Online Serbian Lessons for Children

From my teaching practice I have learned that giving online lessons of Serbian language to children is very different than teaching the adults. Programs and approaches must be differentiated. This is what I concluded so far:

1) The length of lessons 

Lessons shouldn't be longer than 45 minutes. That is good enough time for a child not to lose a concentration, to stay focused, and to still enjoy in lesson. For very young children, it's good to have a combined lesson. For example, I have an adult student, we have lesson for one hour and 15 minutes, and after that I give a lesson to her 5 years old son - 15 minutes for him.

2) Child has to like the teacher (and then the lessons)

More than it is the case with the adults, personal connection must be established and present. It's not always easy for a child to make a connection with new person via Skype. But with good explanation and preparation by the parents, it's possible and successful.

3) The age of a child

When is it the best to start with learning Serbian ? It depends on a child. It also depends on their previous knowledge and if the parents (parent) speak Serbian in a house and how often. 
Even when child is in the age of 6 it's possible to do short lessons. The ideal age for my lessons is 10-11 and older. Then, the child is familiar with some grammar concepts and the level of English is good enough for understanding my explanations. 
It's known fact that children learn language much faster and more efficient than adults, so, most likely, I will never start from zero with a child. Simply - the child already has some vocabulary, picked up from a parent.

4) English language 

I teach in English language (and during time I introduce more and more Serbian), so some level of English is needed.

5) Games

Learning has to be fun! No doubt about it. So, we use games: Kaladont, Pozitivna geografija, Leti leti, Vesalice, etc. I also send to a child instructions for the board games that they may play with friends. Different types of games are excellent tool for language learning.

6) Cartoons

For younger children, I choose suitable cartoons. We watch them together and then talk about it - what did the children remember, how they like it, etc.

7) Flash cards

Flash cards are very good tool for teaching children and they are useful for the adults as well. They are great for expanding vocabulary and children much easier memorize by looking pictures. They are also suitable for playing games with a child.

8) Positive atmosphere and attitude

This is very important. If child doesn't like the lessons, if they are only forced by parents to take them, that will not bring the good result. Luckily I didn't have any experience like that in my career. Learning Serbian language is something extra for the child, beyond regular obligations they have in a daily school. So, if we want to be successful, we need to like it and to have fun, both - teacher and a child. 

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