The right ESL pre-k teaching tools can make learning easier and more fun. Take, for example, the research work of Dr. Howard Gardner who came up with the theory of multiple intelligences. This essentially rules out the idea that the best way for children to learn is by sitting at a table doing "desk work". Instead, Gardner pinpoints different "intelligences" which are essentially learning styles. Everyone has a specific intelligence (or a few specific intelligences) that defines how he or she learns best. This means that in order to reach all the children in a classroom, different learning methods must be made available to them. The multiple intelligences are :
- Linguistic intelligence: Learning and using spoken and written language
- Logical-mathematical intelligence: Logically analysing problems, detecting patterns, reasoning.
- Musical intelligence: Performing, composing, and appreciating musical patterns.
- Bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence: Using the whole body or parts of the body to solve problems.
- Spatial intelligence: Recognizing patterns of wide space and confined areas.
- Interpersonal intelligence: Effectively working with others.
- Intrapersonal intelligence: Understanding self and feelings.
- Preschool children have small attention spans so change your activities every five minutes or so because if they go longer than that, they'll start getting restless and you'll spend more time trying to keep their attention than actually doing the activity.
- Teach a small amount of language in any given session. For this age group, try to introduce three words at a time and then add to the list as you see the children understand the meaning of the words you've already introduced.
- Engage the children on multiple levels. This includes using fine and large motor movement, singing, talking, listening and looking. For example, you could have a game where the children need to move around the room to stand next to a picture or object of the word they heard you say.
- Competition in the preschool classroom causes undo stress on the children. Avoid playing games or doing activities that have winners and losers. Either have the class work together to "win" as a group or do not distinguish between winning and losing. On the same note, be sure to be supportive and encouraging to all of the learners in your class.
- Preschool children can get very excitable so vary excitable games with quiet ones to balance out the energy level in the classroom.
- Preschoolers are very visual. Bring in real objects whenever possible. When it is not possible, find colourful and vivid pictures.
- Preschooler children usually are not yet reading and writing (at least not to large extent) in their own language, so don't expect them to do it in a second language. At this age, you can expect them to listen and understand first. After a while, they will begin speaking individual words and short phrases.
- Themes work well in the preschool classroom. Focus your vocabulary learning on groups of similar types of words such as foods, colours, numbers, animals, families and body parts. You can work in short phrases that are relevant to your theme.
- Be well prepared, plan more than you think you will use and move seamlessly from one game or activity to another. Use colouring or similar quiet activities when the children need some downtime.
- Repeat, review and revise. You need to frequently review the vocabulary that you've previously taught them or they will quickly forget it.
- If you have a particularly naughty or rough student in the class, keep him or her close to you. Ask him or her to be your special helper and be sure to give a lot of praise when you see him or her behaving appropriately.
Shelley Vernon has helped 1000s of teachers be an inspiration to their pupils Improve the effectiveness of your lessons and enjoy yourself more. Receive free preschool ESL games and stories now on http://www.teachingenglishgames.com/3-5.htm
- Article Source : Ezine Articles
- Photo provided under Creative Commons Licence by Elton Lin via flickr
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