In early elementary school classes, depending on the children’s level and ability, we may start with a strong focus on phonics. But from elementary school, my classes become more cross-curricular. This means they do not focus just on “English”. Kids are interested in the world around them and learn about many subjects in school. So in English classes for this age group, we start studying some basic subjects in English, including math, science, art, history and culture. This gives kids something to talk about, as well as teaching them about the world around them.
Once kids have a basic grasp of phonics, I have a library of picture books and early readers (with accompanying audio) which students can borrow. Kids love to read in their native language. I think learning to read, and enjoying reading, is important to students’ language development. Once kids can read a little, we continue to work on expanding their reading skills. Being able to read opens up whole new worlds for language learners. Reading helps them naturally learn new vocabulary and become familiar with grammar structures.