Teach English in Tengke Zhen - Hulunbei'er Shi — Hulunbuir

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International TEFL and TESOL Training The Importance of Stories for English Learning in Early Childhood Presented to International TEFL and TESOL Training In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the 120 Hour Course By Jackie Lamar Newell Quitman, GA 14 January 2020 The Importance of Stories for English Learning in Early Childhood One of the fondest memories of my childhood was when our mother used to read stories to us. Little did I know, that listening to my mother reading was helping to develop my first language. Several things were key, listening to the intonation of her voice, the pauses she made within each sentence, and watching the shape of her mouth. These three things were vital to the acquisition of my native language. Following along as she read to us… looking at the text as she read and pointed to each word was the beginning of my L1 language acquisition. How can an ESL teacher utilize and incorporate this teaching style into their own methodology? Can this style of teaching be utilized and modified to help a student learn their second language? Telling stories is an ancient tradition…a way of teaching children how to speak as they learn about new things. Reading stories to children became an extra tool in the parents’ arsenal with the creation of the written language. Now, children can see the language written down in books, on tablets, computers and other devices. These vehicles of learning can be incorporated into the ESL teacher’s teaching methodology, especially the internet-capable devices, e.g. computers, tablets, cell phones, etc. Educational stories can be created for students to study as they learn to speak a new language. By using internet-capable devices, the ESL teacher can create different interactive features within each page of the story. Being able to click on an object on the screen makes reading fun. Seeing a boy actually throw a ball bolsters the student’s understanding of the verb “to throw.” This will maximize the student’s understanding of the meaning of the text while they are learning to read and speak a new language. One major thing I remember was the tone of my mother’s voice as she read to us. She did not read to us with a monotone voice. Rather, her voice went up and down as she read. She incorporated feeling and emotion into the story. Her voice was sad when one of the characters was sad. Her voice was excited when the climax of the story was being read. She made the story come to life with the intonation of her voice. This helped to imprint the words of the story into my long-term memory bank. The ESL teacher should make their lesson as memorable as possible by teaching the student the art of intonation. As the art of intonation is being taught, learning when to pause while reading can be taught simultaneously. Learning the meaning of punctuation marks within each sentence will help the student’s fluency. Knowing when to pause, exclaim, and question helps the student better understand the text. If the ESL teacher utilizes this teaching tool, they can make the story very entertaining and memorable. They can give the text life and make learning fun. A teacher’s facial expressions, especially the shape of their mouths, help the student visualize each word. Online teaching has the drawback of “distance” between the student and the teacher. The student can hear a sound, but mistake it for another sound, for example the “-th” sound and the “f” sound. Without the ability to see the teacher’s mouth, the student will continue to mispronounce certain words. But, with the use of technology (the web cam) a student can see the shape of the teacher’s mouth when they correct the student’s mispronunciations. The student can mimic the teacher and learn the proper mouth position for certain sounds. The incorporation of Phonics and mouth shapes can also increase the student’s fluency level as they learn to read. In conclusion, the questions “How can an ESL teacher utilize and incorporate this teaching style into their own methodology?” and “Can this style of teaching be utilized and modified to help a student learn their second language?” have been discussed. With the use of technology and the internet the ESL teacher can create a teaching methodology that incorporates the teaching of the art of intonation, pausing, and Phonics (mouth shapes) with an interactive classroom that will maximize the student’s understanding of the text being read, as well as their own fluency level. Making a lesson as fun and memorable as possible will create an inviting and stress-free environment for the student learning their second language.