Children learn a second language very quickly. However, when they are encountering English for the first time, it is difficult to find activities other than songs, that keep them interested and participating. Although songs are an excellent way for children to learn English, other approaches are needed. This is especially true if the children are living in a culture where no one speaks English.
To begin, the children will need to learn the English alphabet. The letters can be taught by using a picture of something that begins with the letter. However, children learn their first language by hearing their parents speak in sentences. So let’s introduce that first letter together with a picture and a sentence that describes it. The children can then repeat the sentence, draw the picture and practice printing the letter.
Teach four or five letters. then try a game like this.
Young children need to participate in the lesson. They can listen for only very short periods of time. Another way to keep them active and learning is to try a modified Bingo game. It won’t take very long before someone calls BINGO but children will want to play the same game many times. They will have fun and they will be learning! When they know the initial captions then move on to the enrichment captions.
Some programs offer extra pages that provide independent work. These give the teacher time to work with individuals and small groups.
Adapt any of these ideas to meet the needs of your groups. The age of the students and their cultural background make every class different.