How We Learn

Here you will become acquainted with how we learn at LanguageBird to prepare you for your cultural and linguistic journey.

Teaching Philosophy

LanguageBird offers personalized, one-to-one, textbook-free, student-centered courses, based on the communicative approach and project-based learning.

To promote a more authentic, real-world use of language, students are taught one-to-one with a focus on learning and using language in context. This approach ensures that students are doing more than memorizing and repeating content; it ensures that students are presented with a variety of opportunities to engage in communicative tasks and gain confidence in the language and culture they are acquiring.

The goal at the end of each course is for the student to progress in their communicative and intercultural communicative competence by using the language effectively, appropriately, and authentically across varied situations. This progress is reflected in lesson notes that the instructor sends to parents and students by the end of the course.

LanguageBird’s standards are aligned with 21st century learning skills, NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements and the World Readiness Standards’ five “C” goal areas (Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities) which stress the application of learning languages beyond instructional settings.

Tailored One-to-One Instruction

What does “tailored one-to-one” mean? LanguageBird’s instructors design lessons to accommodate the student’s interests, learning style, and teach at a pace that is comfortable yet challenges them. There is no better or faster way to learn than with private lessons with a native-level, expert instructor.

We encourage parents and students to communicate specific learning goals, learning style preferences, and topic preferences with the instructor. The best time to map out expectations is during the first lesson.

Textbook-free Curriculum

Having a textbook-free curriculum allows students to progress through materials at a rate that best fits their needs and allows the instructor to adjust materials to each student’s learning style. In place of textbooks, students are taught using customized materials created by the instructor, open-source materials found on the internet, and digital tools.

LanguageBird’s courses place emphasis on communication by focusing on the context and purpose of communication and including tasks based on the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication while tailoring to the students’ needs and interests.

For high school and middle courses, a syllabus with objectives and Can-Do Statements is used to guide student learning and help set goals for what students should master by the end of a level. These statements describe real world applications of language showing what learners can/should be able to do at each level and are used as a self-assessment tool.

Project-Based Learning

(High school and middle school courses only)

Students are assessed through Project-Based Learning. Students and their instructor collaborate to design a project where students demonstrate what they have learned during their course. We do not teach to a test nor do we administer timed tests.

Students work throughout the course on a project of their choice to present at the end of the semester. Students are encouraged to pursue a project that focuses not only on their new language abilities, but also their individual interests.

Whether they want to host a late-night talk show or sing a song in a new language, we motivate our students to challenge themselves and get creative.

View some LanguageBird student projects!

Homework, Grades and Assessment

(High school and middle school courses only)

During the first lesson, the instructor conducts an assessment to help determine the correct course placement. If it is recommended that a student be moved up or down a level, or could benefit from additional tutoring or mastery lessons, the family will notified via email by LanguageBird’s Academic Team.

Students are assigned meaningful homework after every lesson that is authentic, based on real-life and oriented towards the development of each student’s project. Homework assignments can take from 1 to 3 hours per live session. Tasks and class assignments are unique and customized for each student taking into consideration many variables to ensure language acquisition.

At the end of each lesson, students receive letter grades for participation, homework and their use of language. These daily grades can be found in the Lesson Notes and Grades document which inform parents and students of the objectives covered in the lesson, homework assignments, assessment rubrics and criteria, and grades.

Final semester grades in the course is based on participation (~20%), homework (~20%), a culminating semester project (~30%), and the overall mastery of the objectives taught in the course (~30%). Instruction is differentiated based on student skill level and learning style; however, all students are required to master the objectives of the course.

Lesson Notes and homework assignments can be found in the student’s MicrosoftTM Class Team and are accessible to instructors, students, parents and LanguageBird administration. Lessons are also recorded and accessible in the student’s Class Team. Parents will be sent a copy of the student’s grades within 5 business days of completing their course. Grade reports are also be uploaded to the student’s MicrosoftTM Teams. This is a written summary evaluation of the student’s course.

Specific questions related to the student’s in-class performance and progress can be answered by the instructor via their LanguageBird email.

Classroom Expectations

There are basic Classroom Expectations of all LanguageBird students.

Technology and Setting:

  • Working computer, camera, and microphone. Chromebooks, tablets, iPads, and phones may not be used for classes.
  • Internet speed that supports video chat for entire duration of class sessions
  • Microsoft Teams downloaded and tested before class begins.
  • Video camera and audio on at all times.
  • An appropriate, well-lit, location to attend each lesson- at a table or desk in a quiet, private setting.

Attitude and Preparation:

  • Be respectful of the instructor and the learning space by being attentive, engaged, and willing to use new modes of communication and learning.
  • Use time wisely, be organized and self-directed, and complete all homework assignments and projects on time.
  • Put in the needed time outside of class for self-study to progress in language learning (1-3 hours for every lesson).
  • Only communicate with instructors using appropriate LanguageBird platforms of Microsoft Outlook and Teams.
  • Inform the instructor at least 24 hours in advance in case of cancelations or re-scheduling.
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