In the summer camp where I cooperate as a volunteer I finally decided to make some English focused activities for the children. I made this decision because I wanted to be more active at my work, I saw that children were doing the same activities every day and I thought that it would be good both for them and for me to make a change and try something new.
My activities were based on Kinesthetic Learning teaching method, which means that students perform physical activities (like games, hands-on experiences, drawing, role-play, building, doing sports or drama) rather than listen to lectures or watch demonstrations. In my experience, it is the most useful method to use with small children in age group from 2 to 8, because their attention span is usually quite short and teaching based on play will always keep them more interested and active than books, lecture or anything that reminds them of school.
Moreover, who wants to be reminded of school in a summer camp! So, I took different colors, paper and scissors and made my activities colorful and playlike! When children heard that today they will be doing English activities, most of them sighed saying “ohh no”, probably remebering their English lessons at school. But when I gave them my activities and they had to engage in something that looked more like a play, they all quickly became very enthusiastic and active. That convinced me that I had chosen the right learning method for them.
Of course, with one or two days of activities children will not learn a lot, but even if they learned one new word or phrase or just had a good time doing something different it is already a lot. From my observations, many Italian kids know some basics of English, but often they feel too shy to speak it, maybe they are worried about making mistakes. So, I believe that adding some English activities in their daily life, even if it is just a play, will definitely help them to feel more confident with this language.