Young learners, those attending preschool and kindergarten, will not have any personal reason for studying English.
It is simply another subject that they have to study at the kindergarten or that their parents have told them they need to learn. At this point in their lives, they may not know or comprehend how important these classes can be. They might view these classes as simply another fun daily activity and that is just fine. But even at this early age, we can encourage them to develop an interest in learning English which will stay with them long after they have finished the classes.
How To Understand And Teach Young Learners Better
1. What Young Learners Want?
Children at this level are just starting their academic careers. The kindergarten may be intimidating for only some of the children in the group so, in order to encourage everyone to participate, it is important to make the activities relaxed and fun. YL Students will be learning very basic material but we can design creative lessons that get students moving around and speaking with one another. Young learners are generally very enthusiastic about songs, especially if they can sing along, and active games. Be sure to provide lots of encouragement and positive feedback. We should create a safe, stress-free environment that everyone can enjoy learning in.
2. How Young Learners Behave?
Keep exercises fun and short because these children have short attention spans and are easily distracted. Overacting and projection will help keep the focus on you. Teach students how to behave in a classroom by asking them to be quiet while you are talking and raise their hands if they have questions or want to answer a question. This may not be directly related to ESL but it is important that students learn good behavior early on; it will make their transition to primary school easier. We should teach them to respond to basic classroom English phrases such as “Please sit down.” because these are expressions that they will hear repeatedly throughout their study of English. For children at this age, we are responsible not only for starting to teach them English, but also for preparing them for their next level of education. Children will perform better in their classes if they behave well and have a good understanding of basic principles.
3. What To Focus On?
The primary focus of these lessons will be on communication and laying a solid foundation for further English coursework. Children should practice the different sounds of the English language and learn material such as the alphabet, numbers, colors and shapes. We will introduce vocabulary words gradually and may choose to study some simple structures that relate to everyday life too. It could be that reading and writing never enter into our classes but a focus on speaking and listening will help children become more comfortable and confident with English.
4. More YL Tips:
There are many other things we can do to ensure that children succeed in class. We need to track individual and class progress so that the children can visually see what they have learned and how they are doing. Encourage children to try their best and create a constructive learning environment where they do not worry about making mistakes. Create activities and exercises that are entertaining. Help children learn how to interact with one another as well as how to speak English. The more the children are exposed to certain material, the faster they will learn it. This is how native speakers learn English, by listening to people around them and expanding their range of vocabulary gradually.
“These learners can be a real pleasure to teach because they do not feel stressed by their studies and approach everything with youthful innocence.”
WE, the teachers and the parents play an important role in helping them develop into lifelong learners. Foster a love of learning by creating activities that appeal to them, suit their maturity level, and focus on what will help them excel in future English courses.
Native Speaker w Przedszkolu Żyrafa