LAURA Kellie has introduced Ealing kids to an innovative new way to learn French.
She founded Little Language Learner and runs mum and toddler classes to teach the language, but she is branching out with her latest project – Le Petit Supper Club.
Her innovative courses will offer tuition through song, dance, actions, play and repetition, followed by a café scenario for three to 11-year-olds.
The idea was born from one of the mothers who told Laura her daughter was good during classes but found applying what she had learnt much harder in France. Teaming up with Hanwell’s W7 Emporium, she created something that is not offered elsewhere in the borough – an extra session where children order their supper in French, extending conversation around what is happening at the table and thus learning in a realistic context.
Laura, 37, said: "After the main lesson we add a real life element so the kids can be in an everyday environment that is not a classroom. I’m trying to make them love language and I speak to them as much as possible in French.
"I’m interested in the science behind the way children learn. They are like sponges at an early age. The more we get them into languages, the more we are helping them develop as people. It’s about offering children opportunities, and they become better at different skills such as problem solving."
Ms Kellie, a native French speaker, has been leading classes for a year in Ealing and Hanwell, including some at the W7 Emporium on Boston Road and private sessions.
At first age groups were mixed but as her project developed she realised there was a need for separation and for a curriculum.
She then became a licensee of La Jolie Ronde, a leading provider of French and Spanish language learning to children aged up to 11 and a supplier of language resources to primary schools across the UK, Ireland and abroad, and has adopted their methodology.
She said: "The nice thing about La Jolie Ronde is that it’s about fun and repetition. It’s about more than a half hour class. It’s about making sure that children are hearing things at home through the CD and with their parents.
“Through La Jolie Ronde’s book, parents can help through the instructions provided on each page which do not assume any French knowledge. I want to give parents support and add a personal side to what I do.”
Ms Kellie, whose mother is French, has lived in Hanwell for about a year, was in Acton for six years before that and was brought up in Chiswick.
She also speaks Italian and a bit of Spanish and German.
She added: "I come from a family of teachers. My dad was headteacher at Little Ealing Primary School so it was natural to feel geared towards the field."
Find out more at www.facebook.com/littlelanguagelearner or by emailing email@example.com.