What to look for in children's foreign language classes


Basic guidelines for what to look for and what to avoid when you are picking the right foreign language course for your children.

There are many reasons for children to learn a new language. This is why parents often stress about how to pick the right language center or tutor or course for their children. Are private lessons better or are there benefits to group classes as well?

Don’t stress about this any more! Here are some basic guidelines about what to look for and what to avoid when searching for your kid’s foreighn language lessons.

Prefer native speakers

Native speakers are always better at speaking a language. This is not a rule of course and you should always look for native speakers who also have a teaching license in order to be certain of their expertise. But when a teacher is also a native speaker they usually only speak their native language during the lesson. This gives students the opportunity to interact with someone in a different language because there is no other option. Some non native speaker tutors also adapt this method in their classes in order to further promote the speaking of the new language among students.

Modern foreign language teaching methods

While searching for any new activity for you or for your children you should always ask a lot of questions. In this case you should ask about the qualifications of the teaching staff and whether they have attended training seminars after graduation to learn new language teaching techniques. You should also ask them to tell you exactly how a formal lesson is done and if they follow modern teaching methods like Collaborative Learning, Flipped Classroom, Self-learning, Gamification etc. Another important question of the day is if there are online courses a child could attend full-time or part-time in case of illness or a new quarantine.

Group lessons or a private tutor

This has a lot to do with your family’s program and your child’s personal needs. Group lessons are great for children who thrive in social environments, while private lessons are the right answer for children who require one-on-one attention. Saying all that if you choose a private tutor you should always ask for qualifications as mentioned above. Do not hire someone to teach your child based on the price alone. It is important that you make sure they obtain a teaching license and experience teaching.

Young children lessons should be design differently

Very young children are both the most difficult age and the most demanding in the field of preparation. And yet, many language centers "throw in" the youngest, most inexperienced and, of course, the cheapest teachers in these classes. The reason is purely economic and competitive because tuition fees must be low enough to entice parents. If your child is very young, ask about the teacher of the first grade before signing up. Try to find a  well-trained teacher that uses a playful teaching technique with cards, games, colors, and  interactive means which will make learning fun.

Considering all of the above here are some of Zurich’s best foreign language centers to pick from:


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