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If piety is to take root in any manÂ´s heart, it must be engrafted while he is still young ; if we wish any to be virtuous we must train him in early youth ; if we wish him to make great progress in the persuit of wisdom , we must direct his faculties towards it in infancy, when desire burns , when taught is swift and when memory is tenacious.
The process of education is one of the most important and complex of all human endeavors. A popular notion is that education is carried out by one person, a teacher, standing in front of the class and transmitting information to a group of learners who are willing to absorb it. This view simplifies what is a highly complex process involving an intricate interplay between the learning process itself, the teacher`s intentions and actions, the individual personalities of the learners, their background, etc.
This research paper aims to provide a coherent psychological framework that will help language teachers to make connections between the process of learning and the making of decision in the classroom of kindergarten. In order to do so, it is necessary to adopt a particular approach to psychology which will be helpful at the moment of teaching English to children.
The infantile education across the years has been extending this field of action to children. For the 4 and 5-year-old children, kindergarten has turned into an ideal area where to share the game and the learning with other children. The progresses reached in the skills and skills motorboats focus their behavior.
English learning in kindergarten has become a phenomenon to education. The most standing points are the capacities to learn a new language rapidly. Children utilize different types of mental resources to incorporate words and meanings. They do interpretations of the listened and observed around them and this relation is notable with the new language. As a consequence, children increase their attention and their autonomy increase as well. Another essential aspect at this level is "listening skill" considered as essential to encourage the retention of information and actions which they consider to be children`s own childhood.
Teaching English to children who have not yet reached a first grade age presents challenges which may not be so noticeable at first. It is the young children who exhibit voracity and aptitude for assimilating English which definitely diminishes with age. In light of this, there are several facets to bear in mind which will make teaching this special age bracket all the more rewarding.
Very young children may often not grasp that teacher does not understand what they are saying, and may be very puzzled that neither can they make this strange adult comprehend their chatter, nor make head or tail of what is being directed at them. , but their willingness to please and expressive body language easily makes up for any frustrations. Incorporating several key themes into every lesson plan will maximize learning and enjoyment potential for all.
Meeting the language development needs of such culturally and linguistically diverse students is challenging for teachers. A supportive, student-centered environment will assist the language development of all students. Such an environment, which values and accepts students' languages, cultures and experiences as the foundation for instruction, will support and nurture each student's language acquisition and development. Teachers who are aware of students' sociolinguistic backgrounds can assess individual linguistic competence and assist students in developing English abilities in familiar and non-threatening contexts. Students are more likely to experiment with language and take risks during independent and collaborative language activities if they perceive their languages, cultures and experiences as significant, and if they recognize that their peers and teachers share this perception.
It is important to say that teachers have not been trained to teach English in kindergarten. However, Kindergarten and elementary school teachers play a vital role in the development of children. What children learn and experience during their early years can shape their views of themselves and the world and can affect their later success or failure in school, work, and their personal lives. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers introduce children to mathematics, language, science, and social studies. They use games, music, artwork, films, books, computers, and other tools to teach basic skills.
Teachers play an important role in fostering the intellectual and social development of children during their formative years. The education that students acquire is key to determining the future of those students. Whether in elementary or high schools or in private or public schools, teachers provide the tools and the environment for their students to develop into responsible adults.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
"The importance of teaching English in kindergarten as well as the importance of teachersÂ´ role"
The focal point of this research is to appreciate the significance of teaching English in Kindergarten due to the fact that teachers have not been trained to deal in this level nor the use of methodologies in the process of learning. Also, it aims to take consideration the teachersÂ´ work.
The goal of this study is:
To understand how children acquire a second language
To appreciate English teachers Â´role
To describe the methodologies to teach in kindergarten.
To appreciate the importance of teaching English to children for future levels.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS STUDY
This research is about how a new language is learned in kindergarten. I believe that this information about findings and theoretical views in second language acquisition can make a better judge and proponents of various language teaching methods. Such information can help to evaluate moment to moment of reflections about our children in kindergarten and teachers teaching a second language in this level. Also this work focuses in knowing the characteristics of the 4 and 5-year-old children of age during the process of learning. How incredibly is seeing children to manage to be orientated and to be located without having problems with what it concerns the language.
Teaching English in kindergarten is possible to fail because of:
Lack of teaching training in kindergarten
Lack of methods and resources to teach in kindergarten
Teaching English in kindergarten must be as motivating as possible. Teachers should work with children taking into account their autonomy, curiosity, their capacity, and their willingness to do, say, listen, everything at the same time. The classes must take place in an environment full of motivation for children to acquire confidence in themselves.
It is through play that much of children's early learning is achieved. The physical, socio-emotional and intellectual development of children is dependent upon activity. Therefore, opportunity for play is a key aspect of the Kindergarten program. The program builds on, rather than detracts from, this natural approach to learning. Through touching, manipulating, exploring and testing, children find out about the world around them. Through interacting with other children and adults, they find out about themselves and their relationship to others. Through play, children imitate adults and experiment with what it means to be a caregiver, a fisher, a firefighter, a doctor and so on. Through play, they learn how to solve problems and work cooperatively with others.
The features of the room of roleplaying are:
a receptive and supportive environment for learning
materials and equipment designed to provide for multi-level and multi-content experiences
instruction based on the individual needs of each child
an integration of ways of learning with understandings to be developed
a total learning environment which provides for alternate ways of learning: play, games, sensory education, concrete manipulation and physical participation
emphasis on language development.
For the purpose of this study it is necessary to mention important authors as guides
Age of acquisition
We now turn to a learner characteristic of a different type: age. This is a characteristic which is easier to define and measure than personality, aptitude or motivation. Nevertheless, the relationship between a learnerÂ´s age and his or her potential for success in second language acquisition is the subject of much lively debate.
Chomsky makes a distinction between acquisition and learning explaining that It has been widely observe that children from immigrate families eventually speak the language of their new community with native-like fluency. Their parents rarely achieve such high levels of mastery of the new language. Adult second language learners may become very capable of communicating successfully in the language, but there will always be differences of accent, word choice or grammatical features which set them apart from native speakers who began learning the language while they were very young.
One explanation is that as in first language acquisition there is a critical period for second language acquisition, the CRITICAL PERIOD HYPOTHESIS suggests that there is a time in human development when the brain is predisposed for success in language learning. Language learning which occur after the end of the critical period may not be based on the innate structures believed to contribute to first language acquisition in early childhood. Rather, older learners depend on more general learning abilities.
According to Chomsky, learning take place in a formal environment where the learner depends on the teachers and learns form him/her.
Another important author is Piaget who claimed that individuals are actively involved right from birth in constructing personal meaning, their own personal understanding, from their experiences. In other words, everyone makes their own sense of the world and the experiences around them.
Piaget himself was mainly interested in the way in which people came to know things as they developed from infancy to adulthood. Thus, his theory is one which is "action based", more concerned with the process of learning.
PiagetÂ´s theory is based in learners passing through a series of stages:
Sensori-motor stage : for the young infant, the most important way of exploring the environment is considered by Piaget to be through the basic senses.
Intuitive or pre-operational stage: between the ages of 2 and 7. This is when the childÂ´s thoughts become more flexible and when memory and imagination begin to play a part.
Concrete operational stage: between the age of 7 and the formal operational stage.
PiagetÂ´s staged do have a message for the language teacher. When teaching young learners, we should not expect them to have reached the stage of abstract reasoning nd therefore should not expect them to apply this to sorting out the rules of the language. It is more important to provide experiences in the target language which are related o aspects of the childÂ´s own world.
An original thinker in his own right, Bruner extended aspects of Piagetian theory to suggesting that three different modes of thinking needed to be taken into account by educators. These he termed the enactive, the iconic and symbolic modes of thought. These three categories are considered by Bruner to represent the essential ways in which children make sense of their experiences: through their actions, by means of visual imagery and by using language.
The enactive level: learning takes place by means of direct manipulation of objects and materials.
The iconic level: objects are represented by visual images one step removed from the real thing.
The symbolic level: symbols can be manipulated in place of objects or mental images.
How children of 4 and 5 are
Kindergarten children, no matter what their cultural and experiential background, have characteristics in common with other children of their age and characteristics that are particularly their own
Children develop socially and emotionally during the Kindergarten year. At the beginning of the year some children may be shy and appear to lack initiative. However, as they come to know the situation, the teachers and peers, they usually gain confidence and begin to establish friendships and become an active part of the class. Other children may be too assertive prior to learning from experience more appropriate ways of relating to peers. It is a time of testing and exploring social relationships.
Kindergarten children are eager to be trusted with responsibility. They appreciate going on errands, using proper tools, participating with grown-ups in such activities as cooking, bringing things from home, and suggesting solutions to practical problems. Although there are some senses in which Kindergarten students are still egocentric (that is, tied to their own view of things) they are also able, in a suitable group environment, to be of help to each other.
They can show considerable empathy toward people and animals when their own needs do not conflict with the needs of others. When helpfulness is noticed, modeled and encouraged by the teacher, helpful behavior is likely to become more common in the classroom. Kindergarten children are developing a sense of independence but are also learning to work cooperatively with others.
Kindergarten children are more stable socio-emotionally than they were as preschoolers. They are developing a good sense of humour, which they express by delighting in nonsense and playing with language. They may develop specific fears, such as the fear of death, and mistakenly assume that they have caused such events as their parents separating. Kindergarten students take criticism, name calling and teasing very seriously because they still think that what is said exists in reality at its face value.
Physical activity is one common characteristic of Kindergarten children, although children vary a great deal in the development of physical skills and abilities. Some children are slow and cautious about trying new things; others seem to accept any challenge that is presented. Most Kindergarten children are full of energy, ready to run, swing, climb and jump, and are eager to try their strength by moving big blocks or boxes. They are developing a sense of rhythm, and enjoy such activities as marching, jumping or clapping to music. These group activities need to be short and allow for more participation than standing. Required stillness is more exhausting and stressful for most Kindergarten students than movement.
Sensory development is uneven. The coordination of the eyes and other senses are still developing. Physical growth has slowed down. It is a time of consolidating gains and developing fine motor control. However, over-emphasis on fine motor activities such as writing, cutting and making very discrete visual discriminations may result in tension and frustration.
Kindergarten children love to talk. Their intellectual development is reflected in the rapid growth of vocabulary and the power to express ideas. They are developing visual and auditory memory and the ability to listen to others. Their ears are keen but they still need help in distinguishing sounds, although they can pick up another language and accurately imitate other people's intonations and inflections. They are especially keen to acquire new words (the names of dinosaurs, for example) and to use such words as "infinity" and "trillion". Kindergarten children welcome opportunities to be inventive with language, to play with rhyming, to joke, to explain things to each other and even to argue.
Opportunities to talk about what they do, what they see and what they hear help children construct meaning and learn from their experiences. The language and ideas shared by others enable children to gradually organize and attach meaning to their daily observations and activities.
Kindergarten children have a powerful urge to find out about things, to figure things out. They ask many questions, often deep unanswerable questions and they love to play guessing games or solve riddles. Their curiosity leads them to figure out concepts and relationships, and become interested in symbols. They enjoy listening to stories, but they do not learn very much from passive attention to the teacher or mere listening to information. The intellectual growth of Kindergarten students comes from exploration, testing and investigating rather than only from listening.
The children are still figuring out the properties of objects and are not yet able to reverse operations, that is, to understand that 250 ml of water in a tall narrow glass and 250 ml of water in a large, flat pan are equal in volume. Their reasoning, from an adult perspective, is still illogical. Happenings that occur together are thought to have a causal relationship to each other, for example, "Because I wore my new shoes, it rained."