Help me with this because I dont really know. How would you know your kid is learning?
I have this group of kids between 4-6 years old -- who attend playtime English under my tutelage. I am doing this course because I know I would enjoy learning with kids and I am sure that the kids would be enjoying learning with songs and dance and crafts; and also because at the back of my mind, I dont want to loose my 'English.'
The first time I attended a Deutsch course, the teacher told me to forget about my English or else I would have difficulty learning Deutsch. Well, she was right. It was when I stopped translating everything in English that I began to really master (a little bit) the German language. It was not easy, but I managed.
Now, I realized I am beginning to loose my 'English' when I cant even talk one sentence in straight English; and when I am writing a letter, I cant even formulate one single paragraph in straight English without consulting the Deutsch-English dictionary -- but that was two years ago. And that time, I felt bad. Uneasy. As a graduate of AB Journalism, that didnt help my confidence at all. And as someone who wanted to go back to Journalism in the future, that is really terrible!
Most people here were astonished to know that I am doing playtime English; they expected someone from an English speaking country to face them. The Philippines is an English speaking country. I earned by Journalism degree in the Philippines, where most school works are done in English. The language in the school is English, from kindergarten to university. We do speak our native tongue, the Tagalog, but we have only one subject about this; otherwise, we speak and write all our works in English.
And I know, some of us parents have high expectations -- and when I talk with the teachers of my kids, I try to know what they have been doing in kindergarten; if there are improvements and if I should take note of things that should be done for the better of my kids.
Back to my playtime English. This coming week would be the fifth time that the class would be meeting. I have given the parents the program outline. We have even held a meeting before the course began so that any questions would be answered and suggestion taken into consideration. They know the program; I dont mind listening to suggestions and ways that I could do better, things that would be best for the kids and the class -- but I cant create a miracle. In such a short course, the kids would learn some everyday phrases and would be familiar with numbers, colors, etc. I would be happy to hear them speaking in some English words, but to be really fluently speaking in English, that would take time.
What made me ask the question on how would you know that your kids is learning? Just because one mom asked her kid what she learned from English class, the girl simply said 'I dont know.' And she took it as a bad sign. Dont blame me if I dont feel good hearing this. Am I right to hear a little implication that her kid isnt learning at all? Because of that 'I dont know,' answer?
I dont know, too. When I heard about it, I was surprised and a bit lost. I also ask my kids what they did in kindergarten, almost everyday; and most of their answers were 'I dont know.' And I didnt think to push the teachers to watch out for my kids because they dont know what they did in kindergarten. And yet I know that the kids are learning because they sit down to do crafts, to draw, to write, they learn how to socialize, to interact, etc.
I know that particular kid participates well during the class. She's eager to join the group. And she answers when asked. And most of all, she's always an enthusiastic listener and participant. That would mean she is enjoying the course, right? And enjoying the class is the best way to learn. After all, the class is playtime English! We play, we have fun, and we learn slowly and hopefully, surely.
I guess the only way is to talk again to the parent, to the group of parents, if needed. But I want to know, how do you know your kid is learning?