Teaching vocabulary to young learners

Bachelor work

Brno 2006

Author: Lenka Přibilová

Supervisor: Mgr. Naděžda Vojtková

Bibliografický záznam

Lenka Přibilová, Teaching vocabulary to young learners: Bakalářská práce. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, Fakulta pedagogická, Katedra anglického jazyka a literatury, 2006, 43 stran a 5 příloh. Vedoucí bakalářské práce: Mgr. Naděžda Vojtková


Bakalářská práce Výuka slovní zásoby u mladších žáků pojednává o potřebe učitele poznat své žáky a rozumět jejich potřebám a problémům. Dalším bodem, o kterém tato práce pojednává, je otázka motivace a zapojení her a zábavy do výuky. Posledním bodem, kterým se tato práce zaobírá, je využití různých metod a přístupů ve výuce u mladších žáků.

The thesis Teaching vocabulary to young learners deals with the need of a teacher to know his or her learners and to understand their needs and problems. Other issue mentioned in the thesis is the question of motivation and icluding fun and games into the teaching process. The last issue the thesis deals with is the usage of different methods and approaches for teaching young learners.

Klíčová slova
Mladší žák, motivace, slovní zásoba, přístup, metoda, hra, zábava

Key words
Young learner, motivation, vocabulary, approach, method, game, fun


Prohlašuji, že jsem bakalářskou práci zpracovala samostatně

pod vedením Mgr. N. Vojtkové. Dále prohlašuji, že jsem uvedla všechny literární prameny, z nichž jsem čerpala. Souhlasím s uložením práce v archivu Masarykovy univerzity a se zpřístupněním ke studijním účelům. V Brně dne 30. července 2006 Lenka Přibilová


5 .Acknowledgements I would like to express gratitude to my supervisor Mgr. Naděžda Vojtková for her valuable advice and help.



Frequent complain of many teachers is that it is extremely difficult to teach children that seem to lack the basic talent for learning languages. I ran against a lot of troubles that I would like to share in my final thesis and also I would like to share some ideas for teaching vocabulary to young learners. of course. different. I have to admit that at the beginning I doubted about any acquisition for young learners and many arguments seemed cogent to me. In the second part of my thesis I would like to present my system of work and also different methods I use while teaching.1. In the theoretical part I will introduce the aim of this thesis. I divided my thesis into the theoretical and the practical part – the practical part follows the theoretical part. Therefore I would like to refer to the possibilities which teaching a foreign language to young learners brings. next we pointed out that there were missing good textbooks or materials. Introduction “Why? What is it good for ? Is it good for them at all? Do they really need it? Is it not only a useless worry? Why do we have to make them learn something more than what they really need and have to? How much hope shall we place in it? “ These are the most frequent questions I have been thinking about. The aim of this work is to show several ways that can be used for teaching vocabulary to young learners. then I will try to describe who is a young learner. During the time I began to realize chances and occasions that English language can offer to children and I started to be a big fan of teaching English to young learners. the rest at two primary schools also in Brno. Reactions and opininons were.. I will enclose some materials and games that I use in 8 . teachers and parents. I have discussed them with many pupils. I would like to show why and how teaching vocabulary to young learners can be more efficient. In the next chapter I will focus on what is vocabulary and how it is learned and also the ways how vocabulary can be presented. At the begining during the discussions with my colleagues we found out that some kind of conception was needed. also didactic aids and methodology books. I have been teaching English for eleven years now – seven years at a language school here in Brno.

In conclusion I will briefly summarize my thesis. 9 .books (used literature) which I used for my thesis and the appendices where I included some materials and exercises with the lesssons. After that follows the list of sources .

it is not possible to say that every child of six will know this and that. I think these debates will be run over and over because nobody is able to say the exact time for beginning to learn foreign languages. The results are seen quite easily and of course teachers demand this kind of satisfaction. These children still want to learn something new. In the Czech Republic children have started learning a foreign language in the 4th grade so far. 10 . Understanding these differences can help me as a teacher to develop methods and a system of work that I will use in the process of teaching. I have chosen this age group because I like working with young learners. I think if very young learners are able to achieve good results. Theoretical part 2. Of course. There is a big difference between what a –three-year-old child can do and what a child of fifteen can do. Her joy was the best reward for me. the children will start a year earlier and in some schools the foreign language will be introduced from the 1st grade. From my personal experience. others need more time.who was able to “communicate” with a native speaker. I achieved quite good results with kindergarten children so I do not see any problems for older learners. I think the older ones can do it too. Some children develop faster.who is a young learner? A young learner – who is he or she? This term covers a wide age range.1.2. In the 7th grade they will have to start learning a second foreign language. From my own personal experience I have to admit that learners at this age are grateful when someone invest time in them. We should consider their development too. Their brain and memory is ready for learning and most of them can learn quite well. I remember a girl . they are happy to present it and they feel more important. according to the new school curricula. But it is possible to pick out some chracteristics which I as a teacher should know and should be aware of. which is starting to be adopted from September 2006. However. I have decided to focus on young learners – age group 7-11. the sooner they start. the better for them. When they know it. It is generally known that the Czech system officially allows children to start learning a foreign language in the 4th grade. There have been many disputes and discussions over this.5th grade . Young learner . this can be anybody from the age of three to the age of eighteen. Teaching young learners requires the knowledge of knowing all the development differences. In my opinion.

They are able to talk about what they are doing. They understand situations and through situations – they use several senses. They love to be praised for what they have done and learnt. then they have to share it with somebody and they are proud that they learnt something.I would like to point out some characteristics about this age group. They are able to use language skills not even realizing them. 1992. the 11 . discuss and they are able to interact with both children and adults. The teacher definitely has to be very sensitive to the children´s needs and has to prepare the lessons well. We should avoid a stereotype. My observations are the same as hers. They use imagination a lot. Very often they pretend they understand everything and they know everything. they can show off a little bit. Often they “teach” each other. They can think. this is very important fact to keep their motivation.. they love when people pay attention to them and their talking. These examples of characteristics I have mentioned above are great hints how to teach young learners and what kind of methods we should use. They are happy when they can play. Halliwell states that: young children are already very good at interpreting meaning without necessarily understanding the individual words already have great skill in using limited language creatively frequently learn indirectly rather than directly take great pleasure in creating fun in what they do their imagination is ready “above all take great delight in talking” (Halliwell. They do not realize what is fact and what is fiction sometimes. p 3) I do agree with Halliwell and her observations. They love to share their experiences. argue. They want to learn and are happy when they learn something. It is very important to choose the right way of teaching for these little children. They are able to concentrate for certain time.

lessons have to be creative and lively. Otherwise this could have really bad consequences for the learners´ further improvement in the language. 12 .

a new item of vocabulary may be more than just a single word: for example. vocabulary is still widening. both historically. Some words can be entirely new to us. A useful convention is to cover all such cases by talking about vocabulary „items“ rather than „words“. using the correct form of a word for the meaning intended ( i. 2. This used to mean just the post office or simple letters but nowadays it also means emails. which are made up of two or three words but express a single idea. when understanding the second language. the learner while learning the vocabulary of a second language can come across several challenges: “making the correct connections. especially if the store of words is limited.e. (Ur. Even in our native language we are continually learning new words and meanings of old words. a verb to google is used frequently a lot. Thornbury states that they can be confronted by words that are totally unfamiliar. p 60) All languages consist of words. or being used in ways that for them are novel and possibly obscure. Moreover. and in terms of the way each of us learned our first and any subsequent languages. Learners of a second language experience something similar. We come across completely new words that are made up according to new technologies and according to the needs of real life. Vocabulary 2. However. What is vocabulary? “Vocabulary can be defined. For example. To find the right word to fit the meaning can be very frustrating. Languages emerge first as words. For example. be able to recall them readily 13 . as the words we teach in the foreign language. roughly. 1. To summarize this. 2. nose not noise) To meet these challenges the learner needs to: acquire a critical mass of words for use in both understanding and producing the language remember words over time. Czech word pošta.2. between the form and meaning of words when producing language. 2003. post office. and mother-in-law.

develop strategies for coping with gaps in word knowledge. or unfamiliar uses of known words have to take responsibility themselves for vocabulary expansion” (Thornbury. 2002. including coping with unknown words. p 31) 14 .

But of course not every animal is a cat. And to this category also belongs other animals. How are words learned? “Without grammar very little can be conveyed. Than during this process they will realise there also exist words like synonyms. What really works especially for young learners is the Total Physical Response method . for example. To help the learners understand it is important to visualize the item and get the pupils to repeat or use the item actively.TPR. Thinking about little children who learn to speak. of a cat has a name cat. Suggestopedia is a very successful method in helping learners to memorize words. We need to let them repeat it in different ways and they should be given a chance to listen to the teacher talking about it. p 18) The child has to realise that these common words like cat can be replaced by superordinate terms like animals. acquiring a vocabulary requires not only labelling but also categorising skills. 2. Very many children are nowadays very hyper and physically active 15 . A little bit of shocking method is the direct method or the direct approach. Culture is considered an important aspect. 2002. linguist To know a word is one thing but we have to pause on the fact how this knowledge is acquired. The mother tongue is never used.” (Thornbury.2. Thornbury states that the children have to develop some kind of network building – constructing some complex idea. without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed. 2. I will mention just some of them that can be used for teaching young learners. Only target language is used in the calssrooms and only complete sentences are used. for instance a house. including vocabulary. so that the concept. then they always start with words used for labelling. The child needs to learn how far to extend the concept of a cat. This method stimulates the learner´s brain by music while learning but nowadays teachers seem to be leaving this method. there are no translations. “In other words. There are many different methods and approaches how to teach a foreign language. homonyms etc. One good way of doing this is to let them see or perhaps touch the vocabulary item.” David Wilkins. not just cats.

Communicative Language Approach (Teaching) – CLT – stresses the meaning of a language in context.and to concentrate for a long time can be very difficult for them. Communicative competence is highly developed here and learners are encouraged to communicate. games. This method is used a lot by teachers. Using this method. changing topics and using a variety of activities is very appreeciated by them. 16 .

Which words and what should be taught? The significant point in teaching vocabulary is the selection of words we as teachers want to teach. is too difficult for young learners. it is good when the learners know the synonyms (smart – intelligent) or antonyms (rich – poor).” (Ur. Especially with young learners words that they are familiar with and they can stick to them should be taught. We can relate items together – for example words like “a school. Thus. 1996. When teaching verbs. also where they live. 17 . collocations. then we can expect words like naming animals. For example when teaching nouns. There is a choice for us. we can decide which words to teach on the basis of frequency. we need to consider the frequency too. In the form pronunciation and spelling should be mentioned. Words that have quite specific meaning should be avoided with young learners. mouse-mice). how often the words are used by the speaker of the language. Thus. Context helps them to find the right meaning. a teacher. 2. depending what level the learners are they should be taught to follow some grammatical rules. also regular and irregular ( girl-girls. using hyphenated words etc. 3. maybe we would like to present their past forms. p 61) In my opinion it is important to inform learners about the meaning of the word as well as their form and grammar. It is quite easy to teach concrete words at lower level and then become more abstract. (Ur. Nowadays all the course books are organised into themes and they provide vocabulary according to it. meaning and word formation. then grammar. Very often words are taught according to themes and topics. 1996. Collocations – I do not think these are important for young learners.2. Again. If there is a theme “Animals”. “The learner has to know what a word sounds like (its pronunciation) and what it looks like (its spelling). especially if the verb is irregular (forget-forgot). Ur states the learners need to be taught the form of the word. a blackboard and a break” are all associated with education. p 60) The grammar of a new item also needs to be taught. its denotation”. what they eat etc. we would like to present their plural forms. Learners find this sometimes very difficult and discouraging because some words do not have just one meaning. “The meaning of a word is primarily what it refers to in the real world. Word formation – using prefixes and suffixes.

after some time most of them will not say “mouses”. In my opinion. but they need to know it. we will not teach them. But as said above they also need to know other aspects of the words they learn. firstly I think that knowing the word and understanding its meaning go hand in hand. hear or with whar they can touch. Young learners often put words together with what they can see. for example the irregular plural form right away. I think that if we keep repeating the plural form “mice”. 18 . Secondly. it is important to teach them all these aspects. it is easier to remember concrete words like a chair or a dog than abstract words.To summarize this. Of course.

A number of techniques can be adopted to present new vocabulary items. Among visual techniques we can find pictures .flashcards. Vocabulary presentation “By presentation we mean those pre-planned lesson stages in which learners are taught pre-selected vocabulary items. are they easily pronounced. 2002.2.” (Thornbury. In my opinion. several realia 19 . This is closely connected with several factors: the level of the pupils – beginners. their familiarity with the words – have they come across these words or are they completely new? words difficulty – are the words abstract. intermediate etc. 3.? can the words be easily demonstrated ? shall we use realia or anything that the pupils can become familiar with? can pictures be used to elicit vocabulary? After the teacher chooses what items to teach. There are techniques that are particularly appropriate for certain types of words – for example actions can be explained through pantomime. Another factor that is worth considering is the age of the learners. And of course there are techniques that we as teachers try to avoid. Also it is up to the teacher which techniques he or she decides to use but always the effectiveness of teaching should be considered. photographs and magazine pictures. posters. and revising them. I think every teacher tends to use and prefers some technique that he or she finds interesting. he or she should follow certain guidelines. placing the new items in context. Younger ones react quite well when we show them concrete illustrations. Some techniques are more popular and more often used than others. this includes teaching the vocabulary "in spoken form first" to prevent students from pronouncing the words in the form they are written. The presentation of new vocabulary can be classified for example according to verbal and visual techniques. word pictures. the older ones can manage pretty well abstract explanations or even definitions. p 75) Firstly. we should consider how many words should be presented during the lesson. blackboard drawings. can we find similar words in the learner´s native language etc. wall charts.

Using this technique. Teachers can prepare quite interesting lesson where the learners learn how to use dictionaries. definition by demonstration (visual definition). descriptions. scales. They cannot interact with the words. Explanation can become extremely difficult especially with beginner levels. and using various forms of definition: for example. definition by abstraction. action and gestures can be used especially for explaining actions and times. subclasses and subcategories often aided by visual presentation. This technique is not used much recently. synonyms and antonyms. In my opinion it is good to use both picture dictionaries and classical dictionaries where they find the meaning with young learners. learners can learn how to use dictionaries. Then they have to be told about the alphabetical order and about other things they can find there. Another way that can be used is translation. Words can be organised into sets. collocations. Learners can label pictures or objects or perform an action. Verbal techniques consist of using illustrative situations. and definition by translation. Most of the young learners have never used a dictionary before so it is a need to teach them to use dicitonaries first. It has its advantages but also disadvantages. Mime. 20 .that teachers can hold up or point to. contextual definitions. It could be done by the teacher or with using a dictionary. Translation is one of the traditional ways of explaining the meaning of words. They have to be told there are two parts – English-Czech and CzechEnglish. even though it is quick and easy but can be very discouraging for learners.

teachers can come across many language teaching ideas and techinques. Language classrooms are noisy. our expectations are sometimes very high. for example. The classes with high number of students put exceptional demands on teacher`s preparation for the lesson and there is obviously a requirement of larger classrooms too. But sometimes something goes wrong. We should evaluate the lesson ourselves. there are at least fifteen pupils – usually even more. being realistic should mean taking realities into account in such a way that good things can still happen. we should reject the idea of pairwork because our clasess are big. sensible. Or if we have an observer in the lesson. Quite often the children are not “angels”. . cut paper into small pieces. draw flashcards. make crosswords etc. This of course leads to the fact the children will become silly and they will really enjoy it. There are teachers who would never do such activities again. We encourage them to interact. It does not mean. There are many of them in circulation that it is quite easy to get carried away. creative.. independent. And their lessons then turn to be boring. “We need to be realistic in our expectations of ourselves and the learners. we should discuss it with him/her. creative. p 19) After every lesson we should ask ourselves whether the lesson was productive or unproductive and we should go back to our objectives and aims. 4. we want to praise the children as much as possible but on the other hand we want to be realistic and. We draw pictures. 21 . be active. 1992. Be realistic Nowadays. And we hope it will be worthwile..2. and we do it even at midnight. or not very able. On the contrary. or poorly motivated.” (Halliwell. We want to be flexible. very honestly.

It needs to be considered well. Another aspect we should think about are activities which engage children´s minds and which keep them physically occupied. Thinking about the positive way of the word “stir”. 4. We often try to make our lessons varied. We should realise some important things. there are activities that have the opposite effect. dialogues” etc”.” (Halliwell. Activities that can stir the class are. 1. we can begin to introduce varieties of the language used in different contexts. This is not easy and teachers should spend really quality time to think about this. “We will not help the children to develop their capacity to concentrate if we jump inconsequentially from one topic to the next. This is good but can lead to misunderstanding. Once the idea of context playing a decisive role in the choice of language is firmly established. Of course. They may seem to settle the pupils. too many activities and changing the activities all the time can destroy the lesson well. 1992. The children´s minds have to jump from one topic to another with not much time to let things sink in effectively. games. for example activities like “odd one out. we need to highlight the importance of the context in which the language naturally occurs. Many coursebooks provide learners with plenty of opportunities to develop their own context for the language presented. warm them up. p 27) 22 . The lesson can be varied by doing lots of activities on different topics. it means these activities will wake up the class. But this can mean we may produce a lesson which is a disaster. Before the lesson is planned. oral work. [1] Another factor that teachers should bear in their minds is to keep the lessons simple.2. “If we are to help the learners acquire independent second language lexicons. There are ways of varying the oral work so that it is making different demands on the children and therefore feels different even when the topic remains the same. for example. competitions. Some language activities can stir a class. there should be considered what kind of activities should be choosen knowing the effect of them. filling-in exercises. Choosing activities It is up to the teacher mostly to choose the right activity. We should not forget context developing activities.

We can reuse materials all the time. They can become truly the core of your language teaching. we can come up with new things but always the activities should be simple in principle..1992.shtml 23 . Using different methods and ways of teaching should become a regular part of our Then they can transfer to different topics and situations.” (Halliwell. p 38 ) [1] http://www.Variation does not only mean changing the topics and materials but also the change of work we do. they will take to them easily when they appear. “Because you use them regularly you will quickly get to know the best way to set them up with your classes.. Variation comes in the forms of activity as Halliwell states. Because the classes know

Quite often the learners do not realize they are learning. 4. p 33) It is evident that young learners learn through play much easier and they enjoy it more. 2. drawing. Children need to be involved and even excited in order to learn effectively. Then the learners are able to follow it better. 1986) (Jones in Teaching English to Children) “A true game is one that frees the spirit. (Khan. And J. they offer a vast selection of activities. the stories need to be picked carefully. This is quite a natural way for them to learn.2. Many games can be looked at as drill exercises but they have an added fun and competition element. The language learnt by heart can often be a part of the activities. in Teaching English to Chidren) Games are activities with rules and goals. games. commands for the games can be remembered quite easily. motivation deriving from the factors outside the classroom.” (Opie. 1995.” (Jones. clapping hands. p 143) It is obvious that the games need to be motivating. I and J. The role of fun and games in the lessons “By ´fun and games´ I mean all those activities that we loosely think of as involving play and enjoyment. It allows of no cares but those fictitious ones engendered by the game itself.” (Khan. Teachers can come up 24 . Again. Language can also be picked as a result of an enjoyable activity. Khan states that the achievement of these goals signals the end of the game. For example.” (Rixon. such as parental and social attitudes. colouring. is likely to be weaker than that created by events in the classroom itself.1995) Games may focus on oral or written part of the language.. p 37) Teachers can tell stories the learners are familiar with in their own language. Fun and games should have an important role in the children´s education. solving puzzles. Learning can be absorbed really well. In playing together we can see elements of interaction and during interacting the learners develop language skills. Piaget (1967) (Piaget in Teaching English to Children) saw chidlren´s games as. For example. 1969) (Opie. Singing. I. They play and love to play. the level of the learners need to be considered and the teacher has to investigate time into preparation. chanting rhymes. 1995. ´the most admirable social institutions´. Children are very often concerned with controlling whether everybody follows the rules and whether they are not broken. 1995.. model-making. “Telling stories to students can result in natural language acquisition on their part. a game that works like this is well-known game “Simon says”.. “ For young learners. What is a game? “A game is played when one or moreplayers compete or co-operate for playoffs according to a set of rules.” (Rixon.

All this can be applied to teaching vocabulary too. Example .a song “This is the way..with a simple version of the story. I .”. Teachers can “play” with vocabulary while teaching it.. then they can be extended. There are many possibilities for adapting games we can find.. The learners can make up new verses. Songs are most grateful way for this. A play is in the essential nature of the child. Appreciated story can be The Story of the Big Enormous Turnip. The teachers should not forget the values of games and fun activities in the lessons. As said above games and fun are important parts of the lesson. 25 .. It is very appreciated by the learners.” or “If you are happy and you know it. New sentences and activities can be produced by the children themselves. Several activities can allow and involve more creative use of the language.

The younger ones do not use any course books. These handouts are given to them so that their parents know what we learned in the lesson and can practice during the week. The activities have been piloted in at least 10 classes. Most of the pupils only started with learning English in the 4th grade. I always have to consider that in each class there are more children and some with learning disabilities.age group 7-11. of course if possible. their age and their abilities. It is evident that some learners have been learning the English language for several years. some have just started. Most of the classes use the course book Cambridge English for Schools by A. they do not have almost any troubles with motivation and as I have said in the theoretical part. I have to admit that it is a lot of fun to teach these children.15 pupils at the age of 5 – 11. Practical part In my final thesis I have decided to focus on teaching English vocabulary to young learners . Littlejohn and D. we work with handouts that they get from me and place them into a folder. I tried out all the activities described here during my teacher´s career. most of them consisted of 10 . 26 . some started in the kindergarten. they still want to learn.3. Hicks. All the activities reflect the level of the learners. I try to use English in the classes as much as possible and I want their reactions in English too. I would like to enclose several lesson plans and also reflect on some observations from the theoretical part.

for example:” Show me your mother!” And you have to show me your mother´s picture. I stand behind the door and as they leave I ask them for example for the word “maminka”. At the end we sum up the lesson and I tell them that next lesson we will play a family pexeso.. it is your time to show me who is who.learners know each other and their families . Now. Talking about families: Today we are going to talk about families. While talking.3. a family and photos. Is this your mother? Is this your sister? Is this your grandfather? After some time we will play a game. so I distribute either my pictures or pictures from revise some basic terminology and find out what the learners know .they are ready to share and are ready to play 1. pieces of paper. they all have to tell me a “password” to leave. they forgot. After each sentence I make the learners say whose picture they are showing me. So I ask. I repeat the word “daughter”. Before they leave the classroom.) Now. sister etc.. Working with their pictures: (The learners were supposed to bring to the class pictures of their family members. Who is this? Your.the learners get to know my family . colour pencils. I have to count on the fact. the learners know them well so I suppose they will be very active and will want to share . Do you live in a family? Who belongs to your family? Do you have any brothers or sisters? What is your brother´s / sister´s name? How often do you see your grandmother and grandfather?. While doing this I read a story about a family from a book. father. a story book. For example. now I will talk about my family. I use pictures of my family and point to the right person and repeat who he/she is. we are going to play a game and the winner gets a reward! I will say a sentence. so that I can point to it anytime.) 2. mother. Ok. 1.after the lesson the learners will know at least 5 new words Aids: . And so get to know the learners´ families. Lesson plan # 1 Topic = My family Aims: . They have to say “mother” and can leave.. “this is my daughter Kristyna”. Reading and colouring: I distribute the handouts (Appendix I) that I have prepared for them and the colour pencils and the learners will colour the people. 27 .. (On the black board there is a family poster all the time. handouts Assumptions: . 3.

But as I have said in the theoretical part. This lesson can be varied in many ways. the children are able to remember it without any explanation and real “learning”. 45 or 60 minutes. I let them jump while showing me their family members.” Because this phrase is repeated in the lesson many times. In this lesson I decided to use the TPR method too. It is very natural for them to learn this phrase. the children can come to black board and point to the right person on the poster. 28 .Evaluation: This lesson is designed for 1st grade learners or even kindergarten children. Learners have a chance to hear and see. again according to the age and level of the learners and also depending on the fact how long the lesson is – 40. What needs to be said here is that during this activity the children are able to learn a phrase “This is my mother/father etc. they put their hands above their heads etc. In this lesson I decided to use one of the visual methods that I talked about in the theoretical part. too much variety can spoil the lesson so this is very important factor that should be considered.

to revise some basic terminology and find out what the learners know .... now exchange your drawings with your partner and let´s check it. I put the poster on the wall. anything. are you ready? Let´s start. your friend´s trousers.. You can see this classroom is full of colours. are you ready?I do not want you to shout or look to your friend´s paper. blue. (While we are talking.) Well. Ok.. colour chalk Assumptions: . I also point out to the right colour on the poster. I have a special reward for you. But to each colour you will write down the name. now we will write a “dictation”. colour pencils. Usually they do really well and are happy they were succesfull with their “dictation”. I know you do not like dictations but this one is going to be different. Potom si vezmi black a nakresli three birds. Lesson plan # 2 Topic = Colours Aims: . I say:´Vezmi si yellow a nakresli sun.. We will play a game. children! Now you know the English names for colours. Well done. listen up! Black. Talking about colours: I will say several words and you tell me what I am speaking about. Finishing up the topic: (After the learners finished their drawings. Well done! Now you know we will talk about colours today. Every time I call out some colour.) Well done. So. they swap the drawings with their partners and we check it together. (After each shout I repeat the colour after them so that they have a chance to hear the pronunciation well.the learners get to know the names of the colours .´Well. I take a colour chalk and draw a big circle on the board. 3.they are ready to play . Let´s start now. picture of rainbow. Since we stil lhave time left.) 2. green.. You can touch a chair.colour dictation should be easy and fun for them 1.3. We will do it as a game called “silent post”.after the lesson the learners will know at least 7 new words including the word rainbow Aids: . The very first person who knows will tell me and then we will send it to others and the last person says that outloud. 2.. pieces of paper... Working with “colours”: Let´s take your exercise books now and you can see what I draw on the board.learners probably already know the colours . I will pick up different colour pencils and you can shout out the name of the colour. Let´s start now. Now when you have finished. I willshout out a name of the colour and you must run to touch this colour. 29 .to get to know the learners´ favourite colours. Do you any colours? Which one is your favourite? What does black mena for you? How do you feel about yellow? What does it evoke?I will tell you a story about rainbow.. a story book. a colour poster.. a to get to know how they feel about colours . I want you to do the same. After some minutes the learners get back to their seats and we repeat all the colours once more. white. You need to be careful about the spelling!..

The learners can hear. I have to count on the fact most of the learners already know the colours from previous classes. as I have mentioned in lesson plan # 1. 30 . This topic is quite easy and children have a lot of fun with this. I have to be careful because the learners try to write down the names of the colours. I think using TPR is very productive and learners can learn and remember it better. After they have finished that. Therefore this lesson cannot be boring so that even these children would be able to be active.Again. This lesson can be varied in many ways again. in this lesson I used one of the visual methods and also TPR.Evaluation: This lesson is designed for 3rd or 4th grade learners. see and touch and later they can run in the classrooms. I usually check the spelling in their exercise books.

Of course during this acitvity we will practice the adjectives too. I am showing them the motions. We will play the game “Simon says. I will say Simon says Stand up! and you will stand revise some basic terminology and find out what the learners know .colour pencils.learners know some basic commands . While explaining all these actions. I am drinking. today we are going to practice some verbs and adjectives. for example.) Now I need a volunteer who will say the sentence instead of me.. I ma dancing.after the lesson the learners will know at least 8 new words Aids: . The game 31 . Revision of some basic commands and adjectives: Well. I always start with the easier and already known ones. you’ll get a point. handouts Assumptions: .. BUT if I don’t say Simon says you mustn’t do anything. I was doing what I was saying. Together we repeat the words and do the actions. it can be used as a revision of what the learners have already known. Then we will play a game. If you do. A pupil with the less points is the winner. (This activity can last as long as the learners are not bored. I always use the English language for explaining the actions and adjectives because the motion help the children to understand. I am deaf. What are verbs and adjectives? Can you tell me an example? Is the word ´sit´a verb? Is theword ˇhappy´an adjective? So. I am writing etc. For this activity I decided to choose the well-known commands as a warm-up. I am bored. you can be the teacher now. Evaluation: This activity is designed for 4th grade. (As I was explaining the rules. Simon says Sit down! and you will sit down.they want to express their feelings 1. I am asleep. Are you reday? Stand up! Sit down! Close your books!. 3.” Does anybody know this game? I will explain the rules to you. The teacher also needs to know how many words the learners know.the learners get to know the the basic verbs and adjectives .they are ready to play . now I will say some basic commands and you will do what I say. At the end of the lesson I always check whether they undrestand all the practised commands and adjectives.. it is time for a game. then I go on with the newer ones. mimes and actions. Now. Lesson plan # 3 Topic = Adjectives.Smile! Be happy! Be sad!.using gestures. Learning new vocabulary: I want to teach the learners new vocabulary. I decided to show another way of teaching vocabulary to young learners . I am blind. Verbs Aims: .) 2..4.

they usually tell me they like it more when they can give the commands.Simon says practises the language in reality. When I get feedback from the children. Very important aspect of this game is discipline. This activity can be used as a warm-up or we can fill in some part of the lesson if minutes are left. Very often I play this game in groups where more children can practise the phrase Simon says. The learners are very competitive and active because everybody wants to be the winner. The learners need to pay attention to what I say. 32 .

What animals do you know? What is your favourite animal? Have you ever been to the zoo? Do you like big animals? Areyou scared of any? Do you know any exotic animals? Do you have an animal at home?… (During this talking I write down on the blackboard all the animals the learners name and distribute pictures of animals among the children. a tape recorder Assumptions: . revise some basic terminology and find out what the learners know . Do you understand? ( The learners are ready to listen now..learners will probably know some English names of animals . To make it easier I distributed a set of pictures among you and you will hear all these animals. You will hear 5 sounds and I think you will know all of them.after the lesson the learners will know at least 5 new words Aids: . colour pencils. I will start up the lesson in a little bit different way than usually. So as you can see.3.. an animal poster. we are going to talk about animals today. 4. the winner gets a price! If you think you know. I will write something on the blackboard and you have to find out a hidden word in it. you are very good! Now we will listen again but this time you do not have the pictures.they are ready to share and lsiten 1. So. You 33 . it is a toy dog. Lesson plan # 4 Topic = Animals Aims: . You cannot talk. Well done! The word is ANIMALS! And the winner is Honza? Here is your price! What is it? Yes. handouts.) Well done. I get ready the tape recorder. WHAT SONG P ICTURE MOTHER CARD LOVE CH R I S T M A S In these words you can find 1 word. you can just write down number to each picture. just put your hand above your head. we will listen to a tape the topic of today´s lesson. You are going to hear several sounds of animals and I want you to write their names on a piece of get to know the basic animals in English . Talking about animals.) 2.learners like animals . brainstorming: Well. Listening: Now.

which is not as easy for them. imagine you are going to take a friend of yours to the zoo soon and you want to give him/her a tour. so I can show them so that they get ideas.) 3. you can write about them – what they eat. each child can talk and I pay attetnion to this. If somebody remains quiet. Project: Now. so I let them work in the next lesson too. make groups of 4 and each group has to prepare a poster. This lesson can be varied in many ways and can be done with younger learners too. Jano. You can either draw or glue animals. Through brainstorming. what is your favourite animal? etc. So now. The topic is also very grateful and from my personal experience the children always have a lot of fun with it. they do not need my help. This is very active time. I help them.must guess which animals you hear. everybody is included. therefore after this activity I need to calm them down and we listen to the sounds of animals. the learners usually remember at least 1 new word. because you can work with dictionaries. If you need help. do you know any animals?. if nobody is able to guess this word. I do not tell them which animals they have to choose or what exactly needs to be written there or how exactly it has to be done. Evaluation: This lesson is designed for 3rd or 4th grade. All the sounds are of known animals. (Usually the learners want to be creative and work on their own. I ask questions – Honzo. Also usually this activity takes longer time. you can either ask me or. (This is a little bit more difficult but the sounds are of well-known animals so the chidlren will not have any troubles with it. where they live. so the children do not usually have any troubles with this. Then they have to guess the hidden word. Probably the hidden word would be too difficult for them. 34 . I usually have examples with me in the lesson. Of course. you can use them. So you need to know some animals and also something about them. Right at the beginning of the lesson the learners have a chance to brainstorm. Again. anything you like. Then I let them be creative and let them work on the project. so the teacher would have to come up with a different activity.

you can find it here. At the end we check the exercixe together.. So. distribute these revise some basic terminology .Well done! At the end of the lesson we can sing the alpabet song if you want to..3. Now check these three items .learners know the alphabet so this should not be that difficult . So thank you for coming and helping me to bring the dictionaries. I need to be sure they are familier with working with the dictionaries. you can start working. one into each desk. It is orgaized according to the alphabetwhich you already know.after the lesson the learners will know 5 new words Aids: . 2. English-Czech and Czech-English. Practise: I usually ask the children to find out three vocabulary items to practise the finding. You can work in pairs and you must circle the odd ones. teach and practise using dicitonaries . flashcards Assumptions: . you can see there are two parts. If their answer is right. Now. pear. 35 .various kinds of dicitonaries. So if you do not understand some word.. If you find id. 5. Introducing dictionaries: This mornig as I was getting ready for your lesson I realised I would need helpers.“apple. Lesson plan # 5 Topic = Fruit Aims: . If I say an English word. I distribute the handouts (Appendix II) and the learners work on the handout. I will say an English word and you can find the Czech equivalent in the dicitonary. Each child says one letter from the aplhabet. the window is the odd one. Do you understand it? Well. 3. If you open them. As homework they have to prepare similar exercise. window”. I will give you the handouts and you have to work on them. So the word is a lemon. Which one is the odd one? find out the odd words . Thses books are called dictionaries. which part will you be looking in?Yes. Working with the dictionaries: Now it is time to start “working” with the dicitonaries. the English one. put your hands above. Let´s quickly revise the aplhabet. I will go on like this for a while.but even this fact the learners need their time to get used to working with the dictionaries 1.

36 . I said that it is very traditional and maybe an old way but I wanted to show that translation can be used and sometimes should not be avoided. But it cannot be long because the learners easily get bored with it. I did not manage to do everything that I planned for the lesson. I have to admit that when I first taught this topic and was teaching how to use dicitonaries.Evaluation: I talk about using dictionaries as a way for teaching vocabulary in the theoretical part. Now I have to make sure that children know the alphabet really well.This activity is designed for learners in the 4th grade. Every time there is a child who has troubles with it but it is normal. This is probably their first time using and working with dictionaries. From my own personal experience I have to say that children usually like working with dictionaries and like the exercises.

Poem: (Appendix IV) Well. I am tired and I would like to be at home in my bed with a hot cup of tea and my favourite book. Talking about weather: Good morning.the learners usually are not as willing to talk so I have to ask right and direct questions 1. a poem Assumptions: .to find out the odd words . each child reads a line. so that the children would have to memorize it.) I am not happy today. we will read a short text about the weather and then we will talk about it. (Appendix III) I distribute the texts and I read first. we start learning the poem. now it is time to learn a short poem. So. This is all because of the weather.reading texts. enjoy it and see you next lesson.3. Every time we read it. I read it outloud and then we read it together. 4. The learners can see the whole poem on the blackboard. I assume the children will ask me what is wrong with me. I will write it on the understand the text about weather . I erase 1 word.after the lesson the learners will know 5 new words Aids: . flashcards. 6. I have to give you a homework. 2. because you have been working hard. Bye bye! 37 . Do you like this kind of weather? What do you like to do in this kind of weather? What is your favourite season? Why? Do you prefer hot weather to cold weather? etc. After that. When this is done.learners already know some weather terminology . The children just listen. Reading: Now. so all you have to do is to find the odd word out. Odd one out: (Appendix V) Thank you very much for your work today and so that you can practise these new words at revise some basic terminology . I have to say it myself. Lesson plan # 6 Topic = The Weather Aims: . This won´t take you long. 3. I wil lwrite the questions on the blackboard. children! ( I look very tired and I am not happy. You will have to answer some questions too. You all know this type of exercise. We talk about the text and after that they answer the questions all by themselves. If not.

looking for information is another way to learn the language. Usually next lesson I go on in this topic. This lesson is done completely in English and the communicative competence is highly encouraged and used here. I have to be really well prepared for this lesson. The lesson does not have to seem interesting to the learners at first but later they start to like it. At the end they memorize the poem by heart and I have to confess that 99% of the class always remember the poem. 38 . I have to admit this is not easy but I as a teacher have to adjust my vocabulary and talking to the learners´ level. Working with a text is important for them.Evaluation: This activity is designed for 5th grade. In the theoretical part I talk about CLT as a way of teaching vocabulary to young learners. I work with the learned vocabulary and I build on it. This lesson makes use of it.

none Assumptions: . I bet she will like it. I only focus on the prepositions. we will have regular English lesson. I will start now. right? Can you tell me any examples of Czech prepositions? …Well done! And now. then we finish and I usually let them mime it or do the actions. As you can see. another way of using CLT in the come up with a story focusing on prepositions . If not. The only time the learners are allowed to speak Czech is when I ask them about the Czech prepositions.learners already know some prepositions . I will start so that you have some more time to think. The brainstorming: Today. And it is not just prepositions you can use in a story. I usually do not correct grammar mistakes. you can suggest this kind of activity to your Czech language teacher. So. only the level and age of the learners have to be considered. I heardthat in the lessons of Czech language you are talking about prepositions. ( I tell the learners we will come up with a story. 7. I met a man IN a town. I decided we will not learn anything new and we will have kind of relaxing lesson. Revision: Well. The story time: So.3. Evaluation: This activity is designed for 5th grade but can be adopted for any grade. Maybe next time we could try adjectives.) come up with own story is not always easy 1. Tell me some English prepositions! …Well done again! Since you know the English prepositions. If they come up with the story after the first round. Discipline is not usually 39 . All the children are curious about the story so they pay attetnion to it. the English equivalents. maybe you can use nouns. Lesson plan # 7 Topic = A Story telling Aims: . Once upon a time. revise some basic prepositions Aids: . Don´t forget it has to be a story and not just several sentences put together. Then it is only English and again the communicative competence is encouraged here. we go on. It has to make sense. did you learn anything new today? You could see that we can have fun and play with prepositions in English too. let´s use them in reality. Now it is your turn! (Now each child has to say a sentence and we go on as long as needed. are you ready? Do you still think it is difficult? Ok. numerals etc.) 2. I tell them they have to focus on the prepositions and each of them has to say a sentence. It is only up to you. Are you happy? But don´t worry.

If they are allowed to act it out later. I tried it usually with older learners and there was a problem with discipline and the learners tried to use words they are not allowed to use in the classes. 40 .a problem even though it is always just 1 person speaking. they are even happier. I have really good experience with this kind of activity eventhough when I started to teach it was hard for me.

I tried to show how some methods and approaches can be used in the lessons while teaching young learners. The teacher has to know his or her pupils. Sometimes. also ways how to motivate them and last but not least their learning style. which words should be taught and ways that vocabulary can be presented. 41 . their hobbies and interests and just basic information about the learners. the results are seen easily and the learners at this age are very grateful when someone invest time in them. I have to admit that in practice I tried out all the lesson plans and it worked well. I also talk about vocabulary – what it is. I deal with the subject of teaching vocabulary to young learners.4. The teachers get to know their families. Testing and assessment will be the theme of my next future research. In the Practical Part. how it can be taught. The Practical Part proved what I mentioned in the theory. Also. we as teachers have to consider the learning disabilities too. From the theory. When teaching young learners. During my teacher´s training I have learned that it is important to learn about their personalities and also to get to know them. there are several lesson plans. their expectations with which each child comes to the lessons. Every learner is different and we need to view each person individually. It is important to understand their needs. The teacher needs to understand their differences. as the title prompts. Conclusion In my final thesis. They need to feel the teacher likes them and wants to teach them something new. In the Theoretical Part I have mentioned some characteristics of young learners. There are more and more chidlren with these problems and we as teachers need to help them to enjoy the lessons and help them to learn too. the teacher has to be strong at the knowledge but also needs to connect with the children. All this the teacher is learning while working with the learners. some activity took longer time so the learners were assigned a homework. their cultural and family background etc. I also tried to show that variety is important because young learners get bored if they do the same activities in the same way all the time. I wanted to show that working with them offers many possibilities and we can use many methods and approaches. especially nowadays. As said in the theoretical part. The focus of this thesis is the personality of young learners and teaching vocabulary to them.

vyučována a také co by se vlastně mělo vyučovat. In the Practical Part. Another subject of this thesis is the vocabulary itself – how it can be presented. Jedním z předmětů této bakalářské práce je ukázat charakteristiku mladšího žáka. Every activity mentioned in the lesson plans was tried out during my teacher´s profession. Dalším předmětem této práce je slovní zásoba – jak může být prezentována. V praktické části jsou prezentovány přípravy na hodiny. Každá aktivity zmíněná v přípravě byla vyzkoušena během mé učitelské praxe. several lesson plans are presented. There are mentioned some methods and approaches that can be used in the lessons. 42 . Jsou zde zmíněny i metody a přístupy. also what should be taught. Resumé Poznání osobnosti mladšího žáka hraje důležitou roli při efektivní výuce. které mohou být v hodinách využívány. These lesson plans focus on using different methods while teaching vocabulary to young learners. Tyto přípravy jsou zaměřeny na využití různých výukových metod vhodných k výuce slovní zásoby u mladších žáků. Resumé Understanding the personality of a young learner plays an important role in effective teaching. One of the subjects of this thesis is to show the characteristics of a young learner.5. taught.

Stuart: A Way with Words. Wendy A. 2005. 375 s. UK: Longman. 1991. Ray (edd. ISBN-0-582-42082-2. ISBN-0521-35919-8. Essex: Longman. Penny. Longman Group Essex. Book 3. 1991.). 1995. 1988. s. Jeremy. MOON. The Practice of English Language Teaching. 2005. Susan: Teaching English in the Primary Classrooms. 1991 10. Scott: How to teach vocabulary. Jayne. ISBN 0-19-437133-6. KHAN. 12. Shelagh: Young Learners of English: Some Research Perspectives. TONGUE. 169 s. Longman Essex. Adrian. ISBN-0-582-07109-7. 4. 43 . REDMAN. YTREBERG. A Course in Language Teaching: Practice and theory. Jayne.Book 2. TONGUE. Christopher. 1992. Lisbeth H: Teaching English to Children. 142-157. BRUMFIT. Cambridge University Press. Vocabulary Development Activities for Learners of English. Stuart: A Way with Words. Roles of Teachers & Learners. Tony. UK: Longman Group Essex. 8. MOON. 7. ISBN 0-582-40385-5. ISBN 0. Vocabulary Development Activities for Learners of English. 345 s. THORNBURY. 124 s. Teaching English to Children. Julia: Using games in teaching English to young learners.UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN-0521-44994-4. 3. 11. Ray: Teaching English to Children. 185 s. From Practice to Principle. 124 s. HARMER. WRIGHT. 2. Cambridge University Press.18-34232-9. SCOTT. 5. 370 s. ISBN0-17-556889-8. REDMAN.. HALLIWELL. DOFF. RIXON. 1996. Christopher. 9. 2002.Bibliography 1. ISBN-0-582-42966-8. Longman Group Essex. 6. 1995. 309 s. 160 s. Teach English: A training course for teachers. 110 s. 1999. Longman Essex.UK: Cambridge University Press. In: BRUMFIT. UR. Cambridge University Press. ISBN-0521-35921-X.

http://www. 3.Other resources 44 .uk 2.eslkidstuff.

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