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European Language Academy

FAQs

General queries

In addition to developing a lifelong ability to communicate with more people, learners are likely to develop superior problem-solving skills. Knowing a second language ultimately provides a competitive advantage in the workforce by opening up additional job opportunities.  Children may derive other benefits from early language instruction, including improved overall school performance.

There are also studies that demonstrate students of foreign languages score statistically higher on standardised tests conducted in English. Students of foreign languages develop a deeper understanding of their own and other cultures. Children who receive second language instruction are more creative and better at solving complex problems. Kiwis fluent in other languages enhance NZ's economic competitiveness abroad, improve global communication, and maintain our political and security interests.

How long does it take for me to learn a language?
A lot depends on your motivation levels, the time and effort devoted to language learning and the level of proficiency required. It is a myth that adults are unable to learn a second language. For students intending to travel overseas for a short period, it may not be necessary to develop advanced levels of proficiency. We always suggest students talk to us early so that we can develop realistic expectations and then recommend a programme to suit their needs.
Are adults disadvantaged when it comes to language learning?

A number of researchers have suggested that children have an innate ability to acquire the rules of any language, and that this ability diminishes by adulthood. Older language students should take heart, however, in the results of other studies which indicate that, although young children acquire pronunciation easily, they are not particularly efficient learners of vocabulary or other aspects of language structure. Of course, the more time devoted to learning a language and the more opportunities available to use it in everyday situations, the greater the proficiency achieved.


Is language learning really difficult?

Well, we would be dishonest to say that it's easy to learn a second language. The answer would be similar to that of the questions, "Is it easy to lose weight?" or "How hard is it to master golf, tennis, skiing or diving etc?"  The answer is: it's definitely possible, but it requires hard work, commitment and perseverence. We assure you that you will be able to say a few words by the end of the first class. The rest is really up to you. We are here to guide and encourage you, but ultimately, you have to want it. What we do know, as the students in our higher-level classes will confirm, is that it's worth it.

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Administration

When is the next course starting?
You can join a class at the start of any term. However, we also offer courses that can start at other times, depending on student numbers. Contact us to see when the next course starts.
How much is the tuition/registration fee?

Please refer to our Courses page for general course details and fees.
Contact us to discuss your specific requirements

How can I register at your Academy?
To register you can enrol online. We accept Visa/Mastercard online, or you can pay by Direct Credit or EFTPOS at our office in Auckland.
When are fees payable?
Fees need to be paid in full at the time of enrolment, before the start of the term.
Do you have a social programme?
Yes. We arrange lively events for adults with cultural themes, from restaurant trips to wine tasting and film nights. We are hoping to conduct field trips to Europe in the near future.
Where is the Academy located?
ELA Auckland is situated next to New World Victoria Park on Franklin Road, which is off Ponsonby Road, and within walking distance of the Auckland CBD.  ELA Christchurch is situated in premises shared with the Sir George Seymour National College of Travel and Tourism on the corner of Colombo and Peterborough Streets.
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Questions parents ask

Why is it better for my child to learn a language in primary/intermediate school?
Studies have shown - and experience has supported - that children who learn a language before the onset of adolescence are much more likely to have native-like pronunciation. A number of experts attribute this phenomenon to physiological changes that occur in the maturing brain as a child enters puberty. Of course, as with any subject, the more years a child can devote to learning a language, the more competent he or she will become. In any case, introducing children to alternative ways of expressing themselves and to different cultures generally broadens their outlook and gives them the opportunity to communicate with many more people.
How are languages taught to children?
  • In-school programmes are offered by certain schools in New Zealand. A second language is presented as a distinct subject, much as science or social studies. Typically, the course is taught once a week as part of the class timetable, although some schools offer this as an after-school programme. Depending on the frequency of the classes and the opportunity for practice, children in these programmes may attain substantial proficiency in the language studied.
  • After-school programmes, such as those offered by ELA, introduce students to a specific language and culture. Time is spent exploring a language and learning about the language itself. Although some proficiency may be attained with a once- or twice-per-week programme, parents should not expect children to attain significant fluency in such programmes. They can, however, provide a good basis for later learning.
Will a second language interfere with my child's English ability?
In most cases, learning another language enhances a child's English ability. Children can learn much about English by learning the structure of other languages. Common vocabulary also helps children learn the meaning of new words in English. Experimental studies have shown that no long-term delay in native English language development occurs in children participating in second language classes, even in full immersion programmes. In fact, children enrolled in foreign language programmes score statistically higher on standardised tests conducted in English.
If my child is enrolled in a language programme at school, what can I do to help?
Most importantly, encourage your child's interest in the language and in other cultures. Show him or her that you value the ability to speak a second language. Attend cultural events that feature music, dance, or food from the country or countries where the language is spoken. If possible, provide some books, videos, or other materials in the second language. If you are familiar with the language yourself, read to your child. Summer programmes offering international exchanges are suitable for older children and offer valuable opportunities to speak a second language and explore a different culture firsthand. Children normally live with a host family, which provides them with a safe and sheltered environment where they can practise their language skills.
If my child's school does not offer language study, what can I do to help establish a programme?
Speak to the school principal about your interest in seeing a programme established. Determine what type of programme best fits your needs. Join with other parents interested in starting up a programme. Discuss the possibility at a PTA meeting. Write to the teachers and the school board. Many resources are available to help parents and teachers establish a second language programme. Contact ELA for assistance in this area. We have helped many schools in New Zealand with the establishment of a second language programme.
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