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Teaching EFL in KindergartenI chose to write on the benefits and challenges of teaching EFL in a Kindergarten classroom because this is an age I have experience working with. I enjoy working with young learners because of their energy and excitement. This may prove a challenge for an EFL Kindergarten teacher (or any Kindergarten teacher for that matter!). Research has shown that young learners are able to learn a second language faster than older learners. Incorporating a second language early has proven beneficial for future language acquisition. There are many ways to enhance the EFL curriculum in a Kindergarten classroom as well. Personally, I enjoy working with young learners. My experience includes teaching Spanish to children as young as Preschool, and working in an after-school program with 3- to 6-year-olds. Most recently I have worked with two-year-olds and am amazed by their energy and their ability to learn new words. I will be able to draw on my experience with my English-speaking young learners to employ similar activities in my EFL classroom. My previous students had short attention spans, and I planned activities that were no longer than 5-7 minutes long. I can use many different activities (with appropriate transitions) to keep my students engaged. We can sing songs, read books, and play many games in English. I also gained the invaluable skill of being able to feel the energy of my class. Some days they have more energy than usual and activities may need to be broken into smaller pieces. If students are having a hard time listening to a book I might take a time out and give them directions to stand, sit, stand, turn around, sit, touch their head, touch their toes, stand, sit, place hands in lap. This gets most of the wiggles out and will allow me to finish the story. I will be able to implement these skills and classroom management techniques in a future classroom of young learners. I have seen my students? ability to learn multiple new words (in their native language) each day. Research has shown that young learners are also able to learn a second language faster than adult learners. One article I read includes research that suggests that children and adults learn language differently, literally using a different part of their brain to process the language. The child uses a part of the brain called the ?deep motor area? which allows you to do actions that are not consciously thought about (brushing your teeth). Adults, on the other hand, process a second language in a more active part of the brain (reference 1). I had a similar experience when learning Spanish. I was encouraged to try to read full sentences for understanding rather than translating each word individually. I can promote this in my young learner classes by providing authentic activities in which I encourage using English. As I learned from completing the course units, younger students may be less inhibited when it comes to pronunciation and experimenting with language. This is another factor that leads to faster language acquisition in children. In addition to harnessing their energy and teaching to their level, there are ways I can enhance the EFL class for my young learners. With my young learners I will clarify our learning objectives with a written goal and a teaching lesson (less than 5 minutes). These will be supplemented with multiple learning activities that directly relate to the lesson I just taught. I will be sure to include all the elements of a language-reading writing, speaking, listening- in my young learner class (as I would with an adult class too). I will be aware of the learner?s primary language and if they do not use the Roman alphabet I will be sure to include additional time to teach reading and writing more intensively. I have learned so much about teaching EFL in this course. I constantly thought about how these techniques would work with the 2-year-old students I have recently worked with. I hope to use everything I have learned about teaching EFL in a Kindergarten classroom in the near future! References: http://www.ehow.com/about_6635123_young-adults-learning-second-language.html