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Introduction: Puppetry activities play a crucial role in promoting language proficiency among preschool children. These activities provide opportunities for children to interact and communicate with both their peers and teachers, thus aiding in their preparation for future linguistic experiences. By incorporating puppets, children are able to expand their vocabulary and develop crucial conversational skills, enabling them to effectively express their thoughts and ideas.
Objectives: The study aims to examine teachers' perceptions of using puppets as pedagogical tools for enhancing children's language development. Additionally, it seeks to identify differences or similarities between government and private preschool teachers regarding the use of puppets as a pedagogical tool for language development. Furthermore, the study aims to investigate whether differences or similarities exist based on the duration of teaching experience in utilizing puppets as a pedagogical tool to support children's language development.
Methods: The study adopts a quantitative approach using questionnaire. The study comprised a sample of 100 preschool teachers. All participants were based in the Kuala Lumpur region. The collected data was subjected to statistical analyses, including Independent Samples T-test and One-way ANOVA The Independent Samples T-test was employed to compare the means of preschool teachers from the Ministry of Education Malaysia and those from the private sector. On the other hand, One-way ANOVA as used to compare the means, which could have been employed to assess the various puppetry techniques employed by the teachers.
Results: The study's findings demonstrate that preschool teachers hold a positive perception of using puppets as a pedagogical tool to enhance children's language development. The majority of teachers agree that puppets are effective in promoting language skills in children. Importantly, the study shows that there are no significant differences in the perception of puppets between government and private preschool teachers, as well as among teachers with different levels of teaching experience. This suggests a consensus among teachers regarding the value of puppets in supporting language development regardless of their background or experience.
Conclusions: The use of puppets is an effective teaching tool for promoting language development in early childhood education. The utilization of puppets in language activities facilitates the expansion of children's language proficiency. The implications of the study that puppetry can be an effective tool for promoting language development among young children. Integrating puppets into language lessons can significantly enhance children's language and communication skills, enabling them to engage in more intricate conversations about their thoughts.