Teach English in Tongjinpu Zhen - Zhangjiajie Shi

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Teaching English to early childhood students can be a fulfilling as well as a challenging experience. Young children have short attention spans and are not usually motivated to learn a new language. Stories are an important and powerful tool, for English learning in early childhood. Stories, when narrated in the right way, with the use of the right tones, at the right speed, and maybe the use of props like puppets, can hold the attention and interest of early learners and make learning a new language fun and memorable. Often stories convey emotions and talk about situations that young children can relate to, making them pay close attention, and even asking for a repetition of a particular story. Stories should be age appropriate and not too hard for young learners. They should be engaging and preferably with lots of colorful illustrations. They could be picture books or rhymes or stories with lots of repetition. Whatever the type of story, it is important that a teacher makes her young students feel comfortable and narrates the story in an informal space. When stories are narrated to children, they are exposed to natural language, grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary among other things. Early learners get an understanding of the language just by listening. Young children are usually not ready to use a new language, but listening to stories can help them develop an awareness of the language. Children pick up grammar naturally, by following the stories, without the use of exercises. Teaching grammar rules to young children is not an option. Listening to stories helps children hear the correct usage of grammar and sentence formation. They pick up the grammar rules inadvertently, making it easier to learn the rules once they are older. Stories read aloud in English, also teach young learners how to pronounce words. They could be asked to repeat words, helping them with correct pronunciation. Stories with rhymes are fun and are very useful in helping them pick up a language as well as new words. Different stories have different vocabulary. Students can pick up a lot of new words in stories. Children’s stories usually repeat key words making it easier for them to remember. New words are used in context, making it easier for children to understand their meaning. If stories are read aloud, and children are also shown the text alongside, they can slowly learn to make connections with the letters and sound, without actually learning how to read. Concepts like big and small, far and near, tall and short, can be taught easily through stories. Children inadvertently pick up sentence structure as well as sequence of the story line. Teachers can encourage students to participate in storytelling by pausing and asking appropriate questions in the middle of a narration. They can ask students to repeat stories in their own words in English, or even ask them to predict what may happen next in a story. Different strategies can be used to give students an opportunity to use their newly learned language skills. It is a universal truth that stories are loved all over the world and have been used as a means of communication over the ages. It is safe to say that stories are an excellent way for learning English in early childhood. They are a fun and engaging way for students to learn a new language, especially students who are most probably unable to read or write and have poor motivation and a short attention span.