“Children do not learn languages like adults”
Meet Abbie Adeyeri – Head of Learning and English coach at VivaLing
In a few words, who are you?
In short, I am a teacher and a world-traveler. I have lived and taught in six different countries, and traveled to sixteen. I love exploring new places and cultures, meeting diverse people, trying new cuisine, and spending time outdoors. My teaching vocation was born very young, when I was a child. Later, I had the opportunity to teach English to African refugees in the United States. This is when I realized that what I really wanted to do was to teach my native language, English.
– Why did you decide to work for VivaLing?
I have always used a lot of technology in the classroom, as I know it is a skill all students must have for the future and they are always motivated and engaged by it. However, I was always limited by the logistics and what the school could offer. With VivaLing, I have full technological capability at my fingertips and am able to use it to help the students learn.
Of course, I am also very happy to learn and to “travel” around the world with my students, but also through VivaLing. Since I started working at VivaLing, I have taught while being based in Budapest, London, Ohio (USA), and finally in Brussels before moving to Singapore.
– Who are your students?
VivaLing has introduced me to such a wide range of students that I would have never been able to meet otherwise! My VivaLing students have been as young as 3 and as old as 15. They have been from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. They have spoken French, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, and Russian as their first language. They have been complete beginners and advanced speakers. Most importantly, they have all taught me something new about the world based on their stories, their hobbies and interests, and their lives. I treasure each and every one of them!
– What do you like most about VivaLing?
First and foremost, I’m proud to be part of an academy that cares about what’s best for kids and what’s best for their learning. They recognize that children learn languages much differently than adults, and more than that – that each child learns differently to the next.
VivaLing is really a place where theory meets practice. For instance, we just launched our infant program in response to research showing that the first year of life is the most important for the development of sound discrimination. With VivaLing, parents of young infants can introduce their babies to the sounds of native Mandarin from the comfort of their own home! I’m excited to be on the forefront of a new dimension of education.
– As a coach and head teacher, what recommendations would you give to parents who want to help their children learn or master a new language?
Maximize their exposure to the language and culture. The language must come alive to the child as a living thing, not just a boring class they take at school. The social interaction with our native language coaches is one way to bring the language to life, but it can’t stop there! By sharing real experiences with your child in the target language (singing songs, playing games, attending cultural events, reading books or stories, watching movies or television shows), your child will see how people use the language for authentic purposes, and they will be eager to speak and use this new language to communicate!