Written by Laura Plunkett
I believe that kids learn best while they are having fun and the kids at Maya Universe Academy definitely seemed to have a lot of fun learning English while practicing yoga at the same time. In the classes, a mix of storytelling, songs, games and yoga poses are used.
Yoga is a fun way that children can develop skills in a supportive, non-competitive environment. The nurturing atmosphere encourages children to relax and have fun while they develop strength, coordination, flexibility, and balance. It also helps children to develop body awareness, better focus, concentration, and self-confidence.
Every day a different story is told in English and as the story is told the kids listen and copy the related yoga poses for that part of the story. Each story is chosen depending on the student’s level of English and are usually well-known Children’s Stories that are popular in both the UK and America.
The children get to practice their English listening skills, get exposed to new vocabulary, which they are quick to understand and remember as they follow the story and through the yoga games they get to practice their oral English. They are also encouraged to join in the story, repeating lines that they know, guessing the next part of the story and adding in their own parts.
At the end of the second week, I got the students at Maya to retell one of the stories that they had heard. Gathered in a circle they took it in turns to retell the next line of the story while demonstrating the related yoga pose. They were fantastic and remembered the story and poses extremely well and needed very little help from me.
From learning English in this way the children get to practice different English skills while exercising, learning new skills and having fun and it also leaves them feeling relaxed and better focused. I really believe that this is an excellent class for children and am very thankful that I got the chance to share this with the fantastic students at Maya Universe Academy.
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