Teaching ESL Preschool
Book Review from Rosina Reyes, Spain
Before I had the resource it was a LOT more difficult than I had planned...
As a mother of three I know the importance of story-telling from a very young age. Children are eager to listen and to participate in the stories, they have such imagination! It's no surprise that I would use stories in my preschool classes, but teaching English as a Second Language is not easy when you have twenty minutes to teach 25 three-year-olds or thirty five-year-olds...how to keep their attention and make classes fun became a lot more difficult than I had originally imagined.
I came across this wonderful resource...
Looking through the internet for ideas I came across this wonderful resource for teaching ESL to young children while making it fun. It's called ESL Preschool Games and Stores for Ages 3 to 5 by Shelley Vernon. It was as if someone had read my mind! Not only are there easy, creative stories for the children to enjoy, there are flashcards, games and ideas to pre-teach the vocabulary, a guide on how to actually present the stories and post-story ideas to reinforce what they have already learned.
I can't believe how easy preparing has become!
I can't believe how easy preparing for my classes has become! After printing and laminating the flashcards and bingo boards once, I have a full set of ESL resources at my fingertips for a lifetime. Shelley gives ideas on how to vary the games depending on the size of the class, available space and even the mood the children are in! This is so important for me, I teach 5 three-year-old classes of around 25 students each (twenty minutes), and 5 five-year-old classes of 30 students each (twenty-five minutes). Some days just getting them to settle down and pay attention takes up most of the class time!
But all children love stories, the trick is to get them interested in what you do with the stories and letting them participate. Here's where Shelley's stories saved me time and effort.
They are looking forward to my classes...
The stories are presented in an order which allow for revision of what has already been taught without becoming tedious. My children love them! When I walk into a class the first thing they ask is if there will be a story that day. The fact that they are looking forward to my classes because they enjoy them so much is proof of what a wonderful resource this is. Before, I would take different stories to read to them, but after the third or fourth time they would say "You already read that" or "Again?" With these stories I can bring the same story back to the class, but the children don't know how we're going to work the story or which game we're going to play.
And the games are great, Shelley's ideas take most classroom scenarios into consideration, even how to ensure the classes don't get out of control with the forfeits. I don't have anyone to help me in my classes (as large as they are), but with these ideas I can play games with the children and keep the classes controlled while teaching them basic concepts like waiting their turn or following rules. How cool is that?
As a teacher I like to have little surprises up my sleeve...
As a teacher I like to have little surprises up my sleeve to keep the children guessing, that way they're never bored or tired of the same type of class. With this resource I have found that I can think ahead several classes using the same story but focussing on different concepts and ways to make it fun for the children. Plus, I always have several ideas ready in case the one I was planning to use that day didn't fit the "mood" of the class. This way I am more confident that I am prepared for whatever I am going to find in the class when I walk in, whether they're in a run-around kind of mood or more calm and quiet.
I would definitely recommend this resource to anyone...
I would definitely recommend this resource to anyone who works with children. In fact, I use them with my own children (who are bilingual Spanish/English) using more complex language and structures. Children have so much imagination as it is, so we teachers can use that to our advantage to make our job easier. These stories and games show you how to do just that, making teaching easier for us and more enjoyable for them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosina Reyes teaches in Spain. She very kindly provided Shelley with this book review.
Receive a free story & song here ! Preschool Games and Stories for Children