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  1. #1

    Arrow Suggestions for Teaching a 5-Year-Old?

    Hi, everyone.
    I found this website today and joined, it looks great!
    Firstly, i have to say that i'm a South Korean 13-going-on-14 year old High School Student living in New Zealand.
    So please bear with me; I don't have the 'teaching capacity' of an adult.

    I was asked by someone to tutor a child they know; a five-year-old girl i have met once before.
    She's just started school here in NZ, but has had a lot of trouble and stress. It has been so hard on her, they told me that she doesn't like to go near western people or go to school - She often stays home, especially on the days that a western man drops her off at school.
    She's never been to school before; she went to kindy before coming here a few weeks ago.

    I suppose you could say that she's developed a sort of fear of English.
    They want me to teach her some English, and relieve the stress and fear so she can go to school again.
    See, i'm really interested in Psychology at the moment, and i generally love kids and babysit sometimes. I really want to help her to think that English and english-speaking people aren't all that scary.

    She's very cute and likes to ask questions, and for background info, she's the oldest of three kids - her brothers are 3 and 1 years old.
    I think the parents asked me because i can speak both English and Korean fluently. Also, it helps that i'm not an adult which could intimidate her, or a total stranger.

    I would like to know if you have any suggestions, or ideas!
    Please help, i want to do something to help her.

  2. Soup's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,882

    Re: Suggestions for Teaching a 5-Year-Old?

    How wonderful of you, and yet how sad it must be for the child. My advice to you is to play, read books, color, sing, do things that she likes to do; it's in the doing that language blossoms in 5 year olds. Talk with her as much as you can in both Korean and English. If you have friends, non-Korean, and females yours age, that wouldn't mind spending time with the child, that too wouldn't hurt.

    As for the pyschological aspect, the teachers at the schools are trained and experienced in these situations. It's imperative that the child be able to learn to adapt to her new surroundings. This is a serious issue from what I can tell.

  3. #3

    Re: Suggestions for Teaching a 5-Year-Old?

    Thank you. From what i have heard since, she is making progress, but is a bit frustrated as she can only understand some people.
    Hopefully, she can come over or i'll go over to their place in a few weeks time.

    I have no idea how much English she would have learned in Korea, so I want to start with simple sentence structures, and maybe some adjectives to fill the 'spaces' in.

    If anyone else has comments, they are greatly appreciated!

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: Suggestions for Teaching a 5-Year-Old?

    I feel that "teaching" is likely to be alienating if she has a fear of the new language around her. At the beginning you will need to speak to her in Korean, but as soon as you can, talk to her in English - even if she talks to you in Korean. Answer her questions in English, get children's short videos in English to watch together, use songs and games, use brightly coloured children's books to read to her. If you have friends with sisters of the same age, try to organise playtime together.

    Basically, use play and fun to transmit language, just as you would with a baby.

    Once she begins to respond using English words, you will be able to build her confidence in her new world.

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