The basic principles of teaching English to Children
Wattsenglish children have lots of fun while continuing to learn and play in English. But don't just take our word for it. Our website, facebook and youtube contains a number of recorded Wattsenglish lessons and sample material from relevant projects which you can watch. We feel confident that you will see for yourself how we proudly we stand by our results, and it is for this reason and we are more than happy to share them with you.
Behind every successful lesson there is the implementation of you guiding principles, which are as follows:
The ability to understand
Children understand basic meanings of their native language significantly before they are able to express themselves. Teaching a foreign language to young children is derived from the same principle. Children react to certain instigators expressed in a foreign language without having to form any sort of message. Foreign languages are acquired just as naturally as their native language; children understand the sense of the statement as a whole. The teacher continues to stimulate and motivate by using gestures, pictures, puppets and miming etc.
The use of games and movement
Methods of experiential and cooperative learning via games and such activities, which are based on the direct experience of children, support children's curiosity and desire to discover. The greatest motivation to communicate is often created while playing games. We create suitable conditions for teaching when the games are fun and exciting and are created so that they enable all children to participate. Movement is an important tool of non-verbal communication and creating a relaxed learning environment.
Language is not separable from the reality children are experiencing. They like to imitate voices from songs and scenes from stories, and also imitate characters and people in terms of their manners of expression. They enjoy fairytales, rhymes, riddles, and new sounds that they can discover in themselves. In this form, children engage the same part of their minds, which they use to develop their mother tongue. It is an indirect form of learning and also one of the the most effective.
Children live scenes and stories to the maximum. Teachers help to create a relaxed fairytale like environment. The well-developed children's fantasy enables children to work with stories, fairytales or songs in a foreign language just as in their mother tongue.
Activation of all senses
Cognitive development of children is based on engaging all senses. The mother tongue is acquired by the child via multi-sense motivational factors, which is the same way that we have to approach teaching young learners foreign language skills. In addition, when children are learning a language they practice manipulation activities, constructive and graphic activities, sense and psychomotor games and games with music and movement to music can be used.
Children concentrate for short periods at a time, which is why learning has to be lively and a mix of games and movement. It is recommended to alternate activities every five to ten minutes, and to organise games, and stimulating or relaxing activities according to need. It is a good idea to use games often, which are familiar to children as it increases their self-confidence.
Children gain the necessary self-confidence through repetition. Children need to confirm the meaning of the message in the foreign language. It is necessary to realise that the process of absorbing a language before the child is capable of producing the language may be a lengthy one. The possible stress resulting from vocalisation of new language can be eliminated by repeating through songs and rhymes in groups or various fun forms of drills.
The teacher must devote as much individual attention as possible to each child. An important process of learning is encouraging and commending the children for their efforts. Teachers should forster all forms of individual communication and praise effort while correcting in a positive manor. Correction should not discourage the child's "have a go" mentality which the teacher is always trying to build by and harness.