Teaching EFL in a KindergartenTeaching children at a kindergarten level can be an extremely rewarding career. A successful kindergarten teacher possesses not only a unique set of attributes and skills but also a thorough understanding of the abilities and needs of children at this age. Having fun should always be one of the highest priorities in a kindergarten ESL classroom in order to develop a love for learning and the english
Children at the kindergarten level have a natural curiosity for life in general which brings a high level of energy and motivation to the classroom. For the most part, they have not been ridiculed and punished yet for their mistakes, therefore they haven’t formed the fear of failing and are not timid with the language. Constantly building their confidence is key to being a successful teacher in a kindergarten classroom and will lead not only to their success in learning that year, but also instill in them a positive attitude towards learning in general and learning the english
The ability to work well with children requires unique qualities and skills, along with an understanding of how children work. Kindergarten teachers must have the ability to provide constant love, encouragement and praise. Teaching children also requires more patience than most professions. Children at this age need constant, endless repetition and a teacher without the patience for this will not be successful. A good sense of humor is also imperative when working with children because in order to create a fun learning environment, you will have to act silly and goofy and laugh a lot!
The ESL kindergarten classroom focus should always be on fun and games, providing a positive atmosphere for children to learn. While knowledge of the english
language is the ultimate goal, the main goal at this point in their learning career is to get them to enjoy learning english
. If they aren’t having fun and enjoying class, they aren’t learning to their maximum potential. Children are just starting to develop and use their own language at this point, so learning english
as a foreign language will be extremely basic. The main learning goal is to build vocabulary and introduce sounds and phonics. Kids at this age are full of energy, so any way to incorporate learning and movement can be highly successful. This includes dancing, playing, running, jumping, etc. For example, if you teach the class the song and dance to “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” they are going to learn their body parts much better and have much more fun than if you were to draw a figure on the board and point out where each part is. Songs and stories are great ways to expose students to sounds and phonics. The more they hear and repeat the english
language, the more naturally it will become to them. The children will need constant and endless repetition of words and phrases before they grasp the meaning and begin to use them, so capitalizing on their love of games and chants with rhythms, rhymes and patterns can be useful. If you can find a way to link songs, movement and having fun with learning of the english
language, you are on your way to a successful ESL kindergarten class.