In this plenary… The differences between teaching primary children and older learners What do children need in order to learn? Adopting a multi-sensory approach Creating a positive learning environment Using children’s imagination Promoting engagement in learning
What makes young learners different from other learners? Think of your students…. What are the characteristics of young learners? How do you think they learn effectively?
What do children need? Colour Sound Movement (VAK) Colour Sound Movement (VAK) Security Curiosity Joy Security Curiosity Joy Creativity Imagination Thoughts Feelings Creativity Imagination Thoughts Feelings Engagement and Learning Engagement and Learning
Using puppets with young learners What sort of puppets do you/your children make? Why are puppets helpful for language learning? How do you use puppets in your classroom?
Varieties of puppets Sock puppet Face on a finger Face on a fist Finger tube puppet Stick puppet Sponge puppet Shadow puppet Puppets are versatile and can be long-lasting Children use language while making them Children sometimes respond better to puppets than the teacher! Puppets promote real communication Children are not so shy if they can ‘hide’ behind a puppet
Playing games in class Why use games with young learners? What are the problems of using games in class?
Why use games in language learning? Games are a natural part of growing up for children. Through games children experiment, discover and interact with their environment. Games cater to different learning styles. Games add variety to a lesson and increase motivation. Games provide a clear context for language learning. Games encourage the development of social skills.
Problems using games in class Loss of control Terminology: game or ‘language practice activity’? There’s no time for games because of the syllabus Parents don’t understand the concept of learning through ‘play’ Competition versus co-operation Sources of games
In short…. Games can be a means of control rather than a loss of control The content of play/games should be linked to the overall topic of the lesson and have a clear lexical or structural focus. Games are an essential part of the syllabus, not a time filler or reward. Parents may become anxious if children say they have ‘played’ in the lesson. Games should encourage group support, not only competition between children and groups. Children can choose the games they want to play in English. You can also use their favourite Turkish games and adapt them.
Using games in our classrooms Games should be simple so that children understand what they have to do. The tasks should be within their abilities – achievable but stimulating. Games can be used to practise all 4 skills. Games should incorporate language that is relevant, practical and has a communicative purpose.
To sum up… Children learn through activities that stimulate their imaginations and engage their senses. They learn through imitation and practice rather than explicit explanation of language rules. They learn when they can relate language to meaningful, real life situations They learn when their confidence is built in a positive learning environment.