"We make kids talk!"

Frequently Asked Questions

Security

How do I know that my credit card details are safe?

At 'Sam and Mel' we have no access to members' credit card details. Payment is done through eWay, one of the payment gateways trusted by the major credit cards, Visa and Mastercard. You can also sign up using Paypal. Just contact us.


Age

What is the best age for my child to start learning with 'Sam and Mel'?

The best age is 4-8 years old. However, the youngest children may have difficulty with the reading activities. For children beyond the age of 8, the lesson content may still be valid for them, especially if they have had no prior English lessons. However, they may find the presentation a bit childish.


Gestures

Why do you want learners to move their hands when they learn new words?

Doing the gestures engages two learning methods: Firstly, visual learning when the child watches the presenter speak and move their hands; secondly kinesthetic learning which means that moving the hands helps children remember the word when linking it to a gesture. Some children are predominantly visual learners and will learn the words just by watching the gestures. Others are predominantly kinesthetic learners who will have difficulty memorizing the words unless they do the gestures.


Video

Why are all the lessons videos?

Video is by definition audio-visual, it engages hearing and seeing. These are the 2 most powerful senses for learning. As we are unable to put a native English-speaking teacher in every home and primary school classroom, we attempt to do the next best thing with video.

Our lessons concentrate on the oral skills of Listening and Speaking which in child development occur naturally. Although some Reading is taught in 'Sam and Mel', it is mainly there to support Speaking.


Animation

Why don't you have animated characters in your lessons?

Animated characters are entertaining. However, their verbal and non-verbal communication is not a good language learning model for children. We prefer to use live presenters who model natural human communication enabling children to better understand, and use normal voice inflection.


Tests

How do I know that my child has learnt the lesson if there is no test?

This is easy. Invite them to do the lesson in your presence. Watch and listen to them. If they know all the words, can say the sentences and can sing the song, then they are ready to proceed to the next lesson. Their performance does not have to be perfect. Praise them for what they know rather than correcting their errors. If you feel that they do not know the material well enough yet, ask them to spend some more time working on it.


Difficulties learning

My child has finished the lessons but does not seem to remember very much. Why is that?

It is possible that your child worked through the lessons too quickly. Children should study each lesson and all the exercises at least 3 times before they continue to the next lesson. That is why we have adopted the medal system. The learner will click on the green + symbol on the top right of each video. Three clicks gives them a gold medal.


Translations

Why don't you provide translations for the 10 vocabulary words in each lesson?

We are wary about the usefulness of using word for word translation in language learning, especially for words that sometimes have several meanings. Furthermore, it is sometimes difficult to provide suitable translations for individual words.  However, we have used PDF translations to facilitate comprehension of the conversation scenes.


Reading

Why don't you teach the phonic method of reading?

Teaching Reading by the Phonic method is outside of the scope of what we seek to achieve with Sam and Mel. Our primary goal is not to teach Reading but to teach Speaking. The parts of the lesson that contain writing are designed so that children will have another opportunity to speak by reading or singing aloud.


Technical Problems

Some features of the Website are not working…

If you are having difficulty logging in or are unable to access your lessons after logging in, try logging out and restarting your computer. If this doesn't work, contact us.

The videos are not playing at all…

If the videos are not playing at all check that your Internet browser is up to date. You can download the latest versions of Firefox or Google Chrome for free. If you are still unable to view the videos please contact us so that we can investigate further.


Happy Customers

We are absolutely delighted to watch the lessons of Sam and Mel as a family!

Emmanuelle Bousquet, France

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