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Theme-based English instruction based on the Nuri curriculum

Theme-based English instruction based on the Nuri curriculum
Na, Goeun
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외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
Sukyung Chin
This book is written for 7 year-olds in an English private institute, also known as an English kindergarten, in Seoul, Korea where they have an English program for young learners aged six to seven. The target students have been exposed to English since they were about 5 or 6 years old. Most of the students entered this institute when they were 6 and the students have been immersed in and exposed to various elements of the English language. They also have studied content knowledge such as reading, language arts, science, and math with American elementary textbooks for first graders. There are also other classes such as gym, computers, read aloud, drama, magazine, arts, speaking and writing which are developed to provide a highly motivating and interesting learning environment with the textbooks or materials developed by the institute’s Research and Development department. These classes are taught by native English speaking teachers from the U.S. or Canada. Every class is conducted entirely in English and the institute only let students speak in English (English Only Policy). They are able to understand and follow teachers’ instructions and directions. They also can answer teachers’ questions and express their ideas, thoughts, and feelings in familiar situations but with some errors. When they talk with peers or teachers, they sometimes use Korean words if they do not know the equivalent words or expressions in English. I assume that their level of reading and listening is between 2 (Emerging) and 3 (Developing), and the level of speaking and writing is between 1 (Entering) and 2 (Emerging) averagely in WIDA (2012). I had worked in an English private institute for three years, and I found problems with its curriculum, textbooks, and some aspects of teaching. Based on my background in early childhood education and child studies, I found that some aspects of the English kindergarten could be poorly suited for Korean children and their development. The curriculum is developed for prerequisite learning of English, some textbooks are from America which are used in first grade, and the length of the lesson is too long for 7-year-olds to sit on the table with books and a pencil. Most of the teachers are unqualified to teach young learners as they do not have much knowledge of children‘s overall development and the educational culture in Korea. The students are seven-year-olds and are at a specific developmental stage where the institute and the teachers need to consider not only their development in English but also need to take care of their development in physical, emotional, intellectual and social development. When we teach English, knowledge, or skills to young learners, carefully designed engaging tasks and meaning focused activities are indispensable to fit each learner’s needs and learning styles. This book covers the ten themes from the Nuri Curriculum for 7-year-olds. Kindergarten is not compulsory yet in Korea, but Korea has passed the Kindergarten Education Law. According to the law, the Nuri Curriculum has been developed to provide common and general standards for organizing and implementing the national curriculum for 7-year-olds in kindergartens and child-care centers (The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, 2011). Korean children are required to acquire the knowledge and skills from the Nuri curriculum before they go to elementary school. Based on this curriculum, I developed this textbook to teach not only various themes from Nuri curriculum but also theme-related vocabulary and build their English skills through various meaningful task-based activities. In the teacher’s manual, native English speaking teachers will be able to get helpful teaching tips, readings for reference, supplementary information and materials to conduct a theme-based class effectively and efficiently.
☞ 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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