What makes teaching English to young learners special?

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What makes teaching English to young learners special? by Mind Map: What makes teaching English to young learners special?

1. What is different about managing the class?

1.1. Energy

1.1.1. Students are very energetic and easily distracted.

1.1.2. The teacher needs to keep control of the class while still giving learners the chance to interact and be active in the learning process.

1.2. Engagement

1.2.1. Children have difficulty managing their own behavior.

1.2.2. Children are ruled by their own immediate needs and desires, which usually don't include learning a foreign language.

1.2.3. The teacher needs to keep learners engaged and on task and, at the same time, avoid giving them opportunities to misbehave and get out of control.

1.3. Pace of the class

1.3.1. Young learners have short attention spans.

1.3.2. Teachers should move quickly from one activity to the other.

1.3.3. Teachers should give enough wait time for students to formulate their answers in their heads before saying them out loud.

1.3.4. Teachers should use ATTENTION GETTERS to get students attention fast and efficiently before moving to the next activity.

1.3.5. Teacher should include BRAIN BREAKS, a physical activity that requires students to move around, to transition into the next activity.

1.4. Rules for behavior

1.4.1. Young learners will feel more confident when rules and expectations for positive and negative behavior are communicated clearly.

1.4.2. The teacher should set up boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

1.5. Routines

1.5.1. The teacher should set up certain routines to follow every class.

1.5.2. Knowing what to expect during the classes helps young learners feel more confident and have a sense of security.

1.6. Classroom climate

1.6.1. It is important to make the space for young learners colorful and text-rich, with posters and pictures, to create en engaging environment.

1.6.2. The teacher should manage students behavior by example. Teachers should be a model for young learners on how to be kind and respectful to all people.

1.7. Use of native language

1.7.1. It is wise to use L1 as a resource to make a very difficult expression understood quickly and to explain complicated instructions for an activity

2. Differences developing PRODUCTIVE SKILLS (speaking and writing)

2.1. First language learning in progress

2.1.1. Young learners are still learning how to communicate effectively in their native language.

2.1.2. Very young learners are still working on their ability to respond to questions and explain their ideas.

2.1.3. Teachers should check what kinds of speaking and writing are expected at different ages.

2.2. Formulaic language or formulaic sequences

2.2.1. The first building blocks that allow children to move from listening to speaking and to begin to participate in interactions are short, fixed chunks of language.

2.2.2. Students don't need to analyze this fixed chunk of meaning in order to use it.

2.3. Classroom routines in English

2.3.1. Students will feel more comfortable and confident about speaking out and trying to communicate in English if the teacher sets up routines to communicate in every class (such as greetings, calling the roll, etc.)

2.3.2. The repetition in a meaningful context will help young learners remember these routines in English.

2.4. One-way speaking presentations

2.4.1. Songs, chants and plays provide good practice for children based on clear models and learners find them enjoyable.

2.4.2. Narrative and descriptions are the discourse types most appropriate for YLs based on their cognitive level.

2.4.3. Presentations about their personal lives are appropriate because learners are still at a very egocentric stage.

2.5. Student-centered, cooperative learning activities

2.5.1. Cooperative activities need to be short in length, because young learners have short attention spans.

2.5.2. Students need to have clear instructions, with pictures and examples, and a model to follow because they can't focus their own learning.

2.5.3. The teacher should monitor students carefully to keep them on task.

2.6. Error correction

2.6.1. Children have fragile egos and they can close up and stop participating if the teacher embarasses them in front of their peers by correcting their errors explicitly.

2.6.2. The teacher can use choral repetition if correction is necessary, so that everyone gets practice for a common error or difficult word and no one is singled out.

2.7. Dynamic controlled practice

2.7.1. Teachers should include songs and chants, dramatizations, jokes, tongue twisters, riddles and language games to make the practice memorable and suitable to young learners' energetic and curious nature.

2.8. Scaffolding when teaching YLs to write

2.8.1. Through SHARED WRITING the teacher can provide learners with a model of how to go about writing, explaining her decisions (thinking aloud) while writing on the board.

2.9. Stages to writing in English

2.9.1. Children learning to write in a second language will go through these stages: drawing, scribbling, tracing and writing letters using invented spelling and, finally, using conventional writing and spelling.

3. Differences developing RECEPTIVE SKILLS (listening and reading)

3.1. Interactional modifications

3.1.1. To increase young learners' understanding of oral discourse the teacher should use interactional modifications (repetition, comprehension checks and gestures) during listening activities.

3.2. Different learning styles

3.2.1. Young learners need more than pictures as context clues when listening or reading.

3.2.2. Physical manipulation of objects and hands-on activities enhance listening/reading comprehension and increase recalling of information.

3.3. Less developed schematic knowledge

3.3.1. Children know less about topics and about the world in general.

3.3.2. Young learners guess and infer meaning with more difficulty.

3.3.3. Teachers should help young learners develop strategies for TOP-DOWN PROCESSING when listening/reading in L2.

3.3.4. The teacher needs to build schemata that may not be there so that students understand the listening/reading context in an activity.

3.4. Demonstration of comprehension

3.4.1. For young learners with a beginning level of proficiency, it can be stressful to show comprehension by having to produce language.

3.4.2. Teacher should elicit non-verbal demonstration of comprehension after young learners listen or read

3.4.3. For example, young learners who can't read may be instructed to listen and point, move, draw, color, match, sequence pictures, etc.

3.4.4. Also, young learners who can read may be instructed to listen and discriminate, circle, sequence words, mark true or false, mark multilple choice, etc.

3.5. Scaffolding when teaching YLs to read

3.5.1. Before moving to guided and independent reading (included in all English classes), children in early literacy stages need to have two kind of reading activities: reading aloud and shared reading.

3.5.2. When children aren't literate yet, reading activities include the teacher READING ALOUD poems, chants, songs, with opportunities for learners to chime in where lines are repeated.

3.5.3. The next step after reading aloud is the teacher involving the students in a SHARED READING. The teacher points to the words while reading them to help students establish the relationships between spoken and written language. The teacher also demonstrates good (strategic) reading.

3.6. Reading strategies

3.6.1. Children differ their reading strategies based on where they are in their literacy development (from code breakers, to meaning makers and text users).

3.6.2. Teachers will need to help learners to vary their reading strategies based on their purposes for reading.

3.7. Letter and word recognition

3.7.1. The teacher should help children understand relationships between sounds and letters so that they can decode written language.

4. Developing the skills and managing the class are different when teaching in the young learners' context

5. Differences developing PRODUCTIVE SKILLS (speaking and writing)

5.1. First language learning in progress

5.1.1. Young learners are still learning how to communicate effectively in their native language

5.1.2. Very young learners are still working on their ability to respond to questions and explain their ideas

5.1.3. Teachers should check what kinds of speaking and writing are expected at different ages

5.2. Formulaic language or sequences

5.2.1. The first building blocks that allow children to move to speaking and to begin to participate in interactions are short, fixed chunks of language

5.2.2. Students don't need to analyze this fixed chunk of meaning in order to use it

6. Differences developing RECEPTIVE SKILLS (listening and reading)

6.1. Reading strategies

6.1.1. Children differ their reading strategies based on where they are in their literacy development (from code breakers, to meaning makers and text users).

6.1.2. Teachers will need to help learners to vary their reading strategies based on their purposes for reading.

6.2. Letter and word recognition

6.2.1. The teacher should help children understand relationships between sounds and letters so that they can decode written language.

7. Differences developing PRODUCTIVE SKILLS (speaking and writing)

7.1. First language learning in progress

7.1.1. Young learners are still learning how to communicate effectively in their native language

7.1.2. Very young learners are still working on their ability to respond to questions and explain their ideas

7.1.3. Teachers should check what kinds of speaking and writing are expected at different ages

7.2. Formulaic language or formulaic sequences

7.2.1. The first building blocks that allow children to move from listening to speaking and to begin to participate in interactions are short, fixed chunks of language

7.2.2. Students don't need to analyze this fixed chunk of meaning in order to use it

7.3. Classroom routines in English

7.3.1. Students will feel more comfortable and confident about speaking out and trying to communicate in English if the teacher sets up routines to communicate in every class (such as greetings, calling the roll, etc.)

7.3.2. The repetition in a meaningful context will help young learners remember these routines in English

7.4. One-way speaking presentations

7.4.1. Songs, chants and plays provide good practice for children based on clear models and learners find them enjoyable

7.4.2. Narrative and descriptions are the discourse types most appropriate for YLs based on their cognitive level

7.4.3. Presentations about their personal lives are appropriate because learners are still at a very egocentric stage

7.5. Student-centered, cooperative learning activities

7.5.1. Cooperative activities need to be short in length, because young learners have short attention spans.

7.5.2. Students need to have clear instructions, with pictures and examples, and a model to follow because they can't focus their own learning.

7.5.3. The teacher should monitor students carefully to keep them on task.

7.6. Error correction

7.6.1. Children have fragile egos and they can close up and stop participating if the teacher embarasses them in front of their peers by correcting their errors explicitly.

7.6.2. The teacher can use choral repetition if correction is necessary, so that everyone gets practice for a common error o difficult word and no one is singled out.

7.7. Dynamic controlled practice

7.7.1. Teachers should include songs and chants, dramatizations, jokes, tongue twisters, riddles and language games to make the practice memorable and suitable to young learners' energetic and curious nature.

7.8. Scaffolding when teaching YLs to write

7.8.1. Through shared writing the teacher can provide learners with a model of how to go about writing, explaining her decisions (thinking aloud) while writing on the board.

7.9. Stages to writing in English

7.9.1. Children learning to write in a second language will go through these stages: drawing, scribbling, tracing and writing letters using invented spelling and, finally, using conventional writing and spelling.

8. Differences developing RECEPTIVE SKILLS (listening and reading)

8.1. Interactional modifications

8.1.1. To increase young learners' understanding of oral discourse the teacher should use interactional modifications (repetition, comprehension checks and gestures) during listening activities

8.2. Different learning styles

8.2.1. Young learners need more than pictures as context clues when listening or reading.

8.2.2. Physical manipulation of objects and hands-on activities enhance listening/reading comprehension and increase information recalled.

8.3. Less developed schematic knowledge

8.3.1. Children know less about topics and about the world in general.

8.3.2. Young learners guess and infer meaning with more difficulty.

8.3.3. Teachers should help young learners develop strategies for TOP-DOWN PROCESSING when listening/reading in L2.

8.3.4. Teacher needs to build schemata that may not be there so that students understand the listening/reading context in an activity.

8.4. Demonstration of comprehension

8.4.1. For young learners with a beginning level of proficiency, it can be stressful to show comprehension by having to produce language

8.4.2. Teacher should elicit non-verbal demonstration of comprehension after young learners listen or read

8.4.3. For example, young learners who can't read may be instructed to listen and point, move, draw, color, match, sequence pictures, etc.

8.4.4. Also, young learners who can read may be instructed to listen and discriminate, circle, sequence words, mark true or false, mark multilple choice, etc.

8.5. Scaffolding when teaching YLs to read

8.5.1. Before moving to guided and independent reading (included in all English classes), children in early literacy stages need to have two kind of reading activities: reading aloud and shared reading.

8.5.2. When children aren't literate yet, reading activities include the teacher reading aloud poems, chants, songs, with opportunities for learners to chime in where lines are repeated.

8.5.3. The next step after reading aloud is the teacher involving the students in a shared reading. The teacher points to the words while reading them to help students establish the relationships between spoken and written language. The teacher also demisntrate good (strategic) reading.

8.6. Reading strategies

8.6.1. Children differ their reading strategies based on where they are in their literacy development (from code breakers, to meaning makers and text users).

8.6.2. Teachers will need to help learners to vary their reading strategies based on their purposes for reading.

8.7. Letter and word recognition

8.7.1. The teacher should help children understand relationships between sounds and letters so that they can decode written language.

9. What is different about developing the skills?

10. What is different about managing the class?

10.1. Energy

10.1.1. Students are very energetic and easily distracted.

10.1.2. The theacher needs to keep control of the class while still giving learners the chance to interact and be active in the learning process.

10.2. Engagement

10.2.1. Children have difficulty managing their own behavior.

10.2.2. Children are ruled by their own immediate needs and desires, which usually don't include learning a foreign language.

10.2.3. The teacher needs to keep learners engaged and on task and, at the same time, avoid giving them opportunities to misbehave and get out of control.

10.3. Pace of the class

10.3.1. Young learners have short attention spans.

10.3.2. Teachers should move quickly from one activity to the other.

10.3.3. Teachers should give enough wait time for students to formulate their answers in their heads before saying them out loud.

10.3.4. Teachers should use ATTENTION GETTERS to get students attention fast and efficiently before moving to the next activity.

10.3.5. Teacher should include BRAIN BREAKS, a physical activity that requires students to move around, to transition into the next activity.

10.4. Behavior rules

10.4.1. Young learners will feel more confident when rules and expectations for positive and negative behavior are communicated clearly.

10.4.2. The teacher should set up boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

10.5. Routines

10.5.1. The teacher should set up certain routines to follow every class.

10.5.2. Knowing what to expect during the classes helps young learners feel more confident and have a sense of security.

10.6. Classroom climate

10.6.1. It is important to make the space for young learners colorful and text-rich, with posters, pictures, etc, and create en engaging environment.

10.6.2. The teacher should manage students behavior by example. Teachers should be a model for young learners on how to be kind and respectful to all people.

10.7. Use of native language

10.7.1. It is wise to use L1 as a resource to make a very difficult expression understood quickly and to explain complicated instructions for an activity