Why I Love Teaching ESL to Preschoolers\\\' Parents
Oct 20, 2008 Adults 3274 Views
For years, I taught English to people who often ran out of class because they heard their child crying in the next room. They all had children or grandchildren under five, which meant they weren't always able to get to class, had no time for homework, and couldn't go anywhere in the afternoons because that was naptime. So why did I love my job?
I could use kids' activities without insulting the students. A set of directions in clear, simple English can be the base for plenty of different activities: reading for comprehension, learning vocabulary, summarizing the directions either orally or in writing. But many teachers hesitate to use children's activities, feeling (with reason) that they'd be demeaning to adult students.
Not me - I could just say, "Here's something you can do with your kids on a rainy day." And we were off, making wreaths out of construction paper or Thanksgiving turkeys out of cookies. This was also a great way to teach about North American holidays.
I was also able to get the students to write book reviews in class. I brought in a stack of picture books they could choose from and made up a blank review form with both fact and opinion questions. Not only did the students realize they could critique books in English, they were encouraged to read to their children in English.
And, though I didn't always think of it at the time, by helping the students I was helping their children. Growing up speaking two languages, with parents who don't always understand about things like Halloween costumes, is hard enough. Maybe, by smoothing the way for their parents, I made things a little easier for some of the kids who'll grow up to shape the country's future.