Aspects to Consider When Teaching EFL in a Kindergarten
For many kindergarten students, their English classes are likely the first time being introduced to and interacting with a native speaker. As such, the experience that the children have in the class can have a huge impact on their future outlook of learning English. It will be my job as a teacher to make the class fun and engaging so that the kids associate English with fun. The importance of the formative years in learning means that there are several aspects to consider when approaching English teaching in a kindergarten, many of which I picked up throughout the course.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Eleanor R. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Firstly, building a rapport with young students is key to getting them to feel comfortable with a new teacher. This can be tricky as some students may not have seen a foreigner before. To do this it will be important for my first introduction to the kids to involve me being silly and showing my personality. Ice breakers mentioned within the course like rolling a ball to students and asking for names will relax the children as they can do a fun activity while we are introduced to one another.
Lesson planning and structure is also key for kindergarten students. Being unprepared when entering a lesson will lead to an unfulfilling lesson and be boring for the students and stressful for the teacher. Due to the basic nature of the language being taught, I will stick to the straight arrow lesson plan that was explored in the course. This plan will allow me to introduce topics to the students in a way that won’t confuse the students. Also, it is more likely to fit within the timeframe of the lessons for kindergarten students, which are usually shorter than lessons for older learners. My straight arrow lessons will begin with a warm-up which will involve total physical response tactics to get the students having fun, for example telling the students to do an action like ‘jump’.
The activate stage will include me asking questions that they already know the answer to so they can gain confidence from understanding. The study phase will focus on introducing the target language, for example, vocabulary. I can do this by using methods like a ‘magic folder’ from which the students must conjure the new words. This includes the students in the process of new words and keeps them engaged. To enforce the new vocabulary I will use a variety of games in the activate stage. For example, games when the students have to jump into a hoop with the specific vocabulary or an ‘i do, you say’ type activity. To wrap up the class I will make sure to reinforce the new learning with review and praise to the children. Finally, I will close the class with a song so they go out on a high note.
Also Read: The Components of an Effective Lesson Plan
My use of course materials will likely be limited as it is best to keep young students engaged with physical activity as opposed to worksheets that can be used with older learners. However, I will ensure to build a strong relationship with my co-teachers who will provide invaluable support and guidance on the children. By working to have a good relationship with my co-teacher we will be able to help one another in the learning process and I can learn from them. I will take time to learn how they structure the class to not confuse when coming in as a new teacher.
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Overall, I will endeavor to be a fun and creative teacher by continuing to learn from online resources and my fellow ESL teachers. I will use the resources provided by the ITTT course and hope to become a great teacher.
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