored just for you.
– A relaxed and fun atmosphere with a learning plan and goals.
– Serbian language will be introduced to you in a communicative, fun way and through context which you can identify with.
– Various language points will be provided for you, step by step, giving you plenty of opportunities to practice them through interactive and engaging activities.
– Vocabulary and topics reviews, listening, reading and writing activities etc.
What a student will learn in sessions?
– Pronunciation, new vocabulary, role-plays, everyday phrases and expressions.
– How to communicate, read and write in the Serbian language.
– More about Serbian culture, tradition, history, food, music, literature and arts.
What a student will achieve?
– Confidence to speak with improved conversational skills.
– How to communicate, read and write in Serbian language.
What is the optimal age for learning a second language?
Specialists are unanimous in their opinion: exposing a child to two languages from birth is the best way for the child to become bilingual.
The sooner, the better. The earliest age that I teach Serbian Language is the age of 3.
In fact, language exposure can even begin during pregnancy! According to a report on early childhood development by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council of the United States, the capacity to learn a language is optimal from the 34th week of pregnancy until the age of 12 months, during the period when the brain synapses are forming.
Is it better to wait for a child to learn the basics of a language well, before making the child learn another language?
Even though the child could be learning a second language well at an early age, by not exposing the child to that language we could be depriving the child of several years of optimal learning.
Does the early bilingualism delay the language development of a child?
This is a common myth that follows research dating back to the 1920s and 1930s which was later proved wrong. In actuality, if a child has language difficulties or delays in development, those will be observed in both languages. Research indicates that the pace of language acquisition is relatively similar between monolingual and bilingual children. However, don’t forget that the bilingual or multilingual child is learning two or tree language systems at the same time, with two or tree sets of sounds (e.g., the 36 sounds of French, or the 44 sounds of English, or the 30 sounds of Serbian), two or tree sets of vocabulary and tree grammatical systems. This requires a lot of analysis which may give the impression that the bilingual child is slower. In addition, if one language is more dominant than the other, this may simply just reflect a greater exposure to that language.
From the first months after birth, “bilingual” babies distinguish sounds from different languages. Their first word would be pronounced more or less at the same age. Very young bilingual children (less than two years old) may need a few months more than unilingual children to recognize homophones or very similar sounds (“the sky” and “this guy”, for example).
Should the child with dyslexia learn another language?
For kids with dyslexia, learning to read and write in their mother tongue can be very hard. When it comes time to learn another foreign language at school, talking, writing and reading in another language could be even harder, but if the teacher is using the right technique and approach it can be only beneficial for the child.
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a language-based learning difficulty that impacts on reading and spelling abilities in a child’s mother tongue. While there are many types of dyslexia and no two individuals will have the same symptoms, 75% of dyslexics struggle with breaking language into its component sounds. This makes it difficult to decode words, which is an essential part of early reading. It also makes it hard to spell and can impact on working memory and processing speed as well.
Dyslexic students who study languages report difficulties hearing sounds, connecting those sounds to letters, sounding out words and memorizing new vocabulary. They also struggle more in reading and writing activities.
To improve literacy skills in their first language, it is recommended children with dyslexia try to “overlearn” words.
This helps them recognize terms by sight.
The same applies in foreign language learning.
Additionally, they may take a phonological approach to learning and there is evidence that this approach is also beneficial in a second language.
What kind of teaching can help students with dyslexia?
Tips for dyslexic students and their teachers:
– Start with speaking and listening.
– Focus on phonology. Problems with reading and spelling are often a result of not being able to match sounds to letters accurately. Serbian Cyrillic alphabet is created on phonemic principles, that’s why it is easy for dyslexic child to follow it’s sounds and letters.
– Practice pronunciation. Getting to know the sounds of a language shouldn’t be passive. Use songs, flesh cards, pictures etc. Drill minimal pairs and train their ears to the new sounds.
– Mistakes are part of the process when it comes to learning a language. These kids don’t need to have perfect grammar in order to communicate, so teachers shouldn’t worry about that.
– Learning through context. Both dyslexic students and those individuals without learning difficulties will find it easier to acquire new language when it is first met in context. Context provides clues about meaning, form and function that you won’t get from a list of vocabulary.
– Use the Keyword Method. A mnemonic approach to learning vocabulary can help dyslexic students get the first 300-400 words into long-term memory. It entails finding a word in your native language that sounds like the target foreign word. If you can’t find just one, look for several. The most important factor is that both words start with the same sound. Next, create an anecdote and visualize it to connect the meaning of the word that sounds similar to the meaning of the foreign word.
I do short plays with my students with dyslexia and they love it!
– Use flashcards for review. Research on attrition shows that it’s easier to maintain vocabulary if you review words at spaced intervals that are just right for their own personal forgetting curve.
Learning a second language is not easy and everyone struggles.
Memorizing words will be slow going in the beginning, but research on the organization of the bilingual lexicon shows that after a certain point (usually when you have learned between 300-500 words), the brain starts to recognize the similarities between these new data points and understands that they are part of a different system.
Research suggests bilinguals are more dynamic thinkers, better problem solvers and even have more social skills.
Students with dyslexia have an advantage when it comes to analytical skills, creativity, thinking outside of the box, problem solving and yes, they can learn very successfully another language with right methods and patience.
Do you teach Serbian language to the children with ADHD or autism?
Yes, I teach Serbian to the children with ADHD, autism or any other learning disability.