Tag Archives: tips

First time teaching ESL to very young children?

5 Aug

Teaching very young children can be either the best experience in the world or the worst, it all depends on you and what your expectations as their teacher are.

I have to admit that when I started teaching ESL to 3-5 year old children I was only 21 years old and I had no experience with them at all. Not just as a teacher but neither in my personal life. I did not have any young siblings or cousins and I had never worked as a babysitter during my teen years.

However, I found out it was easy for me to connect with them and they seemed to like me and enjoy my company. I am aware I was very lucky because it could have been a desastre due to my lack of experience with very young learners. I always say to myself this is a gift given to me and I am very grateful for that.

During my first years teaching I learned a lot from my experienced workmates and from my pupils. This is why I would like to share with those teaching ESL/EFL to very young learners for the first time some of tips so you avoid frustration thinking you are not a good teacher.

4864036

TIPS FOR ESL/EFL TEACHERS DEALING WITH VERY YOUNG LEARNERS FOR THE FIRST TIME:

  • For many of them it may be the first time they hear a person speaking in English. Do not take it personal if they ignore you at first.
  • Some pupils may not be keen on joining you when you suggest activities and that is ok. Whenever they feel ready they will join you.
  • Using soft toys or puppets as your “teacher helper” will be very useful because they can relate to them.
  • Praise them as much as you can, even if it is for very little things they have achieved (e.g. understanding commands, listening to a story, dancing to a song, …)
  • Little children love having classroom routines, it makes them feel secure. Therefore, it is important you always start and finish the lesson the same way. (e.g singing a Hello Song and a Goodbye Song, greeting each other, speaking about the weather, counting how many we are in the class, …)
  • When your pupils are able to follow the classroom routines without you having to say anything, it already means a lot!
  • Do not expect them to express themseleves in English, they will probably use their mother tongue and that is ok. Little by little they will add English words and short sentences in their vocabulary.
  • The more movement activities you add into your lesson plans the better. In general, pupils spend many hours in class sitting down and they will appreciate the chance to move around.
  • Storytelling is essential and I have not met a single child who does not like listening to stories.  It is magic to see how they are able to follow sequences of events and get the general picture of what is going on (having visual support is basic).
  • Little children love partying, this is a good excuse to help them learn a little bit about the English culture through celebrating some festivities as part of the lesson plan.

 

I remember panicking the previous days to my first teaching experience, so I hope to be helping some fellow teachers who feel as lost as I was. We have a lovely profession but it can be very taugh, too. Therefore, I try to help as much as I can sharing my knowledge and experience 🙂

 

Advertisements

Games with FLASHCARDS ready to go!

12 Mar

Imagine one day the internet doesn’t work and you cannot teach the lesson you had planned. Or another scenario, imagine you teach somewhere the internet is not available at all. What can you do? Simply go “old school” and use some wonderful flashcards! 😀

Next, I am sharing with you some flashcard games that you can use in class. Mainly with young learners who like using material they can touch and play with.

1 Guess where!
Children play in pairs. Child A turns all his flashcards face down and asks e.g. Where’s the car? Child B points to a card and guesses Here! Child A turns the card over and says Yes, you’re right! if it is the car, or No, this isn’t the car! As soon as child B guesses correctly and the car is found, they have the next
turn.

2 Pass the card
Play with the whole class. Children stand or sit with you in a circle. Show the first flashcard to the child on your left who names what’s in the picture e.g. T-shirt! This child then shows the flashcard to the child next to them, who names what’s on the card and passes it on round the circle in the same way. Once the flashcard has passed to three or four children, start the process again with another flashcard. Continue the game in the same way with all the flashcards.

3 Snap!
Children play pairs. Each child puts their flashcards facing down in a pile. They turn over their flashcards one at a time at the same time and say the words e.g. Giraffe! If they have the same picture, the child who says the word followed by Snap! first keeps the flashcards. The child with most flashcards at the end of the game is the winner.

4 Abracadabra!
Children play in pairs. Each child lays his flashcards facing down in a row on the desks. Child A points to Child B’s first flashcard, pretends to wave a wand and says e.g. Abracadabra! It’s the butterfly! Child B turns over the flashcard. If it’s the butterfly, they say Yes! and leave the flashcard facing up. If it isn’t the butterfly, they should say No! and leave the flashcard facing down. Child B then has the next turn.

5 Find your partner
Play with the whole class. Children choose a flashcard secretly and hold it so no one else can see. Then, they walk round the class asking other children e.g. Have you got an apple? / No, I haven’t / Have you got a plum? / Yes, I have until they find a partner with the same flashcard as themselves.

6 Memory
Children play in small groups using two sets of flashcards. They mix the two sets facing down and put them facing down. Child A starts turning two of the flashcards up and saying what they are in English. If they are the same, he can keeps them. If they are different, they have to be facing down again. The game finishes when all the pairs of flashcards have been found. The winner is the child with more pairs.

7 Noughts and crosses
Play with the whole class. Draw a noughts and crosses grid on the board. Stick a flashcard facing down on each space. Divide the class into two teams, one to play with noughts and one with crosses. Children in each team take turns to choose a card. If they can identify what’s in the picture, turn over the flashcard and write a nought or cross in the square. The first team to complete a row of three wins the game.

8 Hot and Cold
Play with the whole class. Ask two children to wait outside the classroom door for a moment. While they are outside the door, stick one of the flashcards somewhere in the classroom, where it is ‘hidden’ but nevertheless visible without moving anything. Involve the rest of the class in helping you to do this. Ask the two children back into the classroom and everyone asks e.g. Where’s the lion? The two children look for the flashcard of the lion and the rest of the class helps by saying Hot! Hot! Hot! if the children move near to where the card is hidden and Cold! Cold Cold! if they move away. When they find the card, the two children say e.g. Here’s the lion! and everyone claps and says Hurray! Repeat several times with different children.

 

º Dyslexia in the ESL class º

12 Feb

A little bit of help is always welcome 🙂 The BusyTeacher.org offers really good advice on different teaching aspects. Click on the image to read about Dyslexia in the ESL class:

Dyslexic Students in the ESL Classroom: Simple Things You Can Do To Help

What If You Don’t Have A Language Partner?

7 Jan

That’s what happens with my French, I cannot really find ways to apply my speaking skills 😦

english expressions

A couple English-learners have recently told me that their skills are suffering because they have no one to practice their English with.  This can be a huge problem, because if you can’t communicate in the language you’re learning, you’re never going to improve.

speak-238488_960_720

Just think about your own language for a minute. Pretend you’re preparing for a big speech at work or school, and there are some challenging words that you need to focus your attention on. You listen to how they should be pronounced, you say it a few times, and then you keep rehearsing your speech over and over again in your head. Because you can say those difficult words in your head, or say it perfectly after you’ve heard it, you think you don’t really need to rehearse it aloud.

Then it comes time for your big speech. You’re about to read that really difficult word, and…

View original post 595 more words

8 ways TEACHERS can talk LESS and get KIDS talking MORE

8 Nov

I follow the Pinterest of “The Cornerstone” and she usually shares really useful and interesting teaching tips. I think this one about us talking less and our pupils talking more is essential. Not only for the reasons she mentions, but also for our throat health!! (Coincidently, mine isn’t that good at the moment…)

Click on the image to read about it 🙂

Image

How to FOCUS in the age of DISTRACTION

13 Sep

image

The Busy Teachers Guide!

9 Sep

Some ideas to make our lives a bit easier 🙂

%d bloggers like this: