Sebastian's Experience Teaching Young Learners in the Philippines

Hey there, fellow teachers and language enthusiasts! My name is Sebastian Ramos, and I'm an English teacher here in Manila. I've been teaching English to young learners for a few years now, and I can honestly say that I love every minute of it. In this blog post, I'd like to share some of my experiences and insights as a TEFL teacher in the Philippines, and hopefully bring a smile to your face with some of my experiences.

First off, let me tell you a bit about my students. I teach a wide range of ages, but my favourite group is definitely the 5 to 10-year-olds. They're so full of energy and curiosity, and they always keep me on my toes. Of course, teaching young learners can be challenging at times, but it's also incredibly rewarding. Seeing the progress that my students make, and the confidence that they gain in their language skills, is a feeling that never gets old.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Sebastian, how do you keep those little rascals focused in class?" Well, I've got a few tricks up my sleeve that I'd like to share with you:
  Use plenty of props and visual aids: 
Kids love to see and touch things, so I always make sure to bring along plenty of toys, flashcards, and other visual aids to keep their attention.

  Make learning fun: 
Learning doesn't have to be boring! I like to incorporate games, songs, and other fun activities into my lessons to keep things lively and engaging.

  Reward good behaviour: 
Positive reinforcement goes a long way with young learners. I like to give out stickers, stamps, and other small rewards to students who show good behaviour or make a particularly impressive effort.

Teaching English to young children is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling jobs there is. As an English teacher in the Philippines, I've had an absolute blast. There's never a dull moment when you're working with kids, and I've found that the key to success is to incorporate plenty of fun and engaging activities into my lessons.

One of my favorite things about teaching young children is their boundless energy and enthusiasm. They're like little sponges, soaking up every word and phrase you teach them. I love seeing the look on their faces when they finally grasp a difficult concept or learn a new word. It's an incredible feeling, and one that keeps me coming back to the classroom day after day.

Of course, teaching young children is not without its challenges. One of the biggest obstacles I've encountered is the short attention span that many kids have. They're easily distracted, and it can be tough to keep them engaged for extended periods of time. That's why I always try to mix things up and keep the lessons fresh and exciting. Here are some of the strategies and activities that I've found to be most effective:
Games: Here are some awesome activities that I've come across, which are perfect for keeping children's attention and making learning fun.
  Simon Says: This classic game is a great way to practice vocabulary and following instructions. Kids love trying to keep up with Simon's tricky commands!

 Hot Potato: This fast-paced game is perfect for reviewing grammar concepts. Pass the "potato" (a ball, beanbag, or other small object) around the room while reciting verb tenses, pronouns, or other grammar rules. The student holding the potato when time runs out is out!

 Board games: Board games like Scrabble, Boggle, and Bananagrams are perfect for practicing spelling and vocabulary. Plus, they're a great way to work on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

 Sing-alongs: Music is a powerful tool for language learning. I love incorporating sing-alongs into my lessons, whether it's a classic nursery rhyme or a pop song. Kids love singing and dancing along, and they don't even realize they're learning at the same time!

 Storytime: Reading aloud to young children is an excellent way to build listening and comprehension skills. I always try to choose engaging and age-appropriate stories that the kids will enjoy.
In addition to these fun activities, there are also some key strategies that I've found to be helpful when teaching young children. Here are a few:
 Repetition: Repetition is key when it comes to language learning. I always make sure to review key vocabulary and phrases multiple times throughout a lesson to help reinforce them in the kids' minds.

 Positive reinforcement: Kids thrive on positive feedback. I always make sure to praise them when they do well and encourage them when they're struggling. This helps build their confidence and makes them more willing to take risks and try new things.

 Movement: Young children have a lot of energy, and it's important to give them outlets for that energy during lessons. I like to incorporate movement into my lessons whenever possible, whether it's through a game of "Simon Says" or a dance party.

 Visual aids: Visual aids like flashcards, pictures, and videos are incredibly helpful when teaching young children. They help make the lessons more engaging and provide a visual reference for the kids to anchor new vocabulary and concepts.
But sometimes, even the best props and games aren't enough to keep the attention of young learners. So what do you do? Well, you have to think like a child! I've found that incorporating humour and jokes into my lessons is a great way to keep my students engaged and entertained. Here are a few of my favourite jokes that always get a giggle from my young learners:

Why did the banana go to the doctor? Because it wasn't peeling well.
What do you call a dinosaur that's sleeping? A dino-snore!
What do you get when you cross a snowman and a shark? Frostbite!

I know, I know, they're cheesy, but they work!

Another thing that I've found works well with young learners is incorporating songs and music into my lessons. Kids love to sing and dance, and music is a great way to help them remember new vocabulary and phrases. Some of my students' favourite songs include "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes", "The Wheels on the Bus", and "Old MacDonald Had a Farm". We sing and dance along, and it's a great way to break up the lesson and get some energy out.

Now, I know that teaching young learners can be challenging. They have short attention spans, they can be easily distracted, and they can sometimes be a little bit unruly. But with the right approach and attitude, teaching young learners can be incredibly rewarding. Here are a few tips that I've found helpful:
 Be patient and positive. Young learners respond well to praise and encouragement, so make sure to give them plenty of positive feedback when they do well.

 Keep things fun and engaging. Incorporate games, songs, and other interactive activities to make learning more enjoyable and memorable.

 Be flexible and adaptable. You may have a lesson plan, but be prepared to switch things up if you see that your students are getting restless or bored.

 Make sure to give them breaks. Young learners have a lot of energy, so it's important to give them regular breaks to run around and let off some steam.
Teaching young learners can be a lot of work, but it's also incredibly rewarding. Watching your students learn and grow is one of the most satisfying experiences you can have as a teacher, and I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to do it every day. Sure, there are days when I feel exhausted or frustrated, but at the end of the day, when I see the smiles on my students' faces and hear them speaking English with confidence, I know it's all worth it.

So, to all my fellow teachers out there, I encourage you to embrace the joy and challenge of teaching young learners. Use visual aids, incorporate music and movement, make learning fun, be patient and positive, and don't be afraid to embrace a little humour. And remember - at the end of the day, it's all about helping your students develop a love of learning and a love of English.
Thanks for reading, and happy teaching!
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