The joys and challenges of teaching Very Young Learners

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'The joys and challenges of teaching Very Young Learners' presentation slides by Anka Zapart (December 6, 2013, BKC-IH Moscow, Methodology Day for teachers)

Transcript of The joys and challenges of teaching Very Young Learners

  • 1. The joys and challenges of teaching very young learners

2. Who are those very young learners?YL a very confusing term (primary school kids, anyone under the age of 16 or 18) VYL pre-primary, learners aged 3 - 6 3. Working with the little people, what's it like? 4. Very young learners: - have a short attention span-- not very well-developed motor skills - enjoy working alone - need adults' approval and praise - are still developing their L 1 - have trouble separating fact from fantasy - cannot read or write - have little life experience - might have never been in a learning environment - learn quickly and forget quickly 5. Implications for teachers: Short attention span => a set of short activities Not very well-developed motor skills => wellstaged activities, good instructions, modelling Enjoy working alone => no pair-work Need of adults' approval => a lot of praise 6. Still developing L1 => only meaningful language in a familiar context Difficulty separating fact from fantasy => everything is equally real (the classroom and the monster from the story:) Can't read and write => developing literacy Little life experience => careful choice of vocabulary 7. Learn quickly and forget quickly => repetition, revision, recycling Might have never been in a learning environment => routines 8. Lesson observation: 1. How many students were there? 2. How old were they? 3. What were the aims of the lesson? 4. How was the classroom organised? 5. What 'tools' did the teacher use? 9. Classroom routines... 'Routines are established patterns of behaviour in which everyone knows what is expected of them and what they should do. The introduction of classroom routines is instrumental in setting up working parameters which function effectively with all ages. With very young children they play a particularly important role' Carol Read, 500 Activities For The Primary Classroom, Mcmillan 10. ...and their importance Safety Prevention Reaction 'Navigation' Interest Well-being Belonging Autonomy 11. Teaching methods and approaches Flashcards and realia Music and chants Total Physical Response Storybooks Craft activities 12. Flashcards and realia- make the input comprehensible - create the context - cater to different learning styles 13. Music and chants - children naturally love them and use them to learn L1 - help with pronunciation - introduce whole chunks of language - social events - the language is easily taken out of the classroom and transferred into speech 14. Total Physical Response - makes the input comprenensible and memorable - boost confidence - caters to different learning styles 15. Storybooks - create a different context for language revision or introduction - are the real thing - expose children to the natural language - create an opportunity for introducing the functional language - develop imagination and narrative skills 16. Craft activities - develop motor skills - create an opportunity for practising functional language - help boost the confidence - language is not the main objective, it is only the means to create something 17. Question:Which of these methods and approaches could be used with both age groups: VYL and YL? 18. Answer: All of them:-) With VYL they are absolutely crucial. With YL they are still very necessary and beneficial. Practically every activity can be adapted to both age groups. 19. What kind of a person is a VYL teacher? Creative Resourceful Optimistic Open-minded Energetic Compassionate and understanding Patient Fun Enthusiastic 20. Resourceful and creativeThe many ways 21. Thanks BKC-IH Teacher Training Centre 8(495) 234 0314 [email protected] BKC-IH Moscow 8 (495) 737 5225