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Teaching ESL/EFL for kindergarten kids

I teach ESL for kindergarten kids everyday but every Friday morning is special because I teach for large classes. There are around 70-80 kids in my class (3 classes are mixed up, to save money I suppose) sitting on the floor in a big classroom. I did a lot of research on-line and all of the activities for this age involve the use of scissors or colored books. There is no way I can use these in my class. I do have a board (on the wheels, it can be moved), CD-DVD player and TV connected to it.

Here is the 30 minute lesson I did last week with my kindergarten kids. My lesson always starts with a song and instruction review (sit down, stand up, be quiet etc.) Since they are very beginners, vocabulary was my main focus. I have chosen six cards from 3 categories (dress, shorts, car, motorcycle, rhino, and rabbit). You can choose more cards if you do review or fewer cards for 3 year old kids. Repetition is the key in memorizing vocabulary at this age but the way teacher do it is far more important. Kids get bored fast doing a lot of repetition so it has to be done in different ways.

The introduction and presenting vocabulary usually takes me about 15 minutes. With the cards on the board I tried miming. I put my hands above my ears miming rabbit’s long ears. The kids got it from the first moment and everybody said “rabbit”. I used miming for all other cards and they were so excited.

I used good, very good, and excellent to mark their miming performance (Note: be a little bit more excited when pronouncing “very good” and very excited when pronouncing “excellent”; In this way the kids understand that “excellent” is better than “very good”). It took them just a couple of minutes to understand the miming and the meaning of “good”, “very good”, and “excellent”.

I asked one kid to come in front of the class to mime. The other kids have to say what word is mimed and mark the kid based on the quality of miming with “good”, “very good” or “excellent”. Everybody was raising their hands to come in front of the class and mime. We did a lot of vocabulary repetition with this game and the mission was accomplished.


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