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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 19th, 2009, 07:06 am
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Default Teaching English to 1 and 2 year olds

Hi! I'm a recent college graduate who is in Thailand teaching English for 6 months. I've been here 4 months already, teaching in a secondary school. However, just recently I was asked to teach one morning a week at a local nursery school. My lessons with the kindergartners are going okay, but they also have me teaching the toddlers--1 and 2 year olds--for half an hour. They have specific topics they want me to teach each week, and I am absolutely at a loss of what to do with these tiny children who can't really even speak their own language yet! There are about 15 children in the class, not many resources or toys in the room, and there are 2-3 Thai teachers in the class when I'm teaching as well.

I would be incredibly grateful for any ideas anyone has for keeping these little ones entertained while at the same time exposing them to English! Thanks!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 19th, 2009, 12:17 pm
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Default Re: Teaching English to 1 and 2 year olds

Hi,

I've never taught either kindergartens or toddlers, so I do not have any experience of my own. But I've recently read an article that described a couple of activities you can use with small children.
The one I liked the most is connected with a picture dictionary (I would use flash cards instead). BTW, do you remember the tune to sing the notes (DO-RE-MI-FA-SOL-LA-SI)?
You will also need it.
So,
1. you choose a topic, e.g. animals;
2. then you choose 7 animals that the children are already familiar with (dog, cat, mouse, pig, bird, fly, bat)
3. then you take "dog" and "cat", for instance. To introduce these two animals you need to have 4 pictures of a cat and 4 of a dog (8 in total, but you'll use just 7 at one go)
4. stick them to the whiteboard or wall like that: DOG-CAT-DOG-CAT-DOG-CAT-DOG
5. pronounce DOG and encourage the children to repeat after you. Do the same with CAT
6. then continue singing. Start singing very slowly, but each time encrease your speed (The tune is very catchy, and the words are not difficult. The children will like this.)
7. then change the order of the pictures. Put CAT first.
8. To check where they can see the difference between a cat and a dog , and if they remember them in English, at the beginning just open you mouth and let the children say it instead of you.
9. When you see that they already remember these animals add the third one, eg a mouse
10. DOG-CAT-MOUSE-DOG-CAT-MOUSE-DOG (don't forget to stop a little bit when you come to a new animal and repeat its name several times to make sure that everyone pronounces it correctly)
11. Then again change the order of the pictures : MOUSE-CAT-DOG-MOUSE-CAT-DOG-MOUSE
12. add more and more and more animals until you have 7 different
13. then you can continue with the sounds these animals produce or verbs we use to define a sound: DOG-CAT-DOG-CAT-DOG-CAT-... (the children are ready to say DOG, and you say BOW instead. YOu also emhasize here that "DOGS SAY BOW". Later on you may ask "What do dogs say?")
14. the same here: CAT-DOG-CAT-DOG-CAT-DOG-...MIAOW

15. when your children already know a couple of animals - continue playing with them: put the pictures around the room (stick them to the walls or just put on the floor) and ask "WHERE IS A CAT?"; quickly find the necessary picture and answer yourself "HERE IT IS!"
16. Repeat the last phrase several times and make sure the children can say it.
17. Then ask about another animal "WHERE IS A DOG?" - the children have to find the necessary picture/s and say "HERE IT IS!" Then you may ask "WHAT DOES A DOG SAY?"
18. It's just dawned upon me. It'll take you more time, but the result will be better. Prepare a set of cards with all animals you have learnt for every child you have in your group. Then each of them will have an opportunity to look for an animal, and you will have a chance to check if everyone remembers the animals.

You can use the same activity to teach different topics, but not for all topics you will have to prepare cards. For example, teaching PARTS OF A BODY you can ask ''Where is YOUR hand/leg/eye/nose/etc.?"

Hope it will help
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 19th, 2009, 03:09 pm
dk1 dk1 is offline
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Default Re: Teaching English to 1 and 2 year olds

Hi, I taught a mommy and me group last year with small ones and had a great time. They were 18 months to about 2 years old. You really need to have fun. They just want to play and move around. So here are my thoughts and what I learned....

Don't expect them to sit and listen for very long. If you have a story time, they will sit longer eating a biscuit and props go a long way. Mix it up, make it interesting with lots of music and active games. Try to follow a routine and do lots of repetition. You will get sick of singing 'Where is Thumpkin' to start every class, but trust me, they never will. I did a little game- 10 little fingers standing in a row (count them), wiggle them high, wiggle them low, put them behind you, where did they go? Then lead into Where is Thumpkin. Use the same language as you go- touch your nose! Jump! Follow me! Change the pace, and vary the activities a lot. Every lesson, find things to count (to 10) and do something with colors and maybe animals (flash cards, play music-stop- touch yellow). Don't go crazy introducing new vocabulary, keep it simple but fast moving and fun. Do crafts like playdough (make your own, it's simple) and just free coloring (self portrait, draw mommy and daddy, simple!). You will be helping develop their fine motor skills as well. There is a wealth of information on the internet so poke around and gather ideas as you go. I can't stress the Have Fun! part enough.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 26th, 2009, 08:25 am
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Default Re: Teaching English to 1 and 2 year olds

Thank you both for the ideas! I will definitely put them to use!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 6th, 2009, 04:21 am
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Default Re: Teaching English to 1 and 2 year olds

Wow, I feel sorry for you that you have to teach children that young for 30 minutes.
I used to do it with children 2 years old and their attention span would last 10 mins at the most before they got tired or bored.

Do you have any videos which teach basic English that you can show the kids?
I noticed at a kindergarten I work part time at, that the students aged 3 seem to enjoy the videos; they seem very focused on it and they often repeat the English words said in the videos.

Song as well, preferably ones which involve alot of movement. But try not to get them too tired..haha
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 6th, 2009, 11:03 pm
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Default Re: Teaching English to 1 and 2 year olds

If it is helpful I have a whole web page dedicated to teaching 2 and 3 year olds. You can also get free song downloads, flashcards, lesson plans and coloring sheets to go along with the ideas. Please check it out here:

Teaching 2 to 3 Year Olds English, free songs, flashcards and more

Hope this helps! Matt
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  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 12th, 2009, 03:57 am
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Default Re: Teaching English to 1 and 2 year olds

At that tiny age, toddlers do not need to really learn a lot of English vocabulary. You try to form a habit for school. Everyday if they learn 1 or 2 words that is more than enough. You need lots of repetitions and routines for your classes. Everything can be taught through songs. Songs with TPR work well. I sing everything into their heads. Songs really work for me. It could be adapting any popular and easy tune and putting some actions.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 12th, 2009, 10:01 am
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Default Re: Teaching English to 1 and 2 year olds

Quote:
Quote Matt Dream View Post
If it is helpful I have a whole web page dedicated to teaching 2 and 3 year olds. You can also get free song downloads, flashcards, lesson plans and coloring sheets to go along with the ideas. Please check it out here:

Teaching 2 to 3 Year Olds English, free songs, flashcards and more

Hope this helps! Matt
Matt - Cool website and welcome to eslHQ!
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  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 9th, 2013, 11:08 pm
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Default Re: Teaching English to 1 and 2 year olds

I would like to thank you all for the ideas. I have been teaching English here in Wenzhou, China for a little over four months and have recently been 'promoted' to teaching in a second school. My original school deals with children ages 4 to 12. This new school has us dealing with 2 and 3 year old children only. These ideas have helped me greatly at improving my classes, especially since I have to teach them a total of four hours a day between 9 and 5. We may have an Interactive Whiteboard and many songs and crafts, but four hours for children of this age is just insane ha ha!

Thanks again to all of you for your ideas!
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