Teaching Young Learners - How exactly? by Savvas Savva - Profesor/a de inglés

Teaching Young Learners - How exactly?

 

Teaching Young Learners - How exactly?


Teaching Young Learners - How exactly?? A not unfamiliar question often asked by my colleagues alike. Well, here are some relevant tips I have found to be most practical in a live classroom and an online one..

  1. YL are kinesthetic! They learn better when 'doing' an exercise, so get them up and moving around. In what ways? Action games - use balloons, a ball, have a race, mingling activities, songs with movement, acting. Be inventive!
  2. YL need to explore their creativity - get them colouring, drawing their family members (always fun; for the teacher probably more so,) drawing on the board, playing a miniaturised version of scrabble, but colourfully arranged, etc..
  3. Recycle the lesson - have short, energetic activities (as above) followed by sat down, writing, reading/story telling activities. You will appreciate the break! YL need that variation in speed and activity as it maintains their interest.
  4. Be sure your topics are relatable as YL will not respond to stuff completely out of their sphere. Keep off the subject of Einstein's theory of relativity!!!
  5. YL are more inclined to work as a whole class, with you doing the main speaking (remember these are not adults.) That puts the emphasis very much on you, so be energetic, lively, pro-active.


While some of the suggestions above work well in a live classroom, the prinicples can cetainly be applied to online learning Notwithstanding, as many of us are having to adapt to online teaching , here are a few specific tips for teaching Young Learners online:

A Have all your material readyily available at the click of a button. Long delays will disturb the flow of the lesson and the chidrens concentration.
B Invest in a cuddly toy, such as a teddy bear. Kids can name it; you can use it as part of relaia, as  a puppet, in countable v uncountable nouns, etc.
C Exaggerate your gestures - funny faces, descriptive and emphatic gestures animate your presence online. Have the class raise their when they want to comment.
D You can use TPR with games such as 'Simon says', I spy with my little eye'; 'Who am I' kids try and find the word (not person) - they will love it and so will you! Or draw their answer and show it to others in the online classroom.
E We can ask them to make a face mask of their favourite super hero and bring it to class. They can pose with it on, creating a kind of power pose. Be sure to bring one yourself!
F Rememebr - just because we are teaching along doesn't mean we can't have the students up and moving around!
 
I hope this blog shows how not to lose that 'fizz' now we've transitioned from face to face to online teaching.

Finally, just as a good, tasty and delicious Victoria sponge cake needs the right ingredients to be just that, a successful YL's lesson can only be truly scrumptious, palatable to YL if it has the right ingredients!!

Oh, and never, ever forget the most palatable and scrumptious ingredient of all - FUN! You see 'there is no fun without learning and no learning without fun'.


 

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