Investigating parents' and teachers' views on teaching English in preschool period
Parents' and teachers' views on teaching English in preschool period
Teaching English in the pre-school period has become quite common in our country in recently. With the developing and widespread technological applications, the world has become a small village, which resulted in increased English awareness. The age of learning English has decreased to the age of 4-5 among the new generation children born in technology. Linguists and educators state that teaching English at an early age contributes to the cognitive and affective development of children positively. Many researchers have stated that children who encounter English at an early age compare their cultural values with other cultural values in terms of cultural acquisition, and they can become individuals who are more tolerant, universal, have strong communication skills, and can easily create intercultural competence. In short, English teaching at an early age has positive effects on the social, individual, communicative and cultural development of children. In the preschool period, acquisition and learning progress simultaneously. In other words, while children acquire their mother tongue, they can learn English as a foreign language with the right program. The acquisition and learning in this process both improve the children's language skills in English and facilitate the acquisition process in the mother tongue and ensure that the acquisition process is more robust and faster. The present research presents a review of the related literature on the importance of English in the preschool period and investigates the opinions of teachers in public and private preschool institutions in Konya and the parents who send their children to these institutions.
According to the findings obtained from the research, most of the preschool teachers and parents have a positive opinion about the necessity of pre-school English teaching. Older parents and teachers have less positive opinions related to the necessity of teaching English. Teachers with longer experience also have less positive opinions about the importance of teaching English. Regardless of the educational degrees they hold, preschool teachers and parents consider pre-school English teaching as necessary. Preschool teachers stated that pre-school English teaching is necessary no matter which institution they work for. According to another result obtained from the research, as the parents’ level of income increases, they attach more importance to Preschool English Teaching.
Teachers and parents reported opinions that starting English education at an early age helps children develop their linguistic, social, mental, academic, communication, decision-making, first language and memory retention skills, social skills, comprehension skills, learning skills, communication skills, speaking skills, memorization skills, vocabulary learning skills, their reading skills, focusing skills, and understanding of different cultures. Contrary to many studies, parents and teachers who participated in the present research stated that preschool English teaching is not very adequate. For a more effective English teaching in pre-school institutions, teachers and parents expressed opinions such as ensuring that children are more active in English lessons, speak English only, listen to English music, play English games, watch English cartoons, read English storybooks, sing English songs in lessons, organize English activities for parents, have foreign teachers in English lessons, have English activities as homework, watch English videos, and English lessons given by foreign teachers, and held outside of school.
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