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Teaching Kids, how young is too young??

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  • Teaching Kids, how young is too young??

    Okay,

    I work in an Eikaiwa, and its an okay job. I teach kids, high school, businessmen, housewives and the elderly.

    For the past five months I have been teaching a 2 year old (just turned 2), yes thats right a 2 year old!!. His mother brings him to my "school" in a buggy, and he wears a nappy!!, basically hes a baby!, I "teach" him (or try to?) for 20 minutes a week!,

    I personally think the whole occasion is the biggest waste of time/money/effort, and I think the students mother is a complete lunatic for making her 2 year old son go to English school. I think my company are lunatics for asking (telling?) me to teach him, and I feel as if I am the only sane person in this whole fascade!

    Basically, I play with him with plastic fruit, puppets, and blocks, ... subsequently he hasn't uttered a word of English since I have been teaching him, I find the whole thing degrading, boring and pointless. I feel as if all my effort is to try and humour his mother and speak as much English as possible, hoping that he will learn via osmosis!

    Does anyone else have similar experiences???, I saw that Geos teach kids from 1 years old.... how does that work??,

  • #2
    Originally posted by shackle View Post
    Okay,

    I work in an Eikaiwa, and its an okay job. I teach kids, high school, businessmen, housewives and the elderly.

    For the past five months I have been teaching a 2 year old (just turned 2), yes thats right a 2 year old!!. His mother brings him to my "school" in a buggy, and he wears a nappy!!, basically hes a baby!, I "teach" him (or try to?) for 20 minutes a week!,

    I personally think the whole occasion is the biggest waste of time/money/effort, and I think the students mother is a complete lunatic for making her 2 year old son go to English school. I think my company are lunatics for asking (telling?) me to teach him, and I feel as if I am the only sane person in this whole fascade!

    Basically, I play with him with plastic fruit, puppets, and blocks, ... subsequently he hasn't uttered a word of English since I have been teaching him, I find the whole thing degrading, boring and pointless. I feel as if all my effort is to try and humour his mother and speak as much English as possible, hoping that he will learn via osmosis!

    Does anyone else have similar experiences???, I saw that Geos teach kids from 1 years old.... how does that work??,
    It doesn't, really. But what`s the problem? Of course he won`t become fluent in English, I expect he can barely communicate in Japanese. But he is interacting with an adult, not a family member, in a new environment. You are disregarding what he can learn as a social animal. If he picks up a couple of words like apple and orange, great. But it's not the point.

    I refer you to my answer in your other post.

    Comment


    • #3
      his mother is a nut job, many of them are. any time spent away from her can be nothing but beneficial for the bairn. do what you can to save it from day time TV or being dragged around a mall. Talk to it like you would a baby in your own country. Help develop its motor skills, perception and the like. Play it real music, expose it to things its mother probably cant comprehend.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by shackle View Post
        Okay,

        I work in an Eikaiwa, and its an okay job. I teach kids, high school, businessmen, housewives and the elderly.

        For the past five months I have been teaching a 2 year old (just turned 2), yes thats right a 2 year old!!. His mother brings him to my "school" in a buggy, and he wears a nappy!!, basically hes a baby!, I "teach" him (or try to?) for 20 minutes a week!,

        I personally think the whole occasion is the biggest waste of time/money/effort, and I think the students mother is a complete lunatic for making her 2 year old son go to English school. I think my company are lunatics for asking (telling?) me to teach him, and I feel as if I am the only sane person in this whole fascade!

        Basically, I play with him with plastic fruit, puppets, and blocks, ... subsequently he hasn't uttered a word of English since I have been teaching him, I find the whole thing degrading, boring and pointless. I feel as if all my effort is to try and humour his mother and speak as much English as possible, hoping that he will learn via osmosis!

        Does anyone else have similar experiences???, I saw that Geos teach kids from 1 years old.... how does that work??,
        I fail to see the problem. The parents want to expose their kid to new environments and languages in order to develop in other ways than just English, I suspect. Shane, or whoever you work for, is happy making money off this mother. Your job is to keep the kid happy so that his parents keep paying the English fees until he's 30 years old. You didn't think you were really a professional language instructor, did you? You're a warm body to have English conversation with, be it a two-way conversation or a one-way conversation (likely the case with small babies, jr/sr high school students and half the adults you get paid to talk to).

        Have fun with it, and be happy you aren't asked to change him when he goes unko. Some places actually expect you to do that, along with helping them in the toilet.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by shackle View Post
          I find the whole thing degrading...
          LOL! I was 33 when I started teaching J- kids age 4-10 for a language school . Talk about embarrassing. Yet the job could be fun if the children were pleasant and gaijin flunky in charge and/or parents weren’t on my case.

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          • #6
            Teaching Kids, how young is too young??

            Blastula!!

            Comment


            • #7
              My kid's 2 and he speaks English and Japanese. Okay, so by English I mean "CAR!" and by Japanese I mean "WANWAN!" etc... but if I tell him "time to brush your teeth" in EITHER language, he will go to the sink and stand on his stool and wait for the toothbrush. It's not totally pointless. Now, granted, that is a kid who gets a lot more than 20 minutes a week of each language.... your student can't be expected to do as well as a child bein raised in a bilingual household BUT they can pick up some words at age 2, and understand more than they can say.

              Also, if the mom comes to the lesson as well.... it would obviously help the child more if SHE also picked up on some of the English words and practiced with him at home. "Mom and baby" classes (if that's what this is) are more for mom than baby. If the mom takes the words, songs, expressions etc HOME and takes a few minutes each day to have English time, the child will obviously pick things up even faster. It usually doesn't WORK that way... that 20 minutes with you is supposed to be magic or something.... chances are it will have no effect. But that's not because the kid's 2.... the foundation of language is laid that early, absolutely! It's just that 20 minutes a week isn't enough. If you can, try to get the mom more involved.... if she is also learning things that she can say TO her child in English, he'll get more exposure and it might be more helpful.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by kotoha View Post
                My kid's 2 and he speaks English and Japanese. Okay, so by English I mean "CAR!" and by Japanese I mean "WANWAN!" etc... but if I tell him "time to brush your teeth" in EITHER language, he will go to the sink and stand on his stool and wait for the toothbrush. It's not totally pointless. Now, granted, that is a kid who gets a lot more than 20 minutes a week of each language.... your student can't be expected to do as well as a child bein raised in a bilingual household BUT they can pick up some words at age 2, and understand more than they can say.
                EXACTLY. Any parent would understand this. The mother is NOT a lunatic.

                Comment


                • #9
                  ____ off 1990, have you ever had to subject yourself to the degradation of teaching very little kids. I do every week - from 2 year olds (not so hard) to 4 year olds (monsters). The mums are absolutely clueless. They have very little mothering skills and even less idea how anything else works. One os my 4 year old monsters comes in all the time reeking of tobacco smoke because his dimwit mother smokes in the car on her way to better his life. It's time you took off your rose coloured glasses and look at the reality.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    By the way, i agree with Kotoha - kids do pick up things, but if for only 20 minutes of a week then it is a complete and utter waste of money and time. How about the kids that have been studying english for years (courtesy of mum's urging) that can barely tell you the 4 fruit.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by life'sspark View Post
                      By the way, i agree with Kotoha - kids do pick up things, but if for only 20 minutes of a week then it is a complete and utter waste of money and time. How about the kids that have been studying english for years (courtesy of mum's urging) that can barely tell you the 4 fruit.
                      You mean the four seasons... Or the four horsemen of the Apocalypse...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Since1990 View Post
                        EXACTLY. Any parent would understand this. The mother is NOT a lunatic.
                        I beg to differ, at the age of 2 (just turned 2), a child shouldn';t be near any school. or any other educational institution, they need time to develop at home aswell, He arrives to my office in a buggy ffs! and he wears a diaper!

                        Every week, for 20 minutes, I have my lunch break cut off, to prance around and humour some childs (babies) mother- doing my best to act like a clown and keep him from crying, whilst trying to make it look as if im teaching him English. (actually, I dont know what the fxk im trying to do with him, we were never trained how to teach 2 year olds, but hey thats Eikaiwas for you)

                        Think how weird it is for the baby to go into an office cubicle once a week, to meet some big hairy gaijin prance around a room, it must be traumatising!!

                        ... Moreover, one of my friends (also an eikaiwa teacher) had a complaint from a mother stating that their 3 year old child's accent was not "native" enough!!..... I mean come on?!?!, what are Japanese mothers smoking???

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by shackle View Post
                          I beg to differ, at the age of 2 (just turned 2), a child shouldn';t be near any school. or any other educational institution, they need time to develop at home aswell, He arrives to my office in a buggy ffs! and he wears a diaper!

                          Every week, for 20 minutes, I have my lunch break cut off, to prance around and humour some childs (babies) mother- doing my best to act like a clown and keep him from crying, whilst trying to make it look as if im teaching him English. (actually, I dont know what the fxk im trying to do with him, we were never trained how to teach 2 year olds, but hey thats Eikaiwas for you)

                          Think how weird it is for the baby to go into an office cubicle once a week, to meet some big hairy gaijin prance around a room, it must be traumatising!!

                          ... Moreover, one of my friends (also an eikaiwa teacher) had a complaint from a mother stating that their 3 year old child's accent was not "native" enough!!..... I mean come on?!?!, what are Japanese mothers smoking???
                          Sounds like your opinion of your own job, and the mom's opinion of your job are different. I sent my son to "swim class" when he was 4 months old. Did I expect him to come out of it doing the 400 breaststroke? No... but he likes the water now, isn't scared to take a bath or go to a water park. He got to interact with some other kids and moms and coaches, instead of just me all day. I don't know that the mom of your student has realistic expectations... but kids DO GET something out of classes, even at that age. And what you're doing in a two year old's eikaiwa class shouldn't be "educational" anyway.

                          I bet this mom would like her child to get used to the rhythm and sound of English, to be exposed to some songs and stories from your home country that SHE might not know, and to not grow up to be scared of anyone who looks a little different from him. Whether eikaiwa accomplishes ANY of those goals is definitely up for debate, but can you not see how she might hope that by spending time with you now, he might get a subconscious headstart on pronunciation and skip that whole "foreigners are scary" phase that some older eikaiwa kids DO go through. Not bad things to hope for your kid, at least.

                          Yes, a lot of Japanese moms think that those 20 minutes a week are going to make their kid native, and that's just naive and wrong. But the IDEA behind it isn't bad. At the very least the kid could pick up a nursery rhyme or two.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Whilst it's true J-mums do expect a lot it's up to the school to tell them not to expect much. I worked in a school where I did a private lesson with a 2 year old for 45 minutes (he had also just turned two) I made it clear to the mum that he will not be ordering his own meal at Mcdonald's anytime soon but he should start saying colours or simple words like bye, hello etc.

                            I think it depends on the kid and most certainly the parents as they need to reinforce what the child has heard in the lesson. I have to say the child I was teaching said red, blue, purple, green and black. He also said here, there and one day he said "throw the ball" He was a real smart kid so repetition and a bit of patience went a long way. Just make it interesting, I would never dance around like a performing monkey for anyone, it's cr@p for you and the kid is thinking what the feck are you doing?

                            Choose something you want the child to actually learn and make that thing interesting for the kid. He/she won't sit there and have a conversation with you but if you repeat the words that you want him to learn he will eventually say them. I don't mean; red, red, red, red ,red arghhhhh kill yourself now! I mean say the words but in a fun way and often. For example, I would throw a ball to him and say "throw the ball" eventually he will repeat it. Also "roll the ball" he/she will enjoy doing that.

                            Anyway, have fun

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=Mr.D;768979]Whilst it's true J-mums do expect a lot it's up to the school to tell them not to expect much. I worked in a school where I did a private lesson with a 2 year old for 45 minutes (he had also just turned two) I made it clear to the mum that he will not be ordering his own meal at Mcdonald's anytime soon but he should start saying colours or simple words like bye, hello etc.

                              QUOTE]

                              I know!!, some mothers expect their toddlers to be reciting shakespeare after 20 minute a week lessons, ...its ridiculous!

                              I always feel like a gooseberry in the middle!, some of my kids are great!!.... but I teach some 5 year old kids, and they dont want to learn English and dont want to be there (and therefore run a muck and do what they like, often without even responding to their name), and on the other side of the room is their mother (who despite knowing how naughty her children are) looking through the window, brimming with anger that I (the teacher) isn't teaching her kid (as the kid is hiding under the table and doesn;t give a toss about english, no matter how interesting I try an make it).... I am like "get me out of here!!"

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