The Current Phase:
Though the basic principles of teaching remain the same
no matter who you teach but how and what to teach varies
according to the learner. Linguists say children acquire
their first language in the same way and at the same rate
irrespective of the language they are learning but teaching
a second language is different and the teacher needs to
be aware of the physical, intellectual, social and emotional
development of Young learners to make learning an enjoyable
experience. This phase is all about how to teach Young learners.
7 – Teaching Young Learnerss
a language is one of the most impressive and fascinating
aspects of human development. The first sounds produced
by a baby and the first word uttered by a one year old
fascinates us. Indeed, learning a language is an amazing
feat. How does a child learn words and put them together
in meaningful sentences? How does this development of
complex grammatical language continue even though one
can serve most purposes by simple early communication
is generally accepted that by age four children are able
to master the basic structures of the language that they
have been exposed to from birth. One `test´ by Jean
Berko Gleason shows that children are able to apply rules
to words which they have never heard before. In this test
the children were shown pictures of imaginary creatures
or people performing strange actions. For example, `Here
is a wug. Now there are two of them. So there are two
__."„Here is a man who knows how to bod. Yesterday
he was ___." The children were able to use `wugs´
and „bodded´ to fill in the blanks. This shows
that they knew the rules for the formation of plural and
simple past in English.
ability to understand and to use language to express themselves
develops rapidly in the pre-school years. Metalinguistic
awareness i.e., the ability to treat language as an object,
separate from its meaning develops more slowly. However
this changes dramatically when children learn to read.
Seeing words represented by letters on a page leads children
to new level of awareness. A child who can read understands
that the word `caterpillar´ is longer than the word
`train´ even though the object it represents is
considerably shorter. Metalinguistic awareness also includes
the discovery of such things as --- words and sentences
may have multiple meanings and this gives children access
to jokes, riddles which they enjoy and love to share with
is no evidence to suggest that a child´s brain has
a limited capacity for languages and that the knowledge
of one language will shrink if the knowledge of another
grows. The majority of children in the world are exposed
to more than one language in early childhood. Stages in
language acquisition are related to children´s cognitive
development. For example, a child who does not have an
understanding of time will not be able to use temporal
adverbs such as `tomorrow´ and `last week´
second language learners regardless of age have already
acquired at least one language. This prior knowledge can
be an advantage in the sense that the learner has an idea
of how languages work. On the other hand, knowledge of
other languages can lead learners to make incorrect guesses
about how the second language works. Young learners begin
to learn a language without the benefit of some of the
skills, knowledge, cognitive maturity and world knowledge
that older second language learners have. Therefore most
children do not feel nervous about
using the new language unlike adults who find it very
stressful. Young learners are at an advantage in the sense
that they are not forced to speak until they are ready,
whereas the adult is often forced to do so to meet the
demands of everyday dealings.
this phase we have tried to look at teaching English from
the perspective of what works better with children in
the classroom rather than any ESL class. However some
aspects of teaching are universal irrespective of the
age and level of the learners.
do children learn English
tradition would have you believe that children are effortless
second language learners and far superior to adults in
their eventual success. The difference between children
and adults lies primarily in the contrast between the
child´s spontaneous, peripheral attention to language
forms and the adult?s overt, focal awareness of and attention
to those forms. While children´s fluency and naturalness
are often the envy of adult´s struggling with second
languages, the context of classroom instruction may introduce
some difficulties to children learning a second language.
to successfully teach children a language requires specific
skills and intuitions that differ from those appropriate
for adult teaching. The following five categories may
help give some practical approaches to teaching children.
A little boy, when asked to write something, told his
primary school teacher, “I ain´t got no
pencil”. The teacher noticed the error in grammar
and tried to correct, “ I don´t have a pencil.
You don´t have a pencil. We don't have pencils”.
Confused the child responded, “ Ain´t nobody
got no pencils?” Since children are still in an
intellectual stage of what Piaget called “concrete
operations” we need to know their limitations.
Rules, explanations and other even slightly abstract
talk about language can leave the child confused and
Children are centered on the here and now, on the functional
purposes of language. They have little appreciation
for our adult notions of correctness and cannot understand
our explanations of linguistic concepts. It will be
wise to remember certain points:
Don"t explain using grammar terms like,
"relative clause" or „past progressive".
Rules stated in abstract terms should be avoided.
Some grammatical concepts can be highlighted
by showing certain patterns and examples (notice
the ing at the end of the word or this is what
we say when it is happening right now)
Certain patterns and concepts require more repetition
2. Attention Span
One of the salient differences between adults and children
is attention span. This becomes more pronounced if they
have to deal with material which they find boring, useless
or too difficult. So our job as teachers is to make
learning interesting, lively and fun.
Since children are focused on the immediate
here and now, activities should be designed
to capture their immediate attention.
Lessons should have a variety of activities
to keep interest and attention alive.
The teacher needs to be animated, lively, and
enthusiastic about the subject matter. The teacher´s
energy levels need to be high.
A sense of humour will go a long way but should
be at their level.
Children have a lot natural curiosity, the teacher
needs to tap into this whenever possible, which
will help to maintain attention and focus.
3. Sensory Input
Children need to have all five senses stimulated. Therefore
the teacher´s activities should go well beyond
the visual and auditory modes.
Physical activities are a must in a Young learner
classroom. Make them get out of their seats
and act out things (role play), play games or
do other physical activities.
Projects and hands-on activities go a long way
toward helping children internalize language
Sensory aids like touch, feel, smell and taste
apart from hear and see
– are all important elements in children´s
The teacher´s non-verbal language is important
because children keenly observe and imitate
the teacher´s facial expressions, gestures
4. Affective Filter
It is not always right to say children are unaffected
by inhibitions unlike adults. They are extremely sensitive
especially to peers and sometimes the slightest nuances
in communication can be negatively interpreted. The
teacher needs to help them overcome such barriers to
Be patient and supportive to build self-esteem.
Elicit as much as oral participation as possible
from students to give them plenty of opportunities
for trying things out.
Encourage group and pair work
Help them realize mistakes are a part of the
5. Authentic, Meaningful Language
Children are focused on what this new language can actually
be used for here and now. They want immediate rewards
Language needs to be firmly context embedded.
Story lines, familiar situations, real-life
conversations- will establish a context within
which language can be received and sent and
thereby improve retention.
A whole language approach is essential. If it
is broken into too many bits and pieces, students
won?t see the relationship to the whole.
The term Young learner is generally referred to children
between five and twelve years old. These are some of the
most vital years in a child´s development. However
it is not possible to say that at age five all children
can do x and age seven they can do y and that age ten
they will be able to do z. but it is possible to point
out certain characteristics of young children which will
help the teacher to make learning more
We can divide the young learners into:
Very Young Learners: (3 to 6 years)
The very young learners refer to children who have not
yet started compulsory schooling and have not yet started
to read. Broadly taken children between three and six
fall under this category. There is a growing trend in
many countries for children to start their language learning
at a much younger age.
The very young learners need the teacher´s
It is very difficult to hold the attention of
a whole group of small children and the best way
to do so is to ring the changes every five to
ten minutes, unless they are engrossed in some
activity which can then go on longer.
Young children may spend a lot of timing absorbing
language before they can actually produce anything.
Even if they are not saying anything they are
taking it in.
They can do simple jigsaw puzzles, sort, classify
and match things, recognize similarities and differences.
They are able to follow stories and enjoy looking
at books with pictures.
Though most of them are self-centered and will
want to play alone but they can be encouraged
to participate in organized games.
Emphasis should be on the type of activities which
children normally do at pre-school adapted to
language learning- songs, chants, rhymes, stories,
drawing coloring. Let´s pretend are the
tasks most suited for this age group.
They learn through direct experience via the five
senses and do not understand abstract concepts.
Therefore following instructions, miming and doing
what is being said are all ways to learn the language.
Learners (6 to 8 years)
They can talk about what they are doing and tell
you what they have done or heard.
They can plan activities.
They can use logical reasoning and their vivid
They know that rules need to be followed and derive
a sense of security from them.
They understand situations faster than they understand
Their own understanding comes through eyes, hands
and ears; the physical world is dominant at all
They have short attention and concentration span.
The dividing line between the real and the imaginary
is not always very clear.
They cannot decide for themselves what to learn.
They don´t ask questions, instead they either
pretend to understand or
understand in their own terms.
They love to play and learn best when they are
They are enthusiastic and positive about learning
however they need to be praised and experience
some amount of success in order to take them
Second Stage Young Learners (9 to 12 years)
Children in this age group are relatively mature with
an adult and a childish side.
Their basic concepts are formed. They have very
decided views of the world.
They can tell the difference between fact and
They ask questions all the time.
They rely on spoken word as well as the physical
world to convey and understand meaning.
They have definite views about what they like
They are able to work with others and learn from
They can understand abstracts, symbols, generalize
Teaching Listening Skills
Listening in the classroom
It is clear that listening is the skill that children
acquire first, especially if they have not learned
to read. When the students start to learn a foreign
language, it is going in through their ears and
what the pupils hear is their main source of language.
We also try to give them as much as visual back
up as possible through facial expression, movement,
mime and pictures.
If you are reading you can go back and check or
you can reread. Thus isn´t possible while
you are listening. So it is important to say things
clearly and to repeat them with young learners.
One has to concentrate while listening but Young
learners have a short attention span, so it is
important not to overload children when you are
working on listening tasks.
When we are listening to someone speak we usually
nod, comment or show some signs of understanding
and if we don?t follow then we also say so. We
very seldom wait until the end of the conversation
or announcement and then start asking questions
regarding what we have heard. So when we present
activities to children we should ask for understanding
as they listen and not check for understanding
only at the end of the exercise.
Some listening activities will wake your students
up, make them move about, create movement or noise.
Others will calm them down, make them concentrate
and create a peaceful atmosphere.
Different types of listening activities in the classroom
Listen and Do activities
a) Classroom Instructions – any classroom
instruction like – sit, stand , make
a line etc.
b) Physical Movements – pull, push,
hop, run etc.
c) Raise your hand – when they hear
a particular word or sound. d)Mime stories
- teacher tells story while students do
e) Drawing - Listen and draw is a favorite
2. Listening for information
Listening for information is a phrase that nearly covers
every aspect of listening but here we will narrow it down
to mean listening for specific information and for detail.
3. Listen and repeat activities
Listen and repeat activities are a great fun and give
the pupils the chance to get a feel for the language –
the stress, sound, rhythm and intonation. When done in
combination with movements objects or pictures it helps
to establish the link between form and meaning.
4. Rhymes and Songs
Most children love rhymes and like to repeat them over
and over again. Rhymes are repetitive and have a natural
rhythm. They are fun and play with the language. Songs
have a universal appeal.
is perhaps the most difficult skill for the teacher to
teach. Children can express their emotions, communicate
intentions, explore and make fun in their own language
so the same is expected to be done in English. Children
will often and naturally insert their native language
when they can?t find the words in English.
is important with beginners is finding the balance between
providing language through controlled and guided activities
and at the same rime letting them enjoy natural talk.
Most of them have little opportunity to practise speaking
the English outside the classroom and therefore need lots
of practice when they are in class.
the students are working with controlled and guided activities
we want them to produce correct language. During such
activities the pupils are using the teachers language
or text book language and therefore are only imitating
or giving an alternative, so correction is straightforward.
when students are working on free oral activities we want
them to say what they want to say, to express themselves
and their personalities. The emphasis for the pupils should
be content, and then the correction should not be done
while the activity is going on.
At the beginning
When children start learning English they need to be
given language before they can produce it. Therefore
at this stage the activities will be under the
teacher´s control. Here are some of the ways new
language can be
The teacher knows what his or her students are capable
of doing. So he or
she says thing like „Susan can sing, Tom can draw,
Joe can ride a bike? etc. the sentence should be true
and accompanied by appropriate action and
One of the most successful ways of presenting language
to young children is through puppets or a class mascot.
Having someone familiar all the time helps to develop
conversation and introduce new language to children.
the teacher has given the model the children can ask
the puppet all sorts of questions and it will answer.
In this way its name, address, identity, likes and dislikes
will be built up in cooperation with the children.
The teacher can use very simple drawings, even stick
figures to tell an event or a conversation or use silhouettes
on the overhead projector.
The teacher can use simple clear pictures to present
new language; mime/act situation; realia – clothes,
telephone, animals, toy furniture etc.
2. Controlled practice
Controlled practice goes hand in hand with presentation
since it is important that children try out new language
a soon as they have heard it. In controlled practice
there is very little chance that the pupils can make
One pupil asks : “What?s the time?” The
other answers: “It´s ”. Or
“What´s he doing´” “ He´s
Activities like these provide the basis for oral work.
Their purpose is to use correct, simple, useful language
within a situation or context. Learners may have to
repeat sentences, be corrected and go through the same
thing several times. Familiarity and safety are necessary
to help build security in the language.
3. Guided practice
Guided practice follows on directly from controlled
practice and will often be done either in pairs or in
groups. It gives the pupils some sort of choice, but
the choice of language is limited. Textbooks are full
of such exercises and
along with it the teacher can use mime, pictures or
objects to make the content clearer and practise the
The teacher puts a number of picture cards or word cards
face down on the
table. Pupil A picks up one card which has a picture
of apples and says: “Do you like apples?”
Pupil B picks up another card on which there are some
bananas and answers, “No, I don?t like apples,
but I like bananas.” It continues with other students
and other cards. This activity can be used to practise
whatever vocabulary or structure the teacher is working
on at that time.
Dialogues and Role play
Working with dialogues is a useful way to bridge the
gap between guided practice and freer activities when
the students are ready for it.
First the teacher has to present the dialogue in whatever
Dialogues with some action or movement work well with
children. After they have heard the dialogue a number
of times, the teacher then does it with a few students.
After this the teacher instructs a student-to-student
interaction. They practise in pairs.
Physical movements and objects make the language come
alive for children. The
teacher can ask the children to bring something to class
and keep it in their pockets. The children can choose
the following dialogue and go through it with as many
others as possible.
A: What have you got in your pocket?
B: I´m not telling you.
A: Oh, please?
B: O.K. It´s a ____.
is a lot more involved than language alone in these exchanges.
There are also endless ways in which this dialogue can
be developed. This type of activity works well with children
from age five upwards.
In a role-play the students pretend to be someone else.
At the beginning pupils can role play dialogues by learning
them by heart, repeating after the teacher and then practise
in pairs. In the next stage the pupils may substitute
variables in the same core structure. In the next stage
the pupils use their own language for a given situation
with cue cards. However children in the ten and above
age group will be suitable for this.
of Dialogues and Role-play:
Spoken in first and second person. Texts are often
in third person.
- Learn to ask and answer
- Learn to use short complete chunks of language and
to respond appropriately.
- Learn to use right tone, stress, intonation, facial
- Gives an opportunity to use natural language.
Free activities focus attention on the message/content
and not on the language.
- There is genuine communication even though the situations
are sometimes artificial.
- They will really show whether the pupils can or
cannot use the language, this cannot be assessed in
a guided activity.
- Free activities concentrate more on meaning than
on correctness – fluency rather than accuracy.
- Teacher control is minimal during the activity.
- The atmosphere is informal and non-competitive
- There is fun and game element in the activity.
The range of free activities is endless and goes from
playing card games to giving mini-talks. For young children
it is based on the information gap principle.
is the main source of language when children start to
learn a language; print is the second main source. As
they learn the language printed words become the main
source of expanding and strengthening the language. Books
open up a different world to young children and making
reading an important part of their language learning experience
becomes the teacher´s responsibility.
This approach is based on letters and sounds.
We teach the pupils the letters of the alphabet,
and the combination of letters, as they
are actually pronounced.
Although phonics can become very complicated
as all the pronunciation rules are introduced,
it can be useful for those who are unfamiliar
with the Roman alphabet. It is not recommended
for those who are already familiar with
the Roman alphabets and should not be used
for those who are learning to read using
phonics in their own language. This could
lead to great confusion in pronunciation.
2. Look and Say
This approach is based on words and phrases
and makes a lot of use of flash cards. The
teacher starts by using everyday words which
are already familiar to the students. The
teacher shows the word and says it while
pointing to the object. The children repeat
the word. This is done several times with
each word. The teacher might spend five
minutes out of each period to introduce
four new words. Word recognition games like
– matching words and pictures, pointing
to objects, guessing the word can be done
at this stage. It actually works as a pre
3. Whole Sentence Reading
Here the teacher teaches recognition of
whole phrases and sentences which have meaning
in themselves. This often means a story
which is familiar to them but which the
children read for the first time. The words
are not presented in isolation, but as whole
phrases or sentences. Reading for meaning
should be encourages as soon as possible.
4. Language Experience Approach
This approach is based on child´s
spoken language. The teacher writes down
a sentence for the child to read which is
based on what the child has said this is
a good, pupil-centered approach to reading.
No matter which approach to reading you
take as your basic approach, you should
remember that all these approaches are a
way in to reading and not an end in themselves.
It is favourable to adopt an approach that
concentrates on meaning from the beginning.
to seven year olds
• Five to seven year olds are likely to take
longer to read in a foreign language that eight to
ten year olds. They have to go through the process
of doing reading-like activities first – reading
from left to right, turning the pages at the right
place, going back and reading the same pages again.
Picture books with and without text are invaluable
at this stage.
• If the children have not learnt to read in
their owl language then they will not know the connection
between the spoken and written word
• Sentence structure, paragraphing and grammar
will not mean anything at this stage.
• Decoding reading i.e. making sense of what
we see on the page is a very involved process. Adults
make use of clues such as – punctuation, paragraphing,
references to things, predicting what has happened
or going to happen etc. five to seven year olds mostly
have a visual clue which is vital to meaning. Illustrations
in a book for young children matter almost a much
as the words themselves.
to ten year olds
The majority of eight to ten year olds will already be
able to read a bit in their own language and most seem
to have little difficulty in transferring their reading
skills to English. This means that less time needs to
be spent on teaching the mechanics of reading and more
time can be spent on content.
word on ‘Reading Aloud’
It is a skill which does not have much use outside the
classroom. All through out life one would be reading extensively
or intensively will be done silently. But it can be helpful
with beginners in a language. It is not recommended as:
• It gives little pleasure and is of little
interest to the listeners.
• It encourages stumbling and mistakes in tone,
emphasis and expression.
• It may disturb the silent reading techniques
of other pupils.
• It is an inefficient way of utilizing teaching
reading aloud can be useful if applied a little differently:
• At the beginner stage the teacher needs to
give full attention to reading aloud by individual
student. The teacher may ask questions about meaning,
what the student thinks of the book, smooth out any
language difficulty that may arise.
• The teacher can sue it to train and check
rhythm and pronunciation
• Reading dialogues aloud in pairs helps to
check pronunciation and expression.
• Listening to a student reading aloud should
be a treat for the whole class. The pupil should be
well prepared and others should want to hear him read.
Silent reading is what remains with most people for the
rest of their lives. Not everyone will turn out to be
a voracious reader but a positive attitude to books and
reading from the beginning is desirable. The teacher should
make as much use as possible of her „English corner?.
Have print everywhere, writing on the notice board, try
to give them their own books, give messages in writing,
make books easily available. Let the children read books
for understanding and pleasure.
• Some children are natural readers and will
require no encouragement but the teacher needs to
spend some time building up confidence with the rest
about silent reading. Give them a story that they
have heard before. Give them a little while to read.
Then talk about the story, clear up any difficulties.
The emphasis is on the content and the language should
not be a hurdle. Let them finish the story at leisure.
• The teacher can give pupils half of an interesting
story and then discuss what happens next. There will
be different endings and then the teacher can give
them the rest of the story to see whether they were
right. This encourages anticipation.
• For the eight to ten year olds who are not
beginners the teacher can use silent reading as the
starting point for role-play for the whole class or
the writing and the oral skill are combined in the classroom
and one benefits from the other. Writing however has certain
characteristics, which makes it difficult for children:
You can´t make the same use of body language,
intonation, tone, eye contact and all other features
which makes it easier to convey meaning when we speak.
2. Very little of what children write is concerned with
the here and now, which is where many children exist
for a ling time.
3. Writing in a foreign language is often associated
with correcting errors.
Handwriting, grammar, spelling and punctuation are given
priority over content. If we try to make writing meaningful,
with the emphasis on content then errors can be gently
corrected and rewritten in cooperation with the teacher.
is an integral and essential part of a language lesson.
It adds dimension to the learning process. It lets pupils
express their personalities. Writing activities help to
consolidate learning in the other skill areas and allows
for conscious development of the language. When we speak
we don?t always need to use a large vocabulary because
our meaning is often conveyed with the help of the situation.
Lots of structures appear more frequently in writing and
most importantly when we write we have the time to go
back and think about what we have written. Writing provides
great sense of satisfaction to pupils to see their work
in print, so never underestimate the value of making pupil´s
work public, but with their consent.
Controlled writing activities
activities, like oral activities, go from being tightly
controlled to being completely free. Guided activities
are done more with beginners. In general controlled activities
are done to practice language while free activities allow
for self - expression at however low a level and content
is what matters.
a. Straight copying
copying is the starting point for writing and gives the
teacher the chance to reinforce language that has been
presented orally or through reading. It is a good idea
to ask pupils to read aloud quietly to themselves when
they are copying the words because this helps them to
seethe connection between the written and spoken word.
The sound-symbol combination in English is quite complicated
so those who find copying difficult you can start them
off by tracing words.
can match pictures and text or choose which sentence they
want to write about the text
Write one sentence –
He likes cooking
- He is a good cook
- He is making a meal with eggs
c. Organizing and copying
can also be a good introduction to structured writing.
Complete Susan´s letter :-
New York July 26th,
1985 Dear Mike, New York is beautiful……………………………………………………..
We went to the cinema. It´s got beautiful
parks. There are lots of hotels and restaurants.
We ate at a Japanese restaurant. We are going to
visit the famous museum. We saw a very good film.
The trees are big and tall.
This activity is used for training short term visual memory.
writes a short, familiar sentence on the board and gives
the students a few seconds to look at it and then erases
it. The pupils then have to writer it down. However this
activity should not be used as a test.
The teacher provides the actual language as well as the
context. However the language should be elementary and
simple. For young
Learners, dictations should be short, made up of sentences
that can be said in one breath, have a purpose, be connected
to previous work or
work that is to come, and be read or said at normal speed.
Guided written activities
These exercises are useful for beginners as they do not
require active production of language but they do require
understanding. Fill-in exercises can be used for vocabulary.
For example: if the students are familiar with the context
of pets then the exercise will have meaning for them even
if there is no picture.
I have a ……….. for a pet. The ………..´s
name is Ben. He is a ………. Coloured Boxer.
He is beautiful. He has a long ………,
big ……….. and a ……….
Tongue. He is a very ………… dog.
He looks harmless but ………. My house
The teacher might dictate only half a sentence and ask
pupils to complete it in their own. The students can complete
each sentence before the teacher reads the beginning of
the next, which encourages quick writing or they can complete
Letters and invitations
Letter writing is a popular language activity and a useful
way of getting pupils to write short meaningful sentences.
I hope you are free on _. We are going to the .
Would you with _?
These letters can be actually sent to other classmates
which will personalize the activity. The reply to the
same can also be a similar guided fill in activity.
No matter what the level of the students, in free writing
the language is the pupil´s
own. Here the teacher is the initiator and helper. The
more language the learners have, the better it is to work
on free writing activities.
Correction is a major factor where writing is concerned.
This should be done while the students are still working.
The teacher should try to look at the work while it is
being done, suggest ideas, words and correct mistakes.
The aim is to produce work as correct as possible.
Older learners should be encouraged to rewrite their work.
The teacher should help as much as possible both before
and during the work. It is good to have all written
work in a folder, this helps both the learner and the
teacher to see how much progress is being made.
o Concentrate on content.
o Remember prewriting work is essential.
o Always give positive remarks and feedback.
o Encourage but don?t force rewriting.
o Display pupil´s work as much as
o Maintain record of all written work.
o Surprising the students by announcing
the topic without preparation.
o Setting homework without preparation.
o Correcting all the errors on the sheet.
o Setting work beyond the capability of
are many different practices that are used for good classroom
management. Here is one teacher's opinion. As
with all classroom management practices, adapt what you
like to your classroom, taking account the age,
ethnicity, and personality of the class as a group, and
of you as a teacher.
good order in classrooms is one of the most difficult
tasks facing young inexperienced teachers. The task has
become more difficult over the past few decades as young
people's attitudes to people in authority have changed
dramatically. Some of the changes have led to greater
self-confidence in students. Others--such as the acceptance
of violence to achieve ends, attitudes to substance abuse
and an increasing lack of respect for authority--have
made classroom management and life in school generally
more difficult, and more demanding, on those who are charged
with maintaining a positive learning environment.
disruptive behaviors in the classroom can be alleviated
before they become serious discipline problems. Such behaviors
can be reduced by the teacher's ability to employ effective
organizational practices. Such practices are at the heart
of the teaching process and are essential to establishing
and maintaining classroom
following set of organizational practices should help
to establish effective control of the classroom by the
1. Get off to a good start.
After the first "honeymoon" encounter,
when the students sit quietly, raise their
hands to respond and are generally well
behaved, is over the students will begin
to test the waters to see what they can
"get away with". It is during
this period that the effective teacher will
establish the expected ground-rules for
2. Learning School Policies.
Prior to meeting the class for the first
time, the teacher should become familiar
with school policies concerning acceptable
student behavior and
disciplinary procedures. The teacher should
definitely know what the school expects
from both student and teacher in regard
3. Establishing Rules.
Establish a set of classroom rules to guide
the behavior of students at once. Discuss
the rationale of these rules with the students
to ensure they understand and see the need
for each rule. Keep the list of rules short.
The rules most often involve paying attention,
respect for others, excessive noise, securing
materials and completion of homework assignments.
4. Overplaning Lessons.
"Overplan" the lessons for the
first week or two. It is important for the
teacher to impress on the students from
the outset that he or she is organized and
confident of their ability to get through
5. Learning Names.
Devise a seating arrangement whereby students'
names are quickly learned. Calling a student
by his or her name early in the year gives
the student an increased sense of well being.
It also gives a teacher greater control
of situations. "JOHN, stop talking
and finish your work" is more effective
than "Let us stop talking and finish
6. Be Firm and Consistent.
A teacher can be firm yet still be supportive
and friendly with students. A firm teacher
can provide an environment where the students
feel safe and secure. Many teachers report
that it is easier to begin the year in a
firm manner and relax later, than to begin
in a lax manner and then try to become firm.
are some important points:
Let your body posture exhibit an air of confidence.
You should reflect optimism, brightness and warmth.
Use facial and hand gestures to enhance meanings
of words and
sentences that might otherwise be unclear.
Make frequent eye contact with all students in
Do not plant your feet firmly in one place for
the whole lesson.
Move around the classroom, but not to distraction.
Follow the conventional rules of “distance”
and “touch” that apply for the cultures
of your students.
Dress appropriately, considering the expectations
of your students and the culture in which you
learn better in a secure, comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.
Here are some ways that the teacher can create that atmosphere:
Be prepared and organized.
b. Respect your students
c. Listen to what the pupil is saying and accept what
he is saying along with the errors.
d. Children can sometimes be cruel to their classmates.
The teacher has to help them become aware of the fact
that mistakes are a part of the learning process and
everyone makes them.
e. The teacher needs to establish routines.
f. Children should be given responsibilities for performing
simple tasks in the classroom – distributing
books, sharpening pencils, watering plants etc.
g. Children have the natural ability to be competitive,
so avoid organized
competition. Language learning can be a situation
where everyone can win. Success is a great motivator.
h. The teacher should avoid physical rewards. It is
better to display or
read aloud a good piece of work. This gives a sense
of achievement and at the same time includes the others.
i. The teacher should refrain from giving English
names to his pupils as this undermines their individuality.
To create a visual environment that:
1. Is Attractive
2. Is Functional
3. Is Stimulating
4. Is Motivational
5. Creates pride and self esteem
is another important element in the environment. If you
are in a classroom without air conditioning it is important
that you do all you can, especially in warm weather, to
get the best air flow to help keep students comfortable
Research suggests that we are most alert in rooms that
are on the cool side - in the low 70s. A well ventilated
room is better than a close, stuffy one. Try to open as
many windows and doors as necessary to create a good cross-ventilation.
there is mutual respect in a friendly, non-threatening
atmosphere, a place where everyone can bloom and do their
is important that children realize and accept responsibility
for their behaviour. Mere preaching will not make any
difference. Teachers should also be aware of not being
judgmental but try to correct unacceptable behaviour.
But what is acceptable and what is not will be more effective
if the children are involved in the process.
Managing classes of mixed ability children
all classes contain children with different abilities
and characteristics teachers find different ways to cope
depending on the resources available and the situation
in which they teach. Some suggestions are:
Use group teaching – group pupils according to abilities.
Give differentiated tasks, i.e. activities designed to
suit particular levels/needs. Give attention to different
groups at different times
Vary teaching/learning methods to include activities like
problem solving, games, stories etc.
teachers find that catering for differences in learning
needs very challenging. Some of the challenges are:
It is time consuming to devise different activities to
cater to different groups. Allocation of time and attention
given to different groups.
Insufficient time to cater to all the different needs.
It is difficult to aim the lesson at the right level in
the presentation stage.
Pupils´ lack of interest or low ability in certain
skills and certain types of activities.
the challenges – Some useful suggestions
Planning differentiated activities
It does take time but this has to be weighed against the
satisfaction of seeing children make progress at their
level. One way of reducing the problem is to
collaborate with other teachers or to develop a materials
bank which contains activities at different levels for
b. Giving enough time to different groups
Plan your time so that every day you allocate a certain
amount of time to work with particular groups. During
a lesson the teacher can work with each group for an equal
amount of time. So if there are four groups and the lesson
lasts an hour the teacher will work with each group for
Other pupils will work on activities set by the teacher
either individually, in pairs or in groups. The groups
rotate at the end of 10 minutes with approximately 5 minute
for change over. The teacher can select a monitor from
a group which has completed an activity to explain to
another group how to do it. Children can check their own
Stories, Songs and Chants
stories are important?
time can be a special caring time which they will remember
all their lives. Whether they are the stories you tell
or stories in books, stories are one of the ways that
children learn to enjoy reading. Children can also learn
that books are a way to find out lots of useful and important
things. Many people look back with pleasure on their favourite
stories from childhood. Can you remember your favourite
also help children cope up with feelings.
When you tell or read a story which has feelings,
children also learn to deal with their feelings and
the feelings of others.
• They learn that other children feel the same
as they do.
• This helps them to feel that their feelings
can also understand your child when you read out the story
noticing his or her response to it.
Stories help to develop confidence.
• Stories help the children to relax hence reduces
• Stories help them to learn better as it is
a fun approach to learning.
- They develop language
- Understand size shape by handling books , large
, small …
- They learn about numbers and space. For example
, the story about
Three bears , they learn that there are three bears
, papa bear who is large , mama bear who is of medium
size , and kid bear who is small , they understand
inside outside , and all this without formal teaching
• Stories improve concentration.
• Most importantly stories help children develop
for story tellers
Whether you read or tell a story you will help the
a lot .
• You can get picture books or picture cards
that have no words and you can build a story based
on the clues.
• Follow your child´s response so that
they cab a art of your story telling or reading session
.Stop when they want you to stop ski where they are
• Read or tell a variety of stories specially
the ones that they like.
• Borrow many books so that your children have
the chance to explore ..
of reading a story
Again it´s a relaxing exercise.
• It helps to develop a close bond between you
are the children .
• It's a fun way to develop language skills
• Browsing books with your children helps them
to develop reading skills as it is pre-reading activity
not to do
Don't make story time a reading lesson It´s
a time to relax and have fun
• Don't expect too much from your children when
they are learning to read a story by themselves.
• Help children find story books of their own
• Beginners with books need stories with simple
language and easy to understand or else they may feel
• Remember all children are different so do
not force a book on some one
stories for babies toddlers and preschoolers
• They enjoy the warmth of the voice as they listen
to the story even if they do not understand entirely.
• Stories with pictures, songs poems, specially
create an interest level on the children and builds a
stronger path to language development long before the
little ones can comprehend what?s being said.
are ten great reasons to use stories
to teach preschoolers English:
1. Children love them
2. The story can be the focal point of the
lesson, giving meaning and context to odd
words and phrases learned in isolation.
3. Children can absorb the structure of
language subconsciously as well as hear
familiar words they know.
4. Preschoolers will be happy to hear the
same stories over and over again which is
fantastic for revision and absorption.
5. You can use the stories as a base for
fun activities in class.
6. A useful message can be contained in
the story, aside from language learning
7. Using stories gives you another method
of putting language across and will lead
to more variety in your lessons.
8. You can use stories as quiet time in
between boisterous activities.
9. Stories, along with songs, allow children
to hear and understand far more English
than any other method.
10. Enhancing story telling with gestures,
actions, colourful illustrations, relevant
games and role-plays increases language
retention and acquisition, and makes for
some really fun lessons. This is logical
as you will be repeatedly reviewing and
practising the same language as well as
making it real through play.
to tell a story to babies, toddlers, preschoolers
Stories should not be based on fairy tale coz kids
of that age cannot relate to fairy tales or Aesop
fables as in stories with morals
• Stories should be based on their own life,
like a visit to the zoo , a picnic by the river ……
• They should be very short.
• They should have vocabulary that is very simple,
possibly a song or a poem to add on to the drama.
• Vocabulary or sentences should be repeated
several times punctuated with overdramatic actions
of the teacher.
• The teacher should insist the children to
mime the actions and repeat the words after him or
her at least two to three times,
• The3 teachers voice should have proper pitch,
intonation and modulation that has to be changed at
regular intervals, to keep up the interest level of
• Children should be encouraged to clap.
• The teacher ahs to pantomime the story to
the best of his her ability.
How to use stories for the age group 6 to 12 and onwards
For this age group the rules remain more or less the
• However the children be coaxed to tell stories
• The teacher for instance can start the story
and the children can continue
• Or the teacher can give clues and the children
can make the stories individually or group wise.
• The content of the story can become mature
according to the age group
facts on stories and their importance
Repetitive Sentence Patterns, Rhythmic Refrains, and Predictable
Folk tales can be used as they always play very important
roles in the processes of language learning because folktales
usually contain repetitive language patterns, phrases,
or questions, refrains, strong rhythm and rhyme, sequences
of numbers or days of the week
Among folktales, The Gingerbread Man is a good, cumulative
story, because the important feature of cumulative stories
is that elements (things, people or experiences) are
added as the story progresses, through stories, with
a degree of familiarity students naturally have certain
expectations of story structure, language and patterns.
- Excerpts form the Gingerbread man
run away from a little old woman, a little old man, and
I've run away from a little old woman, a little old man,
a cow, and a horse.
The recurring phrases or events can aid their understanding
memory Because of their particular story patterns, cumulative
stories can also offer children the chances to engage
in language play by chanting or
singing the repeated story events as follows:
Run, run, as fast as you can!
You can't catch me.
I'm the Gingerbread Man.
• Through hearing stories, students can learn to
appreciate the beauty and rhythm of language. Teachers
are usually amazed at how quickly children "chime
in" when a story has a refrain
Little Pig, Little Pig, let me come in! Not by the hair
of my chinny chin chin!
Another story, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, has rhythmic
refrain as follows:
- Trip, trap;
- Trip, trap;
- Trip, trap," went Little Billy Goat Gruff's hooves
on the bridge.
rhythmic refrains above, obviously, are easily memorized
when students chant or singing together. Based on review,
when children listen to stories, verse, prose of all kinds,
they could unconsciously be familiar with the repeated
rhythms and structure, the cadences and conventions of
the various forms of written language This phonemic awareness
is a formalized extension of the language awareness that
has been developed at the first level through listening
to repetitive language patterns or rhythmic refrains from
stories, poetry, rhyme, and songs In a result, folktales
is a good tool for EFL young learners' language learning.
– Songs and Chants
Benefits of Preschool Songs and Nursery Rhymes
are many benefits to learning nursery rhymes and preschool
1. Nursery rhymes, poems and songs will
provide your children with opportunities
to develop an appreciation for rhyme and
rhythm, as well as to develop their memory
and auditory skills .
Research in the field of early childhood
development and reading has shown that children
who struggle to recognise words that rhyme,
often have difficulty in learning
to read. Hence the importance of
familiarizing children with rhymes and preschool
The rhythm of songs, poems and rhymes help
children to remember the words and helps
to develop auditory memory skills .
has been said that the golden age for memory
is between ages 6-9. At this age a child
can memorize more quickly and remember for
longer than at any other time in his life
.I have also heard it said that children,
who cannot yet read, remember better than
their peers who can read, as the non-readers
cannot refer back to the text for information
but have to remember everything they have
seen or heard.
Listening is an important skill to encourage
– and it is an important step towards
one day learning to read.
Poems and verses use words to paint word
pictures and nursery rhymes help to activate
While you read, sing, play and act out nursery
rhymes together you are conveying to your
children that sounds make words and that
words are fun!
Nursery rhymes also help children to appreciate
and develop an understanding of
Since many nursery rhymes also include mathematical
concepts, like counting, time, height, measurement,
position, volume, weather, temperature etc…
you should use them as opportunities to
develop vocabulary around these concepts.
Finger play rhymes and clapping songs are
a delightful way to help children develop
motor skills and co-ordination .
The intriguing and fanciful stories, colourful
characters and vivid language of nursery
rhymes and preschool songs have fascinated
children for centuries and helped expand
their imaginations. People who live in shoes,
dishes that run, eggs that sit on walls
– what an enchanting introduction
to the world of literature, storytelling,
play-acting and make-believe.
11. Since there are always new children,
there is never a need for new preschool
songs and nursery rhymes. Children and their
parents have kept them alive for centuries
and maintained them as an integral part
of our language and cultural heritage.
List of rhymes
Games with Rhymes and Rhythm Activities
• Preschool Finger plays and Action Rhymes
• Counting Rhymes
• Teatime Rhymes, Bedtime Rhymes
• Tongue Twisters and Fun with Words
Finger plays and rhymes come to life during circle
and large group times as preschool children show word
meaning through simple actions and finger movements.
• Preschoolers develop memory and recall skills
as they sing and recite the songs and poems in this
curriculum resource collection
is frequently used by teachers to help students acquire
a second language .for the obvious reasons discussed below.
To acquire vocabulary
• To acquire grammar
• To improve spelling
• To develop the linguistic skills of reading,
writing, speaking and listening
has also been proved that music is advantageous for still
First, for most students, singing songs and listening
to music are enjoyable experiences.
- Since the experience is pleasurable learners are relaxed
- Therefore their inhibitions about acquiring a second
language are lessened.
- Attention span is longer, and therefore, more receptive
- Through songs, students are exposed to “authentic”
examples of the second language. .
- Music is perhaps the strongest motivational factor
extent to which any linguistic input is received from
the environment depends largely upon the learner?s “affect”,
that is his inner feelings and attitude. Negative emotions,
functioning much like a filter, can prevent the learner
from making total use of the linguistic input from his
environment. We must keep in mind the foolwimg obstacles
in the path of the learner.
The student may be anxious.
• The student may be unmotivated.
• The students may simply lack confidence
any of the above happens language acquisition will be
limited It is therefore, in the interest of the teacher
to provide an environment which evokes positive emotions.
Music does precisely that. Whether learners simply listen
to instrumental music, vocals in the target language,
or sing in unison, it is a pleasurable
experience. Furthermore, as reported in the literature,
singing songs in unison produces a sense of community
and increases student confidence in the second language.
Thus, music, however it is used in the classroom, evokes
positive emotions which can lower the “affective
filter” and bring about language acquisition
to use music in class
Section 1- Activities To Do Before the Song is Learned
TO THE MUSIC
Students dance to a song they will learn later on.
If students are presented with a song in which both melody
and the song lyrics are new, students may suffer from
overload. Therefore, the intent of this activity is to
familiarize students with the new melody prior to hearing
the lyrics for the first time. A second purpose is to
allow "incidental learning" to occur. Often
acquisition takes place in the absence of explicit instruction.
Play music in the background while student teams discuss
ways in which the song can be choreographed. Students
should be encouraged to practice their routines.
Have groups perform for the larger group. The class will
vote for the best choreography.
Students learn the meaning of song vocabulary from one
another in order to create a skit in which all vocabulary
To learn the meaning of vocabulary words which students
will hear in the song. By doing this, students will be
able to comprehend the significance of the song's lyrics
when they actually sing the song later on.
Make a short list of new vocabulary words which are found
in the song's lyrics.
b. Distribute a copy of this list to the students.
Have groups of three or four students create a skit which
incorporates the target vocabulary words. Students are
encouraged to learn the meaning of these vocabularies
by any and all means (e.g., each other, dictionaries).
Ask student groups to perform their skits for the class.
Use as many props and costumes as possible.
2- Activities Performed While the Song is Being Presented
for the First Time
While students hear the song for the first time,
they observe their teacher
or other members dramatize the song's lyrics.
To make the meaning of the song's lyrics clear to the
learner. This activity will make the meaning of key vocabulary
comprehensible to learners, thereby supporting second
Gather props and costume items, for actors. If these are
not available, have actors improvise by creating hand-drawn
pictures on the blackboard or using classroom objects.
For example, a drawer can function as a cash register.
Have actors practice acting out the song lyrics as the
music is played. They do not need to sing or "lip
sync" the song lyrics, only act them out.
Play the song for the class while the actors perform it.
3- Activities Performed After the Song Has Been Presented
Students practice mini-dialogues containing specific "patterns"
"routines"* which the teacher has extracted
from the song's lyrics.
It is not sufficient to simply sing the routines and patterns
which are found in the song's lyrics. Learners must be
able to "transfer" this knowledge to new and
different contexts. This exercise allows learners the
opportunity to generate original utterances using song
patterns and routines in different contexts.
Identify patterns and/or routines which are found in the
song lyrics. For each pattern/routine, create a two-line
mini-dialogue. For example, if the target pattern is
"I would like for you to meet ." you might write
the following mini-dialogue:
George Washington: “I would like for you to meet
• Mickey Mouse: “Nice to meet you, Martha.”
free to be creative with your mini-dialogues.
Present one mini-dialogue at a time to the class. As you
write each line on the board,
go over its meaning. Have students repeat the mini-dialogue
lines a few times.
Model what they will do next. Perform one mini-dialogue
with one other student. Use face and hand movements to
dramatize as you speak. First you will play the role of
person X. Then after a few rehearsals of the dialogue,
you will switch roles with
the other person and assume the role of person Y. Next,
you and your partner will
find new partners and repeat the process.
Have students similarly practice the same mini-dialogues.
Have student pairs stand about the room, facing each other
as they would at a social gathering.
Have student pairs practice each two-line mini-dialogue
(preferably with actions) as you did previously. Circulate
about the room making certain that students change partners
each mini-dialogue has been well-rehearsed, encourage
students to vary their mini- dialogue lines slightly.
This will promote "transfer" which is the primary
purpose of this activity.
After there has been adequate practice of the first mini-dialogue,
stop the students and introduce the next mini-dialogue
in the same manner that you did previously. Repeat steps
b through e for each mini-dialogue.
Note: Patterns are open-ended sentence or question constructions
(e.g., I love to _.; Where do you _ ?) Routines are closed
questions or sentences which are frequently used by native
speakers (e.g., How are you today?; Excuse me.)
LIP SYNCING TALENT SHOW
Students will "lip sync" the song before a group
of student judges.
To provide additional opportunities for students to practice
saying target vocabulary, routines and patterns which
are embedded in the song lyrics. Also, by listening to
the song and watching various groups communicate meaning,
student observers are given additional opportunities to
make the connection between meaning and symbol. This ultimately
leads to language acquisition.
Divide students into groups of fours.
Have teams practice lip syncing to the song. Encourage
them to synchronize their hand movements much like the
singing groups of the '50s used to do. Gestures should
communicate meaning whenever possible.
Identify three students who will serve as judges of the
lip sync talent show.
Play the vocal version of the song so that each team can
perform for the class.
Ask the judges to announce the winner. Recognize the winner
of the talent show in some way (e.g., a candy, applause).
should feel confident using music to facilitate the language
acquisition process because clearly, there are numerous
benefits associated with it.
Vocabulary through Story-Songs
To acquire vocabulary.
age: 8 to 10 years
is common practice for teachers of first and second language
learners to read stories to children. By engaging in this
practice, teachers not only model literacy skills, but
they cultivate listening skills and promote vocabulary
acquisition. One particular type of story, the "story-song"
is frequently used by educators of young children. The
story-song is basically a poem with a story-line woven
through it. Furthermore, because it has been set to music
it can be sung rather than spoken.
you begin, make certain that you have selected a story-song
which will produce maximum results. Keep the following
points in mind
Find a story-song with a story-line which will be
of interest to your learners..
• Also, select a song which contains an appropriate
number of unfamiliar words
• Furthermore, the story-song should expose
students more than once to each
• new vocabulary word.
• It is particularly helpful when the target
vocabulary words are critical to the plot of the story.
• The contextual environment in which a new
vocabulary word is found should be rich. Stories should
also be rich in a necessary requirement for language
acquisition is what we target to
• Meaning can also be conveyed verbally or though
• The music heard on the story-song tape cassettes
should also be appealing to the students. This will
increase the likelihood that learners will want to
hear and sing the song after it has been learned in
• The melody line should be simple and uncomplicated.
Complex melodies unnecessarily tax memory, forcing
the students to focus attention on learning the melody
rather than the lyrics.
• The tempo should also be moderate. If the
song's cadence is too brisk, the learners will be
unable to capture new vocabulary words .Instead; learners
will hear nothing more than musical "noise."
Preparing for the Story-Song
few preparatory measures should be taken prior to playing
the story-song for your learners. Familiarizing learners
with the story content prior to hearing the story-song
will increase the comprehensibility of the story and ultimately
the amount of vocabulary acquired.
Which ways of teaching reading are familiar to you? Can
you recall how you were taught to read and how successful
was it? (Word limit 150)
2. Plan one activity that can be used for a Young learners?
class integrating all the
four skills. Mention the age and attach the materials
to be used. Try and incorporate stories and songs wherever