Teaching EFL in kindergartenFirst, I would like to clarify my choice on this topic. I picked a subject that is very important to me because it is the path that I will be choosing for my future TEFL career.
As I am generally attracted to children, I feel that sharing my EFL knowledge will be perfect with that particular group.
Teaching ESL to children must be challenging but also very rewarding, which is what I am looking for. Teaching children requires patience and a sense of fun and playfulness. Even though it seems obvious, a common mistake is to think that children are simply 'short adults?. Children's minds are incredibly open and they learn by absorbing ideas and concepts directly. Children need to be actively involved. The idea is to get students
up and out of their chairs and moving around. Sing songs, and play games. Children need lots of stimulation all the time, so the classroom energy has to keep moving constantly. Children learn by interacting with each other and with the teacher so it is important talk to each child individually and whenever possible it is important to have children working in groups and in pairs.
Self- correction is an important part of learning and students
should be encouraged to ask, "Am I doing this right?" in an open and non-judgmental environment but children raised in authoritative cultures may need additional re-enforcement. Children thrive on praise and positive attention from the adults in their lives. If you want them to like you and be motivated in your class, you often just need to give them a lot of positive attention.
Children like to work with their hands and whatever you can do to get the items they are learning about in their hands is useful and fun for them. This can be anything from having a sensory table filled with sand and beach items when you want to teach them summer words to having them each bring in a piece of fruit when you are teaching fruit words. Anytime you can get young children up and doing instead of listening (often passively) you are getting their hands dirty in the learning process and they love it.
Movement is also a vital component to motivating children. The best way to prevent children from zoning out is to get them up out of their seats at least once each class period. Even if you just require them to come up to you instead of you going to them for help, the movement can help get them out of the trance that they sometimes get from sitting in one spot too long. If you can, let them move the desks around or sit on the floor to change things up as well. Many games involve movement without the children needing to leave their seats, such as miming, moving certain body parts and passing things around as part of a game or race. Therefore even teachers with large classes and no space to move can use this technique. Alternate calm games with lively ones to keep the children alert and motivated, but without letting the class get out of hand. Good discipline is essential to effective learning.
So what makes a good teacher to young learners
? I would say someone, caring, patient, professional, understanding, creative, motivated and fun.