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Preschool ESL Curriculum Components with VIPKID

Preschool ESL Curriculum Components with VIPKID | ITTT | TEFL Blog

English language learners at the preschool level comprise a significant percentage of all online.

The number of ESL students is going to continue to increase in the coming years, and teachers who are interested in teaching ESL online/abroad need to be prepared to offer quality, age-appropriate English instruction. According to the data available, the early years English learning market in China is going to see considerable growth because the younger generation of parents have a high awareness of the benefits that English learning provides.

Similarly, parents across the world are recognizing the advantages of learning a foreign language at an early age because younger children acquire the new language effortlessly and implicitly. It is then important to know what preschool ESL teaching is all about. If you are an aspiring ESL teacher, the information in this article will help you understand the components of a preschool curriculum geared towards English language learners.

Close Look at VIPKID's Curriculum

Since VIPKID is one of the most recognized ESL companies, my focus will be on its preschool curriculum and how it adapts to the students' requirements and age level.

There are five essential components of an ESL preschool curriculum - phonemic awareness, phonics instruction, vocabulary development, reading fluency, and reading comprehension. The curriculum also needs to incorporate all four language skills - reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Preschool students will be at the pre-reading stage, and the teachers' main goal will be to prepare them for reading and writing in the English language.

VIPKID's curriculum has two levels, compatible with the high-quality academic standards in math and English language arts - Common Core Standards- used throughout the United States. Both levels consist of 12 thematic units, and the themes are very typical preschool topics commonly used in pre-K education.

Students start their learning adventure by learning the names of the 26 letters of the alphabet. Then, they begin learning individual phonics sounds and blending them together to form 3 letter words (pig, cat, hat).

There is a strong emphasis on gradually developing and strengthening speaking and listening skills, starting from the basic introduction ('My name is…'), to following one-step commands ('Draw a line from big B to small b'), to two-step commands ('Clap your hands and touch your nose').

According to the information in the VIPKID's curriculum pdf document available online, Unit 1 has the following teaching and learning objectives: learning 400 vocabulary words, 100 sentence patterns, 45 commands, 26 letters, 15 blends, and 16 sight words.

Level 1 VIPKID Curriculum Topics

As mentioned before, each of the two curriculum levels has 12 topics, and the topics correspond with the common preschool themes used in preschools. Here is a list of topics for teachers to know what to expect when they start teaching ESL to young learners.

Unit Topics1. Describing People and Things2. Family and Friends3. Body Parts and Clothing4. Five Senses5. Home and What's Inside6. Jobs in the Community7. Different Modes of Transportation8. Food and Food Groups9. Four Seasons and Weather Patterns10. Growth Stages of Plants, Animals, and People11. Comparing and Grading Size12. Differentiating Between Reality and Fiction

Level 2 VIPKID Curriculum Topics

In Level 2 of the VIPKID Curriculum, students are going to grow their language skills and progress from answering in single sentences to asking questions and answering in a compound, multiple sentences. They will build their reading skills through book discussions and story retelling. According to the VIPKID's objectives for Level 2, young learners will acquire 263 vocabulary words, learn 214 Sentence Patterns and 47 Phonics Sounds, as well as 36 Sight Words and 14 new grammar components/points.

Unit Topics* Animals* Western Holidays* Weather* Things in My Neighbourhood* Telling Time* Relative Location* Community/Travelling* Geography/Climates* Tools/Machines/Construction & Designing/Building* Giving/Receiving Directions* Solving a Problem/Putting the Steps to Use* World Travel: China/USA

ESL Curriculum Objectives and Teaching Preschool Students

It appears that the VIPKID curriculum puts a strong emphasis on literacy development, as well as integrating its preschool themes with other content areas, such as mathematics and science. Preschool curriculum should always offer opportunities for students to develop early literacy skills, and there is definitely a big focus on alphabet knowledge and phonological awareness/print awareness in this curriculum (phonics recognition and sight words!).

From blending sounds to form 3 letter words to reading English stories on their own, VIPKID provides English learners with opportunities to progress in their literacy skills. I really like how attractive and interest-oriented the preschool themes are and think that language learners would be motivated to delve into those themes while implicitly learning new vocabulary, grammar, and early literacy skills.


Summing up, parents around the world recognize the benefits of early English education. It is so beneficial for children to be exposed to a foreign language in their early years and for that exposure to be entertaining and motivating. My focus on the VIPKID curriculum reveals that the curriculum is child-friendly through its engaging themes and that it should be effective and productive thanks to adhering to the research-based standards in language arts, mathematics, and science. Such a thematic, literacy-centered approach is the essence of preschool teaching. Getting familiar with the components and typical themes of a preschool curriculum will prepare prospective ESL educators to adapt their teaching and make learning more age-appropriate and effective.

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