Last week, we paid a visit to Jazzy Preschool, a small private school open since the end of 2012. We are greeted by the owner Jazzy, a cheery woman whose Chinese name is Zhimin Huang. As I’m given the grand tour of the surprisingly spacious apartment that has been renovated into a bright, cozy, and welcoming space for little ones, Huang schools me on Jazzy Preschool’s philosophies.
What makes Jazzy Preschool different is its emphasis on exposure to not two, but three languages from a very young age. Jazzy students are between the ages of 1-3 years old and being such young learners, the school does not conduct formal language lessons instead opting for a combination of music, dance, and Total Physical Response methods (TPR) to language learning. Organized and informal play as well as daily reading circles in each language are incorporated into detailed lesson plans throughout the day.
The small female teaching staff consists of three teachers, each representing their respective languages of English, French, and Mandarin. All teachers have a background in childhood education and experience in the field. “Everything we do is for education,” Huang explains. “Learning three languages is great, however it’s not the primary objective.”
Huang holds that after three months, many children are able to understand a lot of direction in second and third languages and many children can actually speak a few words in the other languages themselves. That being said, Huang is adamant that there’s more to her school than language learning. As a mom to two young children, she recognizes the necessity for kids to learn how to live responsibly with other kids and learn how to do simple things for themselves through repetition and positive encouragement from their teachers. “The kids want to learn to speak because they play with and stay with their teachers often all day and they are the ones taking care of them,” she says.
An ayi cooks all the food in house, serving up vegetarian meals and a diet very low in sugar. With approximately 30 students coming from about 10 different countries (and approximately 20 students present per day), Huang feels that Jazzy Preschool is a environment suitable for anyone who wants their child to be exposed to a more intimate and new approach to education and daycare.
For more information about Jazzy Preschool please email firstname.lastname@example.org