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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 23rd, 2011, 09:30 am
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luinfrance is on a distinguished road
Red face Teaching 1 group, 1-7yrs, some bilingual, some French

Hello

I am into my second month of teaching English (privately) once a week to a group of "3-6" yr olds in France. Actually the group consists of 1-7 yr olds from time to time, and the mix of abilities is enormous. They are as follows;
- A 7 & 3 yr old, trilingual (French, English, Serbian)
- 2 x 5 yr olds, bilingual (English/ French)
- 2 x nearly 3 yr old French
- 1 x 5 yr old French
- 1 x 11 month old French

I start with the hello song, we have worked on animals, colours, numbers, body parts via books, flashcard games, charades, songs, colouring, playdough etc etc (not all at the same time!).

I am writing to you all for some advice because today after having such a mixed group and it being slightly chaotic, 2 of the mums (who either sit in or hang around ) had different suggestions ... one French mum suggested that next trimester I should break the bilingual kids up from the french kids, and another mum suggested i should break the much younger kids up from the older kids. I agree that the under 3's have a much shorter attention span and shouldn't be in the group, but I am not sure that breaking the bilingual kids up from the french kids is a) helpful or b) feasible as I am on my own and haven't got eyes or ears in the back of my head.

What would you do in my situation? I bring my 5 yr old son with me and I am fairly limited with the amount of time I have available ...

Looking forward to your advice!
Lu
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 23rd, 2011, 10:00 pm
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arielhud is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching 1 group, 1-7yrs, some bilingual, some French

Wow... what a hard situation!

My suggestion is that you break up the younger and older kids. A 1 year old and 7 year old's cognitive abilities are vastly different, and for bilingual kids, the most important thing is exposure to keep their language abilities, so breaking them from the group into a place where you can't pay attention to them is simply a waste.

If you have the ability to literally split the class into two groups (at different times) then definitely do that. If you are constrained to only splitting up the class from within the time period, then have the mothers help you by playing with toys/coloring with their infants and toddlers while you offer a 10-20 minute challenge to the older children. If you want to offer the 20 minute version of the challenge, I suggest breaking it into two units, so the other kids don't feel like you're ignoring them (or the mothers, for that matter). Something I do during writing/coloring time with my kids is offer them different skill set worksheets, and the older kids usually finish sooner, so I give them extra phonics drilling while the others finish.

For your youngest learners, besides for simple activities, you can expect them to learn through osmosis. If you read a book, for instance, you can choose one that will engage the older kids and give the babies blocks to play with- they'll still be listening, which is the most important thing.

Hope this helps!
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Unread Nov 24th, 2011, 07:01 am
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luinfrance is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching 1 group, 1-7yrs, some bilingual, some French

thank you so much - that has reassured me!
Lu
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 8th, 2011, 08:50 am
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arielhud is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching 1 group, 1-7yrs, some bilingual, some French

I'm glad to hear it~ have you implemented any changes yet, and if so, how'd they go? ^_^ I'd love to hear the updates on this!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 9th, 2012, 08:39 am
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luinfrance is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching 1 group, 1-7yrs, some bilingual, some French

Hi,
I have split the groups up and for the older kid, I give him some separate exercises during some point of the class to keep him interested. I have also asked the parents to sit out as their expectations are generally high!
Thanks again!
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