The Fantail Academy Approach

Fantail Academy offers a semi-intensive English course 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”.

Serious Fun

The Serious Fun formula is simple:

Hard work + fun = deep learning and fluency!

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 parts of the language without paying enough attention to the meaning and relevance of those language parts. Repetition in language learning is also important but must be combined with approaches such as deep learning so children can communicate rather than simply reproduce.

Fluency is the ability to freely communicate in a language without having to do much thinking. When children develop high levels of fluency, they tend to learn the language in a more naturalistic way which means they can explore other content areas (like science, art, culture, history, etc.) using English.

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

  • Spaced learning – drilling and repeating vocab 3-4 times per lesson, plus home learning
  • Active Recall techniques – spontaneous ‘tests’ designed to get learners to re-engage with content that was recently covered.
  • Student Diaries – opportunity for kids to reflect on their own learning. This is a great way to fix material into long-term memory facilitating deeper learning and understanding of material.
  • Extensive Reading - at least 20 min per week allocated to time spent reading for reading’s sake. This means kids will read a book of their choice and then either write about it or give mini presentations to the class. This helps to engrain vocabulary and grammar structures in to long-term memory which improves ‘automaticity’ (automatic recall of language) which is crucial for improved fluency.
  • Cross-curricular Learning (CLIL) – learning about other subject areas (science, maths, arts and culture…) through English.

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