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


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



I have to admit that at the beginning I doubted about any acquisition for young learners and many arguments seemed cogent to me. Frequent complain of many teachers is that it is extremely difficult to teach children that seem to lack the basic talent for learning languages. In the second part of my thesis I would like to present my system of work and also different methods I use while teaching. The aim of this work is to show several ways that can be used for teaching vocabulary to young learners.1. At the begining during the discussions with my colleagues we found out that some kind of conception was needed. I divided my thesis into the theoretical and the practical part – the practical part follows the theoretical part. I will enclose some materials and games that I use in 8 . 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. I have discussed them with many pupils. next we pointed out that there were missing good textbooks or materials.. also didactic aids and methodology books. Therefore I would like to refer to the possibilities which teaching a foreign language to young learners brings. In the theoretical part I will introduce the aim of this thesis. then I will try to describe who is a young learner. the rest at two primary schools also in Brno. 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. I would like to show why and how teaching vocabulary to young learners can be more efficient. different. 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. Reactions and opininons were. teachers and parents. 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. I have been teaching English for eleven years now – seven years at a language school here in Brno. of course.

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

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. others need more time. Her joy was the best reward for me.2. the sooner they start. 10 . These children still want to learn something new. However. it is not possible to say that every child of six will know this and that.who was able to “communicate” with a native speaker. But it is possible to pick out some chracteristics which I as a teacher should know and should be aware of. the better for them. I have decided to focus on young learners – age group 7-11.who is a young learner? A young learner – who is he or she? This term covers a wide age range. this can be anybody from the age of three to the age of eighteen. The results are seen quite easily and of course teachers demand this kind of satisfaction. There is a big difference between what a –three-year-old child can do and what a child of fifteen can do. I think the older ones can do it too. Teaching young learners requires the knowledge of knowing all the development differences. From my own personal experience I have to admit that learners at this age are grateful when someone invest time in them. I remember a girl . When they know it. 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. There have been many disputes and discussions over this. From my personal experience. Of course. the children will start a year earlier and in some schools the foreign language will be introduced from the 1st grade. Their brain and memory is ready for learning and most of them can learn quite well. We should consider their development too. they are happy to present it and they feel more important. It is generally known that the Czech system officially allows children to start learning a foreign language in the 4th grade. 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. Some children develop faster. which is starting to be adopted from September 2006.1. Young learner .5th grade . In my opinion. according to the new school curricula. I achieved quite good results with kindergarten children so I do not see any problems for older learners. Theoretical part 2. In the 7th grade they will have to start learning a second foreign language. In the Czech Republic children have started learning a foreign language in the 4th grade so far.

Very often they pretend they understand everything and they know everything. They do not realize what is fact and what is fiction sometimes. They can think. argue.. It is very important to choose the right way of teaching for these little children. this is very important fact to keep their motivation. the 11 . They use imagination a lot. they love when people pay attention to them and their talking. We should avoid a stereotype. p 3) I do agree with Halliwell and her observations. 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 understand situations and through situations – they use several senses.I would like to point out some characteristics about this age group. discuss and they are able to interact with both children and adults. They want to learn and are happy when they learn something. They love to share their experiences. They are happy when they can play. 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. They are able to talk about what they are doing. they can show off a little bit. 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 are able to use language skills not even realizing them. They are able to concentrate for certain time. The teacher definitely has to be very sensitive to the children´s needs and has to prepare the lessons well. Often they “teach” each other. My observations are the same as hers. 1992.

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

We come across completely new words that are made up according to new technologies and according to the needs of real life. To summarize this. 2. when understanding the second language. A useful convention is to cover all such cases by talking about vocabulary „items“ rather than „words“. To find the right word to fit the meaning can be very frustrating. both historically. a new item of vocabulary may be more than just a single word: for example. p 60) All languages consist of words. 1. be able to recall them readily 13 . However. especially if the store of words is limited. Vocabulary 2. 2. Even in our native language we are continually learning new words and meanings of old words. and mother-in-law. Languages emerge first as words. using the correct form of a word for the meaning intended ( i. roughly. post office. (Ur. For example. the learner while learning the vocabulary of a second language can come across several challenges: “making the correct connections.e. or being used in ways that for them are novel and possibly obscure. Some words can be entirely new to us. 2003. and in terms of the way each of us learned our first and any subsequent languages. Moreover. between the form and meaning of words when producing language. vocabulary is still widening. This used to mean just the post office or simple letters but nowadays it also means emails. For example. Czech word pošta. Learners of a second language experience something similar. 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. which are made up of two or three words but express a single idea.2. What is vocabulary? “Vocabulary can be defined. Thornbury states that they can be confronted by words that are totally unfamiliar. as the words we teach in the foreign language. a verb to google is used frequently a lot.

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

for instance a house. so that the concept. without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed. p 18) The child has to realise that these common words like cat can be replaced by superordinate terms like animals.” David Wilkins.TPR. And to this category also belongs other animals. This method stimulates the learner´s brain by music while learning but nowadays teachers seem to be leaving this method. The child needs to learn how far to extend the concept of a cat. A little bit of shocking method is the direct method or the direct approach.” (Thornbury. for example. there are no translations. But of course not every animal is a cat. Than during this process they will realise there also exist words like synonyms. How are words learned? “Without grammar very little can be conveyed. Only target language is used in the calssrooms and only complete sentences are used. acquiring a vocabulary requires not only labelling but also categorising skills. To help the learners understand it is important to visualize the item and get the pupils to repeat or use the item actively. I will mention just some of them that can be used for teaching young learners. homonyms etc. not just cats. Culture is considered an important aspect. Suggestopedia is a very successful method in helping learners to memorize words. Thinking about little children who learn to speak. 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. “In other words. including vocabulary. There are many different methods and approaches how to teach a foreign language. 2002. One good way of doing this is to let them see or perhaps touch the vocabulary item. Thornbury states that the children have to develop some kind of network building – constructing some complex idea. 2. then they always start with words used for labelling. of a cat has a name cat. Very many children are nowadays very hyper and physically active 15 . 2.2. What really works especially for young learners is the Total Physical Response method . The mother tongue is never used. linguist To know a word is one thing but we have to pause on the fact how this knowledge is acquired.

16 .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. Using this method. This method is used a lot by teachers. changing topics and using a variety of activities is very appreeciated by them. Communicative Language Approach (Teaching) – CLT – stresses the meaning of a language in context.

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

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

blackboard drawings. I think every teacher tends to use and prefers some technique that he or she finds interesting. The presentation of new vocabulary can be classified for example according to verbal and visual techniques. posters. Some techniques are more popular and more often used than others. several realia 19 . we should consider how many words should be presented during the lesson. word pictures. Vocabulary presentation “By presentation we mean those pre-planned lesson stages in which learners are taught pre-selected vocabulary items. 3. Another factor that is worth considering is the age of the learners. wall charts. can we find similar words in the learner´s native language etc. their familiarity with the words – have they come across these words or are they completely new? words difficulty – are the words abstract. he or she should follow certain guidelines. this includes teaching the vocabulary "in spoken form first" to prevent students from pronouncing the words in the form they are written. This is closely connected with several factors: the level of the pupils – beginners. There are techniques that are particularly appropriate for certain types of words – for example actions can be explained through pantomime. intermediate etc. And of course there are techniques that we as teachers try to avoid. In my opinion.” (Thornbury. placing the new items in context.flashcards. p 75) Firstly.? 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. are they easily pronounced. the older ones can manage pretty well abstract explanations or even definitions. Also it is up to the teacher which techniques he or she decides to use but always the effectiveness of teaching should be considered. Younger ones react quite well when we show them concrete illustrations. photographs and magazine pictures. Among visual techniques we can find pictures . 2002. and revising them.2. A number of techniques can be adopted to present new vocabulary items.

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

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

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

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

drawing. Children are very often concerned with controlling whether everybody follows the rules and whether they are not broken. Teachers can come up 24 .” (Rixon. 1995. Quite often the learners do not realize they are learning.. For example. 1969) (Opie.2. 4. p 33) It is evident that young learners learn through play much easier and they enjoy it more. they offer a vast selection of activities. In playing together we can see elements of interaction and during interacting the learners develop language skills. Singing. chanting rhymes.” (Opie. For example. Piaget (1967) (Piaget in Teaching English to Children) saw chidlren´s games as. ´the most admirable social institutions´.” (Rixon. in Teaching English to Chidren) Games are activities with rules and goals. I and J. p 143) It is obvious that the games need to be motivating. games. clapping hands. solving puzzles.. p 37) Teachers can tell stories the learners are familiar with in their own language. Again. 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. 2. Khan states that the achievement of these goals signals the end of the game.” (Jones.” (Khan.. And J. 1986) (Jones in Teaching English to Children) “A true game is one that frees the spirit. I. Language can also be picked as a result of an enjoyable activity. “ For young learners. the level of the learners need to be considered and the teacher has to investigate time into preparation. 1995.1995) Games may focus on oral or written part of the language. 1995. the stories need to be picked carefully. model-making. Many games can be looked at as drill exercises but they have an added fun and competition element. colouring. (Khan. The language learnt by heart can often be a part of the activities. “Telling stories to students can result in natural language acquisition on their part. Children need to be involved and even excited in order to learn effectively. They play and love to play. motivation deriving from the factors outside the classroom. Learning can be absorbed really well. Then the learners are able to follow it better. Fun and games should have an important role in the children´s education. commands for the games can be remembered quite easily. What is a game? “A game is played when one or moreplayers compete or co-operate for playoffs according to a set of rules. a game that works like this is well-known game “Simon says”. It allows of no cares but those fictitious ones engendered by the game itself. such as parental and social attitudes. is likely to be weaker than that created by events in the classroom itself. This is quite a natural way for them to learn.

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

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

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

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

Finishing up the topic: (After the learners finished their drawings.. Every time I call out some colour. I put the poster on the wall. You can touch a chair. (After each shout I repeat the colour after them so that they have a chance to hear the pronunciation well.. You need to be careful about the spelling!. Working with “colours”: Let´s take your exercise books now and you can see what I draw on the board.. are you ready? Let´s start. picture of rainbow. I say:´Vezmi si yellow a nakresli sun. I know you do not like dictations but this one is going to be different. The very first person who knows will tell me and then we will send it to others and the last person says that outloud. green. Potom si vezmi black a nakresli three birds. Ok.) Well done. We will do it as a game called “silent post”.. are you ready?I do not want you to shout or look to your friend´s paper.. a story book.. now exchange your drawings with your partner and let´s check it.3. Well done! Now you know we will talk about colours today. Lesson plan # 2 Topic = Colours Aims: .. a blackboard. I want you to do the same.. colour chalk Assumptions: .´Well. Usually they do really well and are happy they were succesfull with their “dictation”.pictures. So. (While we are talking. But to each colour you will write down the get to know the learners´ favourite colours. listen up! Black. your friend´s trousers.after the lesson the learners will know at least 7 new words including the word rainbow Aids: . colour pencils. to get to know how they feel about colours .the learners get to know the names of the colours .. blue.. 29 .colour dictation should be easy and fun for them 1. Talking about colours: I will say several words and you tell me what I am speaking about.) 2.. a colour poster. Now when you have finished. Let´s start now. white. I willshout out a name of the colour and you must run to touch this colour.. We will play a game. I also point out to the right colour on the revise some basic terminology and find out what the learners know . they swap the drawings with their partners and we check it together. 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. Well done. You can see this classroom is full of colours. I will pick up different colour pencils and you can shout out the name of the colour. pieces of paper. Let´s start now... anything.) Well. 3.learners probably already know the colours .they are ready to play . Since we stil lhave time left. now we will write a “dictation”. children! Now you know the English names for colours. 2. I take a colour chalk and draw a big circle on the board. After some minutes the learners get back to their seats and we repeat all the colours once more. I have a special reward for you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a problem even though it is always just 1 person speaking. 40 . 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. they are even happier. If they are allowed to act it out later. I have really good experience with this kind of activity eventhough when I started to teach it was hard for me.

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

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

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

uk 2. http://www.Other resources 1.longman. http://www. 44 .

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