TeachingEnglish to Children Izabela Jaros Instytut Edukacji Szkolnej Akademia Świętokrzyska Kielce
Very young learners (VYLs : 3-6 year olds) 1 • Acquire through hearing and experiencing lots of English in the same way as they acquire L1 • Can imitate the sounds they hear quite accurately • Love playing with language sounds • Learn holistically (whole child needs stimulation) • Still developing (a great need for physical exercise) • Have a very short attention and concentration span • Very unstable emotionally & egocentric • Learn through doing things and playing
Very young learners (VYLs : 3-6 year olds) 2 • Limited motor skills (Clumsy control of pen / scissors/crayons, etc.) • Are not able to understand grammatical rules and explanations about lg (exposure to chunks of language) • Are comfortable with routines & enjoy repetition • Understand situations more quickly than they understand the lg used • Limited reading/writing skills in L1 • Love stories, fantasy • Learning = having fun
Young learners (YLs : 7-10 year olds) 1 • Longer attention span • Are learning to read & write in L1 • Ask questions all the time • Rely on the spoken word as well as the physical world to understand meaning • Can work with others and learn from others
Young learners (YLs : 7-10 year olds) 2 • Have a developed sense of fairness about what happens in the classroom • Beginning to be logical and analytical • Developing knowledge of the world around them • Have greater control of emotional ambivalence • Are enthusiastic and positive about learning • Like to experiment with the lg
Tips for teaching English at primary level • Words are not enough (realia, flashcards, gestures, senses) • TPR (Total Physical Response) – children listen and follow a whole sequence of instructions, doing what the teacher says, (e.g.:TPR with clothes vocabulary, An action routine, A pointing rhyme, Miming a morning routine, Physical break chant, Right or wrong, ‘Simon says’) • Variety in the classroom (activity, materials, pace, organisation, voice) • Keep their hands busy! • Enjoyment • Motivation • Content • Cooperation • Assessment(traditional tests , observation , conferencing , projects , peer-assessment, self-assessment, portfolio) • CALL (teaching & testing programs)
Teaching aids • Toys • Building blocks • Cuisenaire rods • Posters • Readers/stories • Games • Puppets • Class mascot
Cuisenaire Rods – description (1) The rods (numbers in colour, coloured numbers) are named after their inventor, who initially used them to teach arithmetic. In the system, there are 10 rods measuring 1 cm to 10 cm (one square centimetre in cross section). Rods of equal length are assigned the same colour. Most Cuisenaire rods follow this system:
Selected lexical areas where CRs can be used:(1) • colours • numbers • the alphabet • time specification • body parts • family relations • buildings & furniture • animals • food • abilities
Aspects of grammar that can be ‘smuggled’(2): • personal pronouns • articles • nouns • adjectives • verbs • prepositions • word stress • sequence of words in an English sentence
Letters of the Alphabet • Encode your rods! (key: t – blue, c – light green, a – black, e – brown, y – yellow, etc.) Lexical area should be established. Team game – make as many words as possible for your opponents!
Numbers • Stairs & Colourful rugs What number is dark green? • Bingo
Numbers (2) • Hunt the thimble e.g. Find 2 red rods and 5 white ones.
Time Specification • Telling the time • Morning routine
Parts of the Body • Monster game (one rod = one part of the body, e.g. white (1) – an eye, red (2) - a mouth, etc. Each group throws the dice and makes appropriate parts of the body. Then children describe their monsters.
Main Advantages: C– colourful U – universal I– imaginative S– solid E – effective N – nice A – appropriate I – indispensable R– ready E – exhilarating
Methodology • Burwood, S., Dunford, H., Phillips, D. 2002. Projects with Young Learners.Oxford: Oxford University Press • House, S. 1997. An Introduction to Teaching English to Children. London: Richmond Publishing • Jaros, I. 2006. Język angielski z klockami Cuisenaire’a. Kielce: Wydawnictwo Pedagogiczne ZNP • Philips, S. 2001. Young Learners. Oxford: Oxford University Press • Reilly, V., Ward, S. M. 2002. Very Young Learners. Oxford: Oxford University Press • Roth, G. 1998. Teaching Very Young Children. London: Richmond Publishing • Wright, A. 2002. Art and Crafts with Children. Oxford: OUP