English as a Foreign Language in Kindergarten
2019-05-20 Elizaveta Pachina Alumni Experiences Teaching Ideas
Learning English as a foreign language in preschools have become an increasing trend in many different countries across the world. Parents are willing to invest money for the kids to start learning English at a tender age as their ability to grasp the language will be easier.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Diana N.
Is it necessary for children?
There are various ways of transferring knowledge based on fun EFL activities. Various techniques and numerous tools are the main methods of imparting knowledge the children. It has been scientifically proven that children at the ages of 3-6 have a strong potential to acquire new information, especially when English is made interesting.
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There are various ways of making English interesting. The internet provides us with an infinite number of games, songs, rhymes, and other EFL activities. Children are usually divided into two groups depending on the age group. Teaching EFL in the younger age group should be action-based, playing games, singing, and dancing. Ages of 5-6, children are taught the methodology way like storytelling, role play, and dramatization techniques.
The teacher’s creativity is most visible and most important. Children like to see all different kinds of visuals, posters, flashcards, pictures, videos, picture books, numbers and picture dictionaries. It is best to combine hand-made materials. Children like to be engaged in practical, fun activities and exercises, participating in making things like Christmas postcards, Christmas decorations or their cultural festivals.
The teacher should bear in mind that children take a lot of time to make things, therefore it is more appropriate for seasonal, festivity and birthday themes. Teachers should encourage her students to speak English when they are talking in their mother tongue.
When the teacher is teaching new vocabulary, it is advisable to show pictures, flashcards or other visuals. Talking about the given topics (try to use English as much as possible) and the children are learning by listening. English songs and nursery rhymes for preschoolers should be included in almost every theme.
Consider short attention spans
Small kids will stay interested as long as the teacher succeeds in making the lesson funny, understandable and captivating. Vocabulary words should be repeated several times. Speaking to kids with a gentle voice is also important as the children will be able to approach the teacher without having fear.
The teacher can practice saying hello and goodbye by knocking on wood or the classroom door just to get the attention of the children. When saying goodbye, the teacher can wave her hands and get the children to do the same. The teacher's involvement in each activity is essential.
Children normally love animals and will be fascinated if the teacher cuts out pictures of animals and get the children to name the animals. It is advisable for the teacher to repeat the name of the animal several times.
Introducing fruits and vegetables by flashcards with the names of the vegetable and fruits written on the flashcards. Make the flashcards colorful as children are attracted to colorful pictures. Once in a while, the teacher can bring real fruits and vegetables for the students to taste. The children will be exposed to various fruits and vegetables.
Having outdoor and indoor activities is important as children like changes. Having a bean bag activity where various colored beans bags are placed in a container and the children have to match the various colors to various colored buckets. It is advisable to group the children into three groups. Example naming each group as Apple group, Orange group, and Pear group.
Also Read: How I learned Basic Teaching Skills in China
Are you ready to teach EFL to kindergarten level?
At the end of the day, teachers should enquire from the children’s parents how the child is responding to the various activities. Are the children happy? Do the children prefer other activities? Getting feedback helps the teacher to improve the lessons being taught.
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