Mathilde VivaLing

Meet Mathilde – French Coach at VivaLing

My name is Mathilde, I come from Le Croisic, a beautiful little coastal town, one hour away from Nantes. I have been living in Athens, Greece, for 8 years now.

Mathilde French coach at VivaLing

How long have you been teaching French?

I began to teach French upon my arrival in Athens, straight after graduating in French language, teaching. I have never stopped teaching during my studies. Indeed, I obtained a Master 2 of FLE / FLS via the Faculty of Arras and the French Institute of Athens. I also had the chance to give several courses in bilingual kindergartens, including that of the French school in Athens. For five years now I have been teaching French language to children at the French Institute of Athens.

Why do you like teaching online?

Unlike some people believe, teaching online is not a limited or binding experience. We are not behind a screen, passive, imparting our course like software. On the contrary, on-line teaching makes it possible to open the 4 walls of the classroom to the world. We have the world at hand: videos, books, articles, innovative  and fun tools to learn grammar and vocabulary. Online education is the future of learning! We transmit our language and culture by accessing the world around us at any time! Since I am a coach for VivaLing, I sincerely believe that there is no other efficient method to learn a language.

Mathilde VivaLing

Why do you like teaching French?

I love the French language, its culture, its sonority and its expressions.

The French language is a language rich in history, it has always conveyed the values ​​of tolerance, freedom and a certain philosophical reflection.  It is for me, a fantastic chance to be able to teach my language to people all around of the world!

How many languages ​​do you speak ?

I speak 3 languages ​​fluently: French of course but also English and Greek.  I particularly enjoy Greek; I am proud to speak a language whose roots go back thousands of years!

What is your favorite place or monument in France?

I love going back to the places where I grew up in Britanny.  I adore the indomitable, gothic atmosphere of its wild coast. There’s nothing more inspiring than sitting on the rocks or on the beach and watching the Atlantic raging, a reminder of how small we are in the face of nature!

 

brittany

 

What is your favorite French tradition or festival?

I like to go back to France for Christmas! The atmosphere of the Christmas markets in France is second to none! The smell of hot wine and cheeses in the streets, the wooden huts of craftsmen, the decorations of the shops …. And of course the interminable dinners and parties with the family are priceless!

 

christmas fair VivaLing

What are your passions ?

I love painting and drawing. I also love horseback riding. I am also a fan of the “Vendée Globe”, the most difficult solo sailing race in the world! (Well, I only like to watch it!)

What is your favorite food ?

Breton cakes and pancakes without a doubt!

Your favorite book or movie

Everything by Anna Gavalda ( Ensemble, c’est tout) and all the films made by Jean-Pierre Jeunet ( Amélie Poulain…).

What is the place on earth where you would like to live or discover?

I would love to discover Asia and its culture so different from ours! I love being totally “lost in translation” when I travel!

 

mathilde VivaLing

What are your tips for learning French?

Do not be afraid to immerse yourself fully in the culture- and this is valid for all languages!

I think that watching movies or cartoons in French and reading articles helps a lot when it comes to understanding the language. But it is also necessary to practice as quickly as possible, even if you make many mistakes. You just have to go for it without being afraid!

what language should my child learn

What Language Should My Child Learn?

The child is not a vessel that is filled, but a fire that is lit”. Montaigne

 

“What language should my child learn?” This is the recurring question for parents, when choosing the first or second foreign language for their child. The question is complex and the answer is difficult to give.  This type of choice depends on various individual and family criteria. Nevertheless, the following criteria will help you to make a wise choice.

1- Motivation and Success

The best foreign language to learn is the one your child will learn successfully. And motivation, as in any other subject,  is one of the most important factors when it comes to  successful language learning.

If your child learns a language because he or she knows that he or she will need it in the near  future (to feel comfortable on a foreign vacation or  to communicate in the country that you are moving to) or the distant future (to enter a specific school or to study abroad for a specific job), then his or her motivation to learn will be what is known as “extrinsic motivation”.

But there is another type of motivation that plays a major role in learning a language, and this is known as “intrinsic motivation”. Communicating with a friendly teacher, receiving positive feedback, experiencing joy and pleasure in conversation, and feeling the progress made in a new language are all learning engines.

It is important to note that no amount of books read or movies viewed in the target language can ever replace communication with a genuine, native interlocutor.

2- The importance of each language in the world

Of course, each language has its own substantial field of influence. The choice of a language can therefore be guided by its importance in the world. The top 3 most widely spoken languages ​​in the world are:

1- Mandarin, which is the most widely spoken language in the world today.  It has nearly 860 million native speakers and 450 million people who speak it as a second language.

2- English, which is the first official language of a hundred or more countries. Native English speakers total around 425 million, distributed across every continent. English is also one of the most influential languages because, apart from being an official language, it is also the “first second language” chosen by nearly 750 million people.

3- Spanish, with about 340 million native speakers.  In addition to Spain, Spanish is spoken in nearly 31 countries, most of which are in Latin America.

 

what language should my child learn

3- The difficulty of each language and its benefits

Some languages ​​are more difficult than others to master. For example, an English speaker will need an average of 2,200 hours, or 88 weeks of lessons to speak something of Japanese. The Chinese, the Arab and the Korean take about the same amount of time. Conversely, it is estimated that it takes 23 to 24 weeks, or 600 hours, for an English speaker to achieve the same level in Spanish or Italian.

But whatever language you learn, exercise is always excellent for the brain.  Learning Chinese, a non Indo-European language, with radically different language patterns has a very positive impact on a student’s comprehension of language in general, thus indirectly improving his or her  knowledge of other languages. This has been highlighted in a study published in 2016, in the journal Nature: the more languages ​​we learn and the younger we learn them, the better equipped we are to learn new languages.

So there’s no time to lose!  Let your kids start learning a new language today. They will be eternally grateful to you.

Meet Ping – Mandarin Coach at VivaLing

Mandarin Coach VivaLing

 

My name is Ping Jiao. I come from the Shandong province, an eastern Chinese province on the Yellow Sea. Shandong is known for its Taoist and Confucian heritage. It was also home to the ancient state of Qi, the last kingdom conquered by Qin Shi Huang, who proclaimed himself China’s first emperor in 219 B.C. I live here now.

I majored in Chinese Teaching as a foreign language at university. I have a bachelor degree in Chinese. I have been a Chinese teacher since I graduated, nearly 5 years ago.

Chinese is so beautiful and this is what convinced me to become a language teacher today. I love the tone and melody of Chinese as well as the characters that look like drawings. I am so happy to share it to the world.

Why do you like teaching online?

Online teaching is the future: it is much more convenient that traditional teaching. What I like the most is that I can share so many tools and materials with my students: songs/pictures/videos…there is no limit!

Ping mandarin coach VivaLing

What are your hobbies?

I love language and art. I like painting, singing, playing instruments. I like playing the 古琴Guqin, which is the oldest instrument in China. A Guqin is like a friend: it’s sound is very low, and it creates a very intimate atmosphere. It’s perfect when you have two or three friends sitting together, drinking some tea and singing songs while playing the Guqin. I love that!

I also love Classical music

What is your favourite dish?

I love eating Scrambled eggs with tomatoes (西红柿炒鸡蛋). It’s a typical sweet and sour Chinese dish. I love it! I also enjoy “Cola chicken” (乐鸡翅) which is basically chicken cooked with cola. This is not Chinese cuisine but I like eating Western dishes as well! 🙂

 

chinese cuisine

 

What is your favourite movie?

My favourite movie is “Monkey King — hero is back” (大圣归来), which is an action movie with Jacky Chan.

What is your favourite place on earth?

My hometown is the best place for me, because it is old and it has a fantastic historical heritage. It’s a small city and I like it like that. I don’t like big cities. The landscape here is also really beautiful: we are surrounded by forests and rivers. I love walking and spending my time in the countryside.

 

 

chinese coach VivaLing

The Future of Education: What Will Education Look Like in 2025?

According to the professionals who participated in the new 2025 Education Innovation Survey Report *, in 2025 the key methods of engaging with material and content will evolve to be real-time video collaboration and mobile devices. What are the 5 key trends for the future of education? VivaLing would like to share the main takeaways of this report with you.

 

future-of-education

 

  • The ability to learn anywhere and at any time

Accessibility for all those who want to learn is considered to be the most important factor in the future of education success. Schoolprofessionals from around the globe (25%) ranked accessibility above all other factors; this view was most pronounced in respondents from the UK (31%). In the context of education, accessibility refers to the geographical aspect: that distance is overcome in order to deliver education to where it is needed. Convenient access to education is also factored in: that students and professionals have the ability to learn anywhere and at any time.

  • Real-time video collaboration with real teachers

67% of school professionals consider the focal point of education delivery to be the teachers and lecturers themselves.  However, the use of remote learning technologies in teaching is expected to rise significantly: 53% of professionals believe real-time video collaboration and mobile devices will be the primary way students engage with content by 2025. Despite this shift, many professionals still believe that the teachers and lecturers will continue to play an important mentoring role in 2025.

By allowing an engaging, accessible, and cost-effective approach to education, technology opens up the prospect of higher education, personalized courses, and teacher-training to a much broader population.”

  • Improving the quality of teacher-learning, and personalized and contextual learning should be the main focus

A majority of teaching professionals across the globe are convinced that the main focus, after deregulation and revised compliance standards, should be on improving the quality of teacher learning. Those in North America (18%) and in India (21%) feel that the creation of a more personalized and contextual learning would also be worth focusing on.

 

factors-elearning-the-future-of-education

 

  • More online access to education materials

According to 47% of the people interviewed (the majority being from North America and the UK) online access to content and lectures is what students and parents are demanding more of, from the   institutions.

  • More resource sharing online and self-learning for teachers

In 2025, resource sharing via online channels will better facilitate teachers’ professional development. School professionals see teachers sharing resources within online environments and becoming more independent in identifying their own professional learning needs.

NB: This survey covers mainly North America, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and India. The rest of Asia is not covered.  However the trend towards online education in Asia is much stronger, especially in China.

* 2025 Education Innovation Survey Report by Polycom. More than 1,800 people from a range of professions within the education industry participated in the survey, with more than 80% above the age of 30. The majority of response comes from North America, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and India. The majority of participants were management and c-suite (26%), educators (47%) and those in administrative roles (27%).

http://www.polycom.com.au/forms/education-2025-thankyou.html

 

Back-To-School-Picture

6 Essential Back-to-School Tips

6 Essential Back-to-School Tips

That’s it- holiday time is over and the carefree days of summer have come to an end. For many, September is synonymous with stress and apprehension: children have to make new friends and meet new teachers while parents struggle to coordinate new routines, to manage a myriad of activities within the limitations of a timetable. VivaLing would like to help you to approach this time of the year with confidence and serenity, by offering you 6 tips.

Back-To-School-Picture

  •  Get everyone to bed on time.

During the summer, your child’s bedtimes are understandably variable. However, proper rest is essential for a healthy and productive school year. Help your kids get back on track sleep-wise, by having them go to bed earlier and wake up earlier at least a week in advance of the new school year.

  •  Get to know new teachers. 

There will be open days, orientation meetings, and other meet-and-greet options at the beginning of the school year, but none of these will give you the chance to spend some quality time getting to know your kids’ teachers. Try to find a few minutes before or after school to connect one-on-one with the teachers or at the very least, send an introductory email outlining how you can help during the year, in however big or small a capacity.

  •   Make homework a special moment.

 Within your child’s schedule, plan a daily slot for their homework. Set aside a quiet and comfortable place in the house where he can work, (a bedroom, a study etc.) and equip it with all the necessary study supplies: pen refills, paper, notebooks.  A special time and a special place for homework will help to ensure that your child remains motivated and works well throughout the year.

  •  Plan a daily reading time.

Reading is a key factor in academic success: it enriches your child’s spoken and written vocabulary. It develops your child’s imagination, stimulating creativity and enhancing his inner world. It is also a unique moment that allows you to explore possibilities and go on new adventures together. Try to spend 20 minutes reading with your child every day.  He will savour the pleasure of this intimacy even into adulthood.

  •  Encourage and motivate.

The beginning of every school year poses a new challenge for your child. Whatever the past results have been, let your child know that you support and believe in him throughout the months to come. Encourage your child to do his best, play down failures and remind him that he can always count on you for help.

  •  Choose the right activities.

Each child has different tastes and abilities. Take the time, early on, to sit down with your child and understand his needs and requests. Work out what can reasonably be fit into his schedule. Learning a new foreign language is one activity that will provide your child a tremendous asset in the future, both personally and professionally. VivaLing offers you the possibility of giving this wonderful gift to your child. Totally customized, interactive lessons with a qualified and experienced tutor provide the optimum conditions for a new language to flourish and your child doesn’t even have to leave the comfort of his home!

Chaos inside My Child’s Second Language – Should I Worry ?

Have you ever felt disconcerted by the unpredictable and chaotic progress of your child’s second language acquisition ? Dazzling progress seems to be followed by periods of slower growth, sometimes even laborious, not to mention times of regression. She seemed to master this notion, and all of a sudden she stumbles where she never would have in the past. Why does he now treat this irregular verb as a regular one ? And why does she no longer pick up any of these expressions that were so obvious to her previously ? But there are more twists to the story : soon afterwards, he will surprise you by unexpected expressions that will amaze you again.

Second language acquisition is as chaotic as, for example, the weather. Do you remember the butterfly imagined by Lorenz which modified the weather in Dallas by flapping its wings in Tokyo ? A seemingly trivial and barely perceptible action could have considerable consequences in a totally unpredictable fashion and far from where it originated. Even the simplest of complex systems, the double pendulum (or pendulum with two degrees of freedom) behaves in a way which is extremely hard to anticipate. Not that proper equations do not exist, but the system is so sensitive that any dynamic forecast becomes impossible. Look at the movement of the red ball of the double pendulum variant shown below when the main pendulum is made to swing. Forecasting its trajectory is just impossible.

 

Language learning is itself a complex process. It is remarkably well described by the Dynamic Systems Theory (DST) that was first introduced to linguistics less than twenty years ago. Second language acquisition depends indeed on a large number of cognitive and social variables : quantity of language input and output, feedback, the learner’s intrinsic or extrinsic motivation, the learner’s interactions with individuals, groups, or surrounding society, the learner’s first and second language knowledge, learning history and duration … and the list continues. These variables are not only numerous but also interconnected through rich and complex dynamics.

Learning is highly non-linear : the effects are not proportional to the forces applied. Consider now hiking as a metaphor for a linguistic journey. During the hike milestones will be crossed and left behind one after the other. As for language learning outcomes, they are not a nice orderly series of elements mastered one after the other. They are a dynamic set, the components of which sometimes overlap, scattered over a large “learning” surface area filled with pitfalls hard to avoid and overcome, or mountains hard to climb. Each new learning stage is the result of combined variables and influences applied to the previous stage. Lastly, the learning journey is closely linked to the child’s neurological, physiological and psychological starting point.

Are you now convinced ? The fine path of Second Language Acquisition is by and large unpredictable. In the case of children, however, the end state is statistically more likely to be a good command of the language. Chaos by itself is therefore not to be feared, but tamed. The key point to remember for the educator, as is well known, is to customize the teaching to the largest extent possible to the learner, their history, their present state ; to react with the utmost attention to each development and to guide them towards their ultimate objective. The main take away for the learner and their family is, once the right educator is found, to never get discouraged and conversely to always persevere. This is what you are already doing, isn’t it ? This will lead your child from chaos to actual learning, from struggle to success.

 

For more details :

De Bot, K., Lowie, W. & Verspoor, M. (2007). A dynamic systems theory approach to second language acquisition. Bilingualism : Language and Cognition, 10(1), 2007, 7-21.

 

 

7 Tips to Help Your Child Learn a New Language

Here are some tips to encourage and support your child in his learning journey. And you’ll see, you can do a lot to help!

Schoolgirl researching online

1- Show interest in your child’s Language learning experiences and encourage him or her to share them with you

2- Encourage your child to learn through meaningful language games

3- Read newspapers and books together, starting with books with attractive illustrations

4- Bring your child to the library or bookshops to cultivate a reading habit

5- Watch quality television programmes in the target language together

6- Make use of objects in your environment such as road signs and advertisements to engage your child in conversations in the target language

7-Build up your child’s confidence by not correcting his or her mistakes excessively

 

* Tips from “The new Chinese language curriculum for primary schools” by Singaporean MOE

Abby Gu – Mandarin Coach: “I enjoy using language as a tool to discover or help people discover other parts of the world”.

Abby1.jpg

My name is Yunfeng (Abby) Gu. I am Chinese and I have been living in America since 2011.

I got my Master’s degree in Elementary education from Dallas Baptist University in Texas.  I started teaching Mandarin as a second language to kids in 2008 and I really enjoy teaching my language to my students: I think this is such a fantastic journey we take together!

My husband and I have a 1-year-old daughter, and currently we are living in Dallas. I love crafts and enjoy making DIY items for my house. I also love travelling, but I get lost very easily, which makes vacation sometimes longer than what I expected 🙂

Abby2.jpg

I chose to be a Chinese teacher because I enjoy using language as a tool to discover or help people discover other parts of the world. I also realize how much my own perspective of the world was impacted when I learned English when I was young, and I want to share this experience with others.

Abby3.jpg

I joined VivaLing in 2014, and it has been a blast! My students are all over the world, and we have such great conversations about our lives from one country to the other. I love seeing students get excited about the session and the progress they make over time. I also love being able to personalize each session to each student based on their level, hobbies, personalities, etc. This is where my teaching expertise becomes really useful and meaningful.

I hope my daughter will also be able to learn another language through VivaLing someday soon.