Teach English in Henglin Zhen - Changzhou Shi

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In my experience, kindergarten is one of the hardest age groups to teach in general because of their lack of concentration and wide-ranging emotions. When you add in a language that is usually completely foreign to them, it becomes near impossible. I think it is important to teach kindergarteners speaking first and making sure they have a strong foundation before getting into reading and writing skills because they have usually not even fully come to grasp that in their native language. When I was teaching English in China, I was teaching primarily the primary school children, but also middle and high school as well in private tutoring. One of the easiest ways I found to teach the younger students was with drawings or different art activities. The first day there, I brought the cube templates that you can draw or write on, then cut, fold, and glue or tape them into a cube. We colored each side a different color of the rainbow, then had them put them together. Then we would roll the cube and they would have to say the color that was on top. This was also good because then they could take the cubes home and practice at home with their parents or friends to help reinforce what they had learned in class that day. I also tried to start each class by asking something like “How are you feeling today” or “What is the weather like today” to help get them into an English mindset and to practice speaking. I would go around the class and give each student a chance to answer the question. Sometimes, I would let them take turns going up to the whiteboard and drawing an animal and having the other students try to guess what it was. I think that as long as the kids are enthusiastic enough about the topic and it doesn’t feel like learning to them, they will want to speak and talk about it. It’s important to keep the subject something they find relevant and important. Sometimes I would ask their other teachers what they were learning in their other subjects and try to plan a lesson that went along with theirs so that they could see how English related back to their native language. Repetition was very important when I was teaching and whenever we went over new vocabulary, I made sure each word was said several times and that the pronunciation was correct. I also made sure that phonetics was a large part of their lessons because I wanted them to be able to sound out words when reading. I think that it is important for them to be able to sound out words so if they are reading, they can read aloud and it also helps improve their speaking ability if they are the one reading or their listening ability if they were taking turns reading to each other. Since listening and speaking are closely related, it was hard to find activities that separated the two since the school had limited resources. Since they did not usually have parents who were able to speak English, I asked them to try to speak to the older students in their free time, and since it was a school that heavily focused on the English language, all the students there could speak it to some degree. Apart from getting them to speak in class and teaching them there, I think that the best way to teach anyone, but especially younger students, speaking skills is for them to just practice them as much as possible to gain experience and confidence.