The Balance In Teaching Children by Vaiva V. Markes - Profesor/a de inglés

The Balance In Teaching Children

     As a teacher community, among each other, we can exchange the greatest tips to provide the best classes for our students of various ages and levels, and also exchange them through our articles with the public interested in modern ways how to effectively study a foreign language. Today I want to share my challenging yet rewarding experience with our youngest learners – children.
 

  • No to BOREDOM

I agree with a wonderful insight my colleague once expressed – if a 4 to 6 years old learner starts yawning during the class, you can't just ignore it! We have to do our best to notice it as fast as we can and adapt! Have plan B, C, D, E, F, G of many other short activities prepared just in case. No more coloring? Fine, then we can sing a  song! Let’s move a little bit? How about dancing? The goal here is to be ready to propose, interact, get them engaged. To get the results, at that age classes MUST be fun and interesting, most importantly, to them.

  • That extra of EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

If teachers are skilled in EI already it’s very good, if they can notice that extra - the tiniest facial expressions or mood swings children tend to have so often, as it would seem to us adults, because of little unimportant problems, – even better. The faster a teacher realizes that those little unimportant problems mean the entire wide world to a child, the easier it’ll be to gain the trust and willingness of them to continue the class. I had quite some episodes of stopping the class after noticing my little student’s face suddenly getting upset (apparently her secret was revealed between two other friends sitting at nearby desks), or because someone stepped on the foot of the other while dancing. In such cases my motto is: LISTEN, first of all, and always, to that raw honesty of a child. As educators we should try to find a smooth transition back into a class reality by also grabbing the opportunity to practice the language in a variety of situations. For example, if we step on someone’s foot what do we say? I’m sorry!

  • VISUALS and MOVEMENT

It’s no secret that conducting daily activities with lots of pictures, flashcards, TPR, a projector on a large screen, toys, games are the very essentials when teaching children, and always successful in getting them engaged! They love singing, making moves or funny sounds (one good way to teach them about animals in English, for example!). Teacher's mission should be to seek a delicate way to control children without supressing their energy. Engaged children want to participate and demonstrate their knowledge with a little competition with each other, or to get a reward as chuche. It’s really important to allow them to move, sip some water, pause for a few minutes, a teacher should make a pause too need be to listen to any story children have to tell that day about their friend’s or toy’s misbehavior. And again, kids need to feel a sincere interest, a reaction, and teachers could take that opportunity to color their story with some simple English vocabulary. Is this your doll? Is it your favourite toy? Are you sad for the doll? On and on.
smiley

  • ADDITIONAL WORD FOR CHILDREN’S ONLINE CLASSES

Learning while staying safe at the comfort of home, skipping commuting for parents, not needing to cover the mouth with face masks when we practice a foreign language are some of the great advantages to be discovered during the pandemic. Modern technology and learning platforms of the newest design allow even the smallest children to get the best experience while learning English online. It runs on similar rules: classes are loaded with colorful visual activities, some movement should be permitted (to bring and show their toy when asked to describe it or sneak peak through the window to see what's the weather and report it back), usage of TPR and objects, and everything based 100% on a communicative approach. The greatest fun I experience is when children learn virtually in small groups of 3-4 and with some guidance interact in English with their fellow online learners! Learning via technology truly becomes a no smaller adventure than in a class.
 

When children have dynamic routine classes they’ll surprise us all by how much they can learn even being so young:
 

They can build a small vocabulary and short sentences to communicate with them.
They can present their names, ages, ask short questions, express what they want, like and don’t.
They can identify colors and objects from pictures or their surroundings.
They can listen attentively from activity instructions to short stories.
They understand situations, love to pretend they’re adults, and take turns in games with each other.
 

This whole experience I gained in teaching children for the past years that I can share now, I think is the very foundation to understand and learn about while teaching them, and it’s also a classic practical knowledge. It’s a true art to become a teacher who’s fun and whom children listen to. It's a marvellous opportunity to step back into a learning child’s world with a perspective of an adult educator, it definitely influences ours too. When teaching children be prepared to become someone with eyes shining full of meaning.

And definitely patience.

Oh, and surprises, prepare for those as well. Kids will always find ways to surprise us.

And teach us things too!

07 April 2021

Learn English with Music- You & I COVER

Do you want to understand song lyrics? Learn English with music with me. I give you a set of questions at the beginning so pay close attention to the lyrics and see if your answers are correct at the end of the video.
Johana Konecna

07 April 2021

Las 5 mejores academias de inglés en Barcelona

Te detallamos las 5 mejores academias de inglés en Barcelona para que aciertes en tu elección para aprender inglés. Seguro que habrás visitado muchas academias de inglés en Barcelona, pero aún no has decido en cual realmente puedes confiar para aprender inglés.
Ana Elena Kramarenko

04 April 2021

A different view of Spanish politics

A look at Spanish politics from an anglophone perspective may be more objective than listening to one side of a divided country.
@linkstoenglish

30 March 2021

The Balance In Teaching Children

Experience and tips in teaching pre-school children. When they have dynamic routine classes they’ll surprise us all by how much they can learn even being so young.
Vaiva V. Markes

25 March 2021

4 Ways to Practice English Outside of Class... That aren't Netflix

Tired of your teacher telling you to watch a movie or show on Netflix to practice your English? Here are 4 different, quick, and easy ways to practice.
Blanca Sanchez Rocha Baldasano

24 March 2021

How a huge lifestyle change exposed me to the world of teaching

Bulgaria! Who would want to live there? And where the heck is it anyway? I would soon to find out and was ready to embrace the lifestyle changes that led me to becoming a teacher.
Bev Sisson

24 March 2021

Teaching English to children is...... a mixed bag of emotions!

I find it very gratifying when a young student 'gets it' . A child who has been so frustrated but put their heart and soul into practicing their Achilles’ heel. But, why do some just give up, they do not go the extra mile, it doesn’t matter. Or does it?
Bev Sisson

22 March 2021

Aprende phrasal verbs con canciones

Aprender inglés es un rollo. Las cosas como son. Estudiar gramática, memorizar tiempos verbales, realizar ejercicios repetitivos… y los famosos phrasal verbs. Por suerte hay maneras de hacer que sea divertido y entretenido ¡estudiando con canciones! En esta entrada de blog no solo hay 10 canciones con las que estudiar sino también dos ejercicios para ponerte a prueba ¿has cantado lo suficiente?
Georgina Malagarriga
SEE MORE
1ª Clase Gratis