Interview with Mirko Bindi – father of Carlotta, age 6, Jump with Joey student, Montevarchi, Tuscany, Italy
Mirko, an engineer in the field of marketing, and his wife Benedetta, who is a gynecologist, live in the verdant hills of Tuscany. Determined to equip their children with fluent English, they send their now, 6-year-old daughter Carlotta, to the local Helen Doron English Centre and plan to enrol Gerardo, 2 ½, in next season’s Fun with Flupe (beginner) class. Excited that he has already learned a lot of words and songs from his big sister, he is eager to attend.
Carlotta is in her third year of Helen Doron English, having started off with Fun with Flupe, graduating from More Fun with Flupe, and now learning with the Jump with Joey series. Mirko reports that he and his wife really enjoy learning along with her and appreciate the opportunity to watch the creative and whimsical DVDs at home as a family, “One of the reasons we chose Helen Doron English is that the approach and the methodology are unique. Once we saw the materials and observed a class, it was an easy decision to make. After 3 years, I am happy to report it was a very good choice.”
Mirko was especially enthusiastic about Carlotta’s Helen Doron English teacher, “We especially love the teacher who is teaching her class. Iris is a Dutch woman with the accent of a native-English speaker, and I love that my daughter is speaking with an authentic accent. All of the competition in the area where we live have only Italian teachers, and one of the key assets of the programme is her correct pronunciation.”
Mirko went on to express why it is so important for children in Italy to have a high level of English. “We are living in a global world and everything is based on English, including books, career opportunities, traveling, and internet…really everything. My wife and I feel that knowing good English is a fundamental asset. I started learning English only in high school and I speak with a heavy accent. My children are starting young and will have the advantage of having a much better command of the language. Children in Italian schools start learning English at age 6, but only one hour a week. It is very basic and Carlotta is of course, way ahead of her classmates in English.”
“It is amazing to us how well Carlotta speaks, especially her perfect use of pronouns in English, which can be confusing to people who learn the language later in life, “Mirko continued, “I am so proud of her and the way she speaks English. She learns unusual animals and odd types of fruit…I am even learning words from her. I am very impressed! She is learning so easily and naturally, even proper grammar.”
The proud father reflected on how Helen Doron programmes are different from other English classes in Tuscany. “It is a very modern approach and very child-oriented. Carlotta has a lot of fun in her class, and she really enjoys the DVDs and interactive apps on the iPod at home with us.”
Mirko’s message to parents thinking about sending their children to Helen Doron: “If you are looking for an English class specifically tailored to each age group, with a unique and effective methodology and well-trained teachers, sign your children up for Helen Doron English classes. You won’t be sorry!”