How Teachers Can Help Children Learn a Second Language Effectively by the Teaching Satrategies They Use in Class

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INSTITUTO SUPERIOR DE FORMACIÓN DOCENTE Y TECNICA Nº 55
PROFESORADO DE INGLES

ENGLISH AND ITS TEACHING III
Academic Paper
HOW TEACHERS CAN HELP CHILDREN LEARN A SECOND LANGUAGE EFFECTIVELY BY THE TEACHING SATRATEGIES THEY USE IN CLASS

Student:

MONTANARI, JIMENA
TEACHER:
PROF. SARA RACKER

2010
Abstract

Play, imagination and literature are considered essential for children’s whole development. Research shows that they are concerned with the development of abstract thought and creative use of knowledge. This is one of the reasons why school curricula refer to the need to include imagination, games and literature in teaching practices. The role of them in the language class is centrally related to the ways in which people learn languages. There are different strategies in which they can be used in the classroom aiding language development. In this paper, it will be analyzed why it is really important for teachers to introduce them so as to help children develop the learning process successfully.

Introduction

Knowing a second language is essential in the life of any modern person. This is why it is advisable to start learning it at a very young age, preferably at the begging of schooling. Teaching a second language to young learners is not only a difficult experience but also an enjoyable one. It is difficult because as teacher you always have to find new and interesting methods in order to arouse learner’s interest, but in the same time is enjoyable since teacher is given the opportunity of becoming child again when working with them. Young learners do not come to the language classroom empty-handed as Halliwell (1993) propose. “They bring with them an established set of skills which help them to learn a second language, such as: • Using limited language creatively

• Capability of learning indirectly
• Take great pleasure in finding and creating fun in what they do • Have a ready imagination
• Take great delight in talking

That is why using teaching strategies such as games, imagination and literature in the second language classroom plays an important role not only in the students` language development but also in their social development. They are highly motivating and they provide a meaningful context for language use. These teaching strategies give the students a reason to speak, a chance to learn, revise and practice and an opportunity to enjoy learning, all at the same time. They lower the affective filter, even shy students may be willing to participate in the tasks, and also promote creativity and they easily integrate the four linguistic skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. What is more, the role of the teacher during these tasks is that of facilitator and model so that the activities are student-centred. This paper will analyse the importance of including a great variety of strategies in the teaching sequence to help students respond to language development. The goals are to enhance students` understanding and enjoyment of diverse strategies. The fist section will develop the second language learning process through the use of games, its benefits and samples. Secondly, the role of imagination will be explained in order to be aware of the importance of including these kinds of activities in the teaching sequence. Lastly, it will be develop the importance of using literature in the language class as a tool to develop students` critical thinking and also develop an intercultural competence.

Learning through games

Without any doubt, playing is an essential role in children’s lives as it is a genuine activity for children. This is the main reason why games establish an environment for authentic language use since the language of games becomes a mean to an end: PLAYING. When playing, children are actually using the language to do something and this is precisely what makes language meaningful for children in games. Language in games has a context and a...
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