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



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

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

the children will start a year earlier and in some schools the foreign language will be introduced from the 1st grade. In my opinion. they are happy to present it and they feel more important.5th grade . according to the new school curricula. I have chosen this age group because I like working with young learners. it is not possible to say that every child of six will know this and that. I remember a girl . From my personal experience. Teaching young learners requires the knowledge of knowing all the development differences. There is a big difference between what a –three-year-old child can do and what a child of fifteen can do. However. I think the older ones can do it too. I have decided to focus on young learners – age group 7-11. which is starting to be adopted from September 2006. this can be anybody from the age of three to the age of eighteen. From my own personal experience I have to admit that learners at this age are grateful when someone invest time in them. Some children develop faster.who is a young learner? A young learner – who is he or she? This term covers a wide age range. Their brain and memory is ready for learning and most of them can learn quite well. 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. There have been many disputes and discussions over this.2. Theoretical part 2. the better for them. The results are seen quite easily and of course teachers demand this kind of satisfaction. When they know it. the sooner they start. 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. 10 . These children still want to learn something new. In the 7th grade they will have to start learning a second foreign language.1. Young learner . Of course. Her joy was the best reward for me. others need more time. But it is possible to pick out some chracteristics which I as a teacher should know and should be aware of. I think if very young learners are able to achieve good results.who was able to “communicate” with a native speaker. In the Czech Republic children have started learning a foreign language in the 4th grade so far. We should consider their development too. It is generally known that the Czech system officially allows children to start learning a foreign language in the 4th grade. I achieved quite good results with kindergarten children so I do not see any problems for older learners.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You will hear 5 sounds and I think you will know all of them. the topic of today´s lesson. So as you can see. the winner gets a price! If you think you know. just put your hand above your head. brainstorming: Well. Listening: Now.they are ready to share and lsiten 1. You cannot revise some basic terminology and find out what the learners know .pictures.) Well done. 4. Talking about animals. you are very good! Now we will listen again but this time you do not have the pictures. we are going to talk about animals today.learners will probably know some English names of animals .. 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. Well done! The word is ANIMALS! And the winner is Honza? Here is your price! What is it? Yes. colour pencils. Lesson plan # 4 Topic = Animals Aims: . So. an animal poster. I get ready the tape recorder.. I will write something on the blackboard and you have to find out a hidden word in it. children. You 33 . 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.after the lesson the learners will know at least 5 new words Aids: . I will start up the lesson in a little bit different way than usually.) 2.3. you can just write down number to each picture.learners like animals . To make it easier I distributed a set of pictures among you and you will hear all these animals. handouts. a tape recorder Assumptions: . it is a toy get to know the basic animals in English . WHAT SONG P ICTURE MOTHER CARD LOVE CH R I S T M A S In these words you can find 1 word. Do you understand? ( The learners are ready to listen now.

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

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

This activity is designed for learners in the 4th grade. I did not manage to do everything that I planned for the lesson. 36 . This is probably their first time using and working with dictionaries. But it cannot be long because the learners easily get bored with it. 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.Evaluation: I talk about using dictionaries as a way for teaching vocabulary in the theoretical part. 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. From my own personal experience I have to say that children usually like working with dictionaries and like the exercises.

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

Evaluation: This activity is designed for 5th grade. This lesson makes use of 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. 38 . 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. I work with the learned vocabulary and I build on it. This lesson is done completely in English and the communicative competence is highly encouraged and used here. looking for information is another way to learn the language. I have to be really well prepared for this lesson. In the theoretical part I talk about CLT as a way of teaching vocabulary to young learners. Usually next lesson I go on in this topic. Working with a text is important for them.

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

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. 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. they are even happier.a problem even though it is always just 1 person speaking. 40 .

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

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

Book 3. Lisbeth H: Teaching English to Children. 1991 10. Christopher. ISBN-0521-44994-4. DOFF. 1991. 124 s.Bibliography 1. Ray: Teaching English to Children. 160 s. HALLIWELL. 12. s.. Cambridge University Press. YTREBERG. 142-157. Penny. 185 s. HARMER. Teach English: A training course for teachers. UR. RIXON. Cambridge University Press. MOON. ISBN 0. 1995. 169 s. Christopher. 2005. Stuart: A Way with Words. TONGUE. SCOTT. 4. 345 s. KHAN. Shelagh: Young Learners of English: Some Research Perspectives. Vocabulary Development Activities for Learners of English. UK: Longman. Teaching English to Children. Ray (edd. Jayne.UK: Oxford University Press. Vocabulary Development Activities for Learners of English. Roles of Teachers & Learners. In: BRUMFIT. Longman Essex. UK: Longman Group Essex. Jeremy. Wendy A. Susan: Teaching English in the Primary Classrooms. WRIGHT. 1996. Longman Essex. 6. Stuart: A Way with Words. Scott: How to teach vocabulary. TONGUE. Cambridge University Press. 1999. 7. ISBN 0-582-40385-5. Adrian. 2005. 110 s. 3. REDMAN. 43 . ISBN-0-582-07109-7. 1988. ISBN-0-582-42082-2. Tony. The Practice of English Language Teaching. ISBN-0521-35921-X. Essex: Longman. BRUMFIT.Book 2.). 1992. 124 s. Longman Group Essex. 5. 309 s. REDMAN.UK: Cambridge University Press. Julia: Using games in teaching English to young learners. 2. 1991. 9. MOON. ISBN-0-582-42966-8. ISBN-0521-35919-8.18-34232-9. THORNBURY. 375 s. ISBN 0-19-437133-6. 2002. Longman Group Essex. 370 s. 8. ISBN0-17-556889-8. 11. 1995. From Practice to Principle. Jayne. A Course in Language Teaching: Practice and theory.

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