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in partial fulfillment of TEFL assignment








February 2011

Teaching across age Level begins to deal with contextual

consideration language teaching, by addressing the learner
variable of age. There are the levels of age:
Popular Tradition, children are effortless second language learners and far superior
to adults in their eventual success. On both counts, some qualifications are in the
1st: Childrens widespread success in acquiring 2nd language belies a tremendous
subconscious effort devoted to the task. Children exercise a good deal of both
cognitive and affective effort in order to internalize both native and second
languages. The different between children and adults, children are spontaneous,
peripheral attention to language forms.
2nd: Adults
successful in their efforts. Studies have shown that adults, in fact, can be superior
in a number of aspects of acquisition. They can learn and retain a larger
vocabulary. And, in the classroom learning, their superior intellect usually helps
them to learn faster than a child.
3rd: The popular claims fails to differentiate very young children (4-6 years old)
from pubescent children (12-13 years old). Actually many instances of 6-12 years
old, children manifesting significant difficulty in acquiring a second language for a
multitude reasons such as social, cultural and political factors.
There are five categories to help some practical approaches to teaching
1. Intellectual Development
Since children (up to age of about 11) are still in an intellectual stage of
what Piaget (1972) called concrete operations, we need to remember their
limitations. Rules, explanations and other even slightly abstract talk about
language must be approached with extreme caution. There are some rules
for the classroom:
Dont explain grammar using terms like present progressive
Rules stated in abstract terms.
Show patterns. E.g. This is the way we say it when its happening right
now: Im walking to the door





Certain more difficult concept or patterns require more repetition than

adults need.
Attention Span
One of the salient differences between adults and children is attention span.
The children will have an attention to something that make them interesting.
To make them interesting to the lesson, we can do->
- Activities should be designed to capture their immediate interest.
- A lesson needs a variety of activities
- A teacher needs to be animate, lively, and enthusiastic about the subject
- Add a sense of humor.
- Children have a lot of curiosity.
Sensory Input
Children need to have all five senses stimulated.
- Pepper lesson with physical activity such as games or role play.
- Project and other hands-on activities
- Sensory aids children help children to internalize concepts such as the
smell of flowers or audiovisual things.
- Our non verbal language is important.
Affective Factors
Children are extremely sensitive, especially to peers e.g. What others think
of me? Is my grammar incorrect? So, the teacher to need to help them to
overcome such potential barriers to learning=>
- Make your students to laugh with each other
- Be patient and supportive to build self-esteem.
- Elicit as much oral participation as possible from students.
Authentic, meaningful language
Children are focused on what this new language can actually be used for
here and now.
- Children are good at sensing language that is not authentic.
- Language needs to be firmly context embedded such as familiar
situations, real-life conversations etc.
- A whole language approach is essential because is language broken into
too many bits and pieces, student wont see the relationship.

Although many of rules for teaching children can apply in some ways to
teaching adults, the latter age group poses some different. Adults have superior
cognitive abilities that can render them more successful in certain classroom

endeavors. But, adults usually have acquired a self-confidence that not found in
children. There are five variables that apply to children, keep in mind some
specific suggestions and caveats:
1. Adults are more able to handle abstract rules and concept, but too much
abstract generalization about usage and not enough real-life language can be
deadly for adults too.
2. Adults have longer attention for material, but the rule of keeping your
activities short and sweet applies to adult-age teaching.
3. Sensory input need not always be varied with adults.
4. Adults often bring a modicum of general self-confidence (global selfesteem) into a classroom. We must compensate to their fragile (easy broke)
egos, yet we should never underestimate the emotional factors.
5. Adults are better able to understand a context-reduced segment of
language with their more developed abstract thinking ability. But, in adult
language teaching, a teacher can take temporary digressions to discsect and
examine isolated linguistic properties.
Some management dos and donts of teaching adults:
1. Do-show respect for the deeper thoughts and feelings that may be
trapped for the moment by a low proficiency level. They are
nevertheless Intelligent grown-ups with mature cognition an fully
developed emotions.
2. 2. Dont treat adults like children e.g.-calling them kids
- Using caretaker talk (the way parents talk to children
- Talking down to them.
3. Do give your students as many opportunities as possible to make choices
(cooperative learning) about what they will do in and out of the classroom to
make and investment in their own learning process.
4. Dont discipline adults in the same way you would children. If discipline
problems occur (showing disrespect, laughing, etc), assume that your
students are adults who can be reasoned like an adults.

In this level, Teens are in between childhood and adulthood, a child at the age of
puberty or usually called young adults whose ages range between (12-18 years
old). The terrible teens are and age of transition, confusion, self-consciousness,
growth, and changing bodies and minds. Therefore, a special set of consideration
that can apply to teaching teens is needed. There are:
1. Intellectual capacity abstract operational thought around age 12.
Therefore, some sophisticated intellectual processing is increasingly
possible. But, the success of any intellectual endeavor will be a factor of the
attention a learner places to the task.
2. Attention spans are lengthening as a result of intellectual maturation. But,
with many diversions present in a teenagers life, those potential attention
spans can be easily shortened.
3. Varieties of sensory input are still important.
4. Factors surrounding ego, self-image, and self-esteem are at their pinnacle
(the most success). To keep their self-esteem high, the teacher should:
a. avoiding embarrassment.

Affirming each persons talent and strength,

Allowing mistakes
Competition between classmates,
Encouraging small group work.

5. Secondary school students are of course becoming increasingly adult like

in their ability to make those occasional diversions from here and now:
nature of immediate communicative context to dwell on grammar or
vocabulary. But care must be taken not to insult them with stilled language
or to bore them with over analysis.