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Top_Drawer Jun 1st, 2017 08:33 am

Please help - teaching abstract concepts to Kindergarten

So I recently started teaching a Kindergarten class on a weekend in China, I normally teach in a university.

I'm REALLY struggling and the Chinese teachers are hopeless - they can fall back on their Chinese every time - honestly I feel like they want me to fail sometimes.

I think teaching concrete concepts would be fine because however, I've been asked to teach very abstract things so far and I'm bombing spectacularly. This week I've been asked to teach several different ways to say hello

<i.e Hi_____< How's it going, _____? , What's up, Brother? How are you ____? How are you, kiddo>

which is far from concrete and difficult to teach even to my 18 year old students - like why do we need more than one way to say hello?!:lol:

So far, I've planned for the hello song but then despite watching numerous videos detailing teaching this age group, they all seem to either not provide any actual examples or only teach concrete.

Please help!

susan53 Jun 8th, 2017 10:19 am

Re: Please help - teaching abstract concepts to Kindergarten
I've been waiting to see if anyone would reply to this, in case they had anything more constructive to say than me, but no-one has - and I think the reason is, unfortunately., that there isn't an answer.

The language you've been asked to teach is not only too complex - it's also language that no native speaker child of that age would use. Everything you say about the language you want to teach and the way you want to do it is fine - the problem is the Chinese teachers.

What textbooks do they use? Are they aware that there are textbooks for that age group - no text (as they're not reading yet) just pictures and simple language activities - songs, games etc. Have a look here for instance. I'd suggest you get hold of a book like this and show it to them, and tell them you want to base the course around it. If they say no, then I'm afraid that the problem is that they know nothing about teaching languages (from what you say, I wonder how much they know about teaching pre-schoolers in general!) Personally, I'd find another job...

Top_Drawer Jun 11th, 2017 07:01 am

Re: Please help - teaching abstract concepts to Kindergarten
Hahaha now I'm not sure if I've misrepresented the school or been fair and you're right!

What we did, in the end was have a different gesture for each greeting, the children sing along to the song with including some of the greetings and repeat what is being said on the screen - they obviously don't know what they're saying, but they played a game and knew the difference between the different noises for each.

The book they're using is pretty simple - not much text, lots of pictures and colourful.

Unfortunately, this is by fair the best (training school) position I've had to date and by fair the best job (in terms of teaching materials / teachers & pay) in this area of rural China so I have to stick with it for the time being.

chokosaki Nov 14th, 2017 08:51 am

Re: Please help - teaching abstract concepts to Kindergarten
I'm sorry to hear about your problem. It was quite rough in the beginning dealing with the teaching staff of a training school in China. A lot of these schools are businesses and the owners typically aren't teachers. They will think about what will look nice to present to parents and marketing. A lot of these ideas generally aren't practical.

But, if I HAD to teach something this to students, I would go about it sort of like this....

Try to present it with pictures that cover the correct context for the situation you might use that way to say hello.

And show them the different ways that you can address a particular person.

-IE pal, friend, buddy, brother (really limit this to what they know and what is REQUIRED from the school).

And just mix it up using the different questions...

How are you, _____?
What's up, ______?
How's it going, ______?

It would be ideal if they can read English, but I'm assuming they can't since it's a Chinese preschool.

So, to help them memorize these phrases, come up with a fun pose or gesture they can ask for each phrase.

And to top it off, possibly make some simple flash cards to represent the different keywords like friend and buddy.

So, you can ask the question, hold up a card, and let them repeat the question and insert the correct word.

Abstract ideas aren't the easiest to teach to young children, especially when they are learning these concepts in their own tongue.

Good luck.

And there are some decent schools in all parts of China. If you're interested in something new starting in spring, my school is looking for new teachers. We have everything prepared, no abstract ideas, 2-3 months holiday in the year and a lot of nice perks. PM me and we can talk more. Or my weixin is chokosaki

Again, good luck ^^

Rommareared1981 Dec 18th, 2017 03:45 pm

Re: Please help - teaching abstract concepts to Kindergarten
well... generally teaching at university and teaching at KINDERGARDEN is like driving in NASCAR or F1 and driving a bicycle.

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