Including new languages in the classroom can be scary... and so much fun!
You can learn right with the children! Contrary to what some people say, you DO NOT need to be an expert to teach children different languages. You are learning right along side them and tell the children that! It's super important for them to know if AND when (because we know you will) make a mistake and to correct it with them.
What to Teach?
There are a variety of multiple language curriculum options available for purchase. If applicable, research and talk to your director about the possibility of using one in your classroom. If a “pre-packaged” program is not suitable, you can still integrate languages into your classroom in less formal ways. Even though you may not be using a commercially published curriculum, you are responsible for teaching quality material. Make sure you are doing research and studying the information before presenting it to children.
Let Children’s Interests Guide Learning
Each classroom has a unique atmosphere and chemistry. Be mindful of the children that are in your classroom, including their interests, temperaments, and learning styles when planning instruction. If the children have a particular curiosity for a subject, you can teach them about it in another language as well. Forcing children to simply memorize and regurgitate information that they place no value in will only be an uphill battle. If you are not sure what a child’s interests are or if you believe they have changed throughout the year, take the time to do an interest inventory with them or send one home for their parents to fill out. There are tons of surveys available online for young children.
***Does this topic interest you?***
You could enroll in our new course titled Multiple Languages in the Early Childhood Classroom for 2 clock hours.
Click here to enroll.
Comment some words you know in another language or some words you'd like to learn!
Here are a few of mine:
I really like saying "thank you" in Spanish.
It's also fun to say "hello" in different languages too!