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Kids World

Topics of interest to teachers of English as a second or foreign language to young learners.

October 13, 2013

Goals in Teaching English to Children

kids-world-goals.jpgI think before English teachers step into the ESL or EFL teaching arena, they need to clearly define what their goals are for their younger students. Then they can create a curriculum with corresponding lessons plans, select appropriate materials, and employ methods which contribute to the acquisition of those goals.

I believe that all elementary school EFL or ESL students should be able to master the following:

  • Alphabet: Be able to read and write all capital and small letters with neat, legible penmanship.
  • Phonics: Have a basic phonics foundation, especially for initial and final letter sounds, along with understanding the difference between long and short vowels and basic blends.
  • Greetings: Be able to greet people in simple English with eye contact and a smile. Be comfortable shaking hands.
  • Nomenclature: Be able to name basics which are close to a child’s world, such as colors, animals, fruit, vegetables, clothing, family members, sports, school supplies, school subjects, days of the week, months of the year, seasons, weather, body parts, animals, clothing, toys and hobbies, plus be able to tell time.
  • Self-introductions: Be able to introduce oneself with confidence on a one-to-one basis or in small groups.
  • Dictionary: Be able to look English words up in an English to their native language dictionary in order to foster independence and not rely on the teacher for explanation.
  • Asking & responding to questions in English: Be able to ask and answer simple questions in English without translating into their native language.
  • Reading simple sentences: Be able to read aloud and comprehend simple sentences.
  • Knowledge about Western holidays: Have a basic idea about how Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day and other foreign holidays are celebrated abroad.
  • Western manners: Be able to exhibit good manners and interact naturally with useful phrases, such as: “Here you are,” “Thank you,” “You’re welcome,” “Yes, please,” “No, thank you,” “May I….?”
  • English songs: Be able to sing some simple, popular songs.
  • Think in English: Be able to listen, think and respond in simple English without translation.
  • Self-confidence: Be able to exhibit confidence with what limited English has been mastered.
  • Ability to take risks: Be willing to try, try and try again.

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