Bonjour! Greenwood is very pleased to announce the introduction of ‘Bonjour Babies’ – a French language program for young children.
About Bonjour Babies
Bonjour Babies is a fun French language learning program for young children, founded by Sarah Montgomery – a child psychologist and mother of two. We had a chat with Sarah to find out a bit more about her and the Bonjour Babies Program…
What is the idea behind Bonjour Babies?
Bonjour Babies aims to expose children to a second language in their early formative years when learning is effortless. By doing so we provide children with the opportunity to reap the near countless cognitive and developmental benefits that dual language learning affords. Our programs do this in a way that is both fun and effective!
Could you tell us a little bit about your professional background?
I am a psychologist with a leaning towards early development, holding numerous years of experience working with young children. Having two young children of my own I researched the neurological benefits of bilingualism, and being beyond impressed, I was determined to have my children exposed to second language as soon as possible. Failing to find a suitable service for babies in Sydney, Bonjour Babies was born! It has become my passion and I have been lucky enough to see the effectiveness of the program firsthand, with my now 4 year old being quite proficient in French now!
What kinds of activities happen during your classes?
Bonjour Babies programs are based on the latest research designed for effective language learning. As such our classes engage multiple senses simultaneously; namely sight, sound and touch. This makes for a fun and highly musical class, filled with and lots of songs, actions and interactions, with accompanying props, bells and puppets. The ‘babies’ classes primarily involve learning through song and repetition, whilst the ‘big kids’ classes extend beyond this with basic routines and conversational skills being introduced through games.
What do you love most about working with children?
I really love the ability of children to stay in the present moment and fully absorb their experience and surroundings. Watching their willingness to learn as well as their seemingly endless curiosity is captivating. It provides a wonderful reminder to slow down and be mindful. I also love children’s great sense of fun, they make me laugh and that is the best medicine in the world, right!!
Can you explain how Bonjour Babies and Greenwood share similar philosophies?
Despite Bonjour Babies following a curriculum, there is flexibility within the program that allows us to take the children’s lead. By doing so we adapt our lessons to match the children’s interests…when we hear “encore” we listen! We get down on the children’s level and become their partner in their learning experience. We respect their space and individual learning pace, and always make sure our primary goal is for the children to learn through having fun. It’s what children do best and what enables children to thrive. This clearly aligns with the thoughtfulness that Greenwood places into the magical and beautifully designed play and learning spaces that they create for little people. They focus on creating a safe, fun and interactive environment within which children can thrive, being cared for by educators that respect them as early learners and unique individuals.
What would you like to tell parents?
I’d love parents to know that by enabling their children to partake in our classes they are not only giving their children a bilingual head-start, but a head-start in so many other areas of their life. Children who have been exposed to a second language not only have academic and cognitive gains, they even fare better socially when compared to their monolingual peers due to the confidence they acquire in the learning processes involved in attempting to converse in a language other than their mother tongue. I’d like parents to know that they are providing a fun way for children to gain a sense of mastery with lifelong benefits. It really is French for fun for your little one!