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4 year old preschool problems

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Svela Elkova

Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:38 am    Post subject: 4 year old preschool problems Reply with quote

Hello -

My little boy is almost 4. We speak Russian at home and he spoke mostly Russian until he was 3. He then was in a family daycare (him and a baby), he picked up some English and I moved him to preschool. This is where problems started.
He doesn't have enough english to follow classes or stories so during circle time or story time he gets bored and starts making trouble. The teachers say he understands them all right, he is just misbehaving. I observed him there: he does understand when you say "you have to sit down and listen quietly", but he is 4 and he can sit quietly and listen to the story (that he can't follow) for only a short time... Also, he prefers teachers over the kids as kids don't have patience to repeat or speak slow and clear..
My question is if anyone has any advice on where to find an ESL class for him (we are in Seattle)? Or some ESL program we could follow at home? He IS learning english slowly, but given his communication problems, he'd need some sort of intensive english... Or some sort of classes that would teach communication skills - in english?
For now he mostly avoids kids because they don't understand him...

Thank you!
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry I cannot offer help on where to find ESL schools but we are in a similar situation so I hope to offer a little encouragement.
We moved to Turkey 4 months ago and I quickly put my son,4, in a preschool totally in L2. Although he had been exposed to L2 he certainly had no immersion like this. At first he was very angry and aggressive. He did not utter a word and seemed very frustrated. This lasted almost 2 months, but I did see improvement with behavior and attitude which made me stick it out. He made a friend and he liked the teachers and could make it through the day OK. At 2.5months he began to speak and is now doing quite well.
I think it's helpful that he spends 3.5 hrs a day (not too much) and Dad tries to speak Turkish at home as much as possible. Perhaps you can work closely with the teachers and read the same books and songs they are doing at school? Are you comfortable with the school- I think that's key. You really need to give lots of love and encouragement and I believe you will get through this. For us, if we had not seen any improvement by now and he was still the same angry little guy, we would have taken a different route. Luckily he seems to have made it through the toughest part. Well, I wish you the best of luck!
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Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a five-year-old son . He learns a little english . But he seldom speak english at home .What will I do ?
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Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you should try to create situations where your child is willing to speak english.for example,you should ask youself to speak english with your child whenever or wherever you are together
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Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 174
Location: USA and/or Korea

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linqi, I disagree. Parents should primarily speak languages they can model well when chatting with their kids. The better and more natural the model, the better the kid learns. Speak your own first language to your child unless you are native-like in another language.

If you want your child to be motivated to learn a language you yourself do not speak well then friends and schooling (school, art/music classes, sports, etc) are key. Set up lots of playdates with English-speaking peers.

If you think your child is especially slow to learn all languages presented, then seek help from a bilingual speech-language pathologist. Go to and click on Find a Professional.

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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a resource that may help you. Actually it's meant for beginners and your son may not be a true beginner. However if you have time to spend with your child on English then it is worth a try. You can practise vocabulary and simple sentences together in a fun way.

Watch the demo video on the site to get an overall idea of the approach and then enter your name and email to receive free games by email.

If you like this and it works well for you then there is a complete book of games for parents and private tutors for sale as well as 2 hours of video demos and notes to help parents go about teaching in an encouraging and fun way.

Hope it helps!

Kind regards
Shelley Smile
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Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 40
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:41 pm    Post subject: free video of finger rhymes and chants, perfect for 2-6 yrs Reply with quote

I have just started uploading video onto my youtube channel.
I have taught for years and just thought of adding the finger rhymes and chants to my site. These would be perfect to use with your son.
I will be adding more every week and if you have a request just let me know.

I also have a CD with loads of finger rhymes and chants available on itunes. It is called Five Little Finger Rhymes and Lots of Circle Games.
So you can just get the individual mp3s that you might want.

I hope some of this helps you.

Take care
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