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Learning French Now Up There With Sport

Media Release
August 12, 2005

Learning French Now Up There With Sport

Learning a new language is starting to foot it with the traditional pastimes of young New Zealanders.

New Zealand wide franchise, Fun Languages International, teaches French, Spanish, German and Chinese to children aged from 2 to 12.

Gisela Purcell from Fun Languages says she keeps hearing wonderful stories about children’s enthusiasm for languages.

“One boy had decided it’s a really close toss up between playing soccer and learning French and he’s convinced his parents to let him do both.”

Fun Languages teachers/animators use song, drama, games and cultural experiences to teach language.

Gisela Purcell says New Zealand children have been well and truly bitten by the language bug.

She says a popular television programme, Dora the Explorer, has characters speaking Spanish and has led to a number of pre-school children wanting to learn the language.

She says children are leading their parents and grandparents into picking up a greater range of languages.

“We also teach adults who are finding Fun Languages is giving them confidence when traveling to converse in other languages, greatly enhancing their travel experience.”

Gisela says children have a great capacity to learn language that can even improve their ability in other subjects.

She says Fun Languages style of teaching means children love attending and it doesn’t end up being just another thing for them to do in their busy lives.

“Gone are the days that many parents may have experienced where learning a language was a chore where you had to memorise lots of words. These days it is about having a good time and learning languages as part of a cultural experience.”

ENDS

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