At an early age, learning a foreign language will initially focus on understanding this
language (words, phrases or short sentences). Preschoolers will demonstrate
understanding of the message sent in the foreign language and will act according to it.
Then, the little ones will be encouraged to express themselves using the foreign
language, to pronounce the words clearly, to use simple grammar rules and to initiate
simple conversations in which to express their thoughts and needs. During the activities,
the enrichment of the vocabulary with new words and expressions is also considered,
which the preschooler can use in his daily activities and in his relationships with others.
As the children get older and their level of development increases, learning the foreign
language will also take into account the knowledge of letters and the identification of
sounds, gradually reaching reading and writing in the respective language.
The teaching staff involved in the Erasmus+ project, through the activities carried out
within it, as well as based on their own experience in the activity with preschoolers,
established a series of steps to facilitate the preparation and carrying out of the activities
of teaching/learning a foreign language in early education. The following indications
represent a suggestion for approaching some topics of interest for preschoolers, which
can support the teachers and parents in the process of teaching/learning a new
So, if you are a teacher interested in the development of the preschoolers you guide
and, together with the parents, you want to familiarize them and even teach the little
ones a foreign language, the following steps will help you.
IN THE BEGINNING:
Determine what is necessary to develop in your preschoolers, from a linguistic point of
view, regarding the foreign language. Consider the age and development level of the
children, as well as their interests and needs.
STEP 1 – Choose the topic and the contents (vocabulary)
Determine the topic of interest that you are going to address in the foreign language,
you can choose it together with the preschoolers or it can be identical to that of the
projects that you carry out in the usual activity with the group of children. Once the topic
is known, choose words relevant to the children’s age, easy to pronounce and
remember, simple expressions and sentences, which will help the children to express
themselves and communicate easily in the new language.
STEP 2 – Establish the expected results
Clearly establish the expected results following the approach of the chosen theme: what
the preschoolers will be able to do at the end of the activity/activities, regarding the
STEP 3 – Choose the appropriate methods
Depending on the age of the preschoolers, the contents to be learned and the
established objectives, it is necessary to choose the appropriate methods, by which to
obtain the expected results. In general, most activities will be based on play, as it is the
main method used in early education. Adding other methods to the play, interactive
activities can be carried out to stimulate children’s interest in the foreign language.
STEP 4 – Match the methods with the right resources
In order to be able to apply the established methods, appropriate educational means
are needed, resources through which the objectives set for each activity can be
achieved. These resources can be either digital, foreign language learning activities being
based on ICT, or they can be objects (handmade or not) from the children’s
environment: books, toys, flashcards, images, materials from nature, personal objects
STEP 5 – Apply and assess
Carrying out the activities of teaching/learning a foreign language depends on each
individual teacher, on the group of children he guides and on the previous planning. For
a good development, activity projects or just simple sketches can be made, but the
methodical approach must be clear and carried out efficiently.
At the end, it is important to evaluate the children’s knowledge and skills, to determine if
it is possible to move on to a new topic or if remedial activities are needed, to repeat the
elements that were not understood.
IMPORTANT! – Involve parents
Don’t forget the most important partner in children’s education, the family! Especially in
early education, it is necessary to collaborate with the parents of preschoolers, because
together, solid foundations can be laid in the education of the little ones. The
involvement of families in the activities carried out in the kindergarten and the
permanent communication with them positively influence the children’s progress.
Depending on the topic addressed in the activities of learning a foreign language, the
teacher and parents can find ways by which the learning can be continued at home.
Some kindergarten activities can also be carried out in the family or can be adapted, so
that parents are actively involved in the education of their own children.