4 It is widely believed that starting the study of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) before the age of 12 or 13 years will build more proficient speakers of English.But this statement has no evidence.
5 Levels of proficiency depends on many other factors: type of program and curriculum;number of hours spent in English classand techniques and activities used.
6 Before we go ahead, it is necessary to know as to what is young learner? Young Learners (YL) are 7-12 years oldAnd Very Young Learners (VYL) are under 7 years of age.
7 Helpful Ideas for Teaching English to Young Learners
8 Supplement activities with visuals, realia, and movement. 1.Supplement activities with visuals, realia, and movement.
9 Young learners tend to have short attention spans and a lot of physical energy. In addition, children are very much linked to their surroundings and are more interested in the physical and the tangible. As Scott and Ytreberg (1990) describe, “Their own understanding comes through hands and eyes and ears. The physical world is dominant at all times.”
10 Disciplines Work on a Child Discipline of SocietyDiscipline of NatureDiscipline of Self
11 Use brightly colored visuals, toys, puppets or objects Community donations for toys and objectsCreate a“Visuals and Realia Bank”Use Total Physical Response (TPR) by James Asher (1977)In TPR, students listen to the teacher and physically respond to his/her instructions.
12 What is TPR?Total Physical Response (TPR) is a method developed by Dr. James J. Asher, a professor emeritus of psychology at Sa José State University, to aid learning second languages.
13 The method relies on the assumption that when learning a second or additional language, language is internalized through a process of code breaking similar to first language development and that the process allows for a long period of listening and developing comprehension prior to production.
14 Students respond to commands that require physical movement Students respond to commands that require physical movement. TPR is primarily intended for ESL/EAL teacher, although the method is used in teaching other languages as well.
15 According to Asher, TPR is based on the premise that the human brain has a biological program for acquiring any natural language on earth - including the sign language of the deaf. The process is visible when we observe how infants internalize their first language.
16 In the classroom the teacher and students take on roles similar to that of the parent and child respectively. Students must respond physically to the words of the teacher. The activity may be a simple game such as ‘Simon Says’ or may involve more complex grammar and more detailed scenarios.
17 What is SIMON SAYS?Simon says is a game for three or more players (most often children). One of the people is "it" – i.e., Simon. The others must do what Simon tells them to do when asked with a phrase beginning with "Simon says". If Simon says "Simon says jump", the players must jump (players that do not jump are out). However, if Simon says simply "jump", without first saying "Simon says", players do not jump; those that do jump are out.
18 In general, it is the spirit of the command, not the actions that matters; if Simon says "Simon says touch your toes", players only have to show that they are trying to touch their toes. It is the ability to distinguish between valid and invalid commands, rather than physical ability, that matters here.
19 Advantages of TPRStudents will enjoy getting up out of their chairs and moving around.TPR is aptitude-free, working well with a mixed ability class, and with students having various disabilities.
20 It is good for kinesthetic learners who need to be active in the class. Class size need not be a problem, and it works effectively for children and adults.
21 A recent psychological study found that the game can be a healthy way to help children to improve self-control and restraint of impulsive behavior.
22 Example - Making a Sandwich Example of TPRExample - Making a Sandwichslice some bread - spread butter on both slicesspread the butter to all corners of the bread (Teacher Joe doesn't like dry bread!)put a piece of meat on one slice of breadput lettuce, tomatoes and cheese on top of the meatplace the second slice of bread on top and close the sandwichcut the sandwich in half (Teacher Joe prefers to cut diagonally - it's more artistic!)take a bite - Mmmmmm!
23 Involve students in making visuals and realia. 2.Involve students in making visuals and realia.
24 Having children involved in creating the visuals that are related to the lesson helps engage students in the learning process by introducing them to the context as well as to relevant vocabulary items.
25 Students are more likely to feel interested and invested in the lesson and will probably take better care of the materials
26 Students draw different characters for a story or make puppets, masks, play-do sculptures Collaborate with the art teacher to make the visuals you need for you activities.Students contribute their own toys for the lesson.
27 You can have students draw the different animal characters for a story or even createPuppets.
28 For Example, if the story is Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you may want to use puppets to help show the action of the story. To get students more excited about the story, have them make little pencil puppets of the three bears and Goldilocks before the storytelling.
29 It’s a nice little art project that doesn’t have to take up too much time. If your students are too young to draw well, make copies of the characters on paper and have students color the characters and cut them out.
30 After the storytelling, you can use the puppets to check comprehension of the story plot and have students practice the language by retelling the story using their puppets.
31 If you cannot spare the time in class to make the visuals you want to use, another idea is to consult the art teacher at your school (if you have one) and combine your efforts.
32 If the art teacher is making some objects, pictures, or puppets, you could ask the teacher to make them for use in a particular storytelling or game in your class. Then, when students come to English class, they will bring their art projects to use.
33 In addition, before the lesson, you can warm up by having students explain in English what they made in art class
34 Move from activity to activity. 3.Move from activity to activity.
35 Young learners have short attention spans Young learners have short attention spans. For ages 5–7, Keep activities around 5 and 10 minutes long. For ages 8–10, keep activities 10 to 15 minutes long.
36 Scott and Ytreberg (1990) suggest creating a balance between the activities in the column on the right side.
37 Quiet/noisy exercises Different skills: listening/talking/reading/writingIndividual/ pair work/ group work/ whole class activitiesTeacher-pupil/ pupil-pupil activities
47 All learners, from babies to grandmothers, learn better with stories. Stories are energizers.Even hard truths can be taught through stories.Stories told and read at home and school both entertain and educate young learners.
48 Using stories in the classroom is fun, but the activity should not be considered trivial or frivolous.Story telling is fundamental to education and specifically to language teaching.Reading or telling stories in a class is a natural way to learn a new language.Stories can also lead to harmony, understanding, and peaceful resolution of conflict.
49 Stories from around the world are excellent to use in classroom, but the teachers also need to use the stories from students’ own culture and heritage.Using local and national stories insure that the students know the background culture and may already know the story.This familiarity lowers the young learners’ stress and reduces anxiety in the classroom.
50 Stories as Culture Bearers 1.Stories as Culture Bearers
51 Unfortunately, radio, television, and other technologies are fast replacing the elders who, in traditional family huts, used to tell folktales and fables by the fireplace.But today, parents, children, and grandchildren listening to radio or watching television.In fact, very little of their heritage is being transmitted.
52 But the teachers can make an effort to continue the tradition of storytelling, Today’s children will have little of their culture and heritage to pass on to the next generation.
53 Stories as solutions to large classes and limited resources 2.Stories as solutions to large classes and limited resources
54 In many countries, a shortage of teaching/learning resources is a major constraint. Teachers can use stories to teach language and to introduce other subjects, such as HIV/AIDS problem.Storytelling can enable the teachers to handle large classes of pupils even in the absence of books.
56 Storytelling with objects. Use objects such as toys, forks, cups to start the stories.For example, divide the students in the groups of three to five and distribute four to five objects to each group.Ask each of the group to make a story that includes all of their objects.
57 Storytelling with pictures. Use pictures in the same way as objects were used in the previous activity.Distribute four to five pictures to each group.Make sure each student has one picture.Ask each group to make up a story that includes all the pictures.
59 Read or tell simple stories to the students Read or tell simple stories to the students. You can use pictures or small objects.After initial storytelling, ask the learners tell the story. This technique is the most effective if it involve several students.Choose one person to re-tell the story, then ask others to continue the story.Let all the students tell the story unless it is finished. In short, let each student tell two or three sentences of the story.
61 Find an easy version of story that the children can read. Read the story aloud the first time, or let the readers read it silently.Or let the students read the story aloud with each student reading one sentence.One method of introducing a story is Choral Reading, in which the teacher reads a sentence or phrase and the class repeat it.
62 Caution: After the first reading, ask comprehension questions to find out what the students understood. Help them with the parts they do not understand.Important: Use the same story for several different activities. One story provides rich material for other activities, for example, discussion of values, role play, creating small playlet, even creating individual books.
64 Have the learners draw or paint a scene from a story and then write at least one line from the story under the picture.Use the variation of the speaking activities above (storytelling with objects or storytelling with pictures).
65 After the learners create the story, have the group dictate it as one person writes it down. Have the students write individual stories, using objects or pictures. Then they can compare their stories within small groups.
66 Establish classroom routines in English. 6.Establish classroom routines in English.
67 YLs function well within a structured environment and enjoy repetition of certain routines and activities. Having basic routines in the classroom can help to manage young learners.
68 Clap short rhythms for students to repeat. Start the lesson with song or chantAdd classroom language to the routines as well.
69 Use L1 as a resource when necessary. 7.Use L1 as a resource when necessary.
70 Use L1 in the classroom as a resource for forwarding the learning process without becoming too reliant on it. Concentrate on building communicative skills. Save your time for the target language actually within students’ reach.
71 Quickly make a difficult expression comprehensible by translating into L1. Use L1 for complicated directions for activities.
72 Bring in helpers from the community 8.Bring in helpers from the community
73 If possible, bring helpers—parents, student teachers from the local university, or older students studying English—to tell a story or help with some fun activities.Collaborate with the others who are studying English , studying to be English teachers, or who speak English well in order to expand the English learning community.
74 Collaborate with the others who are studying English , studying to be English teachers, or who speak English well in order to expand the English learning community.
75 Activity: The Hand Flower Craft This craft involves tracing the hand or doing individual handprints of each member in the family. These handprint tracings or paint handprints are placed to form a flower. Here are the instructions to make it. On the materials column is the template for the leaves and stem. Have fun with this family project.
76 Collaborate with other teachers in your school. 9.Collaborate with other teachers in your school.
77 It us useful to find what your students are learning in other classes, in their native language.
78 Collaborate with teachers in your school to make the learning experience richer for your students.
79 Connect your lessons to the topics, activities and stories your students are learning in their native language by planning related thematic units that parallel the learning in other subjects.
80 Visit other teachers’ classrooms can be wonderful way to get to know what is being learnt in each others’ classes and how.
81 It can help the teacher to create more effective lessons for students. It can also increase the students’ ability to make connections between language and content.
82 Communicate with other TEYL professionals. 10.Communicate with other TEYL professionals.
83 Along with collaborating with the other teachers at your school, it is important to keep in touch with other TEYL professionals, both in your local area and internationally.
84 Doing so helps to keep you aware of the current trends in the field.
85 Above all, keeping in touch with other TEYL professionals helps to keep your classroom fresh with new ideas, and collaboration can help to construct new ideas and solutions to the common problems that teachers are faced with.