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From ABC to Fluency: Navigating the Obstacles of Teaching English to Young Learners

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Teaching English to children is a fulfilling experience that can come with many challenges. Whether it's language barriers, attention spans, pronunciation, cultural differences, or limited vocabulary, teachers must find ways to help young learners overcome these obstacles. This article will discuss some practical strategies that can help teachers create a supportive and effective learning environment for their students.

navigating the obstacles of teaching english to young learners

As an ESL teacher who has had the opportunity to teach children of all ages, I have come to realize that teaching children is not just about imparting knowledge, but also about building relationships and creating a safe and nurturing learning environment. Reflecting on my years of experience, I've identified a number of challenges that arise when teaching children, along with several strategies to effectively address them.

Language Barriers 

Language barriers can be a significant challenge when teaching English to children. However, teachers can help children overcome this obstacle using visual aids and hands-on activities. Flashcards, picture books, and other visual aids can help children associate new vocabulary with images, making it easier for them to remember and use in conversation.

Attention Span 

Young learners have a short attention span, making it challenging to retain information and learn new concepts. Teachers can combine fun and interactive activities into their lessons to keep children engaged and interested. Singing songs, playing games, and doing crafts can help children stay focused while learning new vocabulary and grammar. 

fun and engaging activities in children classes


Pronunciation can be a hurdle for young learners when learning English. To help children improve their pronunciation, teachers can use tongue twisters and other pronunciation exercises. It is also essential for teachers to model correct pronunciation and encourage children to repeat words and phrases until they feel comfortable saying them correctly. 

challenges in teaching english to children

Cultural Differences

Cultural differences can make teaching English to children more challenging. Teachers should be aware of cultural differences and adjust their teaching styles accordingly. Teachers can create a more inclusive and effective learning environment by understanding and respecting these cultural differences. 

As a clear illustration, in Indonesia, it is customary for teachers to be addressed by their first name rather than their last. As a case in point, my students refer to me as Miss Tya, rather than Miss Arifin. This practice is a unique aspect of Indonesian culture. 

As an ESL teacher working with children in Indonesia, I make a concerted effort to introduce my students to the appropriate use of English honorifics such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Dr. By doing so, I aim to equip my students with the language skills necessary to navigate diverse cultural contexts, ensuring they are well-prepared to communicate effectively in English-speaking environments beyond the classroom.

Limited Vocabulary

Limited vocabulary can hinder children's ability to express themselves in English. To help children expand their vocabulary, teachers can introduce new words and phrases into their lessons. Introducing a new word daily and encouraging children to use it in a sentence can help them build their vocabulary over time.


As a teacher, I am constantly learning and adapting my approach to ensure that my students are not just mastering English, but also developing a love for learning that will stay with them for years to come.

In conclusion, teaching children is both challenging and rewarding. Teachers must overcome language barriers, attention spans, pronunciation, cultural differences, and limited vocabulary to create an effective learning environment. It requires a great deal of patience, creativity, and flexibility, but seeing their progress and growth makes it all worthwhile. 

Teaching Children

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Hello to all teachers! 

Welcome to my blog! In this post, I'll share my experience in teaching children. Here you go!

Teaching children means that you have to control your emotion. They love to make noise, jump, scream, shout, sing, dance, even if you don't ask them to do that. Teaching children means that you have to be VERY PATIENT! Show your lovely face to them. Don't you ever show your hesitation face or your sour face! Once you do this, they'll reject you as their friend. 

teaching children with toys
Mr. Benny Bear is loved by my students.

I believe some of you still remember Mr. Benny Bear. I used Mr. Benny Bear when I did the Peer Teaching: Teaching Children, and now I'm using Mr. Benny Bear as my class ritual for my Green 3 students. They love Mr. Benny Bear so much! They love interacting with Mr. Benny Bear, especially when they have to help me wake Mr. Benny Bear up. 

So, how about you, teachers? Have you got some tips on teaching? Just share with me so we can be better teachers in the future! See ya!