We summarized some of the best resources out there for tutoring children. These suggestions should help you prepare for your Kids’ lessons, create a kid-friendly environment, and think up some fun rewards!
- Make it fun (play games, be creative, use art, etc.)
- Make it active (use TPR, ask students to dance around, etc.)
- Don’t add pressure (don’t correct every error; model the correct language use instead)
This is an example of an online English class that incorporates key elements of tutoring kids:
- TPR - the tutor acts out each word she uses.
- No “incidental language” - the tutor does not use extra words that may be unfamiliar to the student and always speaks slowly/clearly.
- Rewards - the tutor offers rewards to her student every few minutes.
Having lots of enthusiasm will keep young learners attentive and encouraged, so be sure to be clear and excited! Here’s a video that offers some great tips and examples:
- Simplify your language, speak slowly, and use TPR. Avoid “incidental” or extra language.
- You can’t over-do your enthusiasm!
- Make your students feel comfortable.
- Students listen to a sequence of sounds or sentences and learn corresponding movements.
- The sounds or sentences are repeated several times, in the same order.
- After a while, the students can make the movements on their own, and in any order.
A detailed tutorial on making the most of your webcam:
- Maintain good eye contact by looking at your webcam instead of your screen.
- Position your webcam such that your facial expressions and body language are visible.
- Avoid using tools that reflect light, are too small to show up on camera, or cover your face.
If you’re not satisfied with your lighting on camera, try some of the tips in this video:
- Try removing your lampshades to disperse the light you have.
- Consider switching to LED bulbs to improve your light quality.
- Soften the intensity of your LED bulb by draping tissue paper as a makeshift lampshade.
If you’re interested in creating multi-use props or reward systems, check out this tutorial.
- Print out and laminate a tree.
- It works because children naturally make connections between the verbal and the physical.
- Children will remember a word better when there’s an action associated with it.
- It focuses more on encouraging action, rather than just repeating a word correctly.
In this thorough guide, the US State Dept. offers some example grammar lessons for children that incorporate TPR.