8 Ways to Develop the Speaking Abilities of Kindergarten Students
A teaching job abroad is another level of everyday challenge but is a fulfilling one. With my teaching experiences, I started crafting my own ways on how to develop the English-speaking skills kindergarten level students, especially the non-native speakers.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Ruffy M. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
1. Have a routine
Routine is one of the most vital things a kindergarten teacher should keep in mind while teaching kindergarten learners. A well-established routine helps the learners follow instructions effortlessly and remember the things you taught easily, such as instructions and songs.
2. Be as animated as you can
Being lively in class adds up to the interest of the children in going to school every day. Going to class every day is also a very big factor in learning something in English because if a student comes to school every day, s/he can practice his/her English-speaking skills as well. Being a dynamic teacher in class is also inviting students to be an active speaker as well.
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3. Provide various related and meaningful materials
Offering different resources that kindles the interests and curiosity of the children will definitely contribute to their language building. Example of these materials is common pictures of things around them, realia, toys, and even the posters we stick on the walls inside the classrooms.
4. Books and stories
Having big books in the class will also be helpful for them in learning the English language. From time to time, the teacher must engage the learners into a big circle and conduct a story reading or a storytelling activity. The teacher can ask them open-ended questions or verbal gap-fills about the story or pictures and encourage them to ask a question. If students ask questions, the teachers should always attend and respond to them to encourage more questions on the next activities.
5. Play with them
Playing is one of the best ways to communicate with students. As an EFL teacher to kindergarten students, play is the common language to everyone in the classroom at first. Starting from there, a teacher can build a connection with them and can start teaching them simple English words that will be of great use in the activities. Singing English children songs will be very fun and evocative to students since the rhythms and lyrics of the songs are catchy and easy to remember. (In this also, a teacher can insert teaching the correct sounds of letters and/or words so that pronunciation will be better.) The songs taught to them will mark in their minds and will even sing those wherever or whenever they want.
6. Do not exhaust them
Teaching in a kindergarten classroom requires energy and hype. Having breaks in between will be great for them. If kids are too tired of the activities, the tendency is that they might start being rowdy. If this happens, classroom management is affected. To counter this event, give or insert a nap time for the kids in the daily class routine. Five to fifteen minutes break between heavy activities will be more accommodating.
7. Expose them more
Having field trips are also arousing activities. Exposing the children to the surroundings will make them more curious making them ask a question. In this way, a teacher can have the opportunity to communicate with the students. A field trip can happen even around the school campus, such as a garden, the canteen, the waiting area, or even in the playground. A field trip can also be outside the school campus, like parks, market, city library, or a museum – but going out is not necessary. As long as they are exposed and they are encouraged to ask and talk to each other and to the teacher, it is good.
8. Assess them
Assessing kindergarten is not like assessing high school students. There are different ways of assessing these learners. Instead of graded report cards, a teacher can have performance tasks for students. These performance tasks will surely help the teacher identify the strengths and weaknesses of the students. One of the well-known activities to assess the speaking skills of the kindergarten students is the SHOW AND TELL, where they bring something of their own interest in the class and share something about it in front of the teacher and their classmates or sometimes even their parents. The results will then be written, or so-called anecdotal records. The results will then be analyzed by the teacher and if there is something that is needed to be improved in the speaking skills of the students, an intervention might be done then.
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Kindergarten is the most crucial part of learning since it is the foundation years. This stage will be of great impact to learner’s success later in life. If we teach them properly and invite them to be active learners, results will be great in the future.
In a similar manner, teaching the non-native speakers in the kindergarten level is not an easy task but it will be surely fulfilling. As teachers, the passion for molding children to be better should always be the reason for teaching them.
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