Top Tips to Teach Receptive and Productive Skills in a Kindergarten
2019-05-01 Linda Dunsmore Alumni Experiences
Over the years, globalization and living in a global village have had a major effect on various aspects of modern people, like commerce, academic domain, and tourism. Therefore, this phenomenon has necessitated people to learn the English language so as to communicate and interact in different situations more easily and successfully. Likewise, there has been a noticeable tendency among the parents who have found it really vital to have their children learn the English language from an early age. There are some main reasons why they are so insistent on getting their kids to learn English.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Sara B.
Firstly, it is very important for their children's future success academic wise; secondly, based on researches done by language acquisition experts, they have been aware that second language acquisition in young children is far faster and easier than in higher age group like above 18. As an illustration, I myself observed that Iranian parents did their best either to send their kids to the schools equipped with English extracurricular classes or enroll them in English language institutes.
Also, they get private English teachers for their kids. Hence, now that we can feel the urgency and importance of English learning, we should try to utilize the best and most influential strategies, methods, and tips in our very young age group classes not only to achieve the best results but also to meet parents expectations. As a kid teacher, I intend to state some tips that I have found effective in my classes in the following descriptions
Some tips to teach receptive and productive skills:
It is ideal to start our lesson with English games in which we can insert previously taught vocabulary. For example, sometimes I hide an object somewhere in the classroom and I get them to look for it. Another activity that can be very effective is singing a song. In fact, it can help students understand vocabulary and grammar in an entertaining context. Basic English can be taught through clear examples of structures with a simple drawing, pictures, and exaggerated gestures. It is better not to use too much English when giving the students instructions. They can learn naturally through immersion and not by rules and ins and outs of the grammar.
Correct grammar will come naturally and learners will absorb what they need to know. They can not be expected to grasp every bit of grammar immediately. It is desirable to provide them with examples and sufficient time should be dedicated to this purpose. It is important to let them know that it is okay to mess up during the practice. Correct grammar must be utilized by the teacher repeatedly to make sure that students start using it. As a result, games allow us to practice themes and a large amount of vocabulary in a fun and exciting way.
It would be fruitful to start from the pre-writing stage which consists of talking about the writing. It can be as simple as adding detail to a picture or adding and creating an extra sentence to end a story. They can also create their own books by drawing and writing simple words. I usually begin teaching letters with alphabet puzzles which are amazing tools. Alphabet worksheets are suggested to be given to the students because it will enable them to learn the letter while they are coloring and filling it and also it would be an enjoyable task. Paper activities can be implemented to stimulate them to make a letter out of colored paper as a handicraft.
As I recollect, when I was teaching Pockets books in a kindergarten in Iran, at the end of each chapter there was a project which assigned the students and teachers to make a handicraft cooperatively. It was so interesting for me whenever I wanted to start a new chapter, my students would ask me what they were supposed to make at the end of the lesson. The feedback for me was how effective practical and meaningful activities would be in my classes. It is more effective as well to generate lots of games to encourage them to practice and produce a language you have taught. Games like Pictionary will let them express their ideas. In addition, It should not be forgotten to encourage them through our smile and praise. Moreover, children learn by interacting with each other and their teacher, therefore, it is important to have them work in groups and pairs and monitor them without interruption. This would be an ideal way for evaluation and getting proper feedback. We should try to keep things fun, dynamic and stress-free.
First of all, I recommend that teachers should use English in their classes as much as possible so that students have the maximum exposure to English practices. It is desirable to raise their enthusiasm by showing a picture, poster or a flash card and ask them to predict the story or what they are to hear. It is more effective to use traditional songs or play a game with flashcards. Actually, flashcards are very useful tools to be applied to introduce a topic or pre-teach vocabulary. For instance, For teaching a song, I prepare some pictures and word matching games with some of the key vocabularies, then I show them to my students and ask them to predict and guess what the song is going to be about. For very young learners, I introduce the listening topic with puppets. The puppets will talk about the song or the story. The first time they will listen to the main idea, the second time for more detailed information, and finally, we will role-play it. While children are listening, it is more effective to get them to respond physically, like"stand up, hop, run" or shout each time they hear certain words.
Reading is a skill in which young learners need to be taught the link between the phonemes and graphemes in order to be able to start blending or sounding out simple words. The Phonics method can foster them on how to do that. There are some words that can not be sounded like sight words. The style normally used to teach them is " see and say" the word. Flashcards also can be used to teach them. Using simple printed words enables children to see and make a connection between sounds and letter symbols. They can also draw pictures for each word. To improve reading development, we can teach word families. According to my experience for sight words and fluent reading skill, echo reading can be helpful. Learners can take advantage of choral reading practice prior to becoming dominant in reading themselves. English cartoons can be shown to them and their dialogues and storylines can be applied later by students as meaningful activities to role play or tell their own story.
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To sum up, Learning English has become a widespread requirement nowadays, and its need virtually can be felt everywhere. Similarly, this trend has been very striking among modern parents with very young children. Thus, effective and practical methods, strategies and approaches are essential to be adopted and applied in today’s kindergartens and preschools to fulfill this responsibility.
I, as an English teacher for kids, have tried to implement the most effective and practical ways in my classes. Through the passage of my teaching career, and commonly by the feedbacks that I have received, I have had a sense of self-satisfaction before leaving my classes. Besides, Affective factors have been very important in my teaching approach. For example, I have done my best to pay attention to the emotional aspects of students by giving them my full attention while they are speaking. Encouragement is my influential tool to be used when needed. I normally avoid interrupting and over-correcting my students when they make mistakes and I let them talk, and at the right time, I rephrase their mistakes patiently and kindly.
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