Fantail Approach

Fantail Academy offers a range of courses based on the idea that to achieve truly great results, kids need to be challenged but they also need to have fun while learning. We call this approach, “Serious Fun”.


Deep learning is the ability to fully understand the content that is being taught. This is in contrast to “surface” learning, where students are often asked to just repeat repeat new information without paying enough attention to its meaning and relevance. Repetition in language and other types of learning is also important but must be combined with approaches such as deep learning so children can communicate and articulate what they know, rather than simply reproduce it.

Engagement in learning is the ability of students  to be actively involved in a learning task. When students are engaged in the task, they are self-motivated and more involved in the process of learning. This leads to a number of positive learning outcomes such as increased interest in the topics being studied, heightened curiosity in general and the ability to learn independently. 

Using the Serious Fun approach, we promote advanced learning skills and techniques through:

  • Spaced learning – repeating key concepts at different stages throughout the lesson.

  • Active Recall techniques – spontaneous ‘tests’ designed to get learners to re-engage with content that was recently covered.

  • Student Reflection Tasks – opportunity for kids to reflect on their own learning by providing written or oral feedback to the tutor. This is a great way to fix material into long-term memory facilitating deeper learning and understanding of material.

  • Student Centered Learning - needs and learning styles are not the same for everyone, so tutors make sure they address the specific needs of each child individually.

  • Experiences of Success – children are given plenty of supportive and positive feedback as well as realistic and achievable goals for learning

Fantail 5-step method of instruction

1. Warmer – Review previously taught material with fun game or rapid recall task

2. Set-up – Establish the key language learning concepts; introduce target language, materials or key skills; activate prior knowledge; link current learning to known concepts

Demo – Model language task with clear and concise instructions, give real-world examples; distinguish the various steps and criteria for success

4. Do – Guide learners through the task; encourage and praise; facilitate self-correction and independent practice

5. Wrap – Review the task and revisit success criteria; follow up with freer, more independent practice