Day 15: Teaching time

15 Jul

Now that Léa has left and the kids ending school, things have started to settle down. Today I’m going to have formal (well, as formal as an au pair can be) English lessons with Constantin

I’m currently researching Best practices for learning a second language (at age 6 if I can find it)
and planning to try various techniques and observe which ones will work out.

I also know that the lesson should be fun for Constantin (that’s how he learns best) so I have an English movie plus a few short DVDS  for him to pick from.
The goal is for him to learn English? To gain the ability to express himself.
Recently, he tried to tell his first story in English.
Something about ninja green having two snakes on his back and hitting them in the head with his fists, therefore knocking the snakes out.
Constantin thought it was hysterical. But upon hearing the story I was confused.
This is a huge improvement.  When I first got here he was only capable of responding yes and no.
I then would repeat the same phrase in different ways and ask him to repeat after me.
Typically the conversation goes like this: You want to go to the library? Okay, let’s go to the library. Constantin, can you say “I want to go to the library”
This 3-part repetition helps to get the phrase into Constantin’s brain. The subject is also unique every-time You, Let’s, I.
After two weeks of doing with various phrases, he’s begun to speak in full sentences.
Even saying “Mommy, I’m hungry” which was unheard of before.

I didn’t realize it before, but Léa did a lot of translating. Constantin would say something and she would help me to understand his point.
Now that she’s gone, Constantin doesn’t have that crutch. There may be some rough times, but I believe Constantin will be able to speak English much better at the end of the month.

Here’s the morning step-by-step:
Just popped in Magic English (DVD from Disney) to get a just start for the morning.
This dvd contains very simple English but Constantin seems to like it. Cartoons are Constantin’s favorite. It go through “Hello, Family and then Friends.”
Actually I think I’ve been doing things that are too hard for Constantin. This may fill a nice teaching gap. Constantin will say some things very assuredly and other much more quietly.
He is very visually stimulated, also learns through noises (and makes silly noises at times!)
Okay, awesome he loves this video.
We will initiate more teacher-student feedback later today (once he’s out of his pjs)
Hopefully this will help him learn and help me to help him. Thanks Robert Marzano!
Ooh I can already tell the 2nd dvd is much harder, he is not as enthusiastic on his responses.
We watched a little bit of Ice Age in English then had lunch.

After lunch he had to finish some workbook pages for his French then we walked to the library and I translated some of the books into English.
Constantin LOVES books. He would read them all day if he could, but he can’t read yet.
It started to rain again so we headed back home and Constantin played with the maid Latifa’s little boy.
After reading books we took a break for play time

The parents told me that he seemed so happy today and talked about reading a book about pirate (in French, but we’re working on it)
We will continue to work on his English and hopefully it’ll be a nice day out so we can go to the park and play.

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