Rita Falter has been teaching English to children since 1997. She was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, and studied medicine at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, USA, University of Regensburg and Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany. She received the Staatsexamen in 1986. Rita joined Helen Doron in 1997, became a Teacher Trainer in 1999, and started a Helen Doron English Learning Centre in Karlsruhe in 1999. Rita has trained more than 1500 Helen Doron Teachers, to date.
“What brought me to Helen Doron English? It began when I gave birth and began to parent my twin daughters. I made the decision that it was in the best interests of my family that I stay at home and postpone practising medicine. The process of parenting and the values I chose were a foundation for my future career with Helen Doron. When the girls were aged 12, I found out about Helen Doron English from a newspaper and it was for me, a perfect fit. As I learned about Helen Doron and her methodologies, I realized that it mirrored the way I parented my children and nurtured my husband and family. The timing was excellent and the training to become a Helen Doron teacher gave me a chance to do what I strongly believed in.
I will begin with stating that the Helen Doron method is not a system, it is life changing. Helen Doron isn’t about just teaching English, although learning English is one of the outcomes; we give children a mind-set and a world view of success. The parents of my students confirm this. What we give children changes their world, it changes their parent’s world and it has also changed my own world. “
What makes the Helen Doron method of teaching so life changing?
“First, with Helen Doron English, Kids learn the way they were born to learn. They are curious, eager and want to learn with all their senses. It is a natural, effortless way of learning and the children will follow you to the ends of the earth when you teach this methodology. Children are UFO’s—Unlimited Flight Opportunities – mentally, physically, emotionally!
The beauty of the process is that children are taught a second language, but they are not merely taught words, they are taught in a way that enhances their analytical abilities. Words like ‘hot’, ‘cold’, ‘love’, ‘happy’, ‘sad’ are abstract concepts and are taught without translation; the child must analyse and understand the abstraction and this enhances his capacity to learn not just English, but supports all his learning.
Helen Doron English is truly our ‘Mercedes star of success’ in that teachers are trained to enable children to develop self-esteem. The whole process of learning reinforces for the child that ‘yes, he can!’ He is encouraged and nurtured and this support is, in so many ways, counter the traditional methods of teaching and even, of parenting! Well-developed self-esteem is truly the key to a child’s success in life. Because of my background and training, I am a believer in research to support and substantiate ideas. I was struck by the research of Robert W. Reasoner, resource consultant on self-esteem programmes & research who explains that parents and educators need to develop individuals with healthy or high self-esteem. This can be characterized by showing tolerance and respect for others, accepting responsibility for one’s actions, having integrity and taking pride in one’s accomplishments. The simple definition of self-esteem is, “The experience of being capable of meeting life’s challenges and being worthy of happiness.”
In other words, the mission of Helen Doron English methodology is to develop individuals who have healthy, authentic self-esteem because they trust their own being to be life affirming, constructive, responsible and trustworthy. Does this seem like a lofty goal? Well, in my 18 years working with hundreds of children and parents, I have seen this goal realized. I have seen the effects of developing a healthy self-esteem. Families, my own included, have experienced the joy and satisfaction that come from this way of being. We all need to be nurtured, like flowers. The praise is like sunshine and flowers grow in the direction that faces the sunshine. We let children learn the natural way. This is why the Helen Doron method is so effective.