Mother tongue,

I used to teach to the very young learners once upon a time and I often thought that how much mother language I should have used during the lessons. I remember I had given some basic classroom instructions and they could easily understand what I had meant but what is the criterion of using the L1 for the kindergarten students? There are some moments that those lovely kids think about what I am trying to say so except using mimes, gestures and body language, what am I supposed to do to be understood well enough?

No votes yet


CoffeeAddict's picture

Total "immersion" is hardly possible in Turkey (due to regulations) - although we try our best at my school with pre-K and kindergarten. Each group has two teachers, one foreign and one bilingual. Whenever possible (which really is most of the time) the teachers speak English. All routine activities and instructions are only done/given in English. As far as ı understand (I don't teach the little ones), most of the day with little kids is strictly regulated into chunks of activities that all happen in the same way every time and also there's a lot of chanting/singing/rhymes involved. When it's time for going into the garden, there's the garden chant, when the little ones line up and march to lunch they chant "the lunch chant "etc. Even the youngest ones very quickly (within the first weeks!) learn basic phrases such as "may ı go to the bathroom", "I don't understand", "please help me" and basic verbs like "draw", "sit down", "listen" and "play".Anyway, I guess my advice to you is only use Turkish when you absolutely have to. Perhaps some days later in the year you can even avoid using it altogether!