I received this email today from a customer in South Korea and I thought that it might make for useful reading for others, so here is the email and my reply.
Your comments are of course welcome!
I gave a quick reply but plenty more can be said on this subject.
> Dear Ms. Shelley Vernon,
> Thank you very much for your help.Â The teaching method that you’ve send
> me are all very useful. My students from 5 years to adults are enjoying. My
> kindergarten students remember all the vocabulary easily using your method of
> Thanks you very much.
> Name: I deleted this to respect the teacher’s privacy.
> I want to ask some suggestions. In all my class I give some points and
> earning a lot of points I give them some reward. Because in my class I don’t want > them to talk in Korean all english.
> If they talk in Korean and don’t behave well I minus the points. Giving
> points it helps a lot to me because they try to talk in english. And they try to >do their homework becuase they don’t want to lose points. But some students stole >other students points, that’s why feel not good. Other students cried not having
> the points. Can you give me some other way to motivate them to do homework
> and only talk in english?
And this is my reply:
OK why don’t you try this for a few weeks and see how it goes:
When they talk in Korean ignore them.
When they say anything in English praise them and use their name.
Never use their name when telling them off – it’s a way of giving
significance. Always use the name when praising.
I don’t think one wants to have too much competition and pressure at age 5
– goodness they are going to get plenty of that later. So you could use
the points system but not systematically – just from time to time as a
special event – then you have to be sure every one gets something so you
don’t demoralise them.
You see young children are soooooo fragile. Those kids who do not have
any points and see that others do can feel like failures. This can affect
them in their whole lives and not just in English.
You want to be achieving the exact OPPOSITE effect which is to make all
the children love themselves and feel good about themselves.
All the best