The Basic Principles of the Suzuki Method Using the Mother Tongue Approach
All parents know that their child can learn their native language. This ability to master their mother tongue allows parents to nurture and encourage their children with confidence and infinite affection. They realize that this is not an acquired knowledge but an ability inborn in all human beings.
Learning begins the day a child is born.
A child who is raised from a very young age with love and attention will develop more successfully than a child whose education beings at the traditional “school age”. Parents are experts in their own language and feel comfortable teaching their mother tongue to their children. Such an accomplished teacher fosters only the highest ability in their students.
One of the most fully developed abilities of human beings is intuition, without it we could not learn our mother tongue so successfully. A mother speaks kindly to her child from the first day. Her smile and warmth in conjunction with her spoken words develops the child’s language ability. If a child was spoken to without the love and warmth but with hard, written letters instead, would the child be able to learn to speak his mother tongue ? This is why there is no textbook required for a child to learn his native language.
Never force children to practice or rehearse.
Parents never get angry with their children when they are not able to speak fluently. In this positive environment, children can develop without inhibition. A language has never been learned through the use of the command “study hard”. Is this not an ideal state of education ? Given a nurturing environment, children will develop their own language ability. Children enjoy speaking and will practice everyday amongst themselves. Through play with older children, the younger ones expand their vocabulary and are encouraged to develop their abilities.
Human ability develops through practice and exercise.
Repetition and rehearsal every day prepares a child to move on to the next level of ability. Through repetition a child gradually becomes an expert in his mother tongue.
Why is it necessary to practice every day ?
Memory is patterned and developed every day through constant repetition and positive reinforcement. Through observing the process in which children master their mother tongue, we see the necessity of repetition. A one year old child can speak only a few words but in only a few short years the same child can use his mother tongue fluently. It is an amazing amount of progress in a short period of time. Education, which does not bring about such success is a failure.
Children need to feel confident in their abilities and thoroughly master what they are learning.
This is the most important thing to keep students from giving up. At first, they learn a simple skill carefully and repeat it again and again. Only after they have learned it thoroughly and been able to perform it enough for them to move on to the next step, will a child feel it now“easy”. The mother tongue approach can be used in other studies. Music is just one of the many fields that can benefit from the use of talent education. The concert performed by children is an example of how the approach can be used in music.