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Giving More Effective Instructions to Young Learners

Giving More Effective Instructions to Young Learners

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Published by: JoelRiveraMora on Apr 21, 2014
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04/21/2014

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Cambridge English Teacher © Cambridge University Press and Cambridge English Language Assessment 2014
 
iving more effective instructions to young learners
 Aims:
 
 Learn techniques to clarify instructions for tasks or activities
 Help learners feel motivated and confident
Materials required:
 None
 Appropriate for:
 Teachers with any level of experience
 Applicable to learners:
 7–12 year olds Young learners are naturally curious and want to explore and discover. They learn from doing and they learn even more when they enjoy an activity and see they can do it well. It is important to make your instructions simple, to repeat them if necessary, to check learners’ understanding of the instructions and to demonstrate tasks or activities in front of the whole class. Before giving instructions, make sure you have everyone’s attention. You can do this by delivering your instructions from a central part of the room. To check that learners understand, consider asking a volunteer to explain the instructions to the rest of the class or ask the class to tell you in their own language. Giving clear instructions also helps with classroom management and discipline because if the learners know what to do and how to do it, it is easier for them to focus on the activity and get enjoyment from it. If someone in the class says they haven’t understood the instructions, repeat the instructions using mime and gesture. If that doesn’t work, try rephrasing them. Don’t ask learners to begin an activity until you are confident they understand what to do.
 
Cambridge English Teacher © Cambridge University Press and Cambridge English Language Assessment 2014
 
Task
Before your next lesson, include the instructions you are going to give in your lesson plan. Also include different ways to give those instructions. Choose one or more of the suggestions below for each category.
 
Making yourself visible
a. You can stand at the front of the class so everyone can see you. b. You can be somewhere in the middle, amongst the students. c. You can hold your hand up to get your learners’ attention and then sit down in front of the class.
 
Giving the instructions
a. Write them on the board and tell the class to read them. b. Dictate the instructions; then get your learners to read them to you. c. Mime the instructions; then ask the class to tell you what they have to do.
 
Checking instructions
a. Ask a learner to repeat the instructions, either in his or her first language or in English, depending on the learner’s level and whether all learners in the class share the same L1. b. Get one or two of them to demonstrate what they have to do. c. Confirm comprehension with questions such as 'How many people do you have to ask?’ or ‘What do you have to write?’.

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