Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What makes Music Lingua unique among foreign language programs for kids?
Music Lingua is unique in that we teach thematic units, and we write and record all our own music that integrates perfectly with these units. Using one theme for 10-12 weeks allows us to teach a small but important section of vocabulary to children, and to reinforce it over and over until it’s well ingrained. The next theme will contain some similar vocabulary, but will add the words from the new theme as well. Since we write our own music we can create precisely the simple lyrics we need, or which utilize the vocabulary we want to teach. We often use tunes the kids are familiar with, so they feel like they already “know” the song.
- Is my child too young/old for Music Lingua?
Too young? Unequivocally, no! The best time for a child to start exposure to a second language is in infancy. Although very young infants may not show outward signs of comprehension, their brains are indeed processing the sounds of the language, and forming new neural pathways that will be used later.
Too old? That depends. The Music Lingua program is targeted toward young children up to around 8 years old, when they are most able to aquire new language skills. It has been used successfully on older children, up to 10+years. Older than that and you may want to look towards another program. However, even starting late is better than not starting at all, and we encourage you to please give your child the opportuinity to study languages, even if he or she is too old for Music Lingua.
- What is a Music Lingua class like?
Most Music Lingua classes are attended by the parent and child, others are drop-off classes, and some are taught in preschools and elementary schools. Parents love attending with their child. Often they have studied the language themselves, and are happy to have a refresher course and a continual reminder to speak to their child in the language. Some are just interested in starting their child young in a foreign language, and are excited to learn it along with them. (Many of these are surprised at how much faster their child picks up the language than they themselves!)
On the first day of a Music Lingua class each child is given a special student packet, which includes the music CD. The parents are asked to have the child listen to the CD as much as possible at home and in the car. By the next class the children are already familiar with the music, perhaps even singing the songs even though they don’t know what the sounds mean, and the teacher can then focus on comprehension.
The teacher begins by teaching the children the very simple songs in the target language, with the use of many visual aids. The songs are fun and repetitious and the main vocabulary is repeatedly reinforced through games, simple commands, art projects and drama. All of the senses are engaged in learning the language: touch, sound, sight, even sometimes smell and taste. The goal is to teach the children the foreign language while having fun singing songs and playing with toys. Without realizing it, the children will soon signal their comprehension by responding physically to commands in the target language and eventually responding verbally as well. Every effort is made to keep a low stress level in the classroom and not require anyone to speak or act if they aren’t comfortable doing so.
Teachers have a prop or visual aid in their units’ “Toy Box” for each major vocabulary word or concept they teach, making it easy and fun for them to convey the meanings of the songs. Most songs contain language that pertains to the theme, and others contain functional language and phrases that can be used everywhere. Each unit contains a counting song, color song, greeting song, and various season-specific songs such as weather, seasons, or clothing. Classes typically meet once a week for 45 minutes, and last 10-12 weeks.
The importance of parent involvement cannot be overemphasized. Parents who attend classes with their child can sing the songs learned in class together with their child. Even parents of drop-off kids can offer the CD for listening during the week, and help them color and do the activities in the activity booklet at home. The beauty of the program is that the CD goes home with the child, ensuring that the learning continues all week until the next class.
- How long is a Music Lingua class?
A typical Music Lingua session lasts 10 to 12 weeks, with classes meeting once a week for 45 minutes. Summer camps vary, but typically meet 3 to 4 hours a day for one week.
- How do I get more information?
Contact us! We'd be happy to answer any questions you may still have.
- What age of children will I teach?
Our program is designed specifically for young children from ages infant to about 8 years old, but has been used successfully with older children as well. Young children are most easily able to acquire a second language, and benefit the most from language exposure.
- Do the classes have to be limited to ages 0 - 8?
You can use the material to teach any age of kids that you feel comfortable as long as it works for you. I have had 10 yr olds in some of my after-school classes, and it was fine. It depends on the kids and on how you present the material. The songs are geared towards younger kids, but as long as you don’t talk "down" to the older kids, and just make it fun, they can often really get into "Head, shoulder, knees and toes" in German, for example.
- What are the Themes like?
Music Lingua classes are broken into thematic units such as Life on the Farm, Life in the Ocean, Life at Home, etc. Each thematic unit comes with a large box of props, a teaching manual with lesson plans, CDs and books, and contains plenty of material to teach 10-12 weeks of classes meeting once a week. There is a lot of room for flexibility in this, so a given unit could be condensed or stretched to your schedule. Each unit includes lessons on counting, colors, and other basic vocabulary and phrases. In addition, there are songs pertaining to the theme and season. The kid-friendly themes and fun props attract and hold the children's attention, and form a scaffolding for introducing other functional vocabulary.
You can get a good feel for our themes by checking out our take-home materials page. Make sure to watch the short video which features samples of the take-home materials from one of our themes.
- What kind of training will I receive?
Our training program is now DVD based, so you can do the training at your own pace in your own home. You should be able to complete the training in a long weekend. You will learn the Music Lingua Methodology, other current 2nd language acquisition philosophies we draw from, and how to teach the lessons in your first unit. You’ll learn how to utilize our high quality teaching materials, reducing the need for time-consuming lesson preparations. We’ll go over how to find space for teaching, advertising for students and deciding when and where to teach. Lots of hands–on practice will give you the confidence to step into your new classes with enthusiasm.
- What are the requirements for becoming a Music Lingua teacher?
The main requirement is that you speak French, German or Spanish with a good accent (you need not be completely fluent, but should speak at a conversational level). Children will learn by emulating your sounds as well as the sounds on the music CD, and their first introduction to the language must be with the best possible accent.
Music Lingua teachers love working with small children. They have the enthusiasm and energy to lead children through fun, fast-paced classes. Since you will usually be singing along with a CD, you do not need to have a great singing voice - just lots of enthusiasm!
Music Lingua teachers are independent self-starters, interested in a flexible schedule. They are able to promote, advertise and run their own business.
- What teaching aids will I receive with each unit?
Each thematic unit comes with the teaching manual for that unit, music CD, books, complete lesson plans, and all of the high-quality props you'll need to teach the unit. These props are carefully chosen to integrate with the lessons and songs in the theme, helping us to engage the child with techniques such as Total Physical Response. Just as important, they are FUN!
- How much or little will I be able to work?
One of the advantages of being a Music Lingua teacher is the flexibility it affords. As owner of your own business you are free to teach as much or as little as you like, and on the days of your own choosing. You’re the boss!
- What kind of person becomes a Music Lingua teacher?
Music Lingua was originally created by bilingual moms who wanted to teach a second language to their children but needed reminders to speak to them in that language. It’s ideal for:
- moms or dads who would like a flexible part-time job in order to work around their children's schedule.
- Preschool teachers and employees make great Music Lingua teachers.
- Students studying foreign languages can increase their employability by becoming a Music Lingua teacher. It offers students a great part time job with flexible hours that can be fit around school schedules.
Music Lingua is a great place to begin teaching a foreign language, since we train you and provide the materials you need to get started teaching. It can be an end in itself, or a stepping-stone for employment in the school systems, allowing you to work in the language field by teaching Music Lingua classes, and develop skills you can use in classrooms everywhere.
- What kind of training does Music Lingua provide to teachers?
Our training program is now available on DVD, so you can train at home. You will learn general Music Lingua methodology and specific presentation techniques for the first thematic unit, how to best use the music CDs to present the vocabulary in each song, how to use the teaching materials, tips on re-directing distracted students and keeping order in the classroom. There are plenty of sample song presentations and real-life classroom examples in your training program to guide you. We also cover all aspects of running your Music Lingua business - what types of classes you could offer, how to advertise, where to teach your classes, etc. At the end of the training you will feel confident and prepared to go out and teach your own classes.
Our training program covers all of the topics you need to be successful as a Music Lingua teacher, such as
- The recognized and accepted teaching methods and theories we've used to develop our Music Lingua Teaching Method.
- How to use Music Lingua music and materials the most effectively to teach your students your language.
- How to present the songs and use all the materials for your first themed unit.
- How to maintain discipline in your classes in a loving manner.
- How to start your own Music Lingua business including advice on what kind of classes are successful, where to teach classes, tips on advertising and marketing and "getting the word out" and other helpful tips and suggestions to make your business run smoothly.
and much more!
You should be able to complete the training course in about one weekend. Along with the course you will receive your first "Magic Box" containing your first unit's teaching materials, including a felt board, your manipulatives box for your first themed unit, teaching manuals, sample lesson plans, CD's and Music Booklets - everything you need to get started!
- Do I need prior teaching experience?
Although a formal background in education is great, it is certainly not mandatory. The Music Lingua training you receive, in conjunction with the teaching materials and training manuals, will give you the skills and confidence to begin teaching your first classes right away.
- Where will I teach my classes?
This depends on factors such as the facilities available in your town and on how much you’d like to work. Museums, libraries, churches, and art or dance studios will often rent space for a few hours each week. If you want to work full time you may need to rent a studio of your own. When teaching at daycares and schools you will usually teach at their facility.
- Who will take my classes?
More and more parents are becoming aware of the benefits children receive from learning a second language. In addition to offering a fun, effective way to start children learning a foreign language, Music Lingua classes incorporate music, art and other activities into the class time, creating a multi-faceted program that is attractive to parents who care about their children’s future.
A surprising number of native foreign language speakers take Music Lingua classes with their English-speaking children. They have found that their children take no interest in learning their parent’s native tongue until they are in a fun, nurturing environment where other children are learning it too.
Daycares and preschools offer many opportunities for teaching Music Lingua. A preschool that offers a quality foreign language program like Music Lingua has a huge competitive edge over other preschools.
Families who home-school are another source of students, as it is difficult for a parent to acquire enough foreign language skills to effectively teach their own children.
Elementary schools that cannot afford a full-time foreign language teacher may wish to hire a licensed Music Lingua teacher to fulfill their foreign language needs.
- Are there teaching opportunities available in my area?
We are now recruiting and training teachers across the US. With our new video training program, you no longer have to wait for a seminar to come to your area - you can be trained in the convenience of your own home today!
- How do I get more information?
Contact us! We'd be happy to answer any questions you may still have.