Tips for Teaching Kindergarten ESL

Being thrown into a kindergarten class as a newbie English teacher can be a daunting task. Sure, the kids may only stand a bit higher than your knees, but knowing you’ll need to teach them and entertain them for the duration of the class is an intimidating prospect even for an experienced teacher. Here are a few tips for making your class with these young students a successful one:

Kindergarten students playing by Flickr user barnkim

Be enthusiastic

If you are excited about the material, they will be too. Be goofy, cheesy, exaggerate your facial expressions, and use big hand gestures. Don’t be afraid to make a fool out of yourself, because that is what will capture their imaginations. You can’t address young learners the same way you would a class of adults. Be enthusiastic in what you do and it will transpire to the classroom.

Use bright colours

You will want to use teaching aids in your lessons – these could be flashcards, pictures, puppets, costumes, etc. Props will help facilitate the lesson and engage the child’s mind. You have to keep in mind that at this age, the majority of your students may not be able to read yet. Writing on the board will mean very little to them. Use visual objects instead.

Keep activities short

Young kids are known for having a very short attention span. They won’t want to play the same game or do the same activity for an entire hour. Try to have a number of games that range from interactive and kinetic (like duck duck goose or playing dress up) to calmer individual activities (like drawing, story time, or other arts and crafts projects).

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to experiment. If something doesn’t work in a class, learn from that and try to approach the following lesson from a different angle.

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