'Sam and Mel' is an online video language programme where children learn to speak English. They will learn to communicate orally using correct English grammar and pronunciation.
‘Sam and Mel’ was born out of surprise and frustration. My (Tony's) classes were filled with international students who could hardly speak one correct sentence in English. And yet they had studied English in their country for 6-8 years. How could that be? (Story continues below)
A major component of this method is our philosophy around motivation and learning. 'Sam and Mel' provide motivation for learning English in two ways:
1. Children are motivated by fun. They will want to learn English because 'Sam and Mel' is fun.
2. Children are motivated when they receive praise for trying. Sam and Mel will often say "good", clap, or give the thumbs up. Parents and teachers should also give praise when their child or pupils make an effort.
Your child or pupils can learn at their own pace, moving on to each new lesson when they are ready.
We recommend that children study for 10-15 minutes per day in order to maintain maximum concentration during learning.
On average a child or class will need to watch each lesson and revision exercise three times.
I concluded that the problem started at primary school. These students’ first steps in English were guided by teachers who were neither fluent in English, nor qualified to teach a foreign language. I wanted to help these teachers, and the parents who were also frustrated with the situation.
Innovative pedagogy is key to making ‘Sam and Mel’ an effective video-based method of language learning. It takes into account the importance of relationships and the power of stories. Pupils get to know and like Sam and Mel in the humorous situations that occur in each lesson. This prepares them for the interactive audio-visual exercises that include gestures, chanting, repetition and singing.
With ‘Sam and Mel’, teachers and parents can step back and become facilitators, while their pupils and children develop a wide vocabulary, and sentence structures that enable them to communicate meaningfully in English. Our focus is primarily on the skills of Listening and Speaking. Any Reading and Writing activities are designed to support and reinforce the acquisition of the oral skills.
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