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PEI 501: English as a Foreign Language Teaching Methodology at the Elementary School Level Teaching Languages to Young Learners

(by Lynne Cameron Chapter 1)

WHA T IS DIFFERENT ABOUT TEACHING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE TO CHILDREN IN CONTRAST TO ADULTS OR ADOLESCENTS? .

Lose interest quickly 4.1. They get into the activity (why or how) 3. Lack of inhibition . Less able to keep themselves motivated on difficult tasks 5. They want to please their teacher 2. Do not have access to metalanguage 6.

What lies underneath as characteristic of children as language learners? • Over view of theory relevant to children's language learning .

logical thinking .Piaget Active learner Learning takes place though actions taken to solve problems Accommodation and adaptation Child’s thinking and intellectual skills develop gradually Final stage: formal.

Implications for language learning Children --------.adapt through experiences with objects in their environment provides the setting for development through the opportunities it offers the child for action .

. we can think of the classroom as classroom activities as creating and offering opportunities to learners for learning.• Transferring this idea to the abstract world of learning and ideas.

Vigotsky Language provides the child with a new tool opening new opportunities for doing things and organizing information The child as social Learning and development take place in a social context Adults mediate the world for children and make it accessible to them .

• ZPD --------Zone of proximal development New meaning to intelligence: What a child can do alone ≠ what a child can do with skilled help . children can do much more than they can do on their own.• With the help of adults.

.• Vigotsky saw the child as first doing things in a social context. with other people and language helping in various ways. and gradually shifting away from reliance on others to independent action and thinking.

3.Implications for language learning What can a teacher do to support learning? 1. Use the idea that the adult mediates what next it is the child can learn. The new language is first used meaningfully by the teacher and pupils. and later it is transformed and internalized to become part of the individual child’s language skills of knowledge. 2. . This has applications in lesson planning and how teachers talk to pupils.

.Bruner (1983 ) • For Bruner. language is the most important tool for cognitive growth. • Scaffolding -----teachers can scaffold children in various ways.

Teacher can help children to Attend to what is relevant By Suggesting Praising the significant Providing focusing activities Encouraging rehearsal Being explicit about organization Adopt useful strategies Remember the whole tasks and goals Reminding Modeling Providing part-whole activites .

children learn a second language better than adults Critical Period Hypothesis: young children can learn a second language effectively before puberty because their brains are still able to use the mechanisms that assisted 1st language acquisition .Learning a second language • Age and second language learning: Hypothesis ----.

Lightbown and Spada (1999) present some evidence for and against the CPH.• CPH holds that older learners will learn language differently after this stage and particularly for accent. . • Some studies show that there is no such cutoff point for language learning. can never achieve the same level of proficiency.

.• They remind us to attend to the different needs. motivation and contexts for different groups of learners.

. but not in all. • Listening comprehension benefits the most and pronunciation too but this is restricted to learning a language in a naturalistic contexts and does not necessarily apply to schoolbased learning. areas of language skills.Advantages of starting young with foreign languages • Children who have an early start develop and maintain advantages in some.

.• Grammatical knowledge is likely to develop more slowly for younger children.