I am teaching in a kindy and this is week 11 of the school year. There are 18 in my class, and they learn in english in the am, and chinese in the pm. 10 have no clue about English, the other 8 have varying degrees of comprehension. I have no Chinese teacher with me to translate, yet i am asked to explain concepts such as earthquakes and the pole star. These guys dont even know their alphabet, yet the staff are breathing down my neck asking why the kids cant read books, and speak in sentences. My question is, is it possible to teach these guys without a translator, as their mother tongue is chinese?
Is it possible? Yes. Is it possible without that kind of teaching experience in an unsupportive school? More unlikely.
Bilingual kindergartens theoretically deemphasize formal language instruction, with the regular exposure to each language to make using either language feel natural to the students. Thus, during the English portion of the day, the teacher doesn’t teach language class, they teach something topical, just like a kindergarten teacher would in a monolingual kindergarten. Teaching kindergarten is a challenge to begin with, and you’ve got major language gaps to deal with as well. Your supervisor and colleagues ought to be giving you advice and ideas and contructive feedback about your class instead of “breathing down your neck.”
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in ideas for teaching kindy in English only, perhaps some others on the board can help out.
If that’s just too much to bite off and chew all at once and/or your school is just plain crap (as it very well could be) you might want to switch to children’s buxiban teaching where they usually have a Chinese co-teacher present each time you teach.
Staff don’t know what they’re doing. Can’t run before you can walk. Depending on their age they may not be able to conceptualise “earthquake” or “pole star” in any language. Leave the school.