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Why is the VIVALING pedagogy the best for your child?

You may already know all our coaches are VILLA certified. But have you ever wondered what the VILLA pedagogy is and why it is so important that your kids’ coaches are VILLA certified?

villa-scheme vivaling pedagogy

What is the VILLA?

The ViLLA stands for the VivaLing Language Learning Approach. It is a comprehensive framework outlining the foundations for language learning (the drivers), and our corresponding pedagogy, tools, and coach competencies.The framework was developed around the latest research in technology, linguistics, education, and cognitive science.

Every VivaLing session is based on VivaLing’s own learning approach, which is VILLA.

How it works?

The first layer of VILLA is the foundation which is built on the Key language learning drivers as unveiled by cognitive science. The five drivers needed to be activated to maximize our language learning outcome are;  Language Quantity, Motivation, Attention, Social Interaction, Consolidation.  

  • Language Quantity deals with the input, output and feedback between Coach and child. It is important to have the right balance for the best language proficiency.
  • The motivation driver is constantly activated by our Coaches by making the sessions personalised to your child.
  • Motivated, attentive  learners learn better than those who are not, so the activities are designed to keep your child interested and engaged in the session.
  • Social interaction between learners and the target language speaker is also crucial for meaningful and real communication. It enhances the learned language and puts the language in use.
  • Consolidation deals with calculated review. Children learn fast but forget easily, so our Coaches review regularly and at spaced intervals to make sure the learned knowledge transmits to the  long term memory

VivaLing - learn language with fun


The second layer of VILLA is the pedagogy and content used by VivaLing coaches, guided by the Principled Communicative Approach. VivaLing believes the key factor of a language for kids should  be communication. Kids can learn more effectively throughout communication.

The third layer is online delivery, Strategies and tools for effective teaching in an online environment. Even seasoned teachers soon find out that what has worked for years in a physical classroom just does not work the same way online. VIvaLing coaches not only have experience in the physical classroom but are also equipped with all the tools and strategies possible to deliver the best quality sessions in an online environment.

The top layer also known the roof of the VILLA is VivaLing team, Key players involved in the teaching and learning process. At VivaLing, we not only have excellent coaches to deliver the best sessions for your kids but also a strong team to support all the aspect in the process of your kids learning. We also involve parents as much as possible. Parents receive a report after every session, and an entire recording of the session to check progress and for the kids to review.

Register your children now and join us for an amazing learning experience!




Food in Spain: Tengo hambre!

Tapas, paella, sangría, jamón,… A lot of people around the world know and have even tried these typical dishes at least once in their lifetime. However, there are plenty of different local Spanish dishes which are more typical in Spain and even tastier than these world-known ones. I chose 5 dishes (although there are many more) from all around the “Península Ibérica”.

Pulpo a la gallega (originally called “polbo á feira)

Pulpo a la gallega

This delicious dish from Galicia (northwest Spain), can be challenging for those who don’t like or have never tried seafood before. “Pulpo” means octopus, and when it is fresh and cooked well… it melts in your mouth! It is usually served on a bed of boiled and cut potatoes, and has a drizzle of olive oil and a touch of paprika on top.

Pan con tomate (originally called: “pa amb tomàquet”)


Originally from Catalonia (northeast Spain), although you can find similar versions of it in other Mediterranean countries. It is made with just 4 ingredients: toasted bread, garlic, olive oil and salt. You can eat it by itself or with cheese, jamón, prouscitto… almost anything!

Bocadillo de calamares


If you ever go to Madrid (the capital of Spain) you should try this typical sandwich of fried squid rings. So simple but surprisingly good!

Paella Valenciana


Everybody knows paella, but not a lot of foreigners know that paella is originally from Valencia and is not supposed to have seafood in it (in other areas of Spain they created their own “seafood” version). The original paella valenciana typically uses rice, “judía ferradura” -a type of green beans-, “garrofón” -a special type of big white beans-, chicken, rabbit, tomato, water, salt, olive oil and saffron. If you are ever in Spain, you will need to know that Thursday is Paella day in every Spanish food restaurant!



From the south of Spain, this typical dish is made for hot weather. A cold soup, easy to make at home. The main ingredients are: tomato, cucumber, green peppers, olive oil, bread, vinegar and garlic. Quite light and refreshing!

Author: Nuria, Spanish Master coach at VivaLing

Summer Reading List for Young Language Learners

TOP 9 English Books for Young Language Learners

It’s holiday time! Wondering what you can do to spend quality time with your little ones? Our answer is, reading!

Research has shown that shared reading experiences are highly beneficial for children. These benefits include:

  • Facilitating enriched language exposure
  • Fostering the development of listening skills, spelling, reading comprehension and vocabulary
  • Establishing essential foundational literacy skills
  • Providing a shared social opportunity between parents and children to foster positive attitudes toward reading

Picking up the right books for different ages is equally important. Here are some recommendations from VivaLing English Coach Tom:

Young Learners

Dr Seuss Reading recommendation by VivaLing

Dr. Seuss books

An all time favorite cherished by young and old alike. Ideal for reading aloud or reading alone, they will send the reader on a once in a lifetime adventure!

Scholastic books Reading recommendation by VivaLing

Scholastic books

Scholastic has been delivering literacy resources and children’s books to schools, teachers, and families for more than 90 years. Explore it and discover the joy and power of good books! Don’t forget to check out their Books & Reading website for some really nice articles to ensure successful reading.

Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park Reading recommendation by VivaLing

Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

Barbara Park is best-known as the creator and author of the New York Times bestselling Junie B. Jones series. The stories of an outrageously funny kindergartener has kept kids and parents laughing—and reading—for over two decades.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney Reading recommendation by VivaLing

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Befitting a teen’s diary, the books are filled with handwritten notes and simple drawings of Greg’s daily adventures.

Harry Potter by JK Rowling Reading recommendation by VivaLing

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Who hasn’t heard about Harry Potter and his magical school Hogwarts? The books have won multiple awards, and sold more than 400 million copies. It’s time to enter a world full of wild imagination!

Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne Reading recommendation by VivaLing

Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne

Jack and Annie embark on numerous adventures for Merlin and Morgan le Fay throughout the series. On their missions, they also receive the help of young magicians Kathleen and Teddy.



Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan Reading recommendation by VivaLing

Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan

The fast-paced Percy Jackson series follows the adventures of young demigod (half mortal, half Greek god) Percy and his friends Annabeth and Grover. It’s all about courage, discovery and friendship!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner Reading recommendation by VivaLing

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Even if you have watched the movies, you won’t want to miss the book series for more twists! You’ll be on the edge of your seat when you read about how Thomas fights against WICKED for freedom.

Twilight trilogy by Stephanie Meyer Reading recommendation by VivaLing

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

This romantic book is the first in the ‘Twilight’ series and will have your teen glued to the page. They will be emerged into a world of fantasy as they find Bella falling in love with an eternally young and beautiful vampire called Edward. Is there anyway their love can conquer all that stands between them?

Enjoy reading!

Study Trip France - Accent Francais

Why you should make a language study trip to France


Study Trip France - Accent Francais

The benefits of a language stay are many: a life experience, the discovery of another culture, self-discovery and a way of traveling “smart”

If you are not yet convinced, here are some excellent reasons why to try this adventure.

  • Linguistic immersion

An intensive practice of the language: A linguistic stay means real practice in the actual country. Progress is faster because you speak French, think French and even eat French! French classes, accommodation with a French family and the practice of cultural activities are the keys to effective learning.

  • The discovery of France and its culture

Beyond learning the French language, it is the experience of a culture different to yours and an ideal way to open your mind.

  • Getting out of your comfort zone and your family circle

Working life quickly teaches you that sometimes it is necessary to adapt to unfamiliar situations. Immersion in a different country and culture is an excellent learning experience: new encounters and situations different from what you are used to forges character. This experience is often a first for teens and young adults and a new step towards self-reliance.

  • New friends from all over the world

A language study trip allows you to meet students from all over the world who have the same goal: to learn French. When one is away from home, great friendships are made and good times continue to be shared, often through a professional social network,  well after the language stay has finished.

  • A way to enrich your resume

There is no longer any excuse to miss mastering a foreign language. A linguistic stay makes it possible to value the practice of a language and knowledge of the culture. A considerable asset in the labor market.

Smart holidays: Visiting a country, meeting new friends, having fun and learning a foreign language….. are these not the ideal holidays ??

If your children are aged 16 and above, let them enjoy the best study trip to France ever: contact our partner Accent Français and enjoy a $40 discount on your stay in Montpellier!


How to help your child learn better?

Genie Linguistique

A German psychologist named Ebbinghaus carried out an interesting experiment. He created a list of 2300 made-up words and tried to memorize them. While attempting this, he tested himself at various time intervals. The results showed that after one day, he only remembered around a third of them. After two days, he remembered just 5%. 


Forgetting Curve

Below is a graph showing the rest of the results.

This shows us how we remember or forget information we’ve learned or memorized


Forgetting curve

The University of Waterloo, Counselling Services, published a paper describing this curve. They found that at the beginning of instruction on day 1, we assume our students know 0% of what is going to be taught. By the end of the instruction each student will know 100% of they consider important and discard the rest of the information.

By day 2, if they have done nothing with the information that they’ve learned, not looking, thinking or dealing with it in any manner, they will lose 50-80% of what they learned the day before. That’s huge! 

By the time day 7 rolls around, what do you think has happened? We remember even less!

By day 30, if we haven’t thought about, revisited, or used the information we learned on day 1, we only remember 2-3%!

The study shows us that our brain constantly stores little bits of information and if we don’t use or review that information, we dump it.

mieux mémoriser


Long Term Memory in Action

We often hear students say that they have to “cram” because they have an exam coming. Cramming doesn’t help long term memory. The Waterloo University research shows us that if information we’ve previously learned comes up repeatedly, our brain won’t dump it. Our brain tells us the information was important, so we’d better store it. When information comes up repeatedly, it takes our brain less time to retrieve the information or activate the information in our long term memory.

Increase Learning Retention

Spaced repetitions are better for your children. The time they revise the material is important. For the best results, the first repetition should take place very soon after the initial learning, and each repetition after that should take place in increasingly longer intervals.

What you may have noticed is that after the revision (or repetition) the next day, a new curve has emerged – one which decreases a lot slower as you are remembering things for longer.


mémorisation des langues

The problem with real life

After getting home from school, most students don’t want to look over what they have learned. In fact, the first time they revisit the topic will most likely be when they are doing their homework a few days later. That’s the first mistake – they leave the first repetition too late and don’t get the full benefit of spaced repetition.

A week later, the teacher has moved onto the next topic and there’s suddenly something else to learn. Now the student probably won’t look at the first topic again until they’re studying for a test which may be up to three weeks later. Then, after the test, they may not look at it until the exam or assessment which could be months later!

It’s a reoccuring theme – kids are missing the ideal times to consolidate knowledge and what they have learnt, so when they do revise they are not getting the full benefit. Instead of gradually changing the forgetting curve so that more knowledge is permanently retained, it’s almost as if they’re learning it again from scratch – and forgetting it just as fast.

Action Plan

What can we do to help our students remember what we’ve taught them? If, within 24 hours of learning something, we spend just 10 minutes reviewing it, we’ll raise the curve from only remembering 50-80% to remembering almost 100%. That’s wonderful!

After 7 days of learning something, it will only take 5 minutes of reviewing to remember around 100% of what we learned on day 1. This is opposed to only 2-3%, if we hadn’t reviewed the information and reactivated our brains.

So what happens by day 30? You’ve guessed it! If we don’t review and don’t reactivate our brains, we remember less than 2-3% but if we spend just 2-4 minutes reviewing, our brain will be storing around 100% of the pertinent information and we will be able to recall that information when needed. We’ve got it! Our brain must be constantly stimulated. If we want our memory to work, we need to review a little bit, every day. Start every lesson with a review of what was previously taught. The payoff is worth it.

Repeating or reviewing information is cumulative.

We no longer need to consciously think about it because our brain is storing the information and working for us.

> Review your notes every day after school

> Review the week’s material every weekend and complete a self-assessment

> When learning a new topic, review notes from the previous topics at the same time

> Start every lesson with a review of what was previously taught

Often students will complain that they don’t have time to do so much revision, but it actually saves a mountain of time. Your child can spend 15 minutes after school reviewing something that’s fresh in their mind, or they can ignore it and spend an hour re-learning it a week later. Additionally, if it takes them 15 minutes to review something the first time, it might only take them 5 minutes the second time as the information becomes more consolidated in their brain.

Conclusion: Spaced Repetition is good for learning!  :)

(1) At VivaLing, all our coaches practice spaced repetition to improve our students memorization. Spaced repetition is at the heart of our pedagogy ViLLA – VivaLing Language Learning Approach


The Legend of Chinese New Year



An ancient Chinese legend about the origin of chuxi tells us that there was a monster called Xi. Xi would emerge from the sea on the 30th day of the 12th lunar month to dine on the locals. No one would dare sleep that night until, at last, they learned that the monster could be driven away by putting up red paper and setting off firecrackers. Since chu means “to get rid of”, the Spring Festival Eve was known as chuxi, meaning “to get rid of something”.

Have a look at a great video about this legend

The custom of pasting Spring Festival couplets, setting off firecrackers and staying up late at night is thus observed till the present day

The history of the character “福”

The character “福” is often seen pasted upside down during the Spring Festival. Do you know why?

Here goes the legend:

After the emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, ascended to the throne, he secretly told all the people who had helped him to paste the character “福”, which means good fortune, on their doors. He would then kill those who hadn‘t put the character up by the second day. Afler discovering the plan, the kind-hearted Empress Ma asked every family in the city to paste the  character before dawn hence eliminating the disaster. Thankfully the people listened to her.

On the second day, when the emperor ordered his soldiers to kill all those who hadn’t pasted the character “福”, he was told every family had pasted the character. This made him very angry. Then the emperor heard about a family had pasted the character upside down because they were illiterate. He became so furious that he immediately ordered the whole family to be executed.

Empress Ma then hurriedly explained to the emperor, “The family must have learned Your Majesty will come today, so they put the character “福” upside down”. The clever Empress Ma knew that when spoke in Chinese, “upside down”, has the same meaning as “good fortune has arrived”.

The emperor fell for her explanation and didn’t kill the family. A disaster was avoided. From then on, people have put the character “福” upside down, meaning “good fortune has arrived”.

Chinese New year

What’s on the menu for Chinese New Year?

Chinese New year


Chinese people attach much importance to family reunion. No matter how far the family members live from each other, they will normally go back home to eat a family reunion dinner on the Spring Festival Eve. The dinner, usually a big feast, includes dumplings and all kinds of other food.

In northern China, each dish has a special meaning. The steaming hotpot signifies prosperity. Since fish has the same pronunciation as “surplus” in Chinese, it means “surplus year after year”. Chicken has the same pronunciation of luck, which predicts auspiciousness while carrot heads, also known as caitou, express the wish to have a good luck. Deep-fried food, such as that of lobsters and whole fish, signifies the auspiciousness of a family.  Dumplings, originated from the word “intersection”, which means the moment between the old year and the new year. Since a dumpling also resembles a shoe-shaped gold or silver ingot in ancient China, placing plates of dumplings on the table signifies “the New Year will come with wealth”.

Families usually sit around the table on the Spring Festival Eve, eating the reunion dinner while watching the Spring Festival Galat and awaiting the ringing of the New Year bell. The sound of firecrackers will be heard and spectacular firework displays seen.

On the morning of the first day of the first lunar month, people put on their finest clothes and exchange New Year greetings. Elder members of a family give “lucky money” to the children and adults exchange greetings, wishing each other good fortune and a Happy New Year. With the development of communication tools, people send loving text messages to each other. All around there is a bustling and joyous atmosphere. No matter where you are, you’ll surely receive good wishes.

This is the Spring Festival of China. It is lively, jubilant and joyous,

Would you like to come to China now and experience it?


Chinese New year song

Chinese New Year, it’s time to sing!

Chinese New year song

There is an amusing song that Old Beijingers sing about the time before the Spring Festival Eve. It vividly depicts how people busily and happily embrace the New Year:

“Little kids, little kids, don’t be greedy.

After laba, it’s New Year’s time

Drink the  porridge for several days, then on the 23rd day,

On the 23rd, eat glutinous sugar candy.

On the 24th, clean your house;

On the 25th, fry tofu;

On the 26th, stew meat;

On the 27th, kill chicken;

On the 28th, leaven dough

On the 29th, make steamed bread

on the Spring Festival Eve, stay up and play whole night.”











三十儿晚上玩一宿; quizlet link for this song with pinyin, characters and translation – 

Click here to listen to  the song:  

The day before the Spring Festival is known as the Spring Festival Eve, which usually falls on the 30th (although it can sometimes be the 29th) of the 12th lunar month. To usher in the New Year, fun activities such as hanging lanterns, setting off firecrackers and putting up Spring Festival couplets are held. People oflen stay up until midnight on the Spring Festival Eve, otherwise known as Shousui.


Chinese New Year 2018….Ready, Steady, Go!



What is Spring Festival? Is it the equivalent to Chinese New Year? When is Chinese New Year? Does it occur at the same time of year? How long does Chinese New Year last?  How do people celebrate it?

If you don’t have the answers to all these questions, then read this article to uncover the truth about the most important and popular event in China.

This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 16th, the year of dog. Chinese New Year is also referred to as Spring Festival, due to the prominent arrival of Spring after the New Year.

When is the Chinese New Year? Does Chinese New Year fall on the same day every year?

Chinese New Year, is the most important traditional festival in China. In terms of grandness and importance, it is the equivalent to how Christmas is celebrated in the West.  It falls on the 8th of December in Lunar calendar ( 16 February this year) and lasts for two weeks.The festival comes to a climax on the last day of December in Lunar calendar (commonly known as the Spring Festival Eve or chuxi in Chinese) and on the 1st of January in Lunar month.

How do people celebrate Chinese New year?

The Chinese Spring Festival is more than 3000 years old. Preparations begin from the 8th of December Lunar calendar. The week commencing on the 23rd day of Iayue ( lunar calendar) is the busiest time for the Chinese. Activities include sweeping and cleaning houses and making special purchases for the festival, such as food, Spring Festival couplets, the characters of “福” and clothes from department stores and supermarkets. People living away from their hometowns begin to prepare for their journeys home. As a result, train stations, airports and long-distance bus stations are crowded with people eager to reunite with their families

For Chinese people, no matter where you are, no matter how difficult it is… it is a time to go home.


UWCSEA Singapore Community Fair

VivaLing at UWCSEA Community Fair 2018 – what a great time we had!

UWCSEA Singapore Community Fair


The Singapore VivaLing team joined the UWCSEA Community Market on Saturday 03 February 2018!!

This market was an engaging eco-marketplace that seeked to go beyond the buying-selling point of healthy, eco-friendly, compassionate and/or ethically-sourced products or services by including an immersive element to it.

We had such a great moment exchanging on language learning strategies and playing the “lucky wheel” game with families and kids. While having fun with word puzzles and “Truth or Dare” games, kids have also received attractive awards such as “Inside-Out” DVDs and free lessons with VivaLing.

We were so happy to see the excitement on their faces and hope to have many other opportunities to meet more international parents and kids in Singapore in the comings weeks and months!
Check out many more exciting moments at the UWCSEA Community Fair from:

Started in 1971, UWCSEA is an international IB school in Singapore, recognized for academic excellence, service and outdoor education for students ages 4 to 18. Over 75 nationalities enrich the daily life on the Dover Campus, as does the boarding community and the scholarship students selected through the UWC national committee structure on the basis of their potential to have a positive impact. UWCSEA is a truly international school.

the VivaLing team at UWCSEA Community Fair