English in Early Childhood
The main linguistic aim of early foreign-language learning is to develop listening and speaking skills – through various communicative tasks and activities.
To produce natural spoken language, children need to be exposed to authentic language input. Teachers should be good models and provide quality materials and meaningful situations.
Methods/techniques we use to help children learn English is by:
- Saying rhymes, fingerplays, and singing chants in English
- Reading stories and encouraging children to retell the story
- Using everyday phrases and giving instructions in English
- Using linguistic games (e.g. “I spy with my little eye“, What begins with..?”)
- Listening and identifying (for vocabulary development and grammatical awareness)
- Encouraging children to express themselves in English and not correcting them directly
- Practicing pronunciation (try out and play with the sounds )
- Moving from known to unknown, from concrete to abstract
- Focus on things, actions, and events that children can see
- Using practical hands-on activities (action games, art projects)
- Using a lot of visual and audio support
Children themselves learn by watching other children, listening to and getting help from others, and learn by practicing with others.
Native speakers also benefit from this program, as in addition to teachers and situations, they: improve their language, expand their knowledge, and advance in all development areas.
SPORT AND BABY GYM
Parents are increasingly aware of the dangers posed by the modern lifestyle and the age of technology, so we decided to present and offer a program of kinesiological activities in the kindergarten: Sports for preschool children and Baby gym for infants and toddlers.
The main goals of these programs are:
- Fulfilling the need to move, play and socialize
- Development of functional and motor skills + fitness abilities: endurance, strength, flexibility, etc.
- Learning about the impact and importance of exercise on health
- Prevention of deformities of the spine, legs, feet, etc.
- Acquiring basic elements of different types of sports
- Acquiring healthy lifestyles
As part of the program, we provided extra time for the implementation of other kinesiological activities outside the kindergarten (walks, excursions, skiing, skating, swimming, etc.) which we are realizing in cooperation with the sports associations: “Olympic” and “Superkid”.
The program units that the kinesiology program includes are:
- Mastering space (walking, running, rolling, and crawling)
- Overcoming obstacles (dragging, climbing, and jumping)
- Overcoming resistance (pushing, pulling, lifting, and carrying)
- Manipulation of objects (rolling, throwing, catching, and shooting)
- Monostructural activity: athletics
- Polystructural activity: tennis
- Complex activities: football, basketball, and volleyball
- Aesthetic activities: gymnastics and dance
Preschool program – preparation for school
The preschool program is intended for all children in the year before starting primary school. The program is based on the legal basis from the documents of preschool education in the Republic of Croatia.
In the year before starting school, intensive work is being done in certain areas for the child to acquire all the necessary prerequisites for a successful start in school. The child is ready for school when he/she has a degree of development of various physical and mental functions that will allow him/her to successfully master the prescribed program.
The tasks of the preschool program are:
- Development of the child’s independence
- Development of curiosity and creative attitude towards the world
- Development of speech communication skills
- Acquisition of graphomotor skills
- Development of visual – art communication skills
- Development of musical communication
- Introduction to elementary mathematical concepts
- Encouraging motor development
Topics and preschool activities during the year:
- Life – practical activities (self-care, care for the environment, etc.)
- Artistic activities (art, music, literature, theater, film, and others)
- Cognitive activities (manipulating objects, experiments, problem-solving)
- Activities that encourage graphomotor skills
- Pre-reading and pre-writing activities
- Pre-mathematical activities
- Activities to encourage self-perception, empathy, and friendship
- Social activities (birthday celebrations, festivities, holidays, etc.)