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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 22nd, 2011, 06:46 am
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Default How much to teach a 3 year old

I've been teaching a 3 year old for 10 weeks. We do an hour and a half each week. I don't have previous experience with such a young learner and was wondering if those of you who've taught pre-school children could give me an idea of how much I should move beyond just teaching vocabulary.

So far we've done colours, numbers, animals, etc... He can also respond to certain instructional language and questions. Do you think I should try getting him to learn to say phrases such as "I like..." / "It is a..." / "I've got a...", or would you say just vocabulary is sufficient?

What would you expect by Christmas or the end of the year from a child this age?

Thanks!
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Unread Nov 22nd, 2011, 10:27 pm
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Default Re: How much to teach a 3 year old

It depends entirely on their ability and whether they have lived, or are living, in an English speaking environment now.

If the child's only English exposure is with you, then I would suggest continuing to drill vocabulary, and the grammar "I like" and that should be fine. Also, getting them to learn their ABCs by song and through puzzles.

If the child has English speaking parents, has lived in an English speaking country, or is living in one now, then more grammar is easily taught and maintained. "I like" "I hate (don't like)", emotions ("I'm happy, sad, mad, fine") and greetings (Good morning! Hello! Goodbye! How are you?) are good starters. Any grammar that includes an article (a/an/the) is a little too difficult for them, so if you want to teach more advanced grammar (I have a/an ___) (It's a/an ___) then you can't expect them to use the article yet. It's too intangible.

When you teach grammar, you should be using lots of hand motions, and if you know any of their language, saying it once in their language with the same motions is best. Just once though, so they understand what motion means what. Keep your motions consistent.

Typical motions I use are:

I = touch my nose
Mine/My = point my thumb at my chest
like = hug myself
have= grab something in the air and pull it back to my chest
don't = have your hand parallel and shake it in the "no thank you" motion
hate = mark an X with your fingers in the air

Three year olds are going to pick up some grammar, but the BIGGEST thing right now is getting their pronunciation right. Letting them hear their R's and L's, B's, D's and V's, and even their H's, P's and F's, especially if their mother tongue doesn't have those sounds. So I would suggest lots of ABC singing, ABC chant walks (my kids like walking a round path made of ABC flashcards or foam blocks).

Those are my suggestions.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 24th, 2011, 06:07 am
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Default Re: How much to teach a 3 year old

We've been teaching small groups of 3 year old for a couple of years now in BSD, Tangerang, Indonesia. We use a mixture of foreign and local teachers, but still manage to do everything without using any L1.

The parents of our students have varying levels of English from advanced/fluent down to none at all. In some cases, we are the only English practice the kids get.

I think building up good lexical width has to be the primary concern here, so lots and lots of vocabulary exercises. After awhile, introducing very simple structures is fine, but I don't think you want to spend time trying to work on actual language knowledge at that age. At best your student will "pick up on" your input and start to repeat the structures.

I agree with arielhud, use lots of gestures and hand motions.

Also, try to keep up a lot of variety and keep individual activities relatively short and succinct.

Good luck!
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Unread Nov 30th, 2011, 08:04 am
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Default Re: How much to teach a 3 year old

Thanks for the replies.

I think I'll stay with vocabulary for now then and try finding new games to reinforce what we've done already. I'll try 'I like...' in a couple of weeks and see how he gets on with that.

Thank you both!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 8th, 2011, 08:48 am
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Default Re: How much to teach a 3 year old

roja123-

I recently got my hands on the syllabus for an international preschool in Japan but haven't had a chance to look at it yet. Would you be interested in seeing it, if I can get it scanned? (if not, I'll give you the gist via the forum. )
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Unread Dec 21st, 2011, 09:12 am
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Default Re: How much to teach a 3 year old

Hi arielhud,

That would be wonderful, thank you. I know there will be a lot of differences between teaching a class and and individual toddler, but I'm sure it would be really useful to see. Many thanks for the kind offer!
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Unread Jan 4th, 2012, 08:14 pm
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Default Re: How much to teach a 3 year old

try some verbs:

stand up, sit down, spin, touch your [insert body part here], clap, go to sleep, wake up, etc. Easy to make a good game out of it. I teach a class of 7 three-year-olds, and this is how I begin each class. Gets their attention, gets them moving and each class it is really easy to slip in a new action for them to learn.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 12th, 2012, 09:39 pm
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Default Re: How much to teach a 3 year old

Okay~ so I've retyped the syllabus as I wasn't able to scan it. Hopefully it'll be of use to you. Keep in mind this syllabus is intended for a child that goes to the school every day, so you needn't move as quickly if your child is only coming in once a week (nor should you).

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File Type: doc Japanese_Dayschool_Pre-K_Syllabus.doc (12.0 KB, 57 views)
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