Read Hooked on English Research Basis text version

The Research Basis for Hooked on EnglishTM

It is well documented not only that learning a second language can enhance academic performance and cognitive development, 1 but also that young children learn foreign languages more easily than adults or older children. 2 Additionally, it has been shown that introducing children to a second language program for just a few hours a week enhances their cultural exposure and appreciation and builds a foundation for complete foreign language acquisition. 3 In response to research supporting the benefits of second language acquisition--as well as reports that English is fast becoming the world's lingua franca4 -- the makers of Hooked on Phonics® developed Hooked on English, a program that teaches kids ages four and older to speak beginning English. It uses an English-only structure, focuses on oral and aural comprehension and fluency, and follows a scope and sequence designed to teach basic vocabulary and high-utility conversational phrases. The methodology of Hooked on English is based on current and established principles of second language acquisition in young children, including the use of highly focused lessons, real-world context, repetition and generation, multisensory learning, and music. Hooked on English also features the Hooked on Phonics learn-practice-play approach. Focused, Contextualized Lessons Studies show that children learn foreign language vocabulary most efficiently when lessons are focused--that is, when only a few words are taught at a time, those words all center on the same topic, and the words are reviewed after just a few are taught. 5 It has also been shown that children learn and retain language more easily when vocabulary is taught in context and used in a variety of sentences, so the words hold deeper meaning and are not just isolated expressions. 6 In the Hooked on English program, children learn between three and seven new words or phrases per lesson, and lessons are grouped into focused themes, such as clothing,

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BBC NEWS 2004; Mechelli, Crinion, Noppeney, O'Doherty, Ashburner, Frackowiak, and Price 2004; Marcos n.d.; National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project 1996; Summerville 2006; Diaz 1983; Cummins 1981; Clark 2000 2 Pufahl, Rhodes, and Christian 2001; Anderson 1998; DeKeyser and Larson Hall 2005; Johnson and Newport 1989; Omari 2001; Marcos 1998; Harley 1986; Patkowski 1990; Ford-Guerrera 1997 3 AERA 2006 4 Coughlin 2004, Kelly 2004, Walters n.d. 5 Alberta Department of Education 1984, Medlin 1979 6 Medlin 1979, Morgan 1990, Williamson 1991, Gilette 1994

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family members, or food. English vocabulary is taught in concrete, real-world contexts in the program's workbooks, storybooks, and DVD lessons and activities. Repetition and Generation Listening and speaking are vital components of any foreign language instruction program. Because not all of the sounds in the English language exist in other languages, children often have to hear English words repeated several times before they can distinguish and reproduce those sounds. 7 But through continuous repetition, "kids can learn a language--any language--naturally and intuitively." 8 Developing oral (speaking) skills is as important as developing aural (listening) skills when communicating. Language learners must practice saying words to hone pronunciation. 9 According to one study, "Learners with good pronunciation in English are more likely to be understood even if they make errors in other areas, whereas learners whose pronunciation is difficult to understand will not be understood, even if their grammar is perfect!" 10 Hooked on English emphasizes repetition and generation. Kids hear each new element-- spoken by several different native speakers--more than ten times per lesson, and they are prompted to repeat the language they hear for pronunciation practice. Multisensory, Multimedia Learning, and Technology In English instruction, as in many other subjects, learning is enhanced when multiple senses are engaged by multiple media in the learning process. 11 According to one study, "Physical experience and tangible objects should accompany vocabulary instruction" 12 ; another reports, "Beginning students especially need images to connect the world they know with the language code we use." 13 Technology, which is increasingly cited as useful for foreign language learning, offers opportunities for multisensory learning by providing simultaneous audio, visual, and tactile stimuli. According to the "anchored instruction" paradigm, videos are especially effective for learning because they provide rich sources of information with opportunities to notice sensory images, dynamic features, relevant issues, and inherent problems. Second, they give students the ability to perceive dynamic moving events and to more easily

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Gilette 1994, Medlin 1979, Stonybrook State University of New York 2007, Omari 2001, Williamson 1991 8 Reviewcorner.com 1999 9 Gilette 1994, Yates 2002 10 Yates 2002 11 Morgan 1990, Chamot et al. 1987, Kodjak and Hayser 1982, Hickey 1993 12 Kodjak and Hayser 1982 13 Hickey 1993

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form rich mental models. . . . Third, video allows students to develop skills of pattern recognition which are related to visual and auditory cues. 14 Another source notes, Currently, computer technology can provide a lot of fun games and communicative activities, reduce the learning stresses and anxieties, and provide repeated lessons as often as necessary. Those abilities will promote second language learners' learning motivation. Through various communicative and interactive activities, computer technology can help second language learners strengthen their linguistic skills, affect their learning attitude, and build their selfinstruction strategies and self-confidence. 15 The Hooked on English program engages multiple senses and makes use of various learning materials. Children listen to CDs while following along with workbook lessons and flash cards, participate in interactive DVD activities, listen to and sing songs, watch videos on the DVDs, follow along with storybooks, and track their development with stickers on progress posters. The Hooked on English DVDs incorporate several forms of technology, such as videos and interactive software. The software provides immediate feedback so learners hear their answers corrected or confirmed right away, which enforces vocabulary and longterm retention. And when using the software, children control the pacing of the lessons, bolstering independent learning and reducing anxiety. Music Listening to and singing songs--activities that help children learn vocabulary as well as the foreign vocal patterns, stresses, intonations, and rhythms essential for communicating--are recognized as sound techniques for language learning. 16 This is true for young learners in particular, to whom singing is especially appealing. Research shows that "young children have advantages of second language learning, such as better pronunciation, less [sic] inhibitions, and a love for mimicking, through . . . songs and rhythm." 17 The Hooked on English program includes an audio CD of age-appropriate songs, which help reinforce lesson content through review. The songs on the CD are linked to each unit, so the lyrics in each song progress cumulatively, using vocabulary that children have just learned. Each song also includes review words and a small percentage of words that haven't been introduced. The music CD can be listened to separately from the rest of the program materials to maintain and support learning outside of the formal lessons.

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Barron 1989 Lai and Kritsonis 2006 16 Omari 2001, Stephens 1989, Gilette 1994, Hickey 1993, Lipton 1994, Finney 1996 17 Finney 1996

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Age-Appropriate Methodology Studies indicate that reading should receive little to no emphasis in early language programs, 18 and that young language learners should "first master the aural and oral recognition of vocabulary before learning the written words." 19 Instead, it is recommended that pictures are used to convey meaning, so children don't have to rely on the translation "crutch." 20 In Hooked on English, no reading is required; all instructions are conveyed through iconography and sound effects. The program is entirely in English, except for an instructional, kid-friendly video on the unit 1 DVD, which explains the program's system, iconography, sound effects, and components through animation and age-appropriate narration in the child's native language. Learn-Practice-Play Approach In general, children learn by having interactive, meaningful experiences, and then practicing what they've learned. 21 Young children learn English most efficiently if they participate in hands-on, multisensory lessons and stay motivated to continuously practice what they've learned, and this motivation can be bolstered with games and frequent opportunities for success. 22 Hooked on English follows the Hooked on Phonics unique learn-practice-play methodology: Children first learn new vocabulary and phrases by watching the animated segments on the DVDs. They then practice saying the new words and phrases out loud by using workbooks and flash cards with the audio CDs. Finally, young learners play interactive quiz games on the DVDs and read storybooks to have fun with their new English skills. This method (1) provides a bite-sized skill kids can master in one session, (2) progresses cumulatively, and (3) ensures success and measurable progress with each session. Summary This paper presents the research basis for Hooked on English, including studies and articles supporting the advantages of foreign language learning for young children in general and the usefulness of English specifically. The research cited here confirms the program's approaches to second language instruction for young learners: beginning instruction when children are young; using focused, contextualized lessons; ensuring sufficient repetition and generation; incorporating multimedia, multisensory learning

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Alberta Department of Education 1984 Medlin 1979 20 Burt 1981, Morgan 1990 21 Jensen 2005. 22 Stonybrook State University of New York 2007. Omari 2001, Alberta Department of Education 1984, Hickey 1993

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materials; teaching songs in the new language; deemphasizing reading; and following a learn-practice-play approach.

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References Alberta Department of Education. 1984. French as a Second Language in the Primary Grades (1 to 3). Edmonton: Language Services Branch. Cited in Williamson 1991. American Educational Research Association (AERA). 2006. "Essential Information for Education Policy." Research Points 1, vol. 4 (Spring 2006). Anderson, Virginia B. 1998. "Using Multiple Intelligences to Improve Retention in Foreign Language Vocabulary Study." Master of Arts Action Research Project, St. Xavier University, Chicago, Illinois, May 1998. Barron, Linda, et al. 1989. "Enhancing Learning in At-Risk Students: Applications of Video Technology." ERIC Digest. Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearninghouse on Information Resources. ERIC Document #ED318464. BBC NEWS. 2004. Learning Languages "Boosts Brain." Accessed 2007 at news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3739690.stm. Burt, Andy. 1981. Immersion Française Précoce: Français I. Victoria: British Columbia Department of Education. Cited in Williamson 1991. Chamot, Anna Uhl, et al. 1987. A Study of Learning Strategies in Foreign Language Instruction. First Year Report. Rosslyn, VA: Interstate Research Associates. Clark, Beverly A. 2000. First- and Second-Language Acquisition in Early Childhood: Issues in Early Childhood Education; Curriculum, Teacher Education, and Dissemination of Information. Proceedings of the Lilian Katz Symposium. Champaign, IL. Coughlan, Sean. 2004. "English `World Language' Forecast." BBC News. Accessed 2007 at news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/4080401.stm. Cummins, J. 1981. Bilingualism and Minority Language Children. Toronto: OISE. ERIC Document # ED215557. DeKeyser, R.M., and Larson-Hall, J. 2005. "What Does the Critical Period Really Mean?" In Handbook of Bilingualism: Psycholinguistic Approaches, ed. J. F. Kroll and A. M. B. de Groot. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 89­108. Cited in AERA.

Diaz, R. M. 1983. "Thought and Two Languages: The Impact of Bilingualism on Cognitive Development." In Review of Research in Education, ed. E. W. Gordon. American Educational Research Association.

Finney, Rachel Elaine. 1996. "Foreign Language Education in Elementary Schools: Revitalizing and Maintaining a Workable Program." Senior Project, University of Tennessee at Martin, March 1996. Cited in Omari 2001. Ford Guerrera, Rebecca. 1997. Technology and the Elementary Foreign Classroom. ERIC Document #ED410750. Gilette, Gloria W. 1994. On Speaking Terms: A Practical Guide to Pronunciation for ABLE/ESL Teachers. Teaching Guide. Euclid, OH: Northeast ABLE Resource Center. Harley, B. 1986. Age in Second Language Acquisition. San Diego: College Hill Press. Cited in Marcos 1998. Hickey, Dorothea B. 1993. "Ideas for Special Projects." In English as a Second Language Curriculum Resource Handbook: A Practical Guide for K­12 ESL

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Programs, ed. Graciela Italiano and Patricia Rounds. Millwood, NY: Kraus International Publications. Jensen, E. 2005. Teaching with the Brain in Mind. 2nd ed. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Johnson, J. S., and Newport, E. L. 1989. "Critical Period Effects in Second Language Learning: The Influence of Maturational State on the Acquisition of English as a Second Language." Cognitive Psychology, vol. 21, pp. 60­99. Cited in AERA. Kelly, Terri. 2004. "From Lingua Franca to Global English." Global Envision. Accessed 2007 at www.globalenvision.org/library/8/655/. Kodjak, Barbara, and Hayser, Kathleen. 1982. "French for Children: Aspects of an Elementary School Foreign Language Program." Paper presented at the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, New York, New York, April 1­4, 1982.

Lai, Cheng Chieh, and Kritsonis, William Allan. 2006. "The Advantages and Disadvantages of Computer Technology in Second Language Acquisition." Doctoral Forum 3, no. 1.

Lipton, G. 1994. "What Is FLES Methodology?" Hispania, 77 (December): 878­887. Cited in Omari 2001. Marcos, Kathleen. 1998. "Second Language Learning: Everyone Can Benefit." In K­12 Foreign Language Education, The ERIC Review. Rockville, MD. ------. n.d. Why, How, and When Should My Child Learn a Second Language? Brochure. Washington, D.C.: Center for Applied Linguistics. Accessed 2007 at www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content3/second.language.p.k12.2.html. Mechelli, A., Crinion, J. T., Noppeney, U., O'Doherty, J., Ashburner, J., Frackowiak, R. S., and Price, C. J. 2004. "Neurolinguistics: Structural Plasticity in the Bilingual Brain: Proficiency in a Second Language and Age at Acquisition Affect Greymatter Density." Nature 431:757. Medlin, Dorothy. 1979. A FLES Handbook: French, Spanish, German, Grades K­6. Rock Hill, SC: Winthrom College. Cited in Williamson 1991. Morgan, Agnes. 1990. "French Immersion Program: Testimony of a First Grade Teacher." Foreign Language Annals, 23(1):33­43. Cited in Williamson 1991. National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project. 1996. Standards for Foreign Language Learning: Preparing for the 21st Century. New York: The National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project. Reprinted with permission from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Omari, Deena Rae. 2001. "A Comparison of Foreign Language Teaching Methods: Total Physical Response versus Song/Chants with Kindergartners." Master of Arts Action Research Project, Johnson Bible College, Knoxville, Tennessee, July 2001. Patkowski, M. S. 1990. "Age and Accent in a Second Language: A Reply to James Emil Flege." Applied Linguistics 11 (1):73­90. Cited in Marcos 1998. Pufahl, Ingrid, Rhodes, Nancy C., and Christian, Donna. 2001. What We Can Learn from Foreign Language Teaching in Other Countries. ERIC Document #ED456671. Washington, D.C.: ERIC Clearninghouse on Languages and Linguistics. Reviewcorner.com. 1999. "Teach Your Child a Foreign Language . . . or Two." Accessed 2007 at www.reviewcorner.com/foreignlang.html. Stephens, Doris. 1989. "Bonjour: The Tennessee Experience." Foreign Language Annals, 22(6): 563­567. Cited in Williamson 1991.

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Stonybrook State University of New York. n.d. "Tips for Teaching ELLs: Strategies for Promoting Success for the Second Language Learner in Grades K­12." Accessed 2007 at www.celt.sunysb.edu/ell/tips.php. Walters, Jackie. n.d. "Why Is English the International Lingua Franca?" EuroLogos.com. Accessed 2007 at www.translationdirectory.com/article171.htm. Williamson, Cassandra Wellington. 1991. What Are Successful Teaching Methods for Teaching French to First Graders? Teaching Guide. University of Virginia. Yates, Lynda. 2002. "Pronunciation 1: What Is Pronunciation?" Fact sheet. Adult Migrant English Program Research Centre. Accessed 2007 at www.nceltr.mq.edu.au/pdamep.

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