Preschooler with autism?

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  • Squirrel
    16 January, 2010 at 13:06
    • Total posts: 3

    Hello all.

    I have a very interesting and weird situation here!

    Whilst I am interested in teaching English as a foreign language, specifically with children, and I have a background in primary school teaching … my connection to here is that I am preparing lesson plans and materials for the local preschool here to teach, more formally, my autistic son to speak Swedish!

    I have supported non-native English speakers (children) in their learning of English when I worked as an au-pair, and I have given private tuition to English children in English and Maths … but now I need to work out a ‘learning a foreign language’ programme for a preschooler and this seemed the most sensible place to start!

    I am to identify what Swedish my son needs to learn and how best to support him in a more formal, structured style of learning. I am in my first year of learning Swedish as an adult (!) so I am really to identify what needs to be covered and then the pre-school teachers will provide the actual language content. My son (almost 5) apparently understands almost all Swedish spoken to him but is refusing to speak Swedish himself. As a child with Autism he has various difficulties with social integration which are being compunded by the fact that he is speaking English to the other children who do not understand him!

    I feel that he needs some more formal practise of vocabulary and phrases – and I am intrigued as to what the ESL curriculum would be for a child of his age learning English.

    I am starting by sending in a detailed, active picture photocopied from a ‘My first 100 words’ book. There will be about 10 words on flashcards for them to learn and to repeat, ask each other, etc. (the school have suggested that at least one other child who is learning Swedish as a foreign language join my son in these sessions) I am then preparing phrases, questions and answers, in English, as a suggestion for how the staff could move on to discussing the actions taking place in the picture and I then want to work out how to facilitate roleplay on the topic of the picture ….

    Thank you for reading so far .. if you have any ideas or experiences I would love to hear them, and if there is anyone local that I can meet to/chat to to discuss learning materials then that would be wonderful!

    My cunning plan is that if I develop this curriculum, lesson plans and resources as if I were myself teaching ESL – the school will convert it to Swedish for my son’s education and I will have the basis of a part-time career in teaching English, which I know I would find very satisfying. There are ‘Home language’ teachers here for school age children, provided by the education authorities, and that is a job I can see myself doing once I have sorted my own
    children out.


    18 January, 2010 at 23:46
    • Total posts: 3

    Reply To: Is anybody in/near Sweden?

    My first lesson plan …
    I’d welcome any thoughts that you might have, or experience with this age group.

    Suggested lesson plan for teaching preschoolers an additional language
    Method: Using a detailed picture with up to 4 children
    Picture 1 – Vårt Sovrum (‘Our Bedroom’, three children, mother, cat and dog in a bedroom)

    1)Find objects in the picture and name them
    – find the words in the picture, identify other nouns of interest to the children
    – play with picture cards, taking it in turn to choose a card and say the word

    2)What are the people/animals doing?
    – climbing, reading, holding, chasing, laying down, walking
    – act out the verbs for others in the group to guess
    – can extend during the week to include other common verbs if appropriate

    3)Adult to model descriptive sentences using the nouns and verbs already identified
    – repeat the sentences pointing to the appropriate action and object in the
    picture to show what is meant by the sentence.

    4)Identify question words – what, where, who, why, when, how
    – ask questions about the picture to be replied to using the descriptive sentences
    (restrict question words to a few, e.g. what, where and who)
    – question and answer work in pairs, referring to the picture.
    – can extend during the week to see if other questions asked by the adult are
    understood, and whether the descriptive sentence can be constructed.

    5)Apply to play in pre-school situation
    – model how to ask others to play the activities shown in the picture
    Will you read with me?, Shall we chase?, I want to climb the ladder (wall-bars),
    I am walking my toy dog, What are you holding?,
    – children could play one of these activities, for which they now have the
    language, to end the session.
    (Perhaps focus the modelling, and the play activity to end the session, on one
    verb from the picture each day)

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