Series: First Five Early Childhood Education

Frontloading for English Language Learners
Lesson Objective: Pre-teach and explore new vocabulary
Pre-K / ELA / Vocabulary

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Ngan teach vocabulary in a variety of different ways?
  2. What strategies does Ms. Ngan use to engage students in the read aloud?
  3. How does incorporating movement help students learn vocabulary?

Ms. Ngan used several strategies for her read aloud. Her intro to the book using he characters was a attention getter for the kids. She had the children engaged with every strategy. Using picture vocabulary cards to reinforce what they already learned in the story was very effective.

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 A wonderful way to teach is using movement!  This teacher has it down pat.  I love doing my spelling words with movement.  We use head, shoulders, knees, and toes to do our spelling words....if they are 4 letter and heads, knees, and toes is they are 3 letters.  The students love it, just as in this class, movement is KEY!!!  Nice brain connection

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I love how she uses movement to help her students learn and stay engaged. This is wonderful.

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Some of the universal strategies she uses that can be applied to all grades levels is her use of visuals to teach the vocabulary words (example: a stuffed animal pig). Instead of telling the children what the vocabulary word is she makes the sound the animal would make and the children guess the vocabulary word. Something that I can use in my grade level is her use of TPR. The students do a physical movement to remember the vocabulary term.
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Ms. Ngan teaches vocabulary in a variety of ways which includes sounds like, introducing an animal name and the sound that animals, props to emphasize the vocabulary, as well as TPR -- total physical response.  This is used to help students connect.  She also encourage the students to make predictions which also gets them involved.  She also visually shows the words in English as well as their native language with the picture present, to make those needed day by day connections. 

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Her introduction was very motivating.It was powerful to how see she used movement and introduction to visual vocabulary in the classroom. . The teacher was very clear and gave full attention to student responses.
Recommended (0)


  • Frontloading for English Language Learners
    Program Transcript

    Ngan: Okay. Time to put the book back.

    Ngan (Interview): My name is Carmen Ngan.

    Frontloading for English Language Learners
    Program Transcript

    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…

    Student: Pig!

    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?

    Student: Dance.

    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.


Carmen Ngan


TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Collaboration