I enjoy using a variety of tools and resources, much like what is used with my adult students – we all need motivation and a nurtured interest when it comes to language learning – colors and pictures are necessary, even for adult students! I generally stick to using PowerPoint, to keep lessons structured, whilst utilizing the eclectic methodology alongside of the PPP method – Presentation, Practice, Performance. To observe is to learn. The key is to make sure that your presentation is interactive and eye-catching! This will help younger students stay focused.
How do you keep children motivated and interested?
Be passionate as a teacher! Make lessons interesting — I base lessons on everything from expressing feelings and learning songs through to describing food and activities. One has to discover what the interests of the child really are and how you are going to feed those. As the world-renowned teacher for autistic children, Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas once said: “If they can’t learn the way we teach, we teach the way they learn.” I also believe that reviewing past materials is essential to a child’s progress.
Is there a specific method for Skype English classes for children?
I must say that including hand actions and suitable body language aided by pictures and melody can help children to learn better. The key is to keep children entertained, and the best way in which to do so is to think like a child. Children are easy to motivate once they become accustomed to you – building trust and keeping up with a playful attitude goes a long way when motivating children.
What are the difficulties for children learning via Skype?
I find that concentration is a challenge for children of all ages – so keeping instructions relatively short and simple is essential to productivity. We have to bear in mind that students at this age find it difficult to maintain attention for too long or to recall lengthy instructions. Computer literacy at a very young age is ever-improving, but all the same, a teacher needs to be prepared to take control of the session through screen-sharing and use of a multitude of tools to make sessions interactive and easily accessible. Videos, colors, flash cards and voice modulation all play a role in teaching children effectively.
Interview with Bernadette, an English teacher at Break Into English, on online English academy that specializes in Skype classes for children and teenagers. All of the native English teachers who teach kids and younger learners at Break Into English are required to have prior extensive teaching experience with children before entering the training program. The training program consists in fine-tuning techniques to make Skype English classes for children fun, interesting, dynamic and interactive. It is meant to help teachers find the balance between a serious class that will help children progress and a class that they look forward to having after a long day at school. At the end of the day if kids love their English class, they will most definitely benefit much more from the lessons and become fluent English speakers prepared to take on the modern world where, as we all know it, English is a pre-requisite for almost any job out there.
Break Into English offers free trial lessons to all new students so that you can test our method before deciding if you want to sign up for more lessons: