Regarding the question of English for kids, whether it is necessary to start learning a foreign language from an early age has recently gone beyond the scope of the discussion.
There are several benefits of teaching foreign language to young children:
− positive impact on the development of mental functions (memory, thinking, perception, imagination);
− influence on the child’s general speech abilities;
− improving the quality of knowledge of the native language, creating a base for continuing its study in the main school;
− an earlier entry of a child into a common human culture through communication in a new language for him, while referring to the child’s experience, taking into account his mentality, awareness of the phenomena of his own national culture.
Children of early age are inquisitive, they have an inexhaustible need for new impressions, a thirst for research. The task of the teacher is “by relying on the psychological age characteristics of children, to arouse interest in the subject” .
Success can be ensured, in my opinion, by such a methodical system, which is based on “children's interest in the subject” . What does a child live? What is his personality realized? Of course, in the game. Play activity is leading for elementary school students. The game is the natural state of younger students.
Given the precarious attention, rapid fatigability, the predominance of dialogic speech over monologue, overly physical activity of younger schoolchildren, it’s useful actively using poems, rhymes, songs, riddles, tongue twisters. It is necessary that the lessons of younger schoolchildren surround the familiar world of toys — a set of animals, furniture, kitchen toy dishes, clothes.
With the help of such techniques, language, lexical material is introduced, fixed, processed.
Children are ready to teach everything that they are offered, but quickly lose interest in the tasks during the lesson. It is important to constantly maintain this interest, using various pedagogical and methodical techniques, methods. Children come to the puppet theater, toy store, zoo. They draw, sing, dance.
While speaking about the objectives of teaching English at an early stage, it is necessary to emphasize its practical component. English is «a means of communication, a means of receiving and transmitting information about the surrounding reality» . Secondly, when teaching a foreign language at an early stage of learning, students are not expected to significantly acquire knowledge about the surrounding reality, as is the case when studying other subjects (for example, the world around us). Learning to read actually begins with the second lesson, when students are introduced to the first letter of the alphabet. By the end of the school year, students become familiar with all the basic rules of reading, transcriptional signs, master the ability to find a word in the dictionary and the ability to voice it, which allows you to read text of about a third of a page.
Such an understanding of the specifics of the didactic purpose of learning a foreign language seems to be correct and relevant. It is necessary to carefully think through each stages of the lesson, clearly define its goals, objectives, methods and techniques for conducting the lesson. The basis of learning a foreign language, as you know, is the principle of communicative learning. In the first year of schooling, children solve elementary communicative problems in communicating with each other within the limits of play, training, family, and household communication. So, by the end of this period, students can greet, greet, introduce themselves, congratulate on their birthday, ask for a question, respond to gratitude, give the interlocutor some information about themselves, describe their appearance, answer questions, ask them themselves. Here are the approximate themes of the vocabulary: “Toys”, “Pets”, “My Home”, “My Family”, “Holidays”, etc. foreign language, the ability to interact in a team. Students at the same time try to show tolerance, the ability to empathize and rejoice.
In the first year of study, active work is being done on mastering the calligraphy and spelling of the English language. For the first time, mandatory written exercises are provided that are performed in class. Vocabulary skills are acquired by children mainly by imitation, the simplest explanations are given (stretch lips, open your mouth wide and others), then graphic symbols are studied, a differentiation is made between sounds at first glance. Choral, individual, pair forms of work are used.
It is not easy to conduct lessons so that it is always interesting for children to constantly hold their attention and manage it. This is a difficult job that requires hard work from the teacher, hard and systematic work. It is necessary to take into account as much as possible all that is to be done in the lesson and all that can happen in the lesson. No need to strive to keep the attention of students’ comments. This should be achieved by moving from one activity to another.
Nowadays, the English language is among the compulsory subjects taught in elementary school. This is a very important stage in the education of children, because in primary school, basic knowledge of the language, skills of its application and, of course, the desire to further study are laid. The methods of teaching English in primary school, practiced by the school, should be based on games, active activities, visual methods, and visual and understandable to children.
The communicative method of teaching English in primary schools implies the development of children's reading, writing, listening, and listening skills. Handbook materials teach students to understand authentic texts, situations and audio dialogs.
The textbooks contain several structured lessons on current, vital topics, such as family, school, hobby, etc. The teacher often allows them to perform assignments in pairs or groups, so schoolchildren use English, talking with each other in the preparation process, and get used to free communication.
British and American textbooks are popular among primary school teachers. Among their main advantages are compliance with the latest educational trends, relevance of topics, colorful, a large amount of practice of listening to English speech
For the lessons to be productive, the teacher should keep children interested in English. For this purpose, the game method of teaching English in primary school is used, considering such main features of younger students as mobility, activity, emotionality and instability of attention.
Tasks in the form of the game help to distract from books and rules and to spend time with advantage. With proper planning and use of the game, they help the foreign language to be perceived not as another difficult information to learn, but as a real and accessible means of communication for children.
While doing normal tasks usually causes schoolchildren to make a mistake, participating in games makes them fully involved in its course, especially if there is a competitive element and they are more confident and free to demonstrate their skills.
Teaching English in elementary grades cannot take place without audio and video tasks. Songs because of their rhythm, emotional tone and the frequent repetition of phrases help to better remember the vocabulary. Viewing videos and cartoons in English involves a wide selection of interesting text and grammar exercises.
Another technique used by teachers is the project one. Pupils in the course of several classes get acquainted with any topic, new vocabulary, grammatical rules, learn interesting information. To consolidate the material they are invited to create a project, it can be individual, pair or group work, with its further presentation and discussion. In the process of such activities, children develop language skills and realize creative possibilities.
Any method leads to the best results and becomes diverse with its proper combination with elements of other methods.
- Biboletova M. Z., Denisenko O. A. A book for the teacher. 2nd edition. Titul Publishing House, 2003.
- Horn, Vereshchagin. Methods of teaching English at the initial stage of secondary school. INR number 1, 1990.