Teaching children English - evaluation

In November 2008 I had a practice in teaching English at primary school. Children were at the age of 9-12. Each student had different personality and individual needs but almost all had the same interests. While teaching them I tried to make my lessons full of music and games, allowing the children to get pleasure from learning. To evaluate my work I would like to focus myself on characterising the personality, way of learning and the behaviour of children I was teaching.

To start with, the most amazing thing for me was the speed of their development. I noticed that children learn language faster than adolescents or adults and in a completely different way than them. They like learning by ‘doing’. Children may be involved in different types of games, in drawing pictures, in physical activities, in singing songs etc. So before each lesson I was preparing various songs, games, flashcards and stories for listening. Besides, they understand things in a better way when they have an opportunity to see, hear, or touch something. Also, children were easily bored with too engaging activity. Because of this, I was changing lesson activities, at least every ten minutes.
Furthermore, children love when teacher focuses on them individually. In my opinion, they need it to become more encouraged to learn, especially children who are very shy, upset or too nervy. We should give each of them advice and support whenever they need it. But also we should remember that each student has to be treated the same, because of the fact that children are very conscious of favouritism. Additionally, I observed that children very often talk about themselves, their family, and are enthusiastic when teacher listens to them and is a participant in a discussion. They need a teacher who always surprise them, smile with them or play with them. Thanks to this, children are more self-assured, and not afraid of participating in different activities.
Another important aspect of teaching children is their behaviour. Some of my pupils were too shy or frightened. As I was told later it was caused mainly by a difficult home situation. In one class I had a problem with two boys who never wanted to play with the group. I decided to play with a group where these boys belonged to. After some minutes I noticed that the boys were more confident of themselves and were playing like the rest of the group.
One thing that was difficult to avoid was students’ unwillingness to use English during the communicative activities. I knew that I should choose tasks that students are able to do in English language. Moreover, while speaking activities I was going round the classroom and monitoring their work, often saying: ‘Please speak English!’ Often it worked.

All in all, I have gained a lot of confidence and practical knowledge thanks to the teaching practice with children. Because of their enjoyment and the speed of their progress they motivated me to teach more. I get a lot of satisfaction in seeing my pupils sing, shout, discover new things, and what is more important speak English.

Category: General English - Reading

Tags: Teaching children English, primary school, lessons