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Teaching English to kindergarten (or preschool) students has become increasingly popular in China and Taiwan, with more and more parents realizing that young children acquire language much more quickly and efficiently as compared to learning in and after elementary school. Because of such a willingness of parents to invest early into children’s language ability, it has become quite the market for foreign teachers, especially young English teachers who are passionate and lively and able to lead classes of high energy children. Humans are born with a certain language faculty in our brains that allows us to acquire our mother tongue naturally and efficiently. Adults on the other hand do not learn languages in the same way, relying on their own cognitive ability and understanding of the target language. Adults must use great amounts of cognitive effort to learn and acquire a language effectively, monitoring their progress and understanding grammar rules. On the other hand, preschool children are able to acquire language seemingly effortlessly at an astonishing pace when they are surrounded by the target language for an extended period of time, which is why many parents are willing to invest heavily in their children’s language learning at this stage. I myself have a 2 ½ year old daughter who is miraculously simultaneously acquiring Mandarin Chinese and English through communication with me and my wife, which is a major reason I would like to teach at the kindergarten level in the future, having some experience in teaching English to my daughter. Because of the aforementioned differences, teaching preschool aged children English requires a different approach than teaching any older age student. Since preschool children’s cognitive abilities have not yet developed fully, they rely on verbal and visual cues to acquire language and are extremely limited in learning grammatical rules or sentence structures objectively. As unit 19 (p 5) of ITTT explains, effective ways to teach preschool aged children English is by using slow and clear pronunciation, using a higher and exaggerated pitch as one speaks, much repetition and praising and providing positive feedback to a child’s attempts at using the target language. Preschool children are often easily excitable and have short attention spans, so simple games, stories and songs all work very well in teaching, allowing students a natural contact with the target language. According to the “7 Useful Tips of Teaching ESL to Children”1, it is important to involve children in hands-on activities, having them involved in the lesson, moving around and out of their chairs. Teachers should also avoid talking for long periods of time, allowing the students to have plenty of stimulation throughout the lesson. Teachers should allow children to interact with each other and with the teacher throughout the day, using the target language in different situations. Other sources2 explain that preschoolers and other young learners learn better through games and total physical response activities, letting students learn by physical movements in connection to language. For example, the teacher shivers and asks students to mimic when learning the word for cold. Incorporation of repetition in any activity is crucial, as students only acquire language through a continual use of the language. According to Shona Gilmour of the British Council’s website3, it is important for English teachers to introduce language to the child from their own world, teaching language about toys, blocks, cars, and allowing them to learn through play. Empathizing with preschoolers, understanding their world and putting yourself in their shoes is critical, and the best way to do so is to join them in their play. Children in this stage of life are naturally curious about the world and are intrinsically motivated to learn about the world around them. Teachers should take advantage of this and identify specifically some of the things that the children love in order to grab and keep their attention. In conclusion, the world of teaching English to kindergarteners is quite different from every other developmental stage and requires more active and interactive teaching methods. This type of teaching is not suitable for every teacher, but I have been encouraged to see that my personality traits and hobbies lean towards this type of education. I have found the resources at ITTT to be incredibly helpful and practical in my goal to becoming an effective English teacher, and look forward to the opportunity to be a full time English teacher in the near future! Sources: 1 https://www.eslbase.com/teaching/teaching-esl-children 2 https://www.teachingenglishgames.com/Articles/Teaching_ESL_Preschool_Ideas_and_Tips_for_Successful_Classes.htm 3 https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/five-essential-tips-teaching-very-young-children-english