Children learn most of their first language by interacting with their parents and siblings. There is a clear reason for communicating, and the context is always real and meaningful. From a language acquisition perspective, having other children who speak the target language is a valuable element to encourage rapid learning. We strive constantly to help our students help each other to build a community of English speakers. To achieve this, every class is taught by a native English teacher, so your child will be exposed to and exclusively taught in a native English environment.
Informed by the best language teaching methodologies and linguistic research, our teachers select appropriate techniques for each group based on the particular needs and learning styles of their students. A basic premise of our education philosophy is that all children carry within themselves the person they will become. We believe that children have unique aptitudes, interests and learning styles, which we value and work to help emerge and flourish. To fully capitalize on each child’s uniqueness, our classes are taught by a team (made up of a native English speaking teacher and a bilingual native Japanese teacher), who work that works together to meet the emotional, social, intellectual, and physical needs of each student.
Language is constructed through an array of increasingly complex systems. The most basic skill required to learn these is to be able to recognize the fundamental sound units (phonemes) of the target language. The Roman (English) alphabet has many rules that dictate how a letter or groups of letters are pronounced. For example, the same letter can be pronounced in different ways depending on the word, i.e. the letter “a” in “cat,” “cake” and “caught,” and through varied approaches to learning phonics, our students will be given the possible chance to master the English language.
DOLCH SIGHT WORDS
Phonics is a very powerful tool for shortening the time it takes for children to learn how to read, however this is only the beginning. At KIPS, we also teach our students to read by teaching the Dolch Sight Words. The most commonly used words in English are referred to as “sight words” and many are difficult to read phonetically. For example, the word “the” is not only difficult to sound out, it is also challenging for children to visually imagine it. By mastering and being able to automatically recognise words “on sight,” children will discover that reading can be exciting and confidence building.
TOTAL PHYSICAL RESPONSE
Research has shown that most people – especially children – learn and remember information better if they use several senses e.g. reading aloud versus reading silently. Being able to physically act out and engage several different senses simultaneously makes the learning process more interesting and thus, more retainable. This teaching method is called Total Physical Response (TPR). Children can concentrate for longer when they fix their attention on specific, purposeful tasks performed with their whole body such as games, puzzles, cooking, science projects, and crafts. Through such tangible, stimulating and task-based activities, our young learners are able to make many new discoveries.
LEARNING ABOUT NATURE
Our school is committed to ensuring its students have as many opportunities as possible to immerse themselves in nature so they can discover and learn from these experiences. In addition to weekly trips to the nearby park, students take part in Marathon and Nature days, egg hunts at the local temple, a weekly Running Program, field trips, water fights and pool play in the summer and a snow hill trip in the winter.