English without risk! Whether always the earlier, the better?
Meeting parents of the little pupils, I ask every time: “For what your child needs occupations by English?“ I think that sudden appearance of the queen Elizabeth would surprise adults less, than this question. It becomes clear that before they to themselves did not set it. Also all is necessary! It “is useful“, It “is useful“, “The earlier, the better“ - I collect answers.
It is indisputable, free foreign language skills - very useful ability for of the adult the person often opening the road to interesting and prestigious work. As it is frequent, not in forces to break a language barrier, we with bitterness worried: “Of what I thought earlier! It was necessary to learn language!“ Probably, these thoughts haunt us, and we try to acquaint the children with foreign languages as soon as possible. It is no secret that many groups take children in two - three years, and in four - five already learn letters or signs of a transcription. As if forgetting that train very much small children.
Well, well, demand gives rise to the offer...
I somehow remains unaddressed that the kid will not be able to use in practice the gained knowledge some more years, at least, before receipt in school. (Of course, I mean the average child who is not leaving every year for several months to the country of the learned language. Children from bilingual families where one of parents is the carrier of the learned language, - too a special case.)
A think now, how seriously you would treat the offer to study, say, the higher mathematics, knowing that it is required to you approximately years through twenty? It approximately corresponds to children`s perception of our words “in one or two years“, the child of 4 - 5 years lives today`s moment, for it and tomorrow - unimaginably far future.
A can happen so that this knowledge will not be necessary at all. Often there is also such situation: when your kid is six years old and time to go to the first class comes, you, having carried out marketing of nearby schools, suddenly find among them a fine German gymnasium and decide to give the child exactly there. Whether you will regret then about the spent forces, time and funds for studying of English? Whether the confusion will arise in the head of the kid?Most of parents are firmly convinced by
that early start in training in language provides the reliable base on which the knowledge gained at school will strongly settle. Whether so it? Alas, it is rather difficult to obtain data on interrelation of preschool occupations by English with progress in this subject at school. I can only tell that I had to be engaged with school students who studied English from 5 - 6 years and could not cope independently with the school program, and it was necessary to see excellent students who for the first time got acquainted with the English words at elementary school. And still I had to be terrified to that pronunciation which was strongly fixed throughout two - three years of circulation in some group of kindergarten “with the English bias“. The tree ( of tree ) suddenly turned into figure “tri“ ( of three ), a grapevine ( of vine ) in wine ( of wine ), and three little kittens who lost mittens for some reason found at the same time freedom! ( of Three little kittens - free little kittens . I will honestly tell, and, probably, most of teachers will agree with me - easier to teach from “zero“, than to retrain! whether
it Means that a foreign language and kids of preschool age - absolutely incompatible concepts? Of course, no! Just before taking away the crumb in group or on individual occupations, for example, English, you have to understand well, in - the first, for what it is necessary for your child , in - second, what you expect result to receive, and, the most important, clearly to present those difficulties which expect your kid on the way of acquaintance to foreign language.
the Purpose, certainly, are defined by you. Concerning result - there is a wish to warn against excessive maximalism at once. You should not expect that, attending half-hour classes two times a week, your son or the daughter will begin “to talk freely“. (Once a year in our children`s center surely appears at least one such impatient parent. And I should disappoint him, explaining that free language acquisition for the preschool child is possible only on condition of continuous stay in the language environment. In other words, for this purpose it is necessary to go to England or America.)
I, at last, of difficulty ! From where they undertake?Process of training of younger and senior preschool children in a foreign language is rather peculiar
. It differs from training, say, in reading, mathematics, logic or the developing occupations with the psychologist radically. Why? Answering this question, we at the same time define problem zones which all participants of process of training should face - to the teacher of a foreign language, children and parents.Absence of needs of nature of the child in learning of foreign language results
in total absence of internal motivation - i.e. to desire to study.Telling
about needs of nature, I mean here that. Development of physical activity for the first five years of life conducts to natural aspiration of the kid to expand borders of the opportunities. Occupations by dances or children`s fitness answer desire of the kid to move as much as possible better. Development of imagination, attention, thinking allows the child to seize drawing, to begin to recalculate excitedly pieces of world around. Painting classes, development of the speech, mathematics or logic only help to improve abilities without which it is impossible to do the child of preschool age and which emergence is as if predetermined by development of the main mental functions of the kid.
Absolutely other business - a foreign language. Having undertaken to train in it the child, we not simply improve already available skills, we create absolutely new. And right there we encounter the following obstacle. And where to apply the gained knowledge ?
If a crumb learned the Russian letters - he with pleasure will read a sign on the street, will look for new acquaintances in the old favourite book. And what to do with the English words? Lack of a natural opportunity is universal to apply the accumulated knowledge besides leads to decrease in motivation. And besides, the learned words and phrases are easily forgotten as are not elements of the natural language environment, not fixed in daily communication. That is why after a summer break children often just lose the stocks of knowledge received in a year.
Age features add difficulties to our moneybox. Children of 4 - 5 years are not capable to concentrate attention more than 15 - 20 minutes. Therefore, choosing group of a foreign language for the kids, sweep aside offers of hour occupations at once. Half an hour is an optimum duration of “lesson“ which can be increased about forty minutes to six-year age.Often parents of preschool children ask
whether it is worth giving preference to individual occupations or to drive the child in group? It is possible to adduce many arguments in advantage and that, and other type of training. Of course, being engaged with the teacher “in private“, the kid receives an attention maximum, most effectively uses all the time of “lesson“, without being distracted by anything another. At the same time in group occupations it is possible to observe so-called “effect of infection“ when enthusiasm and enthusiasm of one child is transferred to others, and it is much easier for teacher to use collective games, dances, cheerful charging to facilitate storing of lexicon.
What to choose? In my opinion, it is necessary to consider specific features of the child. Happens that even five-year-old it is difficult to work in group, but he willingly makes contact “eye to eye“. It happens and vice versa, the child easier perceives new information only in “group of adherents“. In this case the parent knowing character of the child has to solve. Also council of the psychologist will not prevent, of course.
One more expert, whose opinion it has to be considered surely before occupations by a foreign language, this is the logopedist . At inclusion in specialized school with profound learning of foreign language interview with the logopedist who did not pass it in reception is obligatory refuse. Parents of preschool children often do not consider it necessary to pay attention to logopedic problems of the kids at all, considering that it is more useful to learn English, and in Russian the child will learn to speak by itself. This very dangerous delusion!many sounds are said by
In the English and Russian languages absolutely differently. If the child who had into place no Russian sounds yet tries to say correctly English - he risks to get forever whistling interdental “with“, throat “r“ etc., generally, to appear in a situation “will not learn English, and the Russian will forget“.
If the teacher of English does not pay attention to phonetics at all, arriving by the principle: both the kid hears, and speaks, be sure - at school it is necessary to correct a pronunciation, and at the same time to struggle with uncountable quantity of mistakes on the letter.
- your kid already talks accurately and clearly; you are sure by
- that in the first class it will continue studying of the language chosen by you
- and want to begin to occupation to school,
- that can start training.
A now the most important - what it is necessary to pay attention to? What occupations will bring the maximum benefit?
In - the first , occupations have to be regular and constant . Ideally, all received lexicon it is good to fix houses by means of games, audio - and videocourses.Keep in mind
: if your child began to study language in four years, and in five stopped - to six he will forget all learned.
In - the second , occupation in oral to a form it is much more preferable than acquaintance to letters and badges of a transcription. To age of younger preschool children there corresponds the senzitivny period of development of perception, and to age of seniors - memory therefore children of 4 - 5 years are more susceptible to oral speech, than to written. So the English alphabet can quietly wait to the first class.to What then to teach
and how ? Yes to everything that surrounds us and that the child already well acquired in the native language: animals, colors, vegetables and fruit, toys, seasons. It is possible to call all this in English, to sing about it an amusing song or to play pass - a performance.
I parents, and teachers know that training has to be conducted in a game form as game is a primary activity of preschool children. Only often adult absolutely differently, than children, imagine this game. Long ago the worn-out trick with the hero - the alien, it is unknown from where and why appearing at a lesson, not in forces to cover boring cramming. After the first minutes of curiosity which causes appearance of the new character children, as a rule, lose interest in it, and at the same time and to occupations.
So the main task of the teacher - to interest, keep attention, to create steady motivation . And for this purpose it is necessary to play really, but not to pretend that you play. The talented teacher can easily give new language material in real game, whether it be known to us since the childhood “edible - inedible“ or the “hodilka“ which is thought up by him with counters and a game path with images of the passable words. At lessons there have to be as much as possible objects (toy or real) that children could touch, turn them in hands. Quite so the child learns the native language - sees a subject, and mother calls it.
Absolutely ideal is the situation when on occupations the effect of immersion on language Wednesday is created. Of course, the teacher cannot represent the native speaker which is not understanding the word in Russian, - children all the same will need at the beginning the translator. The soft toy or a toy “on a hand“ for puppet theater can successfully carry out a role of the English-speaking character. At me Alice`s cat, a little mouse Tim and a dog St. Petersburg, for example, act on lessons. All of them were born in London and were presented to me by my familiar English girl Ann. Toy Russian was not learned yet. But they awfully want to play with children! And as shows experience - to children too. For the sake of game kids imperceptibly break such language barrier, difficult for adults. And gradually with pleasure begin to sound my characters. Similar transformation allows to solve such problems as difficulties in communication, shyness, a poor development of the emotional sphere of the child.
an Opportunity to move to lesson time, to change a kind of activity - one more indispensable condition of occupations by a foreign language with small children. We play, we jump, we creep and we run. And still we dance and we do exercises. Therefore the lesson of English becomes the most fascinating occupation. Sometimes it is possible to shout, clap, knock legs and even to put out the tongue. Because training of preschool children in a foreign language and emotion - inseparable, in my opinion, concepts.
Thus provided that your child with pleasure is engaged, successfully remembers words and phrases, gradually learns to operate such disobedient English sounds, it is possible to consider occupations as a foreign language in 4 - 6 years useful and necessary.What benefit they will bring to
in the near and long-term future?
Krom of positive emotions which your kid receives already today, such occupations allow to create at children interest in learning of foreign language . Believe, it is very important. Unfortunately, our children overloaded with various circles and occupations nearly from the cradle to school finally lose any desire to study. If it is possible to create steady motivation to acquisition of English, not very well how extensive will be the gained knowledge - the child with ease will continue improvement them at school.
Early training in a foreign language (do not forget, only provided that the child already seized the native speech, i.e. accurately and clearly utters all sounds of Russian) is promoted development by phonetics - phonemic hearing that is pledge of both the correct pronunciation, and the competent letter.
Of course, occupations by English develop memory and attention, teach the child to real-life communication with peers and adults.
That is children receive universal skills which will be able to apply in various situations throughout all life.
Finishing conversation on such difficult subject, there is a wish to emphasize once again that training of small children - the enormous work demanding efforts and the teacher, and parents, and first of all the child. And before starting occupations by a foreign language, think: whether your child is ready to additional loading whether will cope with new knowledge? In total - the childhood is intended not only for preparation for school, and the child - not the computer which needs to be loaded information on the top, and the earlier, the better. Probably, it is worth addressing a wise English proverb: “A stitch in time saves nine“ (stitch in time saves nine).