Characteristic features of young learners.
Young children (about 6 years old) cannot read or write, they learn differently from older students , adolescents and adults in the following ways. They respond to a meaning even if they do not understand individual words They have a need for individual attention from the teacher
They are keen to talk about themselves
Their understanding comes not just from explanations, but also from what they see and hear and when they have a chance to touch something what they learn about They have a limitated attention span, unless activities are extremely engaging, they can easily get bored, losing interest after 10 min or so.
II. 3. Teaching English to children.
A short attention and consternation is a characteristic feature of young learners. Teacher need to provide many interesting, challenging materials from a variety of sources. Some students need to work with them individually and a teacher should put children in groups to develop good relationship. We have to plan a range of activities for a given time period, and be flexible enough to move on to the next exercise when we see our students getting bored.(teacher should never wait until it happens).
Children feel positive when they:
Understand what is happening- instructions must be simple like “read, write, come, sit down….”. Can cope with what is being asked for- checking their understanding. Receive help and support- support them if it is necessary.
Are having good time- the more fun the activity is, the more positive the attitude is. Feel they are progressive. For example, “Very good”, “You are better than before”, “You are great”, “You know many English words” Feel there is a sense of familiarity- they like a sense of repeating.
II. 4. What is a game ?
“A game is played when one or more players compete or co-operate for pay-offs according to rules” (Jones, 1896) The characteristics for our purpose are these: games are activities governed by rules which set up clearly defined goals. The achievement of these goals signals the end of the game. The game involves a contest either between players or between the players and the goals and games should lead to having fun.
Jim Hadfield suggests that a game an activity with rules, a goal and element of fun. The definition applies to the whole family of games which have the same common purpose: to achieve a goal. The emphasis in the game is a successful communication rather then a correctness of language. Games, therefore, are to be found at the fluency. Games should be regarded as an integral part of the language syllabus, not as an amusing activity for Friday afternoon or for the end of the term. They provide in many cases, for example they give an opportunity for real communication and this constitute a bridge between classroom and the real world.
II. 5. Classification of the game.
At present there are many games activities prepared to supplement the language techniques procedures that form the main body of an English course. Writgh, Betteridge and Bucky classify them as:
Picture games- comparing and contrasting pictures, considering differences and similarities. Psychology games- which might all lead to a greater awareness of the working of the human mind and senses. Magic games- (magic tricks) always attract attention and there is a potentially large occurrence of other languages.
Caring and sharing games- they demand and encourage trust and interest in others, learners are more likely to accept this activities which are introduced in the early years of learning a foreign language. Card and board games- the learners will enjoy the basic games. Sound games- sound effect can create impression of people, places, and action, There is a demand for the listener to contribute through the imagination. Story games- the focus of attention is initially on the word rather than the sequence- making words as inferred from context or words as categorized according to...
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