Helen Doron method

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The Helen Doron method, developed by linguist and educator Helen Doron, is one of the first early English educational systems in the world.[1] Since 1985, children as young as three months have learned to speak English through this method with the same ease as they learnt to speak their mother tongue.[2]

The Helen Doron method is based on two cornerstones of child language acquisition: repeated background hearing and positive reinforcement. Children are exposed to an English-only environment in class, and reinforce learning by listening to audio CDs at home in the background of their ordinary routine. Specially trained Helen Doron English teachers provide plenty of encouragement and support to the children as they learn, and start to use, English.

Learning programmes using Helen Doron method are based on a comprehensive curriculum for children ages 3 months up to 19 years. Helen Doron Learning Centres offer after school, small-group courses. There are also kindergartens and in-school courses for early elementary grades, and a Teen English programme for secondary school students. The Helen Doron method uses play, games, stories, workbooks, flash cards, story cards, original songs and music CDs, at age-appropriate levels, to teach and reinforce spoken English – the pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary are acquired naturally, through regular use and repeated hearing. Reading and writing lessons are also available for all ages and levels.

History[edit]

Helen Doron was first inspired to develop her language teaching methodology while researching violin lessons for her children. She was especially intrigued by the famed Suzuki Method of violin learning, which closely associates learning music with language acquisition.

Kids in Helen Doron lesson

Dr. Suzuki called his method "the mother-tongue approach", and described it as the language of music. His approach was to teach children how to play the instrument and make music by ear, before teaching them how to read music.[3] As a linguist and educator, Doron saw the importance of this principle, and its ready application in teaching English – she knew from her studies, and her experience as a mother, that young children have an innate ability to absorb the language they hear in their environment. Her insight, and Dr. Suzuki’s ideals of encouragement and reinforcement,[4] became the first building blocks of the Helen Doron Early English method.

In 1985, Doron further augmented her English teaching method using her own homemade song cassettes, rhymes and stories to teach English to children from non-English speaking countries. She quickly developed a format for her new English course – weekly lessons included games, songs, stories, rhymes, and other activities, all taught in English, and children took the recordings home to listen to the songs and stories as the background of their daily activities. The Helen Doron method provided an English-speaking environment that successfully mimicked the natural process of mother tongue learning.[5]

The Music of Language[6] by Helen Doron, is the definitive description of Doron’s teaching methodology. Published in 2010, it draws on her years of success teaching English to children. The book includes detailed descriptions of the development and evolution of the Helen Doron teaching method, from Helen’s first insights at the violin lesson, to the initial construction of a course for young children and expansion of that first course, “English for All Children”, into a comprehensive series of Helen Doron programmes. Copies of The Music of Language are available at Helen Doron Learning Centres worldwide, and as an eBook.

The Helen Doron Method of English is the foundation for a network of learning centres around the world. Helen Doron English, the flagship brand of Helen Doron, LTD, leads the global market in early English education. Over 850 Learning Centres, in over 30 countries, have brought Helen’s innovative, successful, learning method to more than 2 million children worldwide.

The Methodology[edit]

In the last few years, independent research in linguistics, especially in the fields of language acquisition and bilingualism, has verified the efficacy of Doron’s approach – teaching children early and emulating the process of mother-tongue learning are the most effective ways to teach language.

It has been discovered, for example, that infants start associating sounds with concepts as early as 4 months of age,[7] and that newborn infants have learned to recognize the general melody of the mother’s language while still in the womb.[8] Bilingual children, those who have learned two languages from childhood, show an increased aptitude for learning additional languages.[9] It is evident that children are born with an innate capacity to learn language, even multiple languages. This ability is strongest in children under the age of 6, and must be exercised and developed early in order to maintain it into adulthood.

Expanding the Courses Worldwide[edit]

As the success of Helen Doron Early English grew, the company expanded, bringing the early English teaching method to a variety of educational environments.

Today, there are five additional educational brands offering courses based on the Helen Doron method. Helen Doron Teen English offers four years of courses for teenagers at the secondary school level. For larger groups, the twin courses of Didi the Dragon and Polly the Collie are targeted at kindergartens, while Super-Nature brings English to elementary school classrooms. MathRiders applies the Helen Doron method to the field of mathematics, offering students aged 4 to 19 a series of courses designed to improve their skill in maths. Ready Steady Move! is a unique programme, combining fitness and movement with basic language learning.

Together these brands make up the Helen Doron Educational Group, dedicated to improving the education and well being of children worldwide, through the Helen Doron educational method.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "THE PRINCIPLES OF THE HELEN DORON METHOD". 2003. 
  2. ^ Nurtured by Love, Sinichi Suzuki
  3. ^ Nurtured by Love, Sinichi Suzuki
  4. ^ Ability Development from Age Zero, Sinichi Suzuki
  5. ^ Nora Nagy, philologist and teacher (MA)in English Language and Literature specialized in Applied Linguistics, Hungary
  6. ^ Doron, Helen (2010). The Music of Language. Helen Doron Educational Group. 
  7. ^ "Even before language, babies learn the world through sounds.". ScienceDaily. July 12, 2011. Retrieved http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201110915.htm.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help); Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  8. ^ "Babies' Language Learning Starts From The Womb". ScienceDaily. November 5, 2009. Retrieved http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091105092607.htm.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help); Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  9. ^ "Bilinguals find it easier to learn a third language.". ScienceDaily. February 1, 2011. Retrieved http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201110915.htm.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help); Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External Links[edit]