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Helpful Techniques for Teaching English to Young Learners
Admin - Oct 29 2015
In order to be effective teachers of young learners, the educator needs to accommodate different teaching techniques and activities to keep the young learner’s interest. Effective teaching should involve real communication between the learner and the teachers as well as among other learners, and should be activity-based. The techniques should involve group work among students at the class level, such as reading aloud, and work at the small group that will enable pupils to engage in dialogue with one another.
Meanwhile, the activities should offer the learner access to multiple sources of language input and opportunities to reinforce and internalize the language. The teacher should also use activities that are multi-sensory and adjust to the needs of the pupils with different learning preferences such as singing, arts, stories, playing games and others.
Here are seven helpful ideas for teaching English to young learners.
Offer young learners active roles in the experience. Young learners learn best by performing a task in a challenging learning environment. Teachers must provide language input in child-appropriate ways. It should be emphasized that young children learn in different ways and may require different learning environments.
Use visuals, movement and props in learning activities. Young learners have short attention spans and have a lot of physical energy. Teachers need to channel that energy into constructive avenues. Involve children in creating the visuals that are related to the lessons. This will help engage children in the learning process.
Use themes in teaching. A series of lessons on the same topic or subject can create broader framework that will allow students to focus on content and communication. Some common themes are animals, friends, family, shopping or stories.
Use familiar stories and contexts. Using stories that are familiar to the students’ country or culture can help young learners connect English with their background. Allow students to personalize the content of the lesson or use a favorite story in the young learner’s first language and translate it into English.
Exploit the collaboration process. Children are very social and using a lesson plan that will ensure that children have the opportunities to communicate with one another is a big plus. One example of collaborative activity is by letting one child to conduct an experiment or an activity while another child gives instructions and ask questions about the activity.
Use activities that provide opportunities for comprehensible input. Teachers must be able to support learners with the designated activities. Children should be able to perform the tasks independently with little instruction or support.
Establish routines in English. Young learners function well in structured environments and repetition of routines. Having basic routines in English will reinforce the lessons and help teachers manage young learners.
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