sábado, 5 de julio de 2014

Teaching very young learners

Teaching a child could be defined as "instructing him in a certain area".
Educating a child, however, is enabling him to develop mentally, morally, physically and socially.

How to teach Young Learners:
Things children love to do:
  • CHANGE YOUR ACTIVITIES every 5 - 10 minutes: this is vital because young children need variety as they get bored easily and have a very short attention span.
  • VARY THE PACE DURING THE LESSONS: mixing up excitable games with quiet ones. You do not want your children getting bored but you do not want them getting over- excited either, so vary the pace according the mood.
  • R- R - R: Repeat, review and revise. Use short games to review vocabulary and phrases you have taught. If you neglect this, the children will have no recollection of the language you have covered!
  • MAKE YOUR LESSONS PLAYFUL and full of physical movement. Children will enjoy them more, be more motivated and remember the language better.
  • Teach in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with plenty of encouragement.
  • AVOID COMPETITION: It can be stressful and overwhelm them. Play game where everyone wins, or where you do not single out a winner. Everyone plays and takes part in harmony.
  • ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT YOUR YOUNG LEARNERS:Never tell them they cannot do it, they are no good at it or that they have failed.
  • USE PUPPETS: Bring in puppets and have the puppet introduce the new vocabulary for the lesson. If you do not have a puppet you can make one from a paper bag, or by sewing a couple of buttons on a sock.
  • USE A LOT OF CHANTS RHYMES AND SONGS: These are great for movement and frequent repetition of vocabulary and phrases.
  • Do not burden your children with reading and writing. Preschoolers are still learning to write in their own language. There is plenty of time for that later.
  • LANGUAGE SKILLS: Concentrate on listening and understanding, building vocabulary and the acquisition of short phrases.
  • Concentrate also on speaking prctice, starting with single words and shrt phrases,and gradually moving onto longer sentences and questions.
  • AVOID ABSTRACT CONCEPTS and concentrate instead on concrete real items that the children understand and relate to. For example start with familiar topics such as colours, numbers, greeting, animals, fruit, food and drink, families, body parts, shapes, clothing, the weather, days of week and short everyday sentences and phrases.
  • BE POSITIVE: Use please and thank you. Rather than telling kids what not to do focus on positive behavior.
  • BE PREPARED: practice telling the stories, playing games, using posters, etc... before you go into class and have your picture flashcards and materials ready. This will allow you to be relaxed and to enyoy the class and the children rather than frantically trying to organize your materials while the children become restledd and bored.
  • Mix up active participation and listening. If the children become restless do something active.
  • BE FLEXIBLE: If something is not working then change the game or activity.
  • INVOLVE SHY CHILDREN TOO: give them a central role and help them come out of their shell.
Natalia Ferreyra

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