My overall goal is to provide quality child care, whilst speaking English to provide an immersed learning experience. But there comes a time where learning a new language must be proactive.
How is this achieved? When should you start?
In this article, I will explain my learning through play technique and my results.
After observing Alix the three-year-old I babysit 28hrs per week and I noticed something amazing. We were playing hide and seek when I noticed her count up to 10 without any mistakes. I was so proud of her.
Alix did not have a lot of English under her belt when I first met her. We have now gotten to the point where she understands English but responds in French, she uses the occasional English sentence or word but is not fully comfortable using English… EXCEPT whilst playing.
The first time I noticed this was when we played hide-and-seek I would always count up to 10 ready and say ready or not here I come (I’d go look for her and find her ) and then it would be her turn to count. She started with just being able to count up to 2 and then the rest was in jumble up or in french. Slowly over time, she has gotten to the stage where she can count to 10 and say ‘ready or not here I come’. since then I use play as one of my biggest tools in learning.
How to start
In my case, I had already started teaching her English and English numbers through everyday life. But if English is not immersive like it is for me, remember it’s one number/word at a time (depending on the age of the child).
How to teach through play
After you explain the number or the word (showing them the quantity, how and when it is used. There’s no better time to use the new word(s) than now.
Have an activity prepared. Such as a game or a craft.
- Hide and seek to practice counting
- If you’ve just learnt about shapes, have them try finding different shapes around the hose to get points
- Painting after introducing colours
Learning a new language for young children should be fun and functional.
It must be of interest to them or else they won’t enjoy learning and possibly be reluctant to participate in the future.
Now go learn and have fun!!!
By Nobukhosi Biyela Cap Student 2020-2021