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Five to seven year olds

What five to seven year olds can do at their own level

0 They can talk about what they are doing. 0 They can tell you about what they have done or heard. 0 They can plan activities. 0 They can argue for something and tell you why they think what

they think. 0 They can use logical reasoning. 0 They can use their vivid imagination. 0 They can use a wide range of intonation patterns in their mother tongue. 0 They can understand direct human interaction.

Other characteristics of the young language learner

0 They will obey the rules. 0 They use language skills before they are aware of them. 0 They understand through their senses (hands, eyes, ears). 0 They have short attention and concentration span. 0 They have difficulties discerning between facts and fiction. 0 They are happy to work alone and can be reluctant to work in

groups. 0 They will seldom admit that they dont know something. 0 They cannot decide for themselves what to learn. 0 They learn the best when they are playing and enjoying themselves. 0 They love to be praised because they are enthusiastic about learning.

Eight to ten year olds

General characteristics
0 Their basic concepts are formed. They have decided views of

the world. 0 They can tell the difference between fact and fiction. 0 They ask questions all the time. 0 They rely on the spoken word as well as the physical world to convey and understand meaning. 0 They can decide what to learn. 0 They know what they do and dont like doing. 0 They have a developed sense of fairness. 0 They are able to cooperate with others.

Language development
Eight to ten year olds have a language with all the basic elements in place. They are aware of the main rules of syntax in their own language. By the age of ten children can:
0 Understand abstracts 0 Understand symbols (beginning with words) 0 Generalize and systematize.

What this means for our teaching

0 Words are not enough

0 Play with the language

0 Language as language 0 Variety in the classroom 0 Routines 0 Cooperation not competition 0 Grammar 0 Assessment

What is an ideal teacher?

0 Abilities

0 Attitudes

Helping the children feel secure

Things which will help create a secure class atmosphere: 0 Know what you are doing, be in charge. 0 Respect your pupils. 0 Correction has its place when you are working on guided language exercise, but not when you are using language for communication. 0 Prevent students from laughing at each other. 0 Establish routines: calendar with birthdays on it, weather chart. Routines build up familiarity and security for both age groups.

Helping the children feel secure

0 Give them responsibility for doing practical jobs in the

classroom watering the plants sharpening the pencils. These activities are genuine language activities and involve both taking responsibility for learning and helping others to learn. 0 Avoid competition. 0 Avoid giving physical rewards and prizes. Include, dont exclude. 0 Dont give children English names.

The physical surroundings

0 Children respond well to

the surroundings which are pleasant and familiar 0 Put as much on the walls as you can 0 Have plants, animals, any kind of interesting objects 0 Encourage the pupils to bring objects to class and tell the rest of the class a little bit about them in English

Arranging the desks

Arrangement A Arrangement B

Arranging the desks

Arrangement C

Grouping the children

Pairwork Groupwork

Introducing groupwork
0 Start by having teaching groups. 0 Go on by introducing self-reliant groups. 0 Start with just one group. Tell them clearly what the purpose is

and why they are working together. 0 Go through this process with all the groups before you let the whole class work in groups at the same time. 0 Limit numbers in the group between three and five. 0 Do not let them choose their groups and move them about from time to time.

Classroom language
0 Communication will be easier if you teach your students a

few meaningful expressions in English. 0 Few students will admit that they dont know the answer to the question, nor will they ask for additional information on what they are supposed to do. So, teach them phrases like Im sorry, I dont know, or I dont understand. 0 Remember the words please and thank you. 0 Speak English as much as you can, using mime, acting , puppets or any other means you can think of to get your meaning across.

Listening in the classroom

0 Listening is the skill the children acquire first.

0 When you are talking and the children are listening it

is important to say things clearly and to repeat them. 0 Listening requires concentration, and young learners have a short attention span; so, dont overload children when you are working on listening tasks. 0 Try to ask for understanding as the children listen; dont check for understanding at the end of the exercise.

Listen and do activities

0 Instructions

0 Moving about
0 Put up your hand

Listen and do activities

Mime stories

Listen and do activities


Listening for information

Identifying exercises

Listening for information

0 Listening for the mistake 0 Questionnaires

Listening for information

Putting things in order

Listening for information

Listen and colour

Listening for information

Filling in missing information

Listen and repeat activities


Listen and repeat activities

0 Exercises

Listening to stories
0 Telling stories

0 Creating stories
0 Reading stories

The End