Teach English in Dongmu Zhen - Ankang Shi

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TEACHING EFL IN A KINDERGARTEN Teaching EFL to children around the age of five or six, or before elementary school, is as important a task as any I could imagine as a teacher. There are many aspects of teaching which should remain the same, such as implementing the ESA technique, but the teacher must be flexible and more sensitive in areas where young learners are not as efficient as older learners. Very young learners have advantages over older learners beacause their world is so full of play, and that can make teaching EFL fun, creative, and spontaneous. Most children this age are uninhibited, so that they try to provide any answer they can; they reach into their minds effortlessly as they connect what the teacher says with anything they think may be related. This brings freshness and creativity to the lesson, forcing the teacher to improvise slightly and make adjustments to the lesson plan when needed. Children are generous with laughter and infectious smiles. The teacher should have no problem with general positive energy in the classroom. Young learners absorb much more than we can see, so it is important for the teacher to provide as many different age-appropriate techniques as possible, while making the lesson clear and simple. It is better to teach an idea or word simply yet absolutely at this age, so that the children can build solidly upon that. When s/he acquires new words simply and totally, it builds self confidence in the child, and that is paramount to successful learning. A disadvantage to teaching children in a kindergarten is that the noise level can quickly skyrocket. Very young learners have fewer social skills, so we see more interuption, talking out of turn, teasing, etc.. A teacher must have a friendly yet firm disciplinary manner to avoid total chaos breaking loose in the classroom. Another disadvantage to teaching EFL to this age group is that these children have very short attention spans; engaging the group and keeping the interest going are going to take up most of that precious time. Guiding the very young learner into play in the activate phase will require patience and perserverence because the child may very well be ready for something totally different. Or she may be hungry, need to use the toilet, have a belly ache, and so on. To summarize, the teacher will succeed in teaching a kindergarten class using consistency, creativity, patience, being prepared, being open-minded and using a gentle manner. A teacher could approach a lesson as follows: Engage activity could be to have a toy farm, complete with animals and a tractor, placed in the center of the children sitting in a semi-circle. The teacher can ask anyone if they have been to a farm, have a light discussion about who lives on a farm (farmer, workers, cows, sheep, pigs )and who visits a farm (children, bees and birds, families who would like to buy cheese,butter and honey). Study activity could be a worksheet with images of farm items and non farm items. Children need to circle farm items. Activate stage could be songs about the farm: Old MacDonald song, teacher leads and then chooses a different child to say “..and on this farm he had a ………” while the child holds up the animal he just said. BINGO song, as children will love to clap and hold silence when on cue. The Farmer in the Dell song, the teacher could have the child choose the animal at the correct point in the song, The Horse chases the Dog, the Dog chases the Cat, the Cat chases the Mouse, the Mouse eats the Cheese.