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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 2nd, 2014, 06:06 am
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Claire3 is on a distinguished road
Default TEFL to a 4 year old

Hi there,


I have had no teacher training and no experience of teaching English. I havebeen offered a job teaching English (as a foreign language) and maths to a 4 year old boy on his own. The family have quite high standards of their children and I have been asked to tutor the child for 6/7 hours per day, although the family have made it clear that they do not expect all of this time to be spent with books/paperwork and do understand the need for some games, activities and excursions.


When I met the family the boy had had a bad day. He was angry, rebellious and extremely shy. The family appeared to put a lot of pressure on their children academically and were very worried that the boy was reluctant to read.


If I did things the way I think best I would simply befriend the boy and allow him to lead – following his own natural play and activities while accompanying them with talking and encouraging him in discussion. I think the prime importance is that he gain a positive view of English and learning.


However this is probably not the way the family would want me to do things. The agency that employ me have said I will primarily be a 'governess' to the boy. I'm not sure what that means. I have also been asked to give them a list of the 'materials' I will need.


Does any one have any ideas of lessons, activities, games, resources, books or how to get such a very young child (4 years old) interested and learning English and Maths? He is Russian so he doesn't even have the same alphabet. However his mother says he understands some English.


Please help.


Thanks.


P.s. They also want me to tutor their 11 year old daughter for an hour in English each day, saying this would be to familiarise her with the upcoming curriculum in the new English school she is about to attend. How do I go about this? How can I find out what the curriculum will be? Thanks.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 4th, 2014, 06:20 am
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kisito is on a distinguished road
Default Re: TEFL to a 4 year old

This site for ESL Kids can help. Tons of free animated videos, games and more. I put up this site for this type of thing but you may need to determine the level of English of the learner. Any teacher of ESL kids will find Freddie's Ville -www.freddiesville.com very useful.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 9th, 2014, 01:22 am
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Smile Re: TEFL to a 4 year old

Hello,
I must admit that I was very touched by your post, because I have very similar experiences.

I really feel sorry for the four year old boy and I was stunned that he showed his bad mood even in front of you. Children of his age do not normally react like this: they usually become a little bit shy when they meet you for the first time, but observe you and are curious to find out who you are. It occurred to me that he already suffers from the pressure his parents put on him.
I think that you are definitively right to make friends with the little boy, play with him and accompany him. That is a very good approach and I am sure you will have very good results soon.
I am an English teacher at Elementary School and often asked to teach very difficult children individually. I f.e. use this page Home English Teacher (There is also an Amazon paperback if you want) which includes a lot of playful encouraging activities and there are also wonderful videos. They show how to built up a good relation with the child and how the child becomes more and more confident: children become keen to practise the language because they have fun and have a good and trusting relationship with the tutor. I have made very good experiences with this material and children who are said to be difficult always get very involved when we do the activities.
I also think you should study some literature so that you can defend your approach against the parents and the agency who hired you. You should be able to argue why playing games is important in teaching children so that they will not critisize or blame you.
I can recommend studying Blooms taxonomies - here is one example for numerous pages: Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Domains. Bloom is a famous scientist whose work has inspired the conception of many school curricula in the USA and in Europe and his taxonomies already have influenced generations of teachers in their lesson planning. I have found that didactical games and language games strongly refer to Blooms taxonomies of knowing, understanding, applying, evaluating and creating and therefore can create a good basis for the child´s learning.
If you want to find out more about using games in teaching - because you said you are also going to tutor the 11 year old sister - you can use ESL Games, Stories, Songs and Plays for Kids, Teens and Adults!. Here you can find a lot about the benefical impact of games on learning together with detailed methodological advice. There is also a huge bank of all sorts of games which refer different taxonomies of thinking as well as on all language skills ( listening, writing, speaking). You will also find inspiration for teaching children with learning difficulties.
Good luck.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 15th, 2014, 02:05 am
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Default Re: TEFL to a 4 year old

Hi, how are the lessons going?

I have a lot of students who have pushy parents. I feel so sorry for them. In Japan as soon as students start junior high they have no fun in their life anymore.

But anyway, when my under six year olds struggle with motivation for whatever reason I use point stars with them. I buy star stickers and magnets from the 100yen shop and use them as points. If my students do a good job then I reward them with lots of points, if they misbehave then I remove a point. But removing points is a last resort.

You could try points with your 4 year old student. Show that you are excited about the points too, if you are excited then he will be as well

Good luck!

Laura (City Kids English)
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