Motivating Young Children During Difficult or Boring Subjects

ESL curriculumLet’s assume that the children have had time to settle into the classroom environment and that you are ready for them to begin the first lesson. This is their best learning time. They have focused in on an English environment and have had a short time to adapt to the change from their last situation. This first lesson will include the most difficult material to be taught. It will likely include listening, and because listening and understanding are the most difficult, this is the best time to give your oral explanation. This articles provides suggestions for getting the children excited about your lesson.

Tips for Giving Oral Explanations to ESL Students Aged 5 to 8

– Have a picture that represents your subject matter.

– Draw on the board as you talk. Don’t worry about your artistic abilities. The children will love it if their drawings are better than yours. Funny things facilitate learning.

ESL curriculum– Take advantage of their drawing ability and have them draw small parts of what you are explaining on the board. They will be listening! They’ll be laughing and involved, learning English will be exciting.

– Dramatize what you are saying with your own actions. Sometimes it seems that teachers need to be able to do everything!

– Follow your own dramatics by giving the children a chance to imitate them while you give them the language.

How Can You Capture Every Child’s Attention?

ESL curriculum– The first lesson needs to present something of interest. It might be a song, verse, picture, or a  map. Most children are fascinated by machines or electronic equipment.

– If you are using a textbook you have purchased, it might be effective to display some part of it using an overhead projector.

– Children relate to computers. When they sit down at a computer they give it their full attention, no matter what problems they may have.

ESL curriculum– Perhaps you are wondering how to include boring subjects such as phonics. If your lesson includes identifying rhyming words, listening or phonics , then this is the time to teach it. Using any of the teaching aids mentioned above or any others you may have, move into the difficult content.

Let’s suppose you are teaching rhyming words .
Have the students listen to a funny / interesting verse.
ESL curriculumFor Example:
Explain that A1, A2, A3, and A4 are friendly aliens.They’re flying to Earth in their rocket. On the Internet children can see the rocket zooming in to land near their home. A1 is introducing his friends to all the kids on Earth. Have the children repeat A1’s introduction and identify the rhyming words.

Possible extentions:
– have the children draw what they think the aliens should look like
– brainstorm and list other related rhyming words
– talk about what they might see on a rocket
– talk about space
– make alien puppets

If you are teaching specific sounds or rhyming words, make up or use a program that offers meaningful examples of what you are teaching. Use examples that are fun so the children can enjoy repeating them. They will learn if they are enjoying the lesson.

See Also:

Our Children’s ESL Storybooks make ESL classes interesting!

Hand Puppet Resources:

Simple Rod Puppets:

ESL Storybooks

About brian_mu8dft39

Successful ESL was created out of our first company, Learning English With Laughter which began in 1990 when we, George and Daisy Stocker, traveled to the historic city of Karlovy Vary in Czechoslovakia, to teach English in a private language school. Communism was over and the people were embarking along the road to democracy. There were hundreds of students eager to learn the English Language, but suitable textbooks were non-existent. Consequently, we wrote as we taught, making countless revisions as we listened to the students' special needs. Upon returning to our home in Victoria, Canada, we have adapted the Teen-adult Series to meet the cultural needs of students in a number of different countries. A variety of adaptations have been achieved through contacts with many countries. Thousands of students have encouraged us to use a conversational approach to English that stresses communication in a variety of everyday situations. See our facebook page:
This entry was posted in Children's ESL, ESL Activities, Listening Comprehension, Teaching English, Tips for Teachers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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