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Workshop for teachers of English to young learners in Sudan

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A workshop for teachers of English to young learners in Sudan

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Workshop for teachers of English to young learners in Sudan

  1. 1. Motivation, Methods and Materials for Young Learners of English English Language Institute, University of Khartoum & ASTEL Presented by Dr. Josephine O’Brien
  2. 2. Topics for the workshop • Who – nature of YLs • How do YLs learn? • Why teach YLs English? • Where – the environment we create for YLs? • How should we teach YLs – methodology? • What materials should we use? • How can we create and vary our resources for YLs?
  3. 3. Handout 1 1. The methodology used to teach YLs is similar to that used for teaching adult learners. 2. YLs need more mothering than teaching and young inexperienced teachers can manage this well. 3. Teaching English to YLs requires not just the ability to manage children but also a good working knowledge of the language. 4. Teaching YLs requires insight into how they make sense of the world and how they learn. 5. Children need to be taught just simple language and it is enough if they are just taught the basics. 6. YLs have a high range of skills and abilities that can be developed in the language classroom. 7. YLs are likely to be more adaptable than older learners. 8. Negative experience in learning a language at a young age can affect all subsequent language learning. 9. Younger children learn languages better than older ones; children learn better than adults 10. Foreign language learning at school should be started as early as possible. 11. Adults have a longer concentration span than children. 12. It is easier to motivate and interest children than adults.
  4. 4. Handout 2 • Strengths that a young learner brings to the language learning situation • Problems that may arise when teaching young learners
  5. 5. How do we define Young Learners (YLs) • Children aged 6 -12 years • Early years – new to education – new to school – affects how we plan and teach • Developing literacy in the L1 • Learning to cope in an unfamiliar environment • Learning school discipline • Learning to cooperate with others and realize they have to share
  6. 6. Characteristics of Young Learners • Teaching YLs is not for everyone? • How do you feel?
  7. 7. Characteristics of YLs • Important to think positively as teachers: • Important to find a balance between the ?????
  8. 8. What do the young learners bring to the classroom? • Curiosity, trust • Openness, warmth & spontaneity • Excitement –like to move around and may not like to sit still • Enjoy listening to songs and stories – imaginative & creative • Many love to mimic and imitate • Developing abilities that need support and guidance • Intelligence – desire to learn and do • May get bored quickly • May not enjoy sitting still for too long • Fear and apprehension
  9. 9. How do YLs learn? • Three very important psychologists in the theory of how children learn: • Piaget • Vygotsky • Bruner • These have influenced very much how child psychology is viewed and how courses are designed not just for young learners but for all learners
  10. 10. Piaget’s theory of child development and learning • Influence – from 1970s on – phases are biological • Children go through a series of stages of development that are very important and must occur before learning can take place: – Assimilation – Equilibration – New situation – Disequilibration – Accommodation
  11. 11. Vygotsky’s theory of child development and learning • 1968 – believed that community plays a vital role in meaning making • Sociocultural approach – children develop through learning • Cognitive development can vary depending on cultural input • Environment is very powerful – zone of proximal development – support and help • Learning and development happen together
  12. 12. Difference between Piaget and Bruner • This short youtube video helps you understand: • comparison of Vygotsky and Piaget
  13. 13. Bruner’s theory of child development and learning • 1983 – the aim of education is to create autonomous learners • Three modes of representation: – 1. enactive – action based information – 2. iconic – mental images – 3. symbolic – language is stored as a code – Theories of all led to the current approach to learning of constructivism and scaffolding
  14. 14. What YLs can and cannot do? • Children can tell stories and imagine new worlds. They are very creative and imaginative. • Children can learn implicitly and unconsciously. Generally they learn indirectly through play, interaction, repetition and recycling. They are not bored by repetition. • Children can learn best through activities based on familiar situations: their school, their home, their games, their interests. • Older children can classify, sequence, match and draw concrete objects. • Children cannot deal very well with abstract concepts and therefore grammatical categories are difficult for them though they can learn grammatical patterns through repetition. • Children cannot understand how language works and cannot make comparisons with their L1 initially. • Children cannot memorize decontextualized vocabulary items very well • Children cannot concentrate very well if they have to do certain activities for too long.
  15. 15. What is constructivism? • Who is this? • I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand
  16. 16. Importance of being active and learning through experience We remember - 20% of what we read –20% of what we hear –30% of what we see –50% of what we see and hear –70% of what we see, hear and discuss –90% of what we see, hear, discuss and practice • Reflect for a minute on how you learn?
  17. 17. Some quotes to reflect on • Benjamin Franklin said: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I may learn.” • Socrates said: “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” • W.B. Yeats said: “Education is not the filling of a pail; it is the lighting of a fire.”
  18. 18. So what is constructivism • Important concepts in education especially that of YLs: • Scaffolding – Creating interest in the task – relating it to own life – Giving support as the learner proceeds – repeat, recycle – Breaking the task into digestible pieces – Demonstrating purpose and goal of the task – Managing the learner’s frustration if not successful at first
  19. 19. Constructivism • Most education syllabi designed on constructivist principles now: – Learn by doing – experiential learning – Problem-based – how to apply leaning to a real situation – Building on existing schema – add new knowledge to the known – Accommodate a range of learning styles – kinesthetic – very important with YLs – Encourage creativity and innovation – Teacher is mentor and guide (Montessori principles)
  20. 20. Why teach English to YLs in Sudan? • Nature of learner and learning experience – easier to learn a new language at a young than after puberty – true or not? (biological/ psychological) • Instrumental motivation – importance of English as global language in business and technology • Socio-cultural factors – is English associated with specific cultural values or can it taught independently of cultural factors?
  21. 21. Where – the classroom environment
  22. 22. Where – the environment of YLs L1 language learning environment L2 language learning environment Familiar and contextualized Authentic Motivated to communicate for real purposes Learned from inside out Decontextualized and limited to classroom Artificial Lack of purpose for communication Outside imposition
  23. 23. How is the L1, Arabic, acquired initially? • Can we adapt any of the features of L1 acquisition to L2 learning? – Children learn the L1 initially • by listening before speaking • By mimicking sounds heard even when they do not understand • By repeating over and over • By focusing on communication and not correct grammar • Universal stages of language development – example generalize on a rule – exceptions come later
  24. 24. Replicating L1 acquisition • Teach language in a meaningful context with focus on communication • Provide lots of real practice – children do not bore of repetition • Create a stress free and stimulating environment that motivates the young learner • Do not teach grammar explicitly – let it emerge from the practice
  25. 25. How should we teach YLs – the best methodology? • Relate the language to the lives of the young people – create a meaningful context • Scaffold the learning – graft the unknown onto the known • Make the environment relaxed and stress free – we all learn better when we learn in a comfortable environment • Use lots of visuals, realia and movement – remember the stages in a child’s development
  26. 26. How should we teach YLs – the best methodology? • Start with the familiar and the known • Check comprehension often – scaffolding • Provide lots of opportunities for repetition – this helps with assimilation of the target language • Try to use English as much as possible and thus create familiarity and comfort.
  27. 27. What materials should we use? • Remember Vygotsky, Piaget and Bruner: – Go from the known to the unknown – Use realia that is familiar to learners – Make it interesting – colourful, engaging – Use imitation, repetition, physical movement – Have lots of interaction with each other – Try to get to know their names quickly – be personal
  28. 28. Materials • Depends on the age of the learners • Replicate acquisition of L1 for the very young • Begin with listening and speaking • Lots of modeling and repetition • Let them leave the first day – able to do something in English • We remember 90% of what we see, hear, discuss and practice
  29. 29. Samples of materials –use the resources you have
  30. 30. Alphabet - Body
  31. 31. Alphabet - realia
  32. 32. Facial expressions
  33. 33. Letters in the sand
  34. 34. Learning the letters
  35. 35. Describing emotions
  36. 36. Facial expressions
  37. 37. Learning names for parts of the body – show me an eye/ ear
  38. 38. Learning the letters
  39. 39. Animals – features – long ears
  40. 40. Features – big eyes
  41. 41. Long legs/ long hair/ long tail
  42. 42. Zoo animals pictures of zoo animals, a dice and numbers 1 - 6 • Put pictures of animals on the board and number them 1 – 6 • One learner rolls the dice and whatever number it stops at (1 -6) the learner should name that animal • Teacher can write the name of the animal on the board and students can do same in their books if they are already able
  43. 43. Vocabulary development – make your own book
  44. 44. Teaching prepositions • Where is Fluffy? • Where is Lucky?
  45. 45. Learning about food • • ♫ Are you hungry? Yes, I am. Me, too. Let's eat! • Are you hungry? (Are you hungry?) [Shrug your shoulders and then rub your tummy.] Yes, I am. (Yes, I am.) [Thumbs up gesturing "yes" and/or nod your head "yes."] Are you hungry? (Are you hungry?) Yes, I am. (Yes, I am.) Mmmmm, a banana! [Pretend to peel and eat a banana.] Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! • Are you hungry? (Are you hungry?) Yes, I am. (Yes, I am.) Are you hungry? (Are you hungry?) Yes, I am. (Yes, I am.) Mmmmm, watermelon! [Pretend you are holding a big slice of watermelon and then eat it.] Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! • Are you hungry? (Are you hungry?) Yes, I am. (Yes, I am.) Are you hungry? (Are you hungry?) Yes, I am. (Yes, I am.) French fries! [Pretend to eat french fries one by one.] Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! • Are you hungry? (Are you hungry?) Yes, I am. (Yes, I am.) Are you hungry? (Are you hungry?) Yes, I am. (Yes, I am.) Spaghetti! [Pretend to twirl spaghetti on a fork and eat it.] Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! • Are you hungry? (Are you hungry?) Yes, I am. (Yes, I am.) Are you hungry? (Are you hungry?) Yes, I am. (Yes, I am.) Ice cream! [Pretend to lick an ice cream cone.] Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! • I'm full! [Pat your tummy with both hands and puff out your cheeks.]
  46. 46. Strip Stories • Strip Stories – can be used to develop creativity and to teach important points •
  47. 47. Class Trip Roller Skating "Last Wednesday our class went roller skating. We all rode the school bus. We roller skated. It was fun!"
  48. 48. Creating dialogues • Use situations familiar to students: – Use strip figures to create dialogues – Use silent films to create dialogue – example Charlie Chaplin / Mr Bean – Learners may have some favourite characters from Sudanese culture
  49. 49. Memory game for grammar and vocabulary • I went to market… • This is a well-known children’s memory game, but it can be adapted for grammar practice. In the traditional game, one person starts by saying I went to market and I bought a pineapple (for example). The next person has to repeat what the first person said, and then add one new item: I went to market and I bought a pineapple, and a dozen eggs… and so on, round the class. Players who can’t remember an item are “out” and the game continues until there is one winner. As it stands, the game is good practice of vocabulary, plus two past tense verbs. But you can increase the grammar practice by slightly modifying the formula. • F • or example (to practise past simple): • I went to London and I saw the Queen. • I went to London and I saw the Queen, and I read The Times. • I went to London and I saw the Queen, and I read The Times, and I climbed Big Ben. etc. • (You can make it a rule that players are not allowed to use a verb that has already been used). Other structures you can practise like this are:
  50. 50. Game for introducing past tense • Another speaking activity for developing vocabulary and past tense: – I went to London and I saw the Queen. – I went to London and I saw the Queen, and I read The Times. – I went to London and I saw the Queen, and I read The Times, and I climbed Big Ben. etc. • (You can make it a rule that players are not allowed to use a verb that has already been used. You can also substitute more familiar scenes than London).
  51. 51. Listening to specific sounds b/p; f/v; t/d
  52. 52. Listening to poems
  53. 53. Use your own pictures for generating vocabulary and stories • From the known to the unknown
  54. 54. Images of Sudan talking about food
  55. 55. A favourite Sudanese snack
  56. 56. Selling onions in the market (suq)
  57. 57. More food items
  58. 58. Water pots
  59. 59. Goats, cows and sheep
  60. 60. By the River Nile
  61. 61. What are the children doing?
  62. 62. Climbing
  63. 63. Children chatting
  64. 64. Children on the way home from school - India
  65. 65. To the less familiar
  66. 66. What is he doing?
  67. 67. Classroom management • Establish routines • Make clear when an activity ends • Give plenty of breaks – have physical response activities – touch your ear – check understanding of parts of the body • Provide attention getters – jokes, puzzles, tongue twisters • Refer to days of the week etc. • Make sure children know the routine of each day • Use a variety of activities and develop all language skills • Check frequently and make sure everyone understands • Repeat and recycle language in a range of activities • Use the L1 only when you need to not when it is the easiest way out • Give rest times when learners put their heads down and remain quiet • Teach dates through birthday reminders • End of day song – other times of the day •
  68. 68. End of the day routine and language development There are lots of ways that I can say goodbye Listen and I’ll show you some ways you can try CHORUS On Monday I may say "See you later" On Tuesday I sometimes say "Goodbye" On Wednesday I can say "See you tomorrow" And on Thursday I sometimes say "Bye bye". But when it’s Friday I stay home for the weekend And don’t come back to school for a couple days So on Friday “ Have a nice weekend!” is what I usually say. I like to add a smile when I say goodbye And it’s great to look towards the person’s eyes Repeat chorus When you say goodbye it’s nice to add a name ...“Goodbye Shelika” You can try it too, as you play this game: Find their eyes Say their name Give a smile That’s the game
  69. 69. Important points • Remember: – Praise the children often – Build a positive attitude to learning in general and language in particular – Build a comfortable learning environment for young learners – Have a familiar routine – Help them build good learning habits – Teach something about the other’s culture and way of life in a positive way
  70. 70. Planning your lesson • Some questions to consider before planning your class: • Who are my learners? – How old are they? – What is their level of English? – What do they know already – previous classes? – How to recycle/ repeat from previous classes to check learning? • How long is the class? • What is the objective of the class? – a new skill or development of a skill: listening, speaking, reading, writing – a rule or formula: implicit practice of a grammatical structure e.g. routine – a concept/fact/idea – an attitude or a value – a combination of two or three items. • What materials are relevant? – Visual, aural, text, • What activities would enhance the teaching of this objective – How are learners involved in doing?
  71. 71. Use the lesson plan supplied • Link to British Council Lessons • Lots of ideas for activities for preparing materials for young learners • Some websites: • Young Learners • • webinar-preview • • webinar-preview • • • • • • • • • • • • •