The assignment shows that a student-centered approach is vital in the lesson plan. The investigation indicates that recognizing English letters by preschool children whose native language is Arabic is challenging. Learning the letters A, S, and T is essential for mastering spelling and reading skills. Using visual materials, interactive games, and drawing to distinguish the letters are effective among preschool children whose native language is Arabic. It is possible to conclude that the focus on the needs of children who study a foreign language determines the choice of strategies and methods used in the learning process.
The focus of the current Teacher Candidate Impact on Student Learning (TCISL) assignment is on children’s learning, which determines the essence of teaching and learning advancement. The investigation concentrates on the results obtained from three students; the subject for the experiment is English. All students are five years old, and study according to the KG2 curriculum. They speak Arabic as their native language and know some words in English. All assignments focus on learning three letters (A, S, T) as the students have a low ability to recognize them.
Spelling of three letters (A, S, T) is critical for further progress in literacy, and the task is aggravated by the fact that three students are learning English as a foreign language. The difference of Arabic letters from English makes recognizing them in words difficult for five years old children (Pardo et al., 2018). The teacher needs to help preschool students master the alphabet utterly different from their native language to ensure they will not have problems with literacy in the future.
The major contextual factor determining the choice of teaching methods is the Arabic-speaking environment where KG2, or Kindergarten Curriculum for Preschools, is used. Preschool children speak Arabic as their native language, meaning the explanations can be bilingual in English and Arabic. KG2 curriculum supposes paying as the primary learning method due to the peculiarities of children of this age group (Turner & Teale, (2018). The learning program is the same for students regardless of gender and sociocultural factors, making it unified and standardized according to the principles of KG2 education in Arabic countries. The use of technology is essential in teaching to five years old children to attract their attention and to preserve it (Byington & Kim, 2017). For this assignment, video and interactive games with animation are used to make the learning process enjoyable for preschool children.
The primary intended learning outcome connected with this unit of work is to increase the ability of students to recognize three English letters (A, S, T). It is the basis for developing spelling and literacy competencies in students. In addition, recognizing these three letters increases the self-insurance of preschool children, motivating them to continue studying. These two outcomes are especially vital because they support students’ interest in further learning English as a second language, encourage them to continue mastering literacy, and create the basis for learning to read fluently. Without the knowledge of the letters A, S, and T, students will be unable to continue learning the foreign language.
Three pre-assessment strategies are consistent with the unit and lesson goals. They include drawing, game activities, and using the open-ended question on the topic (Parks, 2017). These three strategies aimed at helping children recognize the letters A, S, and T better in words to connect the spelling of the letter with its pronunciation and visual representation. For example, the pre-assessment strategy supposes that children have to use different colors to draw the assigned letters, improving their knowledge of colors and spelling simultaneously. They compete with each other while answering open-ended questions and move actively while playing the game to recognize the letters. These pre-assessment strategies allow the teacher to develop a lesson plan corresponding to the needs of five years old children, as seen in Table 1.
Table 1. Analysis of the Performance of Children in the Pre-Assessment
|Drawing||Open-ended questioning||Game activity|
|Student A||Successfully recognizes the letters||Feels shy to speak out||Shows reluctance to participate in the task|
|Student B||Has difficulties with understanding the task but masters it with the time||Is active during the competition, enjoys it||Shows promising results in completing the tasks in motion|
|Student C||Successfully recognizes the letters||Has a moderate reaction to the competition but completes the tasks successfully||Copes with the active game on a good level but is not very enthusiastic about it|
This information shows that students’ performance and reactions to the activities depend on their character and temper traits. Three students show similar responses typical for their age group, but their temper determines the variations. For instance, Student C shows better results in active tasks and competition, while Student A has a more reserved character and shows better results when there is time to focus on the answers. It allows concluding that the approach to choosing the strategy should be centered on students’ needs.
The Instructional Unit
Three activities were used in the discussed unit to achieve the results. The first activity I used in class was using colors to differentiate the letters. The letter “A” was always written in orange color; the letter “S” was written in green color; the letter “T” was depicted using brown color. The combination of colors allowed children to make associations between the color and the letter and to distinguish them easier (Luna, 2017). They already know colors, which facilitates the task significantly. As a result, the strategy to combine the particular letter and color proved its efficiency in practice.
The second activity applied during the lesson was using the game as the primary method of interacting with children and learning letters. As mentioned, preschool children aged five can concentrate on one task only for short periods (Chaudry et al., 2017). Game is an interactive and engaging method of knowledge acquisition. For instance, students named the letters written in the colors described above (“A” – orange, “S” – green, “T” – brown). That student, who names the letters correctly, receives tokens. At the end of the lesson, the number of tokens students accepted for the correct answers is counted to learn who won in the game. Children learn about the competition before the game starts, which motivates them to participate actively. This activity makes learning more engaging for preschool children who enjoy competition.
The third activity is using the active game to improve the recognition of letters and to make the lesson more interesting for preschool students. According to the game’s rules, children jump when the letters are changed on the big screen. When children hear the letter they study (A, S, T) and see it on the screen, they need to stop jumping and moving around. This activity allows five-year-old children to distract, enjoy the lesson, and learn three English letters simultaneously, which makes this a valuable activity for teaching and practice, and corresponds to the unit’s goals.
The use of these activities stemmed from the pre-assessment information allows the teacher to address the various needs of the students. The main point is the change of activities to preserve the attention of five years old children. Another vital detail is the appeal to children with different temperaments (Robinson, 2018). For instance, Student A has a calm and reserved temper, and they prefer learning new information without haste. Student B and Student C have active characters and learn better during game activities and competitions. The differentiation of children based on their temper is implemented while teaching the unit.
The use of technologies, including video and animation, makes learning interactive and exciting for preschool children. The primary classroom management technique I used was paying individual attention to every student. I also try to provide guidance and feedback as I walk around the classroom. The first post-teaching assessment tool I implemented was evaluating the game’s results, where children had to pick the card with the letter they heard in the word I pronounced. The second tool is drawing the assigned letters in the appropriate and appropriate way, allowing children to develop spelling skills and imagination.
The post-assessment results show that children cope with the tasks successfully and can recognize the letters A, S, and T. They show differences in drawing the letters in the original ways that represent their character and gender distinctions. For example, Student A is the girl, who likes animals, while Student B is the boy who likes cars and draws letters as if they are roads. The differences in learning and proficiency between the pre-and post-test results show that individual attention to children’s needs is essential. For example, all students can master the topic, but they prefer different tasks due to their character, as seen in Table 2.
Table 2. Analysis of the Performance of Children in the Post-Assessment
|Drawing letters||Participating in the game|
|Student A||Draws letters as animals||Picks letters right|
|Student B||Draws letters as roads||Picks letters right|
|Student C||Draws letters as trees||Picks letters right|
As the teacher, I had to understand the concepts of individual differences in learning, child’s character, and peculiarities connected with the attention of preschool children. Children know that they are learning English letters before the start of the lesson because they are acquainted with this activity. However, they have problems learning letters in a foreign language because they are native Arabic speakers. I observed that active tasks helped children to enjoy the lesson more and to fulfill their energy, which allowed them to learn the concepts I taught better. The gap in learning is connected with long-term memorizing of the letters (Alfonso & DuPaul, 2020). My supervisor helped me organize children better in the classroom, showing me that I must work on this skill. The post-teaching test results show that the classroom strategies and activities were chosen adequately.
The current intervention focuses on describing the effects of teaching on the learning experience of preschool children. I learned how to apply this knowledge to the subsequent work with this age group to master spelling and literacy skills. My strength as a teacher is the use of the child-centered approach to learning: I tried to improve students’ results, promote their needs, and optimize the learning process. I learned about my teaching of the unit that I have to improve my organization skills based on the feedback I received from the supervisor. Next time, I might pay more attention to classroom organization to enhance students’ knowledge and repeat the information they learned during the previous lesson. I would advise teachers and parents to focus more on students’ characters and find the activities they enjoy to achieve good results.
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Pardo, A. N., Téllez, M. F. T., & Barón, J. C. G. (2018). Teacher -developed materials for language teaching and learning. Universidad del Externado.
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Robinson, A. (2018). Teaching and learning about patterns in preschool. Teaching Children Mathematics, 25(3), 152–157. Web.
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