English as a Second Language teacher Rania Foka taught in her native Greece for 37 years. As a young teacher, she discovered that motivation to learn was the key to language success, and that her students were more motivated when she listened to them, respected them, and taught to their individual needs.
Foka’s book shows parents “how to take simple steps in order to facilitate the process of soft-landing learning” as their children study English as a foreign language. (The terminology, “soft landing learning,” is never defined, although the content suggests that this refers to learning in an encouraging and motivating environment.)
The book begins with a short review of language and thought theories from Piaget, Whorf, Bruner, Vygotsky, Skinner, and Chomsky. Other chapter topics include the importance of learning English, how parents can enhance their children’s learning, the importance of music in language learning, how to help with homework, and how to be involved in the classroom. A third of the book is dedicated to activities that parents can do at home with their children. These basic language games are presented “so as to both check progression in the language and also to either improve their knowledge or constructively help his/her weaknesses.”
Foka’s desire to see children succeed in learning English is evident. She successfully imparts her concepts in the book, yet a good edit would have greatly improved the final product. The book contains awkward and often very long sentence constructions, word errors (destruction/ distraction, won/one, acquisitive/ inquisitive), poor word choices (“nearer family person”) and typos that may distract a native English reader. The content in the book is valuable, however, and would be helpful to a parent seeking language-learning activities to do with their children at home.
Also available in hardcover.