Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hi-Kids: 2

In spite of the low level of English speaking ability in SLP's Hi-Kids program, it is actually one of my favourite programs to teach.

By the time most kids hit the latter part of Hi-Kids 2 they have been at SLP for just over a year and are usually in Grade 2. They get frustrated with each other and bicker...

... but are very quick to make up, and if you play your cards right -- I try to, but I don't always succeed -- before you know it, everything is as right as rain.

The Hi-Kids program is one of the oldest, if not the oldest program at SLP and in terms of development and the resources that it offers you, its actually pretty terrible. There is a work book with photocopied pages from a mish-mash of other English programs and is riddled with sentences like:
Read the story in your Student Book again, and answer these questions.
For which there is no such story in their student book. If you don't mind a little extra work however, this kind of program is a gold mine for an ESL teacher. The curriculum is very easily personalized and as such I have really enjoyed making it my own, and I think my kids usually enjoy it too. We still cover all the material in the book, and I'll be honest, there's some days that I feel lazy, and I just give it to them without any embellishments, but usually we really enjoy going off on little tangents here and there.
I think the kids this age are actually my favourite. I always thought that if I was a teacher I would like to work with Grades 4-6, but I've changed my tune. The younger kids are wonderful. They don't have any of the social inhibitions that daunt the older kids and keep them from speaking and practicing their verbal expression. Classroom management can occasionally be a challenge, but if you're able to keep up your energy and stay ahead of the game, kids at this age are a lot like sheep. They get bored easily though, so keep on your toes. And remember, a little love and attention can go a long way.

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