Frontloading for English Language Learners
Ngan: Okay. Time to put the book back.
Ngan (Interview): My name is Carmen Ngan. I'm the preschool teacher in Kai Ming Head Start Sunset Center.
Ngan: (singing) Everybody do your share.
Ngan (Interview): We have eighty-five percent of children come from Asian family. Most of the family don't speak English at home, so the children come here to learn English.
Ngan: I have something sounds like oink oink. A pig!
Ngan (Interview): We read the book Silly Sally, so first we introduced what's this story about. So, I introduced the name of the animal, like pig, dog, [animal], and sheep. So we used stuffed animal to emphasize that.
Ngan: I also have something that sounds like woof woof woof.
Student: A dog!
Ngan: A dog!
Ngan (Interview): We will focus on the vocabulary we want the children to learn, so we will repeat it and emphasize that.
Ngan: I have a book right here.
Student: Silly Sally!
Ngan: Silly Sally!
Ngan (Interview): We use the book also to introduce different kind of word about movement.
Ngan: You know what silly mean? What's silly mean?
Student: It's means you're, you're getting, you're being funny.
Ngan: It's very funny. Can you guys make a silly face? A very silly face.
Ngan (Interview): I use TPR; total physical response. This help the children, that when they do the movement, so they can have hand-on experience when they learn a new vocabulary.
Ngan: Silly Sally went to town, walking backward upside down. So on the way, she met a…
Ngan: Pig. And they danced a jig.
Student: Because she's a dancer.
Ngan: Because she's a dancer. Maybe.
Ngan (Interview): We encourage them to make prediction. We ask them to guess what will happen next, and what do they see, to get them involved to the story.
Ngan: What's next?
Student: She met a dog.
Ngan: She met a dog? What she do with the dog?
Student: They leap…
Ngan: They play leap frog.
Ngan (Interview): We read the book with all the different kind off movement, so when we talk about the movement, for example, like, leap frog, when we do the movement in front of the children, many children don't know the English word, so we use the prop so they can see the picture. We have the word in English and Chinese. So when they see the picture and the word together, so it help them to remember.
Ngan: …When she met the pig, what the pig does?
Ngan: Dance a jig. This is dance a jig. Dance a jig! Dance! A jig.
Ngan (Interview): This help the children, when they do the movement, so they have hand-on experience, when they learn a new vocabulary.
Ngan: What this guy doing?
Student: Walking backward upside down.
Ngan: Upside down. Can you do this movement? Can you walk backward and upside down?
Ngan (Interview): It's one of the strategy to help us, to help people to learn second language, so when they hear the word, and we do the movement at the same time, we understand that movement is the word we have just spoken.
Ngan: And the next one is what a little dog does. Leap frog. Let's do leap frog. Jump over this cushion. Let's just over that. You want to try first? Jump over.
Ngan (Interview): Day-by-day, they make a connection of that word, it describing that movement. They really enjoy mixing the movement, and spoken language.