“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.” - John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
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I love teaching children. I have been blessed to teach 2 to 10 year-old students English in Germany, Croatia, and the US. When I began teaching in Germany, I had a tough time acclimating. I thought I would be able to work with the children since I had taught young learners in the US English and science. I remember teaching a group of 14 seven to eight year-old students. They climbed the walls (oddly there were racks on the walls), fought a lot, and flew paper airplanes everywhere. I went home after a 9 hour day and cried. I wanted to quit. I have a fighting spirit, though, so I went online to research lessons and ideas. Throughout the four years that I have been teaching in Germany I have collected some great research, resources, and tips to make me a much better English teacher of young learners.
Some Slide Presentations
- I'm a writer for Sprout English for Young Learners. Check out my articles for apps, web tools, and lesson ideas.
- Survival Tips for Teaching Kids English: 30 Tips & Resources
- Several Young Learners Posts from Various Teachers! 20+
- Let’s Play! 20+ Sites for YLs
- Engaging Learners through Digital Storytelling: 40+ Resources & Tips
- 10+ Getting to Know You Activities for Kids
- Mobile Learning E-Book: 50+ Effective Tips & Resources
- Magical Moments in Mobile Learning: 20+ Tips & Resources
- 20+ Fun Free Apps that Promote Student Centered Learning & Literacy
- 10+ Ideas for Using Cell Phones with Young Learners
- 30+ Apps for Creativity & Learning
- Mobile Motivation: 17 Digital Storytelling & Literacy Apps/Resources for Kids
- Getting Children Involved with Edtech
- Devil’s Advocate: Young Learners and Technology– In this post, Chia Suan Chong debates with me the benefits of using technology with young learners. She takes a critical stance in order to talk about very important issues related to health and creativity.
- E-Course Archives: English for Young Learners
- Wiki: Technology for Kids
- Wiki: Digital Storytelling with Young Learners
- Wiki: English StoryTime Lessons
Some Slide Presentations
- Channel in your inner child!
- Have the ability to act silly – I often dress-up when reading books, play charades, make silly voices and faces, and sing and dance!
- Wear the right gear! Don’t dress to impress! Dress for a mess!
- Children love to play pretend games!
- Have lively music that is easy for the children to understand and that you will enjoy singing very loudly to! Find music resources here.
- TPR- Total physical response is a must for every lesson. Discover more here.
- Puppets are great for children, especially when you incorporate the puppet in every lesson.
- Play board games, physical games, and online games- We play Twister, bingo, and more.
- Very young learners will enjoy playing sight word games. Find tons here.
- Students will enjoy learning vocabulary by playing charades, Pictionary, and Bingo. Find other popular vocabulary learning games here, here, and here.
- Check out any of these sites for online games- Learning Games for Kids, Kindersite, Learn English Kids, Sheppard Software, Pumkin English, TinyTap, and Nick Jr.
- Include stories from great children’s authors and make the reading time fun. Check out my class wiki for various books and the themes they support.
- Use colorful flashcards and play games with the flash cards.
- Color with a purpose! Give children a task to see if they can follow directions, such as telling a child to draw a circle and color it yellow. Without direction, I’ve had children color on the wall and on me!
- Incorporate drama activities such as mime and improvisation games.
- Felt boards are great for having children piece together what happened in a story or to learn new vocabulary.
- Finger plays like the Itsy Bitsy Spider work wonders. Read this post on how to digitalize your finger plays using Blabberize.
- Trust kids with technology! My five year-old students complete online activities each week which I put in a wiki. Kids love technology and will repeat what they learn.
- Explore the outdoors with scavenger hunts.
- Use realia- My students play Bingo with pennies from the USA. Introduce real world objects to students from an English speaking culture. Play Show-and-Tell!
- When all else fails, have fun!