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Recent blog posts

  • How Can Kids Learn How to Learn?

    As parents we constantly worry about our children - will they learn enough at school to succeed later in life to have a good career or chose a profession that will give them satisfaction and enough money? Do they make friends easily? How much freedom do we need to give them, do we want to give them? How much or how little screen time? This list could go and on... Here are the evidence based hard facts around learning - what's good and what's not so good! Let's just say practice makes perfect! And that makes perfect sense....so get your kiddies and dance, practice and mimick English words with #BenandBella!One thing parents think about is learning and homework and there are lots of different opinions out there. Wouldn't it be great if we could just teach our kids learn how to learn? Read the article here: http://bigthink.com/neurobonkers/assessing-the-evidence-for-the-one-thing-you-never-get-taught-in-school-how-to-learn

  • Play-Based Learning Is The Key To Long Term Success

    The debate has been going on for a long time - do kids need to start to be instructed at earlier ages to close the gap between disadvantaged and more privileged children? Will kids not be able to learn enough to be ready for the 21st century? These questions are a hot topic in education, schools, governments and parent groups. "Ben & Bella" engages kids in a playful and fun way so that learning is not the key issue but being immersed or playing games that are actually interesting and engaging for the child. We developed our games, stories and programmes according to the newest research and ideas about immersive and natural learning. Children "learn" English in the same way as they learn their mother tongue - by hearing, mimicking and playing with words and sounds.The latest research suggests that early academic instruction does not provide long-term success but it might be actually the other way around. Children learn through play and play-based learning seems the way to go. Very early academic instruction might actually confuse kids and make them want to learn even less: Read more here in the NY Times.

  • No More Alzheimer's? Being Bilingual Might Be Best Prevention

    Wow, what an intriguing headline! It seems that at the moment everyday there are new studies being published regarding the countless benefits of growing up #bilingual. It not only makes us better communicators or hightens our ability to multi-task it may not have also long term health benefits. "Trilingualism and full literacy in two languages is the goal for all students in Hong Kong's public education system. English and Chinese are taught at primary school and the city has at least 28 international kindergartens that teach in English and Putonghua - that's more than 70 per cent of preschools listed in the SCMP Good Schools Guide, reflecting strong demand for bilingual education among parents." What a great place for children to grow up in Hong Kong and to experience multilingual play in kindergartens and at home.Hongkong - a place where children traditionally grow up multilingually - does encourage and support early language acquisition for all their young pre-school and school children. If a language is acquired later in life the brain gets activated differently and the language cannot be acquired in quite the same way as a native speaker does. The scientists are now equipped to measure more accurately activity in the brain and can prove some of their hypotheses. Cognitive neuroscientist Dr Laura-Ann Petitto shares her findings: "We also saw spillover into other content areas: better mathematical processing, better on tasks that required complex relations," she says. "So this big language area has a spillover effect into giving the child higher cognitive advantages. These advantages are preserved across the lifespan." Another team's research is now finding that bilingual brains are better protected from Alzheimer's disease, she adds." Read more here: http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/family-education/article/1716250/bilingual-children-may-have-lower-alzheimers-risk Our kids are very lucky today that we have access to so many wonderful educational and playful toys so that they can acquire new language skills in a more relaxed and fun way. Our team at "Discover English with Ben & Bella" has worked on an immersive multimedia English learning program which kids enjoy watching, interacting and playing with. Children love to use our sticker book over and over again or learn to sing along to English songs. Check out these fun games on our homepage: www.benandbella.com.

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