Pre-school children learn by imitationg their peers. That is why your role of a MODEL is so crucial. Your students will remember and try to imitate your language so pay attention to your pronunciation and use simple but natural sentences. Try to take advantage of classroom situations to elicit natural communication. You will be more than surprised when you hear your students use something you have not drilled but used in a real situation in the classroom. Children will also copy your actions. That is why you need to be a good actor. Model for your students gestures and facial expressions to help them match the language with its meaning. Remember that small children are also learning social rules and they will imitate your behaviour. If you want them to be calm, you must be calm. If you want them to support one another you have to be supportive.
How to be a good MODEL?
- Pay attention to your pronunciation and do not simplify your speech too much
- Repeatedly use a set of expressions you want children to remember
- Expand the set and use classroom situations for natural communication – one never knows what children have acquired
- Use vivid gestures and facial expressions to express meaning
- Remember to set a positive example as children will copy your behaviour
- When you want students to get involved in acting out a story, do it with involvement yourself
- Model for them concentration, active engagement, how you expect students to react, how to pretend to be e.g. surprised or how to respond to something funny
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