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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > teaching four five year olds    

teaching four five year olds

United Kingdom

teaching four five year olds
dear friends I am about to teach 15 five year olds for two hours a day ....i �ve never taught this young before I �m a celta teacher so truthfully  i havent ever done such young students that cant read or write in their own language  let alone english .Any ideas for me I really want the lessons to go well but I don �t have ideas of how to start please spare a moment to help me thanks to you all

14 Mar 2014      


start with :
vocabulary....??? in some countries 5 years old children are not allowed to go to school. they have the right to play.
so it would be better if they play with English  

14 Mar 2014     


Oh, it�s a looong subject, but I�ll try to point out a few important aspects:

1) You need to skip reading and writing all together. It would be extremely confusing for them, as the whole idea of letters is still mysterious to them (and the rules of reading which they might have come across most likely don�t apply to English). The way you learn a language (native or foreign) at this age is by listening and speaking, and that �s what you must use.

2) Focus on vocabulary first. Use visuals extensively (flash cards). 

3) Teach complete functional phrases (and act out the situations in which you use them), no point in trying to explain grammar rules to them. Hand puppets are great for acting out dialogues (kids love them).

4) Such little kids have lots of energy and they�re very physical, expect them to run around for most of the lesson... Try to employ that energy in learning tasks (like games involving physical movement, eg. run and tap the flashcard which represents the word I say, then give a next word for the next kid).

5) Remember they see the world differently than you. Don�t try to teach them words which refer to concepts unknown to them (like abstract or formal words or big numbers) and phrases they�d never say in their mother tongue (unless it �s a cultural difference, like "how are you?" - often non-existing in other languages). Hope you have some kids in your surroundings (or your own) and you can watch what they naturally talk about (and how), what the elements of their world are. 

6) They will not have internal motivation for learning, you need to give them a reason to follow you, like rewards or the fun of doing the task. Try to invent rewards for which you don�t have to pay (like a self-made paper crown for a game winner or self-made origami works) and systems of rewarding (eg.: 10 little flowers drawn in the kid �s notebook for giving you good answers -> 1 origami elephant given).

7) If I didn�t have a formal training, I think I�d like to help myself with a coursebook. I don �t have a great insight into the current offer, but my more experienced friend recommends "Kid �s Box" (part 1), preferably with the Teacher�s Book to it. You don�t have to ask the kids� parents to buy those for them, the book is mostly for you. And you can later make some copies for your pupils.

8) In the future, consider doing a CELTA YL (Younger Learners) course (an extension to CELTA), even though they focus on 8 - 13 y.o. kids and employ writing and reading. But they say very useful things about teaching children in general.

9) Try googling more tips and example activities? I�m sure you�re not the first teacher who faces such a challenge.

Good luck! 

14 Mar 2014     

miss K.

dreamenglish.com has a free book offering a strategy to teach little kids. Check also busybeavers for the same reason. They have a section on the website where they explain their methodology. On dreamenglish you also will find lots of helpful resourses: flashcards, free MP3 songs. You might want to look into twinkle (register to download free materials).

Check out the folowing channel on youtube:



 Pumkin English  

Busy beavers

14 Mar 2014     

United Kingdom

 thank you my friends  you have given me a big hand and at least i feel calmer ... the biggest problem is that i already have so many groups  that my hours are really long , but I �ll let you know how it goes thanks again 

15 Mar 2014