The Kumon English Programme

The Kumon English Programme

With the Kumon English programme, children develop a love of reading in English and a high level of reading comprehension. They also strengthen their listening skills, acquire good pronunciation and learn to spell correctly.

Unlike conventional English tutoring, children can start learning English from age two onwards. As with learning their native language, the children hear the spoken language (from an audio device), repeat what they hear and recognise accompanying illustrations. In this way they naturally learn to understand what they are hearing.

From there we move on to learning to read and write. Children gain a deeper understanding of the sentence structures before they learn the grammar. At the more advanced programme levels, the focus is then on reading more sophisticated original texts. Unlike conventional English tutoring, our goal is for your child to enjoy reading these texts, even if their level is higher than the subject matter currently taught at school. This widens their horizon and develops the joy of reading.

We offer a test, free of charge, to determine the optimal level for your child to join our programme. Whether you are interested in early learning or English tutoring: step by step your child can develop English skills at their own pace, far beyond the school material and private English lessons.

My Child is...

The Kumon English Programme aims to develop each student's ability to read and understand a variety of texts, and to nurture a life-long habit of reading for education and enjoyment

The English programme progresses from basic word and sentence building and culminates in critiquing advanced texts

Each student starts at their own, individually set, starting point which will be established during their free assessment

I want to help my child to...

The Kumon English programme helps children to enhance their ability to concentrate. The speed of the CD sets the rhythm and keeps the student interested. The sounds that accompany the content help focus a child’s attention. Focused acknowledgement by the Kumon Instructor also strengthens the ability to concentrate. Slowly, the child learns to stay focused on a task for an extended period.
At Kumon, each student works at a level that best corresponds to their abilities and from which they can achieve daily progress. The Kumon Instructor ensures that your child is aware of these daily achievements, even if they are small. From daily success stories — “I’ve made it!”, “I can do something new!” — the student gains more and more self-confidence. Combined with the guidance of the Kumon Instructor, the programme offers a positive learning experience, which enables your child to be successful in learning English — or learning in general — and not require any extra private tutoring in English.

Experience shows that English language graduates read English-language books according to their preferences. The goal is for students to become responsible adults who can tap into a variety of sources of information in English and always broaden their horizons.
With the Kumon English programme, we first develop solid learning skills that make learning enjoyable. By listening daily to a CD and looking at the accompanying picture book, your child learns to connect sounds with illustrations and later with words and sentences. They then learn to confidently read and write in English.

With Kumon, you ensure that your child’s first learning experiences with the English language are positive, and that they will acquire valuable skills, such as concentration, problem solving abilities and perseverance, which they will need to advance further.

Not only is our programme designed to teach a very positive attitude to learning, but it also helps children to build the foundation which they need to progress to a comparatively advanced level (of learning).

The Kumon Instructor first observes how your child handles listening to the audio device and how they respond to small cues. This way, the Kumon Instructor knows how to motivate your child to start learning English and how to move forward.

Through English songs that awaken curiosity, your child hears words and sentences on a CD and repeats these. This is how listening skills are developed when learning English. Illustrated accompanying books ensure understanding. In this way, your child gains their first vocabulary and internalises sentence structures naturally, as they would learning their native language.

Printed hints and symbols encourage the children to work attentively and carefully. So, when learning English, they develop concentration skills and widen their attention span, as well as gain proper learning skills, which will be beneficial for them in school and other areas of life.

In the further course of our learning programme, your child learns to read and write and acquires grammar skills through compact, purposefully designed learning stages. They listen to the texts on CD first and expand their comprehension by increasingly demanding reading materials. Right from the start, and often accompanied by questions about the texts, they learn autonomously to approach an exercise and competently decipher text.

At each level of the English programme, students further develop their skills gained at previous stages. In this way they build a solid understanding.

I want to help my child to...

By studying with the Kumon English programme, your child develops listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. First the basics are taught, which the children need for reading and understanding complex texts. We assess at which level of the programme your child should work, to open the possibility to enhance their basic skills and to gain self-confidence, prior to moving towards more advanced and more challenging levels.

The students gain confidence in their own abilities and they realise that they can go further than ever before.
With the Kumon English programme, your child can quickly enjoy their first learning successes, for example, that they have learned new words or can read more fluently today than yesterday.

The further a student progresses in the Kumon English programme, the more scope and level of difficulty of texts they can read and understand, which leads to enjoyment and self-confidence!

Besides enjoying their own growing skills, the children will often feel enriched by reading higher level literature.

The Kumon English programme generally awakens the joy of reading. Your child will dare to tackle more and more English texts and will no longer feel intimidated by them. Many of our graduates tell us that they continue to enjoy reading books in English after graduation.
Kumon is more than English extra tutoring: The method allows students to work according to their abilities, without being restricted by age or school year – just as in sports and music.

Anyone who masters a topic so well that it becomes easy, moves on to the next one. In this way, students can advance above and beyond school level, and there is no limitation for independently working on unknown content. They go far beyond what conventional English tutoring is all about.

In the first interview, the current abilities of each student are assessed, and on this basis — regardless of age — a starting level is determined at which your child can start learning English in a motivated manner.

Each day the child works with a CD, where they repeat what they hear, and look at a companion book to enhance understanding. By way of intensive daily contact with the language — often called a “language bath” — the child internalises the vocabulary and sentence structures in a natural way, just like when learning their native language, and developing a feel for it. Printed hints and symbols (the “teacher” in the material) encourage the child to work attentively and carefully. So, they develop their concentration and attention span, as well as good study habits, which will benefit them in school and in life.

Then your child will learn grammar, which is offered in a compact format. Later, your child turns to reading texts that gradually increase in length and become more challenging.

At the most advanced level of the programme, your child reads original English texts. They continue to listen daily to CDs, and thereby continuously enhance their listening and reading comprehension. Guided by questions, they acquire textual competence: they learn to extract information from a text and to competently develop an understanding of it.

At each stage of the English programme, students continue to enhance their skills gained at previous learning stages and so develop a solid understanding.

I want to help my child to...

The focus of the Kumon English programme is on comprehension of advanced reading materials and on effective verbal and written communication in English.

However, your child does not only learn English: The Kumon method also imparts general strengths, such as concentration, perseverance, careful attention and the ability for self-assessment and correcting their own mistakes. The daily English practice thus also contributes generally to a good learning and work attitude, which benefits your child in school and professional life.
The Kumon English programme enables students to improve their English skills, as well as further develop basic learning abilities in every aspect:

Your child repeats daily after the CD and improves their pronunciation. They write daily (from Level 4A onwards) and get used to spelling correctly. At all levels (from 4A onwards) they read daily English language words and text and train their reading comprehension.

The Kumon Instructor points out the smallest achievements, so that the child becomes more and more aware of their own progress. These might be a more fluent expression, an improved memorization, a longer concentration span, greater autonomy or more confidence and enjoyment of challenges.
Through the Kumon English programme students can learn well above and beyond their school curriculum. It is important to us that they do this autonomously and joyfully!

The Kumon Instructor does not teach but inspires discovering the “teacher” in the material, until it becomes a habit. They praise a child for trying themselves, even if the result is initially not quite correct.

Autonomous learning is one of the most important elements of the Kumon Method.

The Kumon English programme helps students develop a positive attitude to learning English and master the language. They also learn to pay close attention, to get an overview, to extract information and to work in a structured manner.

Through daily contact with the language (listening, repeating, reading, writing) your child will quickly improve their English skills.

In the first interview, the Kumon Instructor assesses at what level your child joins the programme. Unlike conventional English tutoring, the starting point is where your child can work with ease. In this way, the child can develop momentum and gain the self-confidence that they need to progress further.

At each stage of the English programme, students continue to enhance their skills gained at previous learning stages and so develop a solid understanding and strengthen their ability to learn independently.

What’s covered in the Kumon English Programme

Click on the topic blocks below to learn about what the Kumon English Programme covers

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The Kumon English programme starts at levels 7A, 6A and 5A.

At levels 7A, 6A and 5A, students learning English listen to words and practise repeating them and saying them out loud. The pace set by the CD helps them to concentrate and to develop a proper work rhythm.

At level 7A, students first hear individual words. When the word “dog” is played, the barking of a dog is audible in the background on the CD; when the word “truck” is played, the humming of a motor becomes audible in the background. In this way the first encounter with the English language is as natural as the learning of the native language. This maintains the joy of learning and inspires curiosity.

At level 6A, the first numbers, colours and other adjectives are added.

At level 5A, students will hear complete sentences and repeat these. In selected exercises, when listening, they must point out the corresponding picture, which will help to reinforce listening comprehension.

Experience shows that, through daily intense practise with the CD, children at a beginner level develop a clear and correct pronunciation.

Reading and Writing

At levels 4A, 3A, 2A young children learn to read and write and to develop a careful way of working, whilst older students gain confidence in spelling and pronunciation.

The students at level 4A predominantly trace words. At level 3A they write these words and practise them, and at level 2A they independently write complete sentences. They develop initial abilities to correct themselves. At all three levels, they practise their English reading comprehension by connecting words and illustrations by way of drawing lines between them.

The sequence in which the separate consonants, vowels and sound combinations are introduced is coordinated in such a way that allows the students to internalise subtle differences in spelling and pronunciation — they are engaging all their senses. They continue to listen daily to two tracks on the CD, repeat these and read their writing exercises out loud.

First Daily Communication

At levels A, B and C, the students practice simple phrases and expressions of the English language, as they are used in daily life, for example, to express wishes or make suggestions. Based on information given, they write sentences and complete dialogues. When learning English, this trains the ability to remember and improves attention, carefulness and the ability to learn by example.

The students build up a solid vocabulary and can look forward to an increased ability to express themselves in a foreign language.

Sentence structures, which will be a topic at more advanced levels, will already be imprinted in memory whilst learning English now, through intense use of the material, namely the daily immersion in the “language bath”: listening a lot, repeating what is heard, writing and reading out loud. Thus, the foreign language becomes second nature.

Sentence Structure

The emphasis at levels D, E and F is sentence structure.

Using a modular principle, students enhance their ability to frame sentences themselves. As the writing workload increases, students train their stamina when learning English. At level E, the past tense is introduced, and at level F, the children learn nuanced expressions by way of the introduction of modal verbs such as “can”, “may” and “should”.

Learning continues to be intuitive, with students imitating examples, listening a lot and repeating what they hear with longer dialogues. With this they develop a good foundation for speaking freely.

To answer questions about the short stories they read, the students train their memory skills and learn to search for specific text passages. Whilst learning English, they develop into competent readers, but also strengthen their ability to pay attention to detail and to work carefully.


At these levels, grammar is systematically presented and consolidated. Explanations and tabular overviews accompany the English learning exercises and make the students aware of the grammatical rules. Many of these rules the students have already practiced intuitively at earlier levels, others will be new (e.g. ‘Past Progressive’ at level G; ‘Passive’, ‘Present Perfect’ and ‘Past Perfect’ at level H; ‘Relative Clauses’, ‘Type 2 Conditional’ and ‘Indirect Speech’ at level I).

In order to internalise the grammatical structure effectively when practicing English, the students at this level again listen to two CD tracks daily, repeat what they hear and read their exercise sets out loud whilst completing these.

World famous reading texts (such as Alice in Wonderland, Gulliver’s Travels, Peter Pan) are summarised in the course of a set. In this way, whilst learning English, children learn how to reduce a text to its crucial information and learn how to focus on the essential points.

General Reading Comprehension

Once the students have acquired a solid vocabulary and the most important grammar skills, they will, when practicing English from Level J onwards, further develop their reading comprehension. Hereby they continue to intensively focus on specific grammatical elements (such as ‘Type 2 Conditional’ and ‘Indirect Speech’).

The reading texts at levels J, K and L contain content from world literature such as Pinocchio, Treasure Island, Oliver Twist. However, the students also read factual texts from a diverse range of topics.

By answering questions about the content, students, when practicing English, study texts in-depth. They work in a structured manner that enables them to extract information from texts, to focus on crucial information, and to answer questions precisely and meaningfully. The students internalise the structures, by also listening daily to the same reading texts on CD.

Reading Comprehension of Original Texts

The three most advanced stages of the programme (M, N, O) contain mainly extracts from original texts of literature by renowned authors, such as, Anna Sewell, (Black Beauty), Roald Dahl (Matilda), Richard Adams (Watership Down), Helen Keller (The Story of My Life), F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).

At these levels, too, questions about the content will lead students to intensively analyse texts and grow their comprehension of content and text structures while practising English.

Thus, the students enhance their reading comprehension and practise occasionally to extrapolate the meaning of an expression from context. The programme concludes with an extract from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.

But the contact with the language does not have to end here: experience shows that Kumon graduates have lost any fear of reading English texts and from now on they read in English whatever they fancy or need.

How does Kumon work?

Kumon students complete daily Kumon study at home and attend their study centre twice a week. The time taken to complete a day’s work may be around 30 minutes per subject, although this study time can vary.

When visiting the study centre, students complete their day’s worksheets and are observed and guided by the Instructor and a team of Assistants. Time spent at the study centre allows the Instructor to support your child in their studies and ensure that they are progressing well. Whilst at the study centre, students hand in work that has been completed and marked at home, as well as collecting work for the following days until their next study centre visit.

30 minutes at Kumon

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