Chicago, IL (PRWEB) September 18, 2013
Countries where Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, and Russian are spoken produce 20% of the world's GDP and are crucial to US diplomatic interests. The US Government has declared these “critical need” languages – yet the majority of schools don't teach them. In fact, American children are the only children in the world who can graduate from high school with no foreign language skills whatsoever, despite the wealth of scientific evidence that says we learn languages best in childhood and adolescence. There is a gap between American skill sets and the demands of an increasingly global economy, and Cloudberry Language School aims to fill this gap for children by teaching Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, and Russian.
With the so-called BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) economies rapidly expanding (2013 was the first year in which emerging markets accounted for more than half the world's GDP ), it is crucial that talented, capable individuals attain proficiency in critical need languages if Americans want to stay competitive. Cloudberry is one of very few non-government affiliated schools in the nation specializing in critical need languages. "As far as I know, we're actually the first and only," says Kologrieva.
Cloudberry, which has branches in Chicago, IL and Colorado Springs, CO, is the brainchild of Ksenia Kologrieva, a recent immigrant who was educated at Russia's top Moscow State University, has taught languages for over ten years, and has a passion for the latest research in linguistics and teaching methodologies. The school was initially planned as a non-profit, but Kologrieva decided in favor of a for-profit model, citing sustainability concerns: “We didn't want to rely on donations in order to fulfill our mission,” she explains.
Under her leadership, Cloudberry teachers develop highly customized, face-to-face and online lessons based on the latest innovations in second language acquisition. “The world has changed,” says Kologrieva, “but education is still lagging behind. We need to admit that our children learn and should be taught differently. They are fast, technically savvy, and they know what they want.” Cloudberry's teaching strategy is based on blended learning, student-centered lessons, technology and the use of authentic materials. The approach, which uses role plays, games, and the latest technology to make the learning process effective and enjoyable, focuses on active language use: “Our adult and young students create, not just consume,” explains Kologrieva. “They speak instead of writing down rules.”
Students are enthusiastic about their results: “My progress under Ksenia's guidance has been remarkable,” says Jessica Hinds-Bond, a PhD student at Northwestern University. “I've definitely made greater strides in our weekly 1.5 hour sessions than I would have in a 3 hour/week traditional classroom setting.” Nicole Bussard, who studies Russian along with her kids in one of Cloudberry's family classes, can speak to the success of early foreign language education: “I am pleasantly surprised when my kids remember Russian words that I didn't even realize they had learned. They especially like learning through games and songs.”
Cloudberry currently offers 36 courses for all ages, from absolute beginners to travelers and advanced professionals, as well as in-house translation and interpretation services, making it a one-stop shop for corporate and government clients as well as a rich resource for Chicago-area families and children.
ABOUT CLOUDBERRY LANGUAGE SCHOOL
Cloudberry Language School is a new-generation language school founded in 2012. The school offers Russian, Arabic, and Mandarin Chinese classes in Chicago and Colorado Springs. Its mission is to create cross-cultural understanding and foster bilingualism. The school provides unique immersion opportunities for children and teens and works with corporate and government clients, training teams to conduct negotiations, build long-term relationships, and understand a different mindset. Cloudberry teachers, all native speakers, are eager to share their cultures and help uncover opportunities that are inaccessible to professionals who don't speak a foreign language. For more information, please visit http://www.cloudberrylanguageschool.com.
SOURCE: Cloudberry LLC