Learning a language is a natural skill for little kids. Teachers do not teach them how to pronounce words correctly or translate words and phrases. Students in kindergarten are learning a foreign language how to speak through observing, listening, and repeating. Generally, we group students according to their language proficiency. Sometimes it is challenging to divide students in the kindergarten class by levels, and pretty often, I had five-year-old total beginners and some kids who were exposed to the Russian language.
It is not that simple to teach successfully many students of different proficiency levels at the same time in class. Teaching a foreign language in a kindergarten requires energy, patience, and imagination. With every single word or phrase I teach come visuals, emotions, and body language.
And this year was a Bingo. We were teaching KG class 4 times a week for 45 minutes remotely. This situation pushed a new approach to teach Russian as a foreign language. I could not use the same activities.
The challenges were the following:
At the beginning of the school year, my five years old students could not work on iPads independently. We needed to teach them how to join meetings, how to work in Seesaw (we use this platform as an electronic portfolio), how to take a photo and download it in Seesaw, how to record themselves and upload it in the Seesaw, how to share their screen etc.
The biggest challenge was to keep students next to the screen learning a foreign language for 45 minutes and keep their motivations. My team came up with the idea to create a slide presentation with a variety of activities for each lesson.
The KG students created their own portraits using fruits and vegetables, and they were able to describe their portraits demonstrating their knowledge of two topics “Fruits and Vegetables” and “Parts of the Body”.
The results are the following:
KG students started to use technology “to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.” They became Empowered Learners.
Their knowledge of the names of fruits and vegetables is improved as well.