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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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. including coping with unknown words. 2002.

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

Using this method. Communicative Language Approach (Teaching) – CLT – stresses the meaning of a language in context. 16 .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. games. This method is used a lot by teachers. Communicative competence is highly developed here and learners are encouraged to communicate.

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

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

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

They cannot interact with the words. Mime. subclasses and subcategories often aided by visual presentation. Teachers can prepare quite interesting lesson where the learners learn how to use dictionaries. 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. definition by demonstration (visual definition). contextual definitions. Then they have to be told about the alphabetical order and about other things they can find there. scales. and definition by translation. 20 . Words can be organised into sets. action and gestures can be used especially for explaining actions and times. even though it is quick and easy but can be very discouraging for learners. collocations. Using this technique. This technique is not used much recently. It could be done by the teacher or with using a dictionary.that teachers can hold up or point to. synonyms and antonyms. Verbal techniques consist of using illustrative situations. and using various forms of definition: for example. It has its advantages but also disadvantages. They have to be told there are two parts – English-Czech and CzechEnglish. descriptions. definition by abstraction. Learners can label pictures or objects or perform an action. learners can learn how to use dictionaries. Explanation can become extremely difficult especially with beginner levels. Translation is one of the traditional ways of explaining the meaning of words. Another way that can be used is translation.

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

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

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

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

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

The younger ones do not use any course books. I tried out all the activities described here during my teacher´s career. we work with handouts that they get from me and place them into a folder. I have to admit that it is a lot of fun to teach these children. of course if possible. Most of the pupils only started with learning English in the 4th grade.15 pupils at the age of 5 – 11. It is evident that some learners have been learning the English language for several years. These handouts are given to them so that their parents know what we learned in the lesson and can practice during the week. 26 .age group 7-11.3. I always have to consider that in each class there are more children and some with learning disabilities. they still want to learn. some have just started. Littlejohn and D. All the activities reflect the level of the learners. I try to use English in the classes as much as possible and I want their reactions in English too. they do not have almost any troubles with motivation and as I have said in the theoretical part. most of them consisted of 10 . Hicks. Practical part In my final thesis I have decided to focus on teaching English vocabulary to young learners . their age and their abilities. some started in the kindergarten. The activities have been piloted in at least 10 classes. Most of the classes use the course book Cambridge English for Schools by A. I would like to enclose several lesson plans and also reflect on some observations from the theoretical part.

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

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

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

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

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

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. The learners need to pay attention to what I say. When I get feedback from the children. 32 . Very important aspect of this game is discipline. The learners are very competitive and active because everybody wants to be the winner.Simon says practises the language in reality.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. ISBN0-17-556889-8. 1996. UK: Longman. ISBN-0521-35919-8. 1992. Longman Group Essex. Stuart: A Way with Words. 2. Stuart: A Way with Words. Shelagh: Young Learners of English: Some Research Perspectives. Longman Essex. RIXON. ISBN-0-582-42966-8. Cambridge University Press. Jayne. Essex: Longman.UK: Cambridge University Press. Christopher. MOON.UK: Oxford University Press. Penny. Teach English: A training course for teachers. ISBN-0-582-42082-2. WRIGHT. 1999. REDMAN. From Practice to Principle. 43 . Teaching English to Children. Book 3. DOFF. ISBN-0521-44994-4. 8. Longman Essex. UK: Longman Group Essex. Scott: How to teach vocabulary. 7. 3. 309 s. Wendy A. 2005. 169 s. ISBN-0-582-07109-7. 345 s. ISBN 0. ISBN 0-19-437133-6. 1991 10. ISBN 0-582-40385-5. 2005. THORNBURY. Roles of Teachers & Learners.Bibliography 1. Jeremy. In: BRUMFIT. 6. MOON.. 12. 1991. 124 s. 1995.). 1995. YTREBERG. The Practice of English Language Teaching. 110 s. 9. 375 s. 370 s. Longman Group Essex. Vocabulary Development Activities for Learners of English. REDMAN. A Course in Language Teaching: Practice and theory. UR. ISBN-0521-35921-X. 160 s. BRUMFIT.Book 2. 5. 1991.18-34232-9. Lisbeth H: Teaching English to Children. s. Cambridge University Press. KHAN. Susan: Teaching English in the Primary Classrooms. 142-157. 11. Jayne. TONGUE. Ray: Teaching English to Children. HARMER. Julia: Using games in teaching English to young learners. Cambridge University Press. Tony. Christopher. 2002. 124 s. TONGUE. Vocabulary Development Activities for Learners of English. Ray (edd. 185 s. HALLIWELL. SCOTT. Adrian. 1988. 2. http://www.Other resources 44 . 3.

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