Posts

The Benefits of Learning Another Language

Learning local languages can benefit brain and social development

While the prospect of learning another language may be daunting, especially if you struggled to get decent grades for your mother tongue at at school, there are many good reasons to do so. South Africans may be at an advantage in this regard compared to many other nations, as most South Africans speak at least two languages, and often more.

learn language

Here are some compelling reasons to learn another language:

1. Massive benefits for your brain:

  • Knowing another language protects your brain against aging and can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia by around 4.5 years.
  • This is true even if an individual is illiterate but can speak another language.
  • Research reveals that the more languages you know, the less likely you are to experience memory loss or cognitive decline later in life.
  • Being bilingual or multilingual enhances your ability to multi-task (as you are thinking in different languages) which reduces stress.
  • Research has also shown that knowledge of other languages improves decision making ability and helps you become a better listener.
  • For children, or anyone involved in studying, knowledge of another language improves academic performance in other areas such as Maths, reading, comprehension and vocabulary tests.

2. Social and financial benefits:

  • You will enhance your travel experience in foreign countries, being able to order food and know what you’re eating and get a more complete experience of the culture. Being able to fit in like more of a local, you’re less likely to be scammed and harassed as a tourist.
  • You will be able to make deeper connections and form deeper friendships with those of other cultures and they will respect you more just for attempting to speak their language.
  • You will increase your job opportunities – with business becoming more global, it will be to your advantage to learn another language and may lead to better paying jobs.

3. Benefits of learning a local language:

  • In South Africa, we have 11 official languages and many of the reasons mentioned already are also benefits of learning a local language instead of a foreign one. While it may seem fun and romantic to learn French, German or Italian, you will probably only get to use that knowledge if you travel there or move to that country. Of course, the cognitive benefits apply to any language you learn.
  • Learning a local language like Zulu or Xhosa will benefit you in your own country as you will be able to understand and converse with many more of your countrymen.
  • Speaking to someone in their own language earns you respect – even if your accent is strange! Speaking a local language instantly breaks down barriers to communication. Nelson Mandela is believed to have said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”.

learn language

BrightSparkz Tutors offers a unique concept of language “boot camps” in Afrikaans and Zulu. These are appropriate for both school-age learners and adult beginners. This is a fun and effective way of learning the basics of a new language and it removes the fear and resistance that many people feel when learning a new language.

For further information, or to book your Afrikaans Boot Camp or Zulu Boot Camp, please contact BrightSparkz Tutors where our friendly team of consultants are waiting to assist you.

If you need more specialized language tutoring, we can assist with that too!

Written by Natalie Wilke, BrightSparkz Staff & Blog Writer

Tutor Of The Month: Christie Munro

BrightSparkz Tutor of the Month

Christie is our February 2018 Tutor of the Month!

Christie matriculated from Rhenish Girls’ High in 2015 with fantastic results – 7 distinctions! She is currently completing her BSc majoring in Ocean and Atmosphere Science and Marine Biology at UCT, and has also studied Mandarin for 4 years. She is also a volunteer for the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. Christie has been tutoring for BrightSparkz since the middle of 2016, and has taken on several clients for us, tutoring everything from Maths and Life Science to EMS! Our team loves Christie because of her quick, cheerful responses and her willingness to take on any client. Her clients love her for her positivity and the amazing effect she has on her learners. She is a sweet, engaging tutor with a real passion for helping others, and we’re so happy to have her as part of our team. 

What some of Christie’s clients have to say about her: 

“ I wish to advise that Christie did a really great job helping Nicola – she has now written both her Matric Maths exams and both seemed to go reasonably well.  I wish you to pass on to Christie our many thanks for her dedication and attention to detail as well as her excellent teaching systems – they all made a huge difference to Nicola.”

Thank you for your dedication and effort as a BrightSparkz Tutor , Christie!

To get your amazing tutor, click here

Do I need a TUTOR or an AU PAIR?

What is the difference between a tutor and an au pair?

With the hectic pace of today’s life, many parents find that they need assistance with their children to some degree. You may find that there is too much day left at the end of your energy. It is easy to feel overwhelmed at the end of a busy day. Especially if this is when your children need attention or help with their schoolwork! You may not feel equipped to help with schoolwork, especially with children in high school. You have heard the words tutor and au pair, but aren’t sure which one would best suit your specific needs and schedule.

To help you decide, here is an overview of the main differences between a tutor and an au pair:

What is a Tutor?

A tutor is an individual who assists with specific academic support. Tutors are typically well educated, and usually studying at tertiary institutions. Tutors are also sometimes working individuals who enjoy sharing knowledge with younger learners in their spare time. At the very least, tutors would have successfully completed Grade 12 with great results.

Childcare tutor vs au pair

A tutor can also be described as follows:

  • A tutor should also be able to teach or convey information in a meaningful way. Just achieving brilliant academic results is not enough. They should have superior or expert knowledge in the subjects they tutor.  
  • A good tutor will also be easy to relate to, preferably with a calm and patient demeanour, especially if they are tutoring younger learners. They should have good communication skills and be easy to understand.
  • An understanding of learning styles and methods is beneficial to a tutor. This allows them to tutor different individuals in ways that are meaningful to them, and assist with study skills that a learner can relate to for the subject they tutor. BrightSparkz Tutors provides a learning styles assessment to all new clients. 
  • A tutor is a successful individual who has ambition and they often have drive and determination to achieve their goals. As such, they make good mentors to the learners they tutor, as they provide inspiration, motivation and encouragement.
  • Usually the tutor will come to your home at times suitable to you, so there is no driving around like you would when transporting your children to extra lessons. A private tutor will spend an hour or two of focused time with the learner where knowledge is passed over, and usually a tutoring relationship is one-on-one. The tutor will prepare lessons according to the school syllabus. Assisting the learner to achieve better academic results is their major focus.

How a tutor can help you:

  • If your children require assistance to improve their grades, and you do not need childcare services other than academic support, at home tutoring is a great option for you. BrightSparkz Tutors offers hand-picked tutors who have been screened and interviewed and are able to deliver a high-quality service to you. A specialist maths tutor, science tutor or Afrikaans tutor may be just what your child needs to move to the next level of academic achievement.
  • Perhaps your child has always struggled to learn Afrikaans? We offer an excellent Afrikaans Boot Camp which will teach your child in a fun way, and improve their confidence levels enormously!
  • Does your child have special needs or some barrier to learning? Do they qualify for a reader or scribe? We can help! We offer trained concessions facilitators as one of our services.

What is an Au Pair?

An au pair should be considered if you require childcare services other than academic support. The duties carried out by au pairs may differ widely depending on requirements. In general au pairs will transport children to and from school, arrange their lunch and / or snacks, supervise homework and help with projects. Au pairs may also transport children to and from extra mural activities. They may also care for children until their parents arrive home from work, and assist with bath and dinner routines.

Childcare au pair vs tutor

Some other relevant information pertaining to au pairs may include:

  • An au pair may tutor as well as supervise homework. Not all au pairs have tertiary education, or are academically inclined, so may not be equipped to fill the role of a tutor. (It is recommended to have subject-specific tutoring once or twice per week for academic improvement to occur).
  • Often an au pair may have too many other duties to perform to focus solely on academics. They may be busy with more than one child simultaneously. Au pairs often need childcare experience. This is not necessary for a tutor. 
  • You may need an au pair if:
    • Childcare duties are your primary concern
    • You need assistance with more than one child at the same time daily
    • Your child/children need supervision for several hours a day
    • Transport to and from extramural activities is one of your requirements.

Should you need someone to perform childcare duties in addition to delivering specialist, focused education services, you may wish to use the services of both an au pair and a tutor. If you’re still not sure if a tutor or an au pair would be the best fit for you, get in touch with us! One of our consultants will gladly assist.

If you would like to get your own amazing tutor, get in touch with us! BrightSparkz Tutors does not provide au pairs. 

Written by: Natalie Wilke, BrightSparkz Staff & Blog Writer

Tutor Of The Month: Tayla Booyse

Tayla Booyse Tutor of the Month

Tayla is our January 2018 Tutor of the Month!

Tayla matriculated from Brescia House in 2013 with outstanding results, including 4 distinctions. She is currently in her 4th year at Wits University, studying Speech Pathology and Audiology and will be doing her community service this year. Tayla has been tutoring for BrightSparkz since 2014 and is one of our trained Afrikaans Boot Camp tutors. She is a reliable, kind, patient and hard-working tutor who has a passion for helping others. She is always willing to help and enjoys going the extra mile for her learners and clients. Over the past year, she has worked with over ten clients (Afrikaans Boot Camp and tutoring clients) and has always received amazing and positive feedback for all her lessons. She is an exceptional tutor and we are so proud and thankful for having her as part of our team.

What some of Tayla’s clients have to say about her: “My son was positive after the session. Tayla seemed very patient with Cameron.”

Thank you for your passion and effort as a BrightSparkz Tutor and Afrikaans Boot Camp trainer, Tayla!

To get your amazing tutor, click here. To find out more about our Afrikaans Boot Camp, click here.