Teaching a four year old

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Teaching a four year old

Unread postby alijoanne » 10 Nov 2009, 19:19

Hi,

I'm due to start teaching a four year old this week. I've never taught such a young student before so I ordered a book from the OUP called 'Cookie and Friends'. Unfortunately it hasn't arrived yet! From what i can gather it's pictures, songs and games, so i'm wondering before i launch straight into teaching the book, what is a good way to begin teaching. I feel unsure about the alphabet and phonics as i'm sure she doesn't know them in her native language yet however the alphabet does seem like the logical place to begin.

I've searched the internet and although lots is written about songs etc. i have found nothing to clarify where to begin with very young learners.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Ali
alijoanne
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Re: Teaching a four year old

Unread postby Loulou » 13 Nov 2009, 18:16

There are some basics to remember:
- make the lessons short. An hour is too long; half an hour to 45 minutes is more than enough for this age group
- make the lesson fun
- Don't try to cover too much in one lesson
- Play various games; don't stick with just one because she will bet bored

If you are a bit lost without material then don't forget to start at the beginning...teach her how to say "hello, my name is" or "hello, I am". You can play this with a ball. If there is just you and her, have her roll you the ball. When you catch it, you must say "hello, my name is..." and then roll it to her. She must catch it and say "hello, my name is..". You can add an element of fun by starting off slow - roll the ball and then bounce it and then throw it and then clap your hands once before you catch it etc.. It's better if there are more of you but you can play this game with just 2.

You can also plan a lesson around a theme like colours. It may not fit in with your next lesson if you follow the lesson plans you are waiting for but it is not time wasted either!Print out colour flashcards from an esl site on internet and drill them. You can follow this on with a game I call the Smartie game. Children love this game: buy some smarties (if she's allowed to eat them, of course) and open the box on to the table. Choose a smartie, if she can tell you the colour she can have the smartie, if she can't you get it. Repeat the colour everytime she either gets the smartie or loses it. It's amazing how quickly children learn colours when you play this game. You can play it slowly or speed up the pace if she catches on quickly. Hide them behind your hand so she can't see which one you are going to choose. If she knows some numbers like 1-5, change the game and choose 2 yellow smarties and have her say "2 yellow smarties" instead of just "yellow". And so on...

These are just some ideas but these 2 games can be played in your first lesson and they will cover the half hour to 45 minutes. If you have some time at the end you can have her colour in a picture that needs different colours, like a rainbow or a clown's face and have her ask you for the colour she needs by saying "yellow please" and "thank you" once you give it to her. I don't normally think giving children colouring-in to do in a language lesson is very appropriate but it can be for 5 minutes if it means she has to learn the language you have taught her to ask for what she needs.

I have done lessons like this one and at the end the children will have learned how to say "I am" or "my name is", about 5 colours, and how to use the words "please" and "thank you". That's not bad for a four year old!
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Re: Teaching a four year old

Unread postby Loulou » 13 Nov 2009, 18:27

...and have a look at this site http://teachingenglishgames.com/ (hello Shelly!!) by Shelley Vernon who also posts here. The lessons are available right away as you can download them once you've bought them and THEY ARE GREAT! Loads and loads of resources and ideas for teaching children.

Let me know how you got on with your first lesson....
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Re: Teaching a four year old

Unread postby Alex Case » 15 Nov 2009, 23:02

I'd agree with Loulou, except to say that it isn't usually necessary to base a lesson on one topic or to tie things together too smoothly. Over the first few lessons you should probably try to build up her knowledge of colours, classroom objects, animals, numbers, actions, personal questions, classroom phrases etc, always adding one or two to the ones she already knows and basing the ones you teach her on whatever is most fun to mime or comes up in the best songs, books or craftwork you can find. Unlike adult classes, you don't have to worry about moving rapidly from one thing to another with no link.
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Re: Teaching a four year old

Unread postby aniaLL » 03 Mar 2011, 15:49

I definitely agree with you Loulou, an hour lesson to four year olds is way too long. Children loose attention very fast and get bored easily. Important advice is making a lesson interesting and appealing to children. Singing songs, rhymes, colouring the books and watching cartoons these will be the most successful learning approaches. Children like to be entertain, thus it is good when their teacher is very expressive, uses mimics and mimes, flash cards and many, many visual materials including real objects. And do not forget about the routine. This is a key to successful young children teaching. Children need time to adjust all the new information. Good luck!

Loulou wrote:There are some basics to remember:
- make the lessons short. An hour is too long; half an hour to 45 minutes is more than enough for this age group
- make the lesson fun
- Don't try to cover too much in one lesson
- Play various games; don't stick with just one because she will bet bored

If you are a bit lost without material then don't forget to start at the beginning...teach her how to say "hello, my name is" or "hello, I am". You can play this with a ball. If there is just you and her, have her roll you the ball. When you catch it, you must say "hello, my name is..." and then roll it to her. She must catch it and say "hello, my name is..". You can add an element of fun by starting off slow - roll the ball and then bounce it and then throw it and then clap your hands once before you catch it etc.. It's better if there are more of you but you can play this game with just 2.

You can also plan a lesson around a theme like colours. It may not fit in with your next lesson if you follow the lesson plans you are waiting for but it is not time wasted either!Print out colour flashcards from an esl site on internet and drill them. You can follow this on with a game I call the Smartie game. Children love this game: buy some smarties (if she's allowed to eat them, of course) and open the box on to the table. Choose a smartie, if she can tell you the colour she can have the smartie, if she can't you get it. Repeat the colour everytime she either gets the smartie or loses it. It's amazing how quickly children learn colours when you play this game. You can play it slowly or speed up the pace if she catches on quickly. Hide them behind your hand so she can't see which one you are going to choose. If she knows some numbers like 1-5, change the game and choose 2 yellow smarties and have her say "2 yellow smarties" instead of just "yellow". And so on...

These are just some ideas but these 2 games can be played in your first lesson and they will cover the half hour to 45 minutes. If you have some time at the end you can have her colour in a picture that needs different colours, like a rainbow or a clown's face and have her ask you for the colour she needs by saying "yellow please" and "thank you" once you give it to her. I don't normally think giving children colouring-in to do in a language lesson is very appropriate but it can be for 5 minutes if it means she has to learn the language you have taught her to ask for what she needs.

I have done lessons like this one and at the end the children will have learned how to say "I am" or "my name is", about 5 colours, and how to use the words "please" and "thank you". That's not bad for a four year old!
aniaLL
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