Organization of English lessons at the initial stage
Features of training of younger schoolboys and preschool children. Kognitivnoe development of preschool children. Features of teaching of English language at lessons with use of games. The principal views of games used at lessons of a foreign language.
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ministry of education and science of the republic kazakhstan
kazakh abylai khan university of international relations and world languages
Organization of English lessons at the initial stage
Scientific supervisor: Almabayeva G.O
1. The Theoretical Part
1.1 Characteristics of teaching young learners
1.2 The developing child
1.3 Cognitive development
1.4 Theories' works
1.5 Peculiarities of teaching young learners
2. Practical Part
2.1 Teaching English to young learners with games
2.2 Tips value of using games in class successfully
2.3 How to best teach preschool English language learners
2.4 Preschool Games
List of literature
The object of the research work: the process of teaching a foreign language at school;
The subject of the research work: role-playing technologies as interactive forms of teaching discourse.
The aim of research-to find ways of new interactive forms of teaching discourse and expose learners to different viewpoints or ways of thinking about a situation, expand their ability to resolve situations.
Objectives of research: 1.to study the interactive forms of teaching;
2. to study the problem of the role playing;
3. to understand the aim of the modern usage of role playing technologies;
4. to distinguish role playing technologies as interactive forms of teaching discourse;
5. to compare the results of the analysis.
Hypothesis. The usage of role-playing technologies as interactive forms of teaching discourse would be more effective if in organization and implementation of role-playing use problematic situations which improve speech activity and creativity of thinking of students. Thus the motivation and discourse activity of students would increase and person-oriented, communicative and lingua-cultural approaches would be realized.
Basis of investigation. Methodological basis of the research work composed the basis of a learning process, investigation of the outstanding teachers' experience. The methods of researching included learning scientific, pedagogical and methodological literature, aim-oriented observation on the educational process and using new methods of teaching grammar at the initial level.
Theoretical value of research work contains problems of interactivity in foreign language teaching, teaching and interactivity in foreign language teaching, methods of teaching English using role-playing techniques, the characteristics of proper classroom instructions in foreign language teaching, role-playing as way of motivating learners, role-playing as a way of improving learner's language culture, classroom implementation of role-playing, the main problems of role-playing, different aspects of a language interacting in problem solving. The way of organization and so on.
Practical value of the research work is contained in working out methodological recommendations for role-playing technologies as interactive forms of teaching discourse. Different activities, games and stories.
The structure of the research work. The research work consist of the introduction, two parts, conclusion, list of literature.
The theme of my course paper is “Organization of English lessons at the initial stage”. Why I have chose this theme ? Because I enjoy when I'm teaching young learners. It's interesting and fun to work with them. The teaching of young learners is immensely rewarding and exhilarating: children communicate a great sense of energy, curiosity and involvement.
The years at primary school are extremely important in children's intellectual, physical, emotional and social development. They go through a series of stages progressively acquiring skills that are thought necessary by the society they live in. Many of these skills are independent, and if one has not been sufficiently developed, the acquisition of another may be impeded. For example, children who are unable to identify the odd shape in the following group will have difficulty in differentiating between the letters p, b and d. This is a serious handicap in educational systems in which knowledge is usually acquired from books and not from firsthand experience. On the physical side, children need to develop balance, spatial awareness, and fine control of certain muscles in order to play sports and perform everyday actions such as dressing themselves, cleaning their teeth, coloring, drawing and writing. Socially children need to develop a series of characteristics to enable them to fit into the society they live in to become aware of themselves in relation to others, to share and co-operate, and to be assertive without being aggressive. Finally, it is increasingly recognized that children need to “learn how to learn”. This means that their educational and learning should not be confined to the limits of their classroom, textbooks, and teacher, but that will enable them to continue learning outside and beyond school. This implies that they need to be able to accept criticism and become self- critical, to be aware of how they learn, and to experiment with different learning styles, to organize their work, and to be open and interested in all that surrounds them. All this means that primary language teachers have a much wider responsibility than the mere teaching of a language system they need to bear in mind the education of the whole child when planning their teaching program.
The way children learn a foreign language and therefore the way to teach it, obviously depends on their developmental stage. It would not be reasonable to ask a child to do a task that demands a sophisticated control of spatial orientation if he\ she has not yet developed this skills. On the other hand, beginners of 11 or 12 years of age will not respond well to an activity that they perceive as childish, or well below their intellectual level, even if it is linguistically appropriate. As a general rule, it can be assumed that the younger the children are, the more holistic learners they will be. Younger learners respond to language according to what it does or what they can do with it, rather than treating it as an intellectual game or abstract system. This has both advantages and disadvantages: on the one hand they respond to the meaning underlying the language used and do not worry about individual words or sentences on the other, they do not make the analytical links that older learners do. Young learners have the advantage of being great mimics, are often unselfconscious and are usually prepared to enjoy the activities the teacher has prepared for them. These factors mean that it is easy to maintain a high degree of motivation and to make the English class an enjoyable, stimulating experience for the children, here are some points to bear in mind.
-The activities should be simple enough for the children to understand what is expected of them.
-The task should be within their abilities, it needs to be achievable but at the same time sufficiently stimulating for them to feel satisfied with their work.
-The activities should be largely orally based-indeed, with very young children listening activities will take up a large proportion of class time.
-Written activities should be used sparingly with young children. Children of six or seven years old are often not yet proficient in the mechanics of writing in their own language.
The kinds of activities that work well are games and songs with actions , total physical response activities, task that involve coloring, cutting and sticking, simple repetitive stories, and simple repetitive speaking activities that have an obvious communicative value. As children mature they bring more intellectual, motor and social skills to the classroom, as well as a wider knowledge of the world. All these can be applied to the process of acquiring another language. The wider resources of older children should be exploited to the full while maintaining the philosophy of making a language relevant, practical and communicative. This means the development of all the four skills and the use of a wide range of topics that could well draw on other subjects in the curriculum, the focus should continue to be on language as a vehicle of communication and not on the grammar, though the ability of older children to make logical links and deductions can be exploited.
1. The Theoretical Part
1.1 Characteristics of teaching young learners
For the successful teaching of English in primary schools, above all, it is essential for the teacher to understand the young learners characteristics, instincts, and interests in their cognitive, linguistic, and emotional aspects, because this will play a crucial role in how the teacher builds a lesson, how he or she can make sure that the young learners are fully involved in the learning process, how he or she achieves the objectives of a lesson, and how they respond. In this respect, these lines, in the first place, get the English teacher not only to understand general characteristics of the young learners, but also to recognize the qualifications as a primary English teacher. Secondly, the goals, the contents, and the syllabuses of primary English teaching are roughly discussed in terms of the English curriculum in primary schools. And finally, as the main topic of this paper how to build a lesson for primary English teaching is more specifically discussed, in terms of teaching procedures including its key stages and their sub stages, the learners interactions and activities at each stage, and teaching skills and techniques at each sub stage, and so on. They have short attention span. So teachers should vary their techniques to break the boredom. They should give varied activities as handwriting, songs, games etc. They are very active. Role play, dialogues, games involve them in competitions. They respond well to praising. We should always encourage them and praise their work. They differ in their experience of language. Treat them as a unit, don't favor those who know some English at the expense of those who do not know. They are less shy than older learners. Ask them to repeat utterances, resort to mechanical drills. They are imaginative. Use realia or pictures to teach new vocabulary related to concrete meanings. They enjoy learning through playing. Young learners learn best when they learn through games. Let games be an essential part of your teaching. They enjoy imitating and skilful in listening accurately and mimicking what they have heard. They respond well to rewards from the teacher. They are imaginative but may have some difficulties distinguishing between imagination and real world.
1.2 The developing child
Activities which impose what the teacher would wish to take place, but which are beyond the child's level of development, are difficult and even in some cases impossible for the child to understand. They often result in a restless classroom, or discipline problems in large classes. Without a knowledge of a child's various stages of cognitive, emotional, physical, social and language development, and an ability to recognize these changes, it is difficult for teacher to plan an effective program me. Piaget's view that all children pass through the same stages of cognitive development but at different rates, still provides a comprehensive outline for the study of intellectual development. Experienced teachers of young beginners are conscious of these different stages and know how to recognize developmental changes as they take place. Changes can take place within a week or even within a lesson, which means that teachers need to be flexible, adjusting lesson plans where necessary to cope with new developments. In some cases there seem to be periods of concentrated and sometimes rapid development followed by periods of little advance. The rate of development may not necessarily indicate a young child's ability. An intelligent child may be a slow developer or even a late developer. Children who make little progress may have some physical difficulty which may not have been recognized. The length of time a child can concentrate on doing one activity also varies from child to child. Some young children can only manage to concentrate for about five minutes, others for very much longer periods of up to fourteen or fifteen minutes. Once children have lost interest in an activity and their attention has wandered, little or no more learning takes place. It is best to change an activity before children lose interest so that they are left wanting more and looking forward to the next opportunity to do the same activity. Over- exposure to an activity leads to boredom. As children develop, so their span of concentration with his need to move physically. The rest of this section considers key areas of development in the child that the teacher must be aware of, pointing to some of the important themes to consider. Language1 development is a major subject in its own right. It is, however, important to realize that a child's ability to use his first language is a crucial factor in the learning process. The degree to which he can use Language1 to communicate will reflect on his ability to acquire Language2. Teachers need to know the level of Language1 ability is not sufficiently developed, teachers can jointly plan activities common to Language1 and the English lesson. They can also advise parents on suitable language experiences which should help improve the child's use of language experiences which should help improve the child's use of language.
1.3 Cognitive Development
A child's language-learning skills are not isolated from the rest of his mental growth. It appears that concepts that he has learned in Language1 can be transferred to Language2. Children find it easier if learning a new concept takes place in Language1 rather than in Language2. It is also easier for the person explaining the concept, as the child's use of Language1 is more developed and thus explaining is easier. Teachers who have no other way but to explain in Language2 will find it helpful to consult books that deal with introducing concepts to young children in a structured way. They also need to plan a longer learning program me, as children will need more experiences and time to learn a completely new concept. This is a particular problem in ESL situations, where all teaching may be through the medium of English and not through the child's Language1. `Until a child is ready to take a particular step forward it is a waste of time to try and teach him to take it. Teachers of young children are conscious that children reach a certain point when they are ready to learn something new. This `readiness' stage is very clear in activities like numbers, reading and writing. If a child is asked to learn a certain skill before he is ready, he cannot do it. This failure results in disappointment and sometimes loss of interest. It is, therefore, very important for a teacher to be able to recognize children's `readiness' to learn a certain concept and make use of the enthusiasm that often accompanies it. Teachers also need to know what concepts children in their class already know and what concepts they are likely to learn during the school year. Some textbooks for learning English include concepts which are too difficult for young children. Where teachers are faced with this type of problem, they can substitute different activities which are right for the developmental age of the child and at the same time give the same language experience. Since the individual differences and especially cognitive differences between young children of the same age so great, to teach a class as one unit does not give a child the individual attention he needs. Children's expectations Children come to English lessons with expectations about what they are going to do and achieve. These expectations are influenced by what the family, friends and society in general expect and what they have heard from other children. Children are creatures of the moment. They work best and most successfully when the objectives are clear, comprehensible immediate. They want immediate results. They expect to go home after the first lesson able to speak some English, so that they can be praised by their parents and show off to their friends. They long to be able to talk a lot of English quickly, in a grown-up manner. Children are used to communicating in Language 1 and as soon as possible they want to do the same in English. They expect to use English in real experiences. They want to be able to talk about things that interest them, that are vital to them. Only as they grow older are they interested in things outside their immediate surroundings. If they are already reading and writing in Language 1, they expect to be taught to do the same in English. Although preschool children are happy with the same all-oral approach they have in Language 1, to spend months only speaking English is not `real school work' to children who can read and write. Developing English with young learners explains how reading and writing can be brought into the children's planned program me of learning. If children do not get what they have expected in the English lesson, they are disappointed. If parents do not get what they have expected and cannot see progress, they are disappointed too. Parents' enthusiasm can motivate; their disappointment can reflect on their children, causing them to lose interest. Jean Piaget a well-known theorist in developmental psychology, who tried to work out how children thought and developed cognitively. In the 1960s and 1970s, Piaget set up various experiments to ascertain how children thought in and about different situations so that he could determine how they cognitively developed. He was particularly keen to understand how a child, as a `lone scientist' or thinker, would solve problems during his or her life experiences, and how approaches to problem-solving might change as that individual got older and had more learning experiences. From birth, he saw them as trying to make sense of the world through their actions. This made children central to their own learning. Piaget wanted to try to establish how children made sense of their world and how they tried to work things out for themselves. Usually this stage coincided with puberty and the development into adulthood. Piaget's work particularly tried to identify how children could assimilate (add new knowledge to support old knowledge already established by them) and accommodate (change their present understanding of something based on the new experience they have had), and how they might develop their cognition and understanding using both. Piaget believed the stages, outlined above, were fairly fixed in age and that children went through them in this particular sequential order. He believed that children could only move onto the next stage when they had completed the stage before and were ready to do so. Piaget's work was highly influential and his findings were linked to classroom teaching and methodology. This was done by basing teaching on the `readiness' of children to move onto the next stage of development. Many of us may remember the terms `readiness' and `reading readiness' when thinking about the influence his work has had on the teaching of children over the last 40 or so years. Another influential finding of Piaget's was his belief that it was very important that children be given thinking time when faced with an experience or problem that they tried to solve. Piaget's work has also come under quite heavy criticism because he did not consider the role of language to be an important catalyst in the cognitive development of the child, whereas many other people believe language is central to a child's development.
1.4 Theories' works
Lasting importance of Piaget's work despite these concerns, Piaget's work was very important for us all because he established the idea of the child as a lone scientist who was actively seeking answer. He was also one of the first to suggest that children had the need for thinking time. Though Piaget's findings are no longer thought to illustrate exactly the way we understand children's learning, he was the first person to try to establish exactly what was going on in the child's head. He also thought about the child as an individual who developed and thought as an individual rather than a small version of an adult or a passive and empty vessel waiting for adults to fill his or her mind with information. Piaget's work was thus very important as a first step in gaining understanding of the cognitive development of children. Language is Central to Child Development Lev Vygotsky (1978) and Jerome Bruner (1983, 1990, Bruner and Haste 1987) believed, in contrast to Piaget, that language was central to the cognitive development of children. In particular, they thought it was instruction(provided by an adult, a teacher, or a more able peer) that helped children to learn and develop. Guiding the `thinking' process Vygotsky and Bruner believed that the act of internalization for children (moving thought from something that was spoken out loud to thought that was in their heads) was helped and supported when another more knowledgeable person talked the `thinking' process through with children and instructed or guided them along as they did so. For example, an adult might guide a child through putting together a puzzle by saying: let's take all the pieces out of the box and turn them over. Now let's find all the pieces with the straight edges and put them over here. And where are the four corner pieces? Oh, yes. Here they are… While Piaget talked of children working through different stages of learning on their own, Vygotsky (1978) described the difference between what children could achieve (and how they could develop) on their own and what children could achieve (and how they could develop) when an adult was able to work with them as the zone of proximal development. Encouraging development and growth Bruner (1983, 1990, Bruner and Haste 1987) developed this idea further and described the cognitive support that could be given to children by a more knowledgeable other as scaffolding. With scaffolding, children could develop and grow because the adult would give support to their thinking and encourage them to think in ways that would develop their own ability to think through situations. Scaffolding is often seen when parents or teachers ask children what they are experiencing. For example, in a situation where an adult is playing with a child at the beach, the adult might encourage the child to develop in his or her thinking by asking questions such as: how does the stone feel? Is it heavy? Do you think it would sink if you put it in water? How could we put the stones together so that they would make a wall? Do you think the big ones should be at the top or the bottom?... A view of scaffolding: Just as scaffolding can provide support to a building in its initial stages of development, a more knowledgeable other can provide support to a child and encourage him or her on to higher stages of development. Making sense of experiences Returning again to Donaldson's work (1978), she believed that children were able to cognitively develop by trying to make sense of the experiences that they had, and by asking questions and trying things out, or hypothesizing. To some extent, this idea of the child as hypothesizer links back to what Piaget set out to explain with his experiments. But, perhaps, Piaget approached his investigation too clinically and not in a child-friendly enough way to gain clear insights into what children really were able to do in their minds. Donaldson felt that Piaget's view of the child as very egocentric was not necessarily the case. Donaldson's work, in contrast, showed how young children were able to think in ways that Piaget felt they could not.
Figure 1.3 The child as hypothesizer.
In considering the child as hypothesizer, Donaldson felt the child continues to hypothesize until the original hypothesis becomes changed or adapted by the feedback that continues to be received. The child then changes internalized rules to new ones or adapts the ones previously held. How Do We Think Children Learn Language? Learning a language is a complex process. However, we can see in all corners of the world, that children somehow learn to speak their native language without formal training. How does this happen? There are theories about this, and there is continued research in the search for answers. We will touch on a few theories below. Critical period for language learning? This idea of Chomsky's linked neatly with the Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH) suggested by Eric Lunenburg around the same time (1967). Lunenburg thought that there was a critical period, up to about the age of eleven, in which children were able to learn language. He believed that if language was introduced to children after this age (or this critical period) then it was extremely difficult for them to learn it. This hypothesis has often been cited as one of the main reasons for starting the teaching of foreign or second languages early in a child's schooling. Bruner (1983, 1990, Bruner and Haste 1987) feels that there is a Language Acquisition Support System (LASS) supplied by adults, or more able mentors, that helps children to develop such a language acquisition device and that this input and support is crucial to the success of language acquisition in children. Language learning -innate and universal? If we move on to think about the learning and development of language in children, particularly their mother tongue, we find that Noam Chomsky (1959) believed that learning was innate. This idea was developed by the group called the Initiates, so called because they felt that learning (and therefore language learning) happened to all individuals, and therefore, must be innate and universal. Chomsky felt that there was an innate language capacity in all of us which he called the Language Acquisition Device (LAD). This ability to acquire language was later referred to as Universal Grammar (UG). Children are constantly learning, inside and outside the classroom. By watching them in the classroom and on the playground, we can see that individual children have different interests and that they learn about their world in different ways. Visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles more recently, there have been some very interesting suggestions that children (and adults, too) do not all learn in the same way and that there are probably many different types of learners. This understanding focuses on the preferred learning style(s) that individuals seem to have and how these influence what and how they learn. In essence, these are known as Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic (VAK) learning styles. Multiple intelligences Linked closely with this understanding of the three types of learning styles is the work of Howard Gardner (1993) who suggested that there are actually a lot of different learning styles or intelligences, as he called them, that we all have at our disposal. He believed that we individually favor and use some more than others, and some to a greater or lesser extent than others, too. Initially Gardner suggested there were seven such Multiple Intelligences, but in his later work he suggests there may be many more. The initial seven are noted below.
Reading, as well as the creative use of words (such as doing crossword puzzles) is usually enjoyed by those favoring this intelligence. We would probably see a journalist using this intelligence more than other people.
Sorting and ordering are favored by this intelligence, which also includes classifying, ranking and sequencing. People who enjoy research and organization of research results would likely show high tendencies to use this intelligence more.
This intelligence links well with the use of diagrams, maps, charts, plans, pictures and seeing how things fit together. Cartographers and designers are likely to show strong signs of this intelligence.
This intelligence leans toward the physical. Interaction with and manipulation of themselves and objects is important to this intelligence. Dancers, acrobats, gymnasts and sportspeople use this intelligence a great deal.
The use of rhythm, music and song is particularly important to this intelligence. Songwriters, singers and musicians would use this intelligence much more than others.
This intelligence links well with personal interaction with others and people favoring this intelligence usually relate well to others. People who enjoy counseling, teaching, training and demonstrating use this intelligence a lot.
This intelligence favors reflection and personal thought about what is happening to individuals and the world around them. Often religious leaders have a strong tendency to use this intelligence more than others.
Gardner has also developed the idea that there are other intelligences such as emotional and naturalist intelligences. Emotional intelligence is when you are so attuned to your emotions and the emotions of others that you learn through these feelings. Naturalist intelligence is where you learn through being involved in the natural world. Two types of language (BICS and CALP)
Some really interesting work has been carried out by Jim Cummins (1979) who suggests that there are two types of language that can be acquired. These are Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills (BICS) and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP). As the names suggest, BICS-type language is the everyday social interactive language that we all use when interacting from a very early age. We will hear that type of language when we listen to ten-year-olds playing together on the playground. Meanwhile, CALP-type language is the type of language we use when learning about and discussing content in an academic class. Ten-year-olds will use that language when studying about the characteristics of the sun in a science class. We need to prepare our students to use and understand both types of language. In planning language lessons for our new language learners (whether they are in an EAL, EFL or ESL setting), we should ensure they have been exposed to and have acquired the language to communicate socially (BICS), so that they are able to interact comfortably and meaningfully in the target language. For example, we can encourage young learners to understand and use social language by playing a game, singing a song, asking questions and giving information in an activity, role-playing an everyday scene, and so on. At the same time, we should be encouraging our young learners to progress in their academic studies as well as their language learning, and can begin to teach them the type of language (CALP) that they'll need to learn skills and concepts in other subject areas (such as language arts, mathematics, social studies and science) and to share their understanding of that new content in the target language. We can guide them to understand and use academic language to carry out such activities as describing a type of animal, writing about a famous person, or figuring out a math problem. They can learn content while also learning a new language. Of course we need to consider many factors when planning lessons, including our students' age, interests, cognitive level, proficiency in the target language, immediate and long term needs (as ESL or EFL students), as well as the requirements of our school system. However, in recognizing the value of introducing our students to BICS and CALP-type language instruction, we can guide them to accomplish tasks that will help them progress in their language learning and overall studies. For more details about the type of social and academic language teachers can help their students acquire (by language proficiency level and grade level), refer to the guidelines released by the international association of TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). Check the Supplementary Materials to find out more about TESOL's PreK-12 English Language Proficiency Standards. Relating Overall Learning Theories to TEYL If a foreign or second language is introduced to our young learners, then it would seem wise to do so in the same way as any other subjects are introduced to them. It is worth pausing for a moment here and reflecting on why young learners are taught anything, whether it is science, history, music, or any other of the subjects they study in their early education. We introduce a range of subjects to young learners, not as pure and abstract subjects, but as an introduction to the interesting things that are all around them and are relevant to their lives. We initially build the foundations of understanding in each subject in a very practical, hands-on way so that the children can interact with the actual, physical and here and now or concrete aspects of each subject at the appropriate stage of their cognitive development. We also do this through scaffolding their learning in each and every subject and in helping support their overall cognitive development. The most important aspect of teaching young learners is that we should recognize how we can develop their thinking and learning skills in each and every subject with a full understanding of what each age group of learner is cognitively able to do and understand, and can physically relate to and carry out. Linking language learning with everyday life Before embarking on teaching a foreign or second language to younger learners, then, we need to remember that we are trying to provide opportunities for these learners to find out about and use this other language. Teachers need to show them how the new language can have a link with their everyday lives and be fun. Teachers can also, depending on the age of the learners, introduce the idea that it is positive to speak another language and communicate more easily in a world that is becoming smaller. Language teachers, also need to act as mentors and modelers of this target language. As mentors, they must support and scaffold the learning, and as modelers, they must provide good examples of the language in use. They must also help young learners share their ideas about everyday things around them and expand their general knowledge while learning a new language. Developmental stages of children Based on the results from his work and research with children, carried out under rather strict conditions in research laboratories, Piaget suggested that children developed through specific stages. These stages were:
· Sensory-Motor Stage (from 0 - 18 months) in which children seemed to learn through interaction with the world around them, largely through the use of their senses. This was a stage where Piaget felt children were particularly egocentric and were only able to think about things in terms of how they interacted and linked with themselves.
· Pre-operational stage (from 18 months - 7 years) in which children were developing towards the next stage. They were starting to use some aspects of the concrete world around them and were also beginning to internalize information in a very basic way through the use of their imagination and memory.
· Concrete Operational Stage (from 7 - 11 years) in which children were able to operate and learn through their interactions with the concrete world around them and were moving towards the final stage which would involve more abstract thinking.
· Formal Operational Stage (from approximately 11 years of age to adulthood) in which children were able to develop more abstract thought and understanding in this final stage of cognitive development. Usually this stage coincided with puberty and the development into adulthood.
1.5 Peculiarities of teaching young learners
An Overview of Teaching English to Young Learners
Teaching English to young learners (TEYL), including children within the 3-12 age range, in a meaningful and memorable way requires a person to understand how children learn and how they learn languages. In this lesson, we will look at some theories of how children learn and develop and how they might learn an additional, foreign or second language. In the next lesson, we will consider the implications these theories about learning have for teaching English to young learners. An approach to TEYL To begin, we will briefly consider important issues we need to be aware of so that we can get a clear overview of what is involved in TEYL. To illustrate this, I shall use a diagram (see Figure 1.1) to show how a number of building blocks (each representing a different part of language learning and teaching) can be placed together to create a structure that can represent our approach to TEYL. By stacking these blocks one on top of the other, we can consider how each is crucial for the support and development of the next in this tower of understanding.
Figure 1.1 Building blocks of understanding in teaching English to young learners
As you can see from Figure 1.1, the foundation block, which supports all the other blocks and is crucial to the strength of this tower of understanding, is How young learners develop and learn and learn languages. After looking at how learning takes place, we can examine more carefully what is involved in teaching with Implications for teaching English to young learners. Then, we can consider the various teaching techniques which can be implemented to help children develop different skills with How we can teach language to young learners (looking at areas such as teaching vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar as well as topic-based teaching), A focus on the four skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) in TEYL, and Use of stories, songs, rhymes, games and role-plays in TEYL. Finally, on the top of the tower is Evaluation, assessment and research in TEYL, which allows us to look more closely at the outcomes of teaching and learning in our classrooms. Providing support Without the foundation block and, in fact, all these blocks in place, this tower would not be supported and would collapse. Similarly, our provision for teaching English to young learners would also collapse, and be unsuccessful somewhere along the way, if we missed any of these blocks of understanding in planning and carrying out our lessons for our young language learners. During the 12 lessons of this course, we will examine more closely the blocks illustrated above. I hope you will come to understand more about each of them, and will also recognize that they are inseparable and dependent on each other and should always be kept in mind during your language teaching. Starting to learn another language The debate as to how young children learn another language continues, and is likely to continue, as the number of young children learning English increases and more research becomes available. The acquisition learning distinction is not new. It suggests that adults have two independent but interrelated systems for gaining ability in another language: acquisition and learning. The view of Crasher is that `The good language learner is an acquirer; he may or may not be a conscious learner'. Young children are acquirers. Acquisition takes place subconsciously in situations, speakers are more concerned with the use of language to convey meaning than with correct usage. They want to say something, and without thinking to communicate with the language they know rather than analyses it in order to find out the correct `usage' or way to use it. Teaching the rules of usage is not necessary for acquirers. Many young children are still acquiring Language 1. In their desire to communicate, they create situations in which language can be acquired. They are willing to use language and to experiment with sounds, without worrying about mistakes. They rarely have the inhibitions typical of adolescents and adults. When a young child learns another language, he approaches it in the same way as when he learns Language1: `his awareness of what he talks about normally takes precedence over his awareness of what he talks with - the words that he uses'. Thus for the maximum language acquisition in the classroom, young children need to be exposed to a program me rich in meaningful, real-life activities in which communication takes place naturally.
children english lesson game
2. Practical Part
2.1Teaching English to young learners with Games
You may remember when you were in school the dreaded grammar lessons of sitting in a desk writing, correcting and rewriting sentences to learn proper grammar usage. Well, while some people may still teach grammar in this method, there is a movement towards teaching grammar with games. Just imagine your class when you announce that it's time for a grammar lesson and instead of moans and whining, you get smiles and excitement. It is possible and believe it or not, teaching grammar with games will still be as effective, if not more effective, as just teaching them through repetitive writing and rewriting. Research gives excellent reasons to teach grammar with games Arif Saricoban and Esen Metin, authors of "Songs, Verse and Games for Teaching Grammar" explain how and why games work for teaching grammar in an ESL classroom. They say, "Games and problem-solving activities...have a purpose beyond the production of correct speech, and are examples of the most preferable communicative activities." They go on to explain that grammar games help children not only gain knowledge but be able to apply andusethatlearning.
Additionally, games have the advantage of allowing the students to "practice and internalize vocabulary, grammar and structures extensively." They can do this through repeated exposure to the target grammar and because students are often more motivated to play games than they are to do deskwork. Plus, during the game, the students are focused on the activity and end up absorbing the grammar subconsciously. While games are motivating for the students, probably the best reason, according to Saricoban and Metin, to use games is that "the use of such activities both increases the cooperation and competition in the classroom." Indeed games can be used to add excitement through competition or to create bonding between the students, and between the students and teacher. Aydan Ersoz, author of "Six Games for the ESL/EFL Classroom" also explains more reasons why games do work for teaching grammar. Learning a language requires constant effort and that can be tiring, but Ersoz outlines two good reasons why games shouldbeincludedintheclassroom:
* Games that are amusing and challenging are highly motivating.
* Games allow meaningful use of the language in context.
The Value of Intrinsic Motivation
The theory of intrinsic motivation may also give some insight as to why teaching grammar through games actually works. Intrinsic motivation refers to the internal factors that encourage us to do something. Most young learners will not internally decide that they want to learn grammar. They don't yet understand the concepts of why it's important to know proper grammar, so these external factors won't affect them much either. Instead, intrinsic motivation can encourage them to play games. If these games are good then they will be learning while they are playing. Joel Bacha, author of "Play and Affect in Language Learning", explains how this theory works. Exposure to challenges and stimulation piques the children's natural curiosity and, in turn, promotes learning through the activity's required skills. This is because activities that get the students to move around activate their mental capacities and stimulate neural networks, thus promoting learning and retention. Bacha's article goes on to point out that some studies are even beginning to show that intrinsic motivation can promote long-term language retention. What kinds of games work best? When you are looking for games to use in your classroom, don't just pick something to be a "time filler" that does not have any linguistic purpose. These games may entertain the students, but when you don't have much time with them each day as it is, you want your game to do double duty to get the most out of the time you spend playing games. Lin Hong, author of "Using Games in Teaching English to Young Learners", explains that not all games are going to work to teach the students language skills. If the game is simply for fun and not linked to educational goals it may not be the best use of your time. It is possible to have a fun game that is educationally sound, however. To find out if the game is educationally sound, think about these questions posed by Hong:
· Which skills do the games practice?
· What type of game is it and what is its purpose?
· Does the difficulty level of the game mesh with the students' ability level?
· Does the game require maximum involvement by the students?
· Do the students like it? Do you like it?
To add to these questions also ask yourself:
· What specific vocabulary or grammar are you introducing or practicing with this game?
· Can you keep control of your class and play this game?
· What materials do you need for the game and can you obtain these easily?
· What controls, if any are needed, will you have in place to ensure the children are on track?
· Competition is not always appropriate, and it is not appropriate at all for five year olds and under. Can you play a game for the sake of the game and not in order to define winners and losers? Here are some ways play down competition: Do not keep score all the time, make sure the teams tie, play down any "winning", praise everyone, play until everyone has finished - the winners are those who finish, not those who finish first, and everyone finishes. Etc.
· Are the rules easy and clear?
2.2Tips for Using Games in Class Successfully
Organization. The first thing you should do when start teaching a preschool or elementary school ESL class is to figure out how to organize your class. For the younger students you'll want to change your activities every five to ten minutes because they have shorter attention spans. If you don't change your activities, they'll soon start losing interest. As you get towards the higher elementary grades, you can expand the time you spend per activity. The best way to gauge this is to pay attention to your class for the first few days to see what length of time works the best for them. Additionally, try to have everything ready to go before the students enter the classroom. That way you can go from activity to activity with minimal downtime. This is essential as you can lose control of the class if you do notkeepthemoccupied.
Expectations. If you notice that your class is getting noisy or rambunctious, it's time to change activities. Kids of this age like to be active; in order to balance out the energy levels in the classroom, alternate between active activities and quiet activities. Be careful how you use activities that require fine motor skills - or more importantly pay attention to your expectations for activities that require fine motor skills. Children in preschool and early elementary are just learning to write in their own languages. This is not the best time to expect them to write in a foreign language as well. As they progress through elementary school, however, you can begin using games and activities that require them to write small amounts.
Variation. You want to make sure your activities appeal to all sorts learning styles, so even when you are using games to teach grammar you'll want to vary the types of things you expect your students to do. For preschool and early elementary grades, stick to games that use talking, listening, looking and moving. For middle and high elementary, you can continue to use games that use talking, listening, looking and moving and add in some games that use writing and reading. Going along with this same idea, think about what children learn from the easiest. Television commercials are short and catchy and the most memorable are the ones that are repeated often. Keep these characteristics in mind when you are teaching grammar to your students - incorporate these characteristics into your daily activities.
Respect. To make games work for you and your class, be sure to operate your class with the utmost respect - both to and from students. This includes teaching your students from the very start that you expect respect at all times. This includes giving encouragement and following the rules. That said, you'll need to make sure the rules for all of the games are clear and manageable. When possible, explain the rules in the students' native tongue so that they all know what is expected of them. When there is an environment of respect in the classroom, the students will feel safe enough to participate in the games so that they can get the most educational value out of them. Towards the end of elementary school, you can start introducing competitive games, but only if the class is respectful and it shouldn't be the main focusofthegame.
Routine. Even if you only have your students for a short time every week, establishing a routine will help the class go smoothly. Children of this age (preschool through elementary school) thrive on routine and if they know what to expect next, they will be more able to participate in what's going on now. Set up a schedule for the type of activities you'll be doing at any given time throughout the class whether it is a game, story or song or whatever you want to do. Then, when you are planning your class, plug in the appropriate activities to each section of time. You should also leave a little time at the end of the class period to allow the students to clean up and gather their things as well as time for you to recap the class, praise the students and tell them good-bye. You can also designate a "sign" to use to signal to the students when it is time to change activities such as clapping or signing a specific song so that they know it's time to return to the circle, table or desks.
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