Children are different from adults in many aspects.
-Children from 5 to 12 are more acquirersthan learners. What is acquisition? Language acquisition is universal, natural, doesn't require instruction. Language acquisition occurs in response to a child's environment and as a result of a biological predisposition. Acquisition takes place subconsciously. Learning takes place consciously. It is helped greatly by error correction and presentation of explicit rules
-When a young child learns another language, he approaches it in the same way as when he learns the first language. Children who can already read in L1, learn reading English quite quickly.
-Children are able to understand the meaning without understanding particular words. If teachers speak only English in the lessons, pupils usually have no problems with understanding the meaning of the passage in general. Therefore it is extremely important for teachers to use gestures, intonation, facial expressions, etc. Children appreciate everything what is concrete, what they really can see and touch. If teachers speak about something it is advantageous to use visual aids.
-Children are creative. Although their vocabulary is quite limited, it is enough for them to be able to communicate. Pupils do not have problems to ask and answer set phrases but it is much more difficult for them to construct sentences in unpredictable situations. Therefore games are so important and useful. If a teacher prepares games (activities) where children are made to communicate, he/she creates such unpredictable moments when children have to use their vocabulary and grammar as much as it is possible. It does not matter at all that children make mistakes. What is important is the fact that they have to be creative in the foreign language they learn, which naturally leads to the development of their communicative skills.
-The imitative ability of young children is great. They experience fewer difficulties in the assimilation of English pronunciation than adults
-The length of time a child can concentrate on one activity varies from child to child. Some young children can concentrate for about 5 minutes, others for very much longer periods of up to 15 minutes. It is better to change an activity before children lose interest.
-Children find it easier to learn one concept at a time. When a page in a book presents children with a confusing amount of material, it is better to take one item from the page and deal with it.
-Children learn more easily when they know what to expect in a lesson and what the teacher expects of them. For this reason it is helpful to use the same lesson framework for each lesson. The end of the lesson the teacher uses to say some words of praise and comment on their participation.
-It is impossible for children to learn everything perfectly in each lesson. For this reason part of every lesson should consist of going over previous work to help children consolidate the language.
-Physical development affects a child's ability to focus his eye on a page, hold a pencil or a brush. Around 7 or 8 tears children lose their top and bottom front teeth which is embarrassing for many and makes pronunciation difficult.
-The children are fond of talking. Nevertheless, some children do not want to talk in a foreign language because they find it too difficult. This is up to the teacher to choose such activities which are not too difficult, which are enjoyable and make children speak. Teachers have to center their attention on speaking as it is not sufficient if children know grammar and vocabulary but they are not able to speak and construct their own sentences. This idea brings to the main purpose of learning English as a foreign language and it is to reach the level of being able to communicate.
-If teachers want their students to communicate they should carefully prepare their syllabuses. There are three basic types of content goals and the syllabus should consist of the combination of the all three types.
The first type is focused on structures teachers want to teach. The structures include grammatical tenses and some concrete structures themselves (such as modal verbs, verbs plus-ing, etc.) the second type deals with topics and situations of a daily life. The topics are often used for the development of conversational skills but they can also be used for learning grammar. The third type tackles with functions. The term "functions" concerns expressing one's preferences, asking and giving directions, etc.
Questions for discussion and practical tasks | Teaching grammar to young learners | Teaching vocabulary to young learners | Questions for discussion and practical tasks | Teaching reading to young learners | Teaching listening to young learners | Formation of the basics of intercultural communication | Tips for writing lesson plans | Knowledge. | Evaluation. |