When bright kids jump in and do all the talking

3 kids on a podium

English teacher Firoozeh has a concern with the bright kids in his preschool class:

“I have a question in relation to reading stories to preschoolers. While reading the story, some of the kids like to translate the sentences I read, to show they understand the meaning. But I worry that this doesn’t let the other learners make their own guesses to understand the story.”

How to deal with these enthusiastic participants

I have witnessed bright kids being put down by teachers, who perhaps feel threatened by them, or do not know how to handle them constructively.  This is such a shame. Therefore, take care that if it’s the same child jumping in each time, you don’t want to crush or discourage them. Yet you don’t want the bright child to spoil the lesson for everyone either, by answering everything first. The good news is that an enthusiastic child, who is learning faster than the others, can be your ally, not a nuisance.

Keep bright students busy and challenged

Give these children a special role. Ask them to repeat the line from the story for you, but in English. Ask them not to translate the story until the end. Then at the end, if you want to check the story meaning, you can ask a child in the class to translate the line and have your special students listen and say whether the translation is correct or not.

You should give your better students jobs, so they are challenged, stimulated. Otherwise, they will find your lessons boring, and may even begin to play up. And certainly, you can’t penalize them for being the best in the class.

Give bright kids key roles

Then you can prepare to act out the story, using some basic props. For this, your best children get the key roles.


Do leave helpful comments on the blog about how you handle this situation.

All the best

Shelley Ann Vernon

Great Preschool Resources

2 thoughts on “When bright kids jump in and do all the talking”

  1. Yes, I agree that the more talented children should be involved in the classroom as an asset to the whole class, giving them tasks to be responsible for. Later on some of the other children could be motivated to have a try, too, if they feel confident enough.

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