ELSS: English (as a Second) Language Sunday School for Children


A program for reaching out to children whose first language is not English making use of the English language. Goals are threefold:
  1. To help the children improve their English language ability.
  2. To give the children the feeling that church is happy place.
  3. To lead children to know God at their level.
  4. To bring families to Christ through children.
The total program length is about 80 minutes

Pre-games (15 minutes)

To provide an enjoyable atmosphere as children arrive, helping them to integrate English casually into their conversation.

Songs & Music (20 minutes)

Sing a total of 3 songs. 2 songs should be review, and 1 song should be new. Teaching of the new song:
  1. teach the key words (let students echo)
  2. Explain the meaning of the new words.
  3. Read through the words of the song line by line(echo format).
  4. Let the children listen to the music as the leader sings.
  5. Children sing.
  6. Teach actions to accompany the song (very important for memory).
The songs should be didactic. They should teach the child who understands something about God, salvation and new life in him.

Bible Story (20 minutes)

The teaching of the Bible story can be done effectively in a variety of ways: acting, flanograph, drawing. In addition, the story can be told first in Chinese and then in English. (Don't do simultaneous translation, its too boring). At the end remember to ask questions to see if students understood. A good story should be:
  1. Bible based
  2. Interesting and memorable
  3. Applied to the children's life. What do we learn about God? What does God want me to do?
  4. Building a base so the child can say "YES" to accepting forgiveness and the death of Jesus on his behalf.

Memory verse (10 minutes)

Suggest working with passages so that students can remember. At the final program day, children who can say their memory verses can be given a prize.

Small group time (10 minutes)

During this time can take attendence, practice the memory verse in a small group setting.

Goodbye (5 minutes)

I think it is good to sing the same song at the end of each class. The children will learn to enjoy the song. Often we use either the song "Deep and Wide" or "I love you Jesus, deep down in my heart."

Final Program (Christmas drama)

The final program gives a chance for the students to demonstrate the English they have learned both in the form of singing and in the form of a play for their parents
Contact us at: elss @ xiaotu.ca
© Jonathon David White
- "With a Servant's Heart" -
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