Page 7 - Sinergi Edisi Agustus 2019
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                                                               The Pre-K & Kindegarten Classes

                                                               Yokhebed Santoso, S.S., M.S.
                                                               Staf Koord. Bidang Bahasa Inggris PPPK Petra

                                                               •    Story Telling                                Story Telling
                                                               •    Motoric activities (cut & paste, writing)    The children need to learn how to communicate
                  hen should a child learn a new language?     •    Goodbye Song                                 with the language which means they will need to
                  Learning language has been recognized      This order of activities allows a lot of repetition of   interact with each other and with the teacher using
        Wby researches to be a natural talent of             the new material. Thus, the children will feel at ease   the language. Activities that allow children to interact
        children. Children learn languages very easily, while   because they are familiar with that they have to do   with each other will mostly involve speaking. Story
        adults struggle (Richards, 2013). Children learn their   when they are in class.                         telling is a good activity for that purpose. The story
        first language in a very quick pace. Still, teachers of                                                  that will be used in the lesson should match the
        very young learners should not ignore the fact that the   HELLO SONG and GOODBYE SONG                    target language for that day’s lesson. In good English
        theory might not apply to all children. Even though   Songs are good a good tool to teach the language   course books for very young learners, usually each
        there is some kind of research on how a child acquire   to the young children. First of all, songs meant   topic in the book usually comes with shorts, simple
        a language, but the ability and chance to get the    for young children have rhymes. The rhymes help     and fun stories related to the topic. Some really good
        knowledge should be considered too.                  children to remember the words easier. The words    English course books even come with puppets of the
                                                             and sentences in the lyrics are repeated. This helps   characters in the book, flashcards, audio-video CD and
        Teaching English to very young learners is not as easy   children to remember the words and the sentences in   student’s workbook. This activity will help the children
        as it seems. It is true that children learn language   the song. Second of all, songs for young children have   to understand and even speak the language better. It
        faster than adults, but it doesn’t mean that they will   rhythm which helps children to speak in natural flow   is fun too!
        acquire the language easily - the ability and chance of   (Richelson, 2010). Third of all, songs meant for young
        a child to get the knowledge of the new language also   children always have actions word in it so they can   Motoric Activities
        influence the speed of that child in acquiring the new   act them out. These three aspects in a song: rhyme,   When talking about very young children, we need
        language and being able to use the language. Children   rhythm and action words will stick into the children’s   to teach them more than just English as a second
        who are put in an environment which use English      mind.                                               language. Teachers will need to include some activities
        all the time will have more chance to be exposed to   The Hello Song is a good way to start the class,   that require the students’ motoric skill. It is a way to
        the language, thus results in their ability to master   especially in a brand new class where the children   help children holistically through all senses. Some
        the language faster than children who do not get the                                                     good English course books for young learners come
        chance to be in an English speaking environment.                                                         with workbooks. These workbooks allow the students
                                                                                                                 to write, cut and paste. Children as young as three
        Teaching English to Young Learners                                                                       to five years old have not had a good motoric skill,
        Parents have high expectation when they send                                                             especially when it comes to cutting, coloring and
        their children to schools that use English or to an                                                      writing. Getting them practice the motoric skill while
        English course. This expectation will have to be put                                                     learning English at the same time will help the children
        into consideration by the teacher in planning their                                                      to remember the language that they learn for that day.
        lessons. Young children learn by sentences and not
        by grammar. Children this age will not understand
        grammar no matter how hard the teacher gets them
        to learn it. Teachers need to teach them: I am happy   have never seen each other before. The song used
        instead of teaching them: I is the subject, am is called   should be a song that allows the children to use their
        ‘to be’ and happy is an adjective. If you use adjective,   body to dance, move around and interact with each
        then you need to put ‘to be’ in between the subject   other.
        and the adjective. If the teacher uses the previous, the
        children will be able to use the language quite fast.   If Hello Song is used to start the lesson, then another
        However, English classes for very young learners need   song is needed to end the lesson. The Goodbye Song
        to teach them not only the language but also other   is good to end the lesson: saying goodbye to each
        skills as well: cognitive, affective and motoric skills.  other and the teacher and promising each other to
                                                             meet again in the next lesson. Ending a lesson with a
        Lesson Plan                                          song will keep the children’s mood – it will keep the
        Creating lesson plan that is fun and interactive is   children happy. Similar to the Hello Song, the Goodbye   In the end, teaching English to very young learners can
        important for a very young learners’ classroom. The   Song should also be simple and allows the children to   be very tricky for teachers. The lesson plans should be
        thing that teacher needs to remember is that children   move and interact with each other.               integrated and covering all different types of learning
        learn by doing. Therefore, repetition is important. A                                                    styles of the children. As it was mentioned, children
        lesson on Family for example, will sometimes take    There are many song videos online that we can use in   are mostly learning by doing so conducting a lesson
        more than four lessons to finish – depends on the    our classes. The most important is to find one which   that allows them to do a lot of physical and motoric
        ability of the children in the class. It is important to   lyric is simple and easy to remember. The song should   activities will help a lot in acquiring the language.
        review what they have learnt that day at the end of   be lively, interactive, and engaging.              Children learn by words and sentences. Creative
        the lesson and when they come again in the next                                                          and Innovative teachers are needed in a very young
        meeting, remind them about what they learn in        Total Phisycal Response (TPR)                       learners English class. The order of activities might be
        the previous meeting: In one sense, the whole of     Total Physical Response is a method of introducing   one of the best, but it is not absolute. Teachers are
        linguistics can be regarded as the study of repetition,   a new language through movement. It allows the   encouraged to find out the best order of activities for
        in that language depends on repeated patterns        children to react to the language without thinking too   their own classes.
        (Aitchison, 1994: 16).                               much. TPR is also a good way to reduce the students’
                                                             anxiety and stress. Developed by James Asher, TPR is
        One form of repetition is having the same activities   one of the important activities in an English for young
        in every lesson. Changing the types of activities every   learners’ class. Teachers can prompt the students to
        time will only cause anxiety and discomfort to the   the lesson for that day by using TPR. For example: the
        children because they do not know what to do once    lesson for that day is about animals, the teacher uses           Young children
        they get inside the class. By having the same types of   the animals in the course book and asks the children
        activities and the same order of activities, children will   how those animals walk for instance. Teachers can     learn by sentences
        feel more comfortable and at ease which helps them   then ask them to walk around the class in the way of                 and not by
        in gaining their confidence in taking part in the lesson.  those animals. This way, children will remember the
                                                             name of the animals faster than if they just listen to                grammar
        Here is an example of one of the best orders of      the teacher saying it. In addition, TPR is a good way to
        activities for young learners’ class:                get rid of the extra energy of the children so that the
        •  Hello Song                                        can calm down during the lesson.
        •  Total Physical Response (TPR)

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