Thursday, November 5, 2009

Some Ideas for Newbie Teachers of English to Young Learners

I’ve been teaching children for seven years now. And the beginnings were tough both for me and for the kids, I guess. I can still recall my first class. It was a total disaster.

That is why I have decided to write some tips for those of you who have just started or will begin teaching young learners in the future. Hopefully, the following ideas will help you get the hang of dealing with the little monsters ;)

Young Learners in general:

• cannot concentrate as long as adults

• cannot understand abstract concepts easily

• tend to learn and forget quickly

• have high energy levels

• tend to be good at pronunciation

• do not worry about making mistakes

• pay little or no attention to accuracy

• are usually externally motivated

• are NOT interested in everything

• tend to acquire language as opposed to adults who actively go about learning it

• are very interested in talking about themselves

What has to be taken into account while teaching children?

routines and rules help to solve behavioural problems in the YL classroom

• we need to consider motor skills when teaching Young Learners

• it is crucial to make the meaning of language clear for children because they do not ask a lot of questions

• it is important to do creative and imaginative activities with kids

• we should not encourage young learners to transfer their reading/ writing skills from L1 to L2

Had I known all of that when I started teaching kids, everything would have been so much easier :)

Good luck to all of you!

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