4 Positive Ways to Motivate Students in the Kindergarten Classroom
How to motivate and keep the students interested in learning the English language?
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Richard B.
To teach at the Kindergarten level the teacher has to be mindful of keeping students' attention and maintaining order. It is important to have structure and routines. To ensure the students are comfortable, happy and engaged while learning and practicing English there needs to be a balance between patients and strictness. To keep their attention, it is good to enlist fun little games to help maintain order in the class. It is important to understand your students. At this level they have a short attention span so a detailed lesson plan is crucial. To make learning fun your plan should include activities that get them moving and participating in English.
Intrinsic motivation: is a drive that comes from within a person. People are intrinsically motivated when they enjoy doing an activity.
Extrinsic motivation: is a drive that comes from outside of a person. People are extrinsically motivated when they want to gain a reward (like a prize or a good grade) or avoid a punishment.
1. Make Class Communicative:
• When teaching the students about the Alphabet you can teach them the song to help them remember it. Like the Alphabet song, Nursery Rhymes you can even make one up. • Use seating to your advantage and ditch the traditional rows and columns. Arrange student desks to make larger tables to encourage communication among them.• Spell out words together as a class, this will help the weaker students as they are not trying alone, as they might not have the confidence when saying the word out loud by themselves.
Also read: 4 Things To Keep in Mind When Teaching EFL in a Kindergarten
2. Make Class Fun:
• Use games to keep the class interested. Try hangman, Charades, Telephone and Hot Potato. Keep the words short, as if it is too complicated you could lose the students interest. • Use pictures when spelling animals or numbers. This can help get the student to understand what the word means. And afterwards you can hang the pictures on the wall. • Use picture flashcard in a game situation. Examples Bingo or Slapcard.
Also read: What’s it Like Teaching EFL in a Kindergarten in Vietnam?
3. Forge Relationships:
Forming a Relationship with your students is important as you may be the only English language person they will speak to. Supporting your students is something you need to do before you can motivate them.
Also read: My Unforgettable Experience Teaching Kindergarten in the Middle East
4. Give Feedback:
• Give positive feedback, like compliments and encouragement, as well as positive criticism, this can help your students grow. When you have criticism to give it is better to deliver it along with some positive feedback.• Celebrate their achievements• Encourage peer feedback and self-evaluation.• A good way to motivate students to participate is to have a simple reward system with specific criteria to meet. This way all the students will have equal opportunity.
Also read: What is it Like Teaching EFL in a Kindergarten?
In summary, motivating students is a part of every teacher’s job. Extrinsic motivation, making things fun and positive are a great way for teachers to assist students. When we also encourage intrinsic motivation in the members of our classes, we set them up for success even after they leave our classrooms.
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