Bringing up children is a continual test of our ability to trust. It is in effect a process of unlearning that we need to go through in order to listen to our instincts and trust our children to guide us. The following is a guide of the system components:
- Intrinsically motivated environment.
- The teacher only speaks the target language.
- Based on forming real communications that have immediate real world results.
- Progress follows the children’s native language acquisition stages.
- Aimed at bringing beginners to intermediate level (high levels of fluency are not uncommon).
- Generally, vocabulary is focused on first and synthetic structures later with some minor exceptions.
- Realia and visual support is used rather than textbooks. Although textbooks are made available should they be sought.
- Reading is a natural part of the RAVE® experience. However, reading specific tasks are only focused on should the children choose to.
- Children have autonomy to design their own curriculum, opt out of any activity and experience a different group should they choose.
- The aim is for children to lose themselves in a rich mixture of interesting activities involving meaningful communication.
- Error correction does occur when the child is sufficiently confident.Grammar rules and drilling takes place should the group or individual be interested in that kind of activity.
- Total Physical Response (TPR) is utilised to great effect.
- A communicative syllabus appropriate to the group’s interests emerges and is developed.
- Language level is a little higher than the children can already understand.
- Low anxiety environment to minimise filtering that can impede learning.
- Syllabus based on being able to share what happened in class, talk about ideas, perform tasks, solve problems, direct the class, make presentations and design products.
- Speech production emerges at it’s own pace and it is never forced. However, there are some routine requirements that are kindly drilled, like asking for something that they need.
- No homework unless requested by the child: adequate sleep, playing outside, family dinner and creative activities are of higher value.
Our task is to support children in their decisions and to raise awareness of their ability to change their mind if they choose to. In this way, we are developing confident, independent children who feel in control of themselves.