Teaching EFL in a Kindergarten Teaching English full time in a
Teaching English full time in a Kindergarten setting is much different than even some of the younger age classes. In many cases the teacher will be initiating any writing activities. The teacher along with the parent will teach all graphomotor skills at this time. The EFL teacher will teach many social and skills and they probably have not had any experience dealing with such activities before. The most important point to note is class time is much like a nursery school between 4 to 8 hours long depending on the student. In such a case I have made my own point to follow initially with my language goals to follow in a secondary manner. Since all exchanges take place in English on a daily fashion the childâ€™s acquisition rate will be quite high when compared with any other cram school or private lesson.
I have my personal emphasis goals for my class posted for myself and my assistants to read when we feel frustrated or are in need of a mental boost. Here is the list that I have created viewed from the childâ€™s mind: We want you -
1.to ask questions whenever you feel uncertain.
2.to be able to express what you feel in song and dance and to be able to create you own movements and gestures.
3.to draw pictures and make things representing what you see and know.
4.to find uses for items that are in our school.
5.to value and treasure your own creations and treat your own and other childrenâ€™s creations with respect.
6.to view your own and other childrenâ€™s creations intelligently and to be able to discuss them
7.to have an interest in making your space comfortable and pleasing.
8.to acquire proper eating habits, and develop a joy of eating all types of food.
9.to know proper posture, when to sit, stand, and lay down.
10.to understand how to rest, and sit quietly, and when it is time do so.
11.to be kind to others, and if your classmates are kind to you, to express appreciation for that.
12.to listen to what is told to you by your parents, teachers, and classmates.
13.to keep agreements and promises.
14.to be able to take charge of a task that is assigned and complete the task.
15.to speak in a good voice to the teacher and to other children.
16.to be able to use all of the tools and classroom objects and to avoid risks when not supervised by the teachers.
17.to have an appreciation for time and how time controls our daily lives.
After we focus on these main points I then teach what English we can cover in the rest of the day. I believe in a theme task oriented type of learning. All vocabulary for the month should be loosely targeting toward a theme. Our course book on basic ABC writing should be completed by the ninth month of the school year, so I will have time to focus on writing problems for the remaining portion of the year. I am mainly trying to construct an English foundation of sorts; because I know in many cases after the kindergarten years all English classes will take on a less frequent and less important role in the childrenâ€™s lives. My students hopefully will remember this information when they move into the secondary school years.
All English acquisition occurs through games, songs, and reading. Chorusing of structures is very important, but in many cases the children will be grappling with terms beyond the capabilities. So a quick and changing day is very important. All daily language use is in English, which is important. Also singing songs for over 40 minutes or more a day is not uncommon. Songs are necessary for picking up toys, cleaning tables, washing hands, and brushing teeth. Any activity is tagged with song that is played on a daily basis until the students memorize and understand the song. Then fun variations to the song can be introduced to liven up the students.
The main idea though for Kindergarten is stability and even handed discipline. Children do not like a lot of change. Keeping the day the same is comforting. If you think of the stress on a kindergarten students´ mind of being forced to take a secondary language even before their own mother tongue is fully understood, it is fully understandable to the teacher that you want to keep the stress level low. Children cannot learn when they cry for 2 or more hours and it is quite stressful on the classmates. As long as the teacher is patient though this is a wonder level to teach.
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