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Teaching English to Very Young Children in China
The ability to communicate in English is a sign of social prestige in China, and as a result, many Chinese parents want their children to begin studying the language as soon as feasible.
In kindergarten, children as young as two and three often learn some basic English.
Teaching young children English might be challenging if you've never done it before or have no previous experience with this age group.
Make a lesson plan and stick to it.
Even if you're teaching adults corporate English or kindergarteners the fundamentals of English, every ESL class takes preparation.
The importance of regularity is amplified when working with young students who are learning English as a second language for the first time.
Make sure you begin and conclude each lesson the same way every time.
Perhaps you could begin by asking each kid to recite their English name, or you could close with a "goodbye" song (if they have one).
Even this may be difficult for very young children, therefore it's important to go over the material again and again.
As an alternative, you might begin by having kids follow simple commands like "stand up," "sit down," "listen," or "be silent."
Each class should have a focus and a linguistic objective.
"My name is (English name)," or "That (vocabulary object) is," are examples of present-simple sentences for three-year-olds.
You can teach them the terminology for basic colors and toys if they're the latter kind of child.
Remember to limit the number of new terms you teach each session to no more than four.
As a teacher, your goal should be for every single student to finish the class by employing the target vocabulary in a small phrase (three or four words).
Keep things straightforward.
Use the current-practice-produce strategy to your advantage.
A good way to get kids started is to have them repeat back what the instructor says or to show them flashcards with the target language and terminology.
Followed by a basic game in which students must answer questions from the instructor, have pupils practice the target language. Finally, let pupils create their own sentences using the vocabulary they've learned.
Include a game where students take turns asking each other questions. Little more than asking each other their names or "What is this?" will be expected of the youngest students.
Keep in mind that children's attention spans are limited, so it may take a long time for them to process even a little amount of information.
Don't be concerned about doing the same thing again. They will pick it up faster if you repeat yourself a lot.
Set up ground rules for the classroom.
If your pupils are young, don't be afraid to be tough with them (without scaring them, of course). Students in any classroom must be aware of the fundamental norms that the instructor has established.
Lessons might become chaotic and the students unteachable if they don't have them.
Teachers of young pupils should generally start with with two or three fundamental rules like no speaking Chinese in class and no running in the hallways or gym.
After that, you'll be able to introduce some fundamental commands. To get your kids' attention, have them cup their ears and place their fingers on their lips to signal "listen" and "be quiet, please".
As a result, pupils will be prepared when the instructor exhibits these behaviors.
If pupils don't obey the rules, make sure they understand the repercussions. You may want to consider implementing a system of rewards where each student begins the course with a total of five stars.
Give them a star for every nice deed they do. Take away a star if they do anything wrong or don't follow the guidelines.
Consider giving a gift to the winner at the conclusion of each session or week to encourage participation.
How you go about it is entirely up to you. Just make sure your pupils are aware of the rules and the repercussions of breaching them before you assign them any tasks.
Don't use jargon and provide a lot of concrete examples.
Just keep in mind how young your pupils are once again, please. Consider the situation from their perspective.
A teacher who performs the whole class in Chinese has been assigned to teach your three-year-old brother or sister some Chinese.
If the instructor doesn't talk slowly, grade the language to your level, and use lots of motions to elicit meaning, you're unlikely to learn anything.
When developing your lesson plan, consider how you want to teach each vocabulary word's meaning.
If you want to teach children the term "vehicle," for example, pretend to be a driver.
You could, for example, pretend to toss a ball while using the word "ball."
Apply the same logic to the directions. Don't forget to get out of your chair when you say "stand up." Or you cup your palm behind your ear when you advise kids to "listen."
Now consider incorporating the vocabulary into a set of questions and answers.
Make a flashcard or item and ask, "What is this?" while shrugging to make it apparent that the question is a remark or remark.
Students repeat and clap each word of the statement, such as "It's a ball," to answer the question.
Make use of video games.
Students who are learning English as a second language, particularly those who are very young, cannot be ordered to study.
That isn't how kids think. As an alternative, you must make your lessons engaging and exciting (something that many instructors fail to do), or in the words of a former colleague, you must "trick" students into learning by making learning pleasurable.
The practice and production parts of your class will benefit greatly from having these available. The following are some simple game concepts:
Students take turns rolling a ball and saying the vocabulary word on the flashcard they hit.
If someone doesn't have a seat, they have to identify a vocabulary item in a game called musical chairs.
a game in which pupils bounce from one flashcard to another based on the number of dice they roll (ideally the huge soft fluffy ones).
Before your pupils begin to play any games, make sure to go through the regulations with them. Demonstrate the game with your teaching assistant first if you have one.