The students in our classroom range in ages between 3 and 4. They are adept at communicating in full sentences in their native languages—so it is a short leap to get them speaking just as fluently in their target language. There is a terrific trick that most ELL teachers implement in order to ease the process of learning and speaking the new target language.
The secret is...drum roll, please...
Speaking in full sentences.
Encouraging students to speak in full sentences can inspire confidence and an excellent command of the language right from the start! Simple phrases can be enumerated using fingers and hands to separate and “show” each word in a sentence, and even better tapping the number of words in a sentence on a hand, foot, or shoulder can also appeal to kinetic learners! The next time you hear your little learner say, “Butterfly!” You can use your fingers and encourage them to say, “There is a butterfly!”