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!

www.vivaling.com

 

 

Learn English from FIFA World Cup!

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is the 21st FIFA World Cup. It’s happening right now in Russian from 14 June to 15 July 2018! If you are watching the game and enjoying it, do also explore the following football themed language games recommended by VivaLing Coach Tom B, and have fun learning English!

Basic 4 Function Math Game

Suitable level: Beginner

A wonderful game for young learners as the math involved is simple (+,-,x,/). You don’t have to use advanced language to answer the questions, but can still get to do fun stuff such as selecting their country team and playing other countries in a tournament shoot-out.

PLAY HERE

World Cup Fun Facts

Suitable level: Intermediate

Fun facts for intermediate learners, along with a True/False game at the end. There are also some picture/audio vocabularies at the beginning to reinforce and review soccer terms.

PLAY HERE

World Cup Predictions

Suitable level: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced

Coach Tom B’s favorite! Watch the video and select which teams you think will win. Younger learners can compare their results to the man’s results in the video (as if he actually says who the winner is). The intermediate and advanced learners can do this to complete their own world cup “bracket”. Accompanying questions like “Who is your favorite team? Why? Why will this team win/lose?” help to extend the activity.

PLAY HERE

Now, tell us which game is your favorite? We hope you enjoy the FIFA season and also improve your English learning through all these fun activities!

5 Easy Kid-Friendly Recipes to Celebrate Father’s Day

It’s time of the year again…to say “Thank You!” to Dad! Do you want to make a little difference and give him a bigger surprise? Let’s learn some simple recipes and cook him a feast!

Editor’s note: Never leave a child unattended in the kitchen. Limit the child to tasks that are safe and age-appropriate.

 

Recipe 1: Mini Pepper Pizzas

Treat dad with the cutest pizza ever! Make these mouth-bite Mini Pepper Pizzas with melted cheese through 3 simple steps.

Ingredients

  • 4 bell peppers, halved and cored
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. pizza sauce
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 c. mini pepperoni
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. On a sheet tray, drizzle peppers with olive oil and season witih salt and pepper. Spoon sauce onto each pepper half. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan and top with pepperoni. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the peppers are crisp-tender and the cheese is melted.
  3. Garnish with parsley.

Recipe 2: The Best Veggie Sandwich

The Best Veggie Sandwich is for the best vegetarian daddies! It is also a meal that you can accomplish within 20 minutes. Plus, it is full of nutrition and good taste!

 

Ingredients

  • 4 English muffins, split and toasted
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons Ranch-style salad dressing
  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup shredded smoked Cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Place each muffin open-faced on a cookie sheet. Spread each half with mashed avocado; place halves close together. Distributing ingredients evenly, cover each half with sprouts, tomatoes, onion, dressing, sesame seeds and cheese. Heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Place under broiler for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Recipe 3: Waldorf Chicken Boats

Do you know your dad’s childhood dream? Maybe he wanted to become a sailor! Let’s sail him a delicious Waldorf Chicken Boat and expect the smile on his face.

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad

  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded
  • 1 small crisp apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 3 scallions, whites and greens divided and chopped
  • 3 scallions, whites and greens divided and chopped
  • 8 hearts of romaine leaves or 12 Bibb lettuce leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the dressing: Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, oil, vinegar, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl until combined; set aside.
  3. For the salad: Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet, and toast until lightly browned and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then break up into 1/4-inch pieces.
  4. To assemble: Toss the walnuts, chicken, apples, grapes and scallion whites together with the dressing in a large bowl until everything is well coated; season with salt and pepper. Scoop a scant 1/2 cup of the salad into each romaine leaf, and arrange 2 on each serving plate. Garnish with the scallion greens, and serve.

Recipe 4: Cheese Fondue

The Cheese Fondue is such a creative and interactive meal the little ones can help with, and can make both a great appetizer or main dish. Preparing the dippers together is just so fun!

Ingredients

Fondue

  • 2 cups filtered apple juice
  • 1 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon country-style Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Suggested Dippers (choose 3 to 4)

  • 1 baguette, torn into 1/2-inch chunks (about 8 cups)
  • 2 crisp apples, cored and cut into 6 to 8 wedges each
  • 2 cups baked potato tots
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups cooked penne pasta
  • 1 cup different-colored mixed grape and cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup different-colored mixed grape and cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup pretzel-style crisps or crackers
  • 1/2 pound salami, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup cornichons or gherkins

Instructions

Bring the apple juice to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Toss the Gruyere and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Add to the simmering juice by the scant handful, whisking constantly until smooth and letting the sauce come to a boil between additions, about 30 seconds. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the Parmesan and mustard and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Pour into a serving bowl, and serve with the dippers of your choice.

Recipe 5: Banana Ice Cream

Dad is always the one who secretly opens up his pocket for ice cream when mom says “no”. Let’s also make him a special Banana Ice Cream with two simple ingredients!

 

Ingredients

  • 4 bananas, frozen
  • ½ cup milk, (or less)

Instructions

  1. Peel the bananas, break them into thirds, enclose them into a Tupperware container, and stick them in the freezer overnight (or longer). I usually throw bananas in the freezer whenever they are about to go bad, and I’ve left them in there for weeks before so there is no rush.
  2. When you are ready for the ice cream just put the bananas in a blender with 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup milk. I don’t have a fancy, expensive VitaMix so I have to shake my little cheapo Target blender around a bit to get it all to blend properly. Just keep adding small amounts of milk until the consistency resembles ice cream.

Now, have you decided what to prepare for Father’s Day dinner? In fact, it doesn’t matter if you cook the most amazing dishes or not, your dad will already be impressed when he saw what you have made. Of course, don’t forget to say “Happy Father’s Day” to him!

5 Spanish customs that you might not know

Every country has its own “rituals” and unique ways of behaving. If you are ever in Spain, it will be very helpful to remember these top 5 Spanish customs to avoid any embarrassing situations.

la bise en espagne

 

  1.     GREETINGS

When seeing a friend or being introduced to someone for the first time, two kisses are given on each cheek or into the air to the side of each cheek.  Unlike other countries such as Bulgaria, we always start with the right cheek. This ritual is repeated with every person we are saying hello to, and then done again when saying goodbye. Men will normally hug or shake hands when meeting other male friends as opposed to kissing.

la-sobremesa

  1.     LA SOBREMESA (you’ll need to stay a little after lunch):

If you are ever invited to have lunch at a Spaniards house, you can typically expect it to start around 2 to 3 pm. However, the finishing time is not so clear! During family celebrations, appetizers, main courses, and desserts are eaten. After this follows “la sobremesa” (literally meaning “the over-table”). This is the time after lunch for drinking coffee and liquors, divulging in little sweets, talking, joking and laughing for hours. People will start leaving for home any time from 6-8pm. Tired, happy and still quite full!

Que Hora es

 

  1.     LATER SCHEDULES

Another cultural difference is starting and finishing work later than other European countries. Lunch time is later – normally around 2 or 3 pm and dinner is eaten around 10pm or even later. Bedtime is up to the individual, but it is not usual to be asleep before midnight. In fact, this is the time that young adults start going out to party.

  1.     GIFTS

In Spain, when a gift is received, it is opened instantly and the receiver comments out loud how beautiful it is and how much they like it. Not opening a gift right away or not giving it praise would be considered very insulting.

If you are invited to somebody’s house, it is custom to bring a bottle of wine, chocolates, pastries or a small plant in appreciation to the invitation.
apprendre l'espagnol

 

  1.     CONVERSATIONS

While holding a conversation in Spain, it is the norm for many people to talk at the same time. This is not considered bad manners but rather shows interest in the conversation topic. So if you are ever interrupted while talking to a Spaniard, the advice is to try to just counterattack and interrupt someone else!

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”)

pan-con-tomate-

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

BOCADILLODECALAMARES

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

Paella-9

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!

Gazpacho

gaspacho-3279

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

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.

Pre-teens

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.

Teens

 

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!

The Legend of Chinese New Year

chinese-new-year-18

 

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”.

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, 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.”

 

小孩小孩你别馋,过了腊八就是年。

腊八粥,喝几天,哩哩啦啦二十三。

二十三,糖瓜儿粘;

二十四,扫房日;

二十五,炸豆腐;

二十六,炖炖肉;

二十七,宰年鸡;

二十八,把面发;

二十九,蒸馒头;

三十儿晚上玩一宿;

https://quizlet.com/_4e2r5g quizlet link for this song with pinyin, characters and translation – 

Click here to listen to  the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0guqygv-CEI  

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!

Chinese-Year-PROMO1389731149

 

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.