Teaching EFL in a KindergartenWhen faced with the task of teaching English to a group of foreign children, the idea of teaching to a group of students
who may not be able to communicate with the teacher can be daunting. Then, take this take and make the students
Kindergarteners, and most people would be running away in fear. However, using the material provided throughout the ITT course about lesson planning
and classroom management, I feel that teaching a Kindergarten should be approached from the same positive mindset as one would in teaching older students
, and results will still be achieved. I really feel that if one is able to teach in a Kindergarten EFL class, then one is able to and ready to teach any age group successfully.
Kindergarteners are the youngest students
; some of them have never had any other learning experiences. They do not know how to behave in a classroom setting. In addition to language skills, kindergarten students
are also learning numbers for the first time and how to properly use scissors. They are energetic, they are curious, and they cannot sit still. Take all of these factors into account and now imagine that these students
cannot communicate with the teacher. This is exactly what the EFL teaching is facing. How can the teacher be expected to hold these students
? attention and get them to also learn material if the teacher cannot break the communication barrier? I once substitute taught a kindergarten class back before I had really been teaching. I thought it would be an easy ?piece of cake? work day. My thought process went something like, ?they are shorter than me, so how bad can they really be?? At the end of the day, it was not that their behavior was really all that terrible, I really thought, ?Wow, I was not prepared for this?. In teaching kindergarten, one has to go into the class ready for any and all problems that could present themselves. One must have numerous back up activities, and one must be ready to remain standing and really engage with the children. This same attitude of being prepared, more like being over prepared, is this same attitude that should be taken when teaching EFL to kindergarteners. Being outgoing and energetic and ready to change directions at the drop of a hat is the only way to catch the students
? attention when dealing with such a high communication barrier.
In the material covered within the ITT course, one learns that young learners
are able to soak up and retain more information better than adult learners; however, many young learners
lack the motivation of adult learners because they have not chosen to start learning English. However, from my own teaching experience with young learners
, if the teacher remains positive and present the material in way that seems fun, the students
will almost always want to participate and they will be learning the language as they are also having fun. Playing games, drawing pictures, and acting out vocabulary are all great ways to interact with the kindergarteners. The students
can start playing word games with the new words they have learned for the animals. They are then practicing actually speaking English, and they are learning. Singing songs is also a great activity to use with young learners
. A teacher can use music and repetition to teach students
an easy sentence structure. Then, the students
will want to sing the song; they view it as a game. This song will stick in their memory and they will have learned and be using English, even though they might not even know that?s what they are doing, the object of learning English has been accomplished.
If an EFL teacher can form a connection by using fun and energetic lessons to teach kindergarteners, then he could teach any level of student
. The kindergarteners are the beginners in every sense of the word. A teacher who can be patient enough to deal with their questions, but also able to handle a changing the pace of the lesson to keep a student
?s attention, then he could easily teach students
who are older and know how to be better behaved in a classroom environment. Teaching kindergartens prepares the teacher with classroom management and problem solving skills that prepare the teacher for all other age groups.