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Certification Program

Difference between Adults and YL

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.

Phase 7 – Teaching Young Learnerss

Young Learners Course


Learning 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 skills?

It 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.

Children´s 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 others.

There 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 adequate

understanding of time will not be able to use temporal adverbs such as `tomorrow´ and `last week´ correctly.

All 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.

In 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.

How do children learn English

Popular 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.

Therefore 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.

1. Intellectual Development
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 bewildered.
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 than adults.

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 language learning.
  • The teacher´s non-verbal language is important because children keenly observe and imitate the teacher´s facial expressions, gestures and touch.

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 learning.

  • 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 learning process.

5. Authentic, Meaningful Language

Children are focused on what this new language can actually be used for here and now. They want immediate rewards and success

  • 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:

The 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 individual attention.
  • 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.

Young 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 imagination
  • They know that rules need to be followed and derive a sense of security from them.
  • They understand situations faster than they understand language.
  • Their own understanding comes through eyes, hands and ears; the physical world is dominant at all times.
  • 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 enjoying themselves.
  • 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 fiction.
  • 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 and dislike.
  • They are able to work with others and learn from others.
  • They can understand abstracts, symbols, generalize and systematize.


A different Orientation:

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

1. 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 the action.
e) Drawing - Listen and draw is a favorite classroom activity.

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.

Teaching Oral skills

Speaking 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.

What 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.

When 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.

However, 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.

1. 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 pupils
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

Using a puppet
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. Once

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.

Drawings and Silhouettes
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 a mistake.
One pupil asks : “What?s the time?” The other answers: “It´s ”. Or
“What´s he doing´” “ He´s ing.”
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 words.

Example: Chain work
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.

4. 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 way possible.

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.

Example: Using objects
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 ____.

There 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.

Importance 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 expression etc.
- Gives an opportunity to use natural language.

5. Free activities

o 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.

Teaching Reading Skills

Listening 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.

Approaches to reading

1. Phonics
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 reading exercise.
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.

Five 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.

Eight 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.

A 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 time.

However 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
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.

Confidence Building

• 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 for

Teaching Writing Skills

Although 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:

1. 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.

Writing 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.

Get them writing!!!

1. Controlled writing activities

Writing 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

Straight 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.

b. Matching

Pupils can match pictures and text or choose which sentence they want to write about the text
Foe example:
Write one sentence –

- He likes cooking
- He is a good cook
- He is making a meal with eggs

c. Organizing and copying

Copying can also be a good introduction to structured writing. For example:
Complete Susan´s letter :-

120 Belle Avenue
New York July 26th,

1985 Dear Mike, New York is beautiful…………………………………………………….. …………………………………………………………………………….
Yesterday ………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………
Tomorrow………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………. Love, Susan

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.

d. Delayed copying
This activity is used for training short term visual memory. The teacher

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.

e. Dictation
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.

2. Guided written activities

a. Fill-in exercises
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.

My Pet
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 at night.

b. Dictation
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 later.

c. Letters and invitations
Letter writing is a popular language activity and a useful way of getting pupils to write short meaningful sentences.
For example:

Dear ,
I hope you are free on _. We are going to the . Would you with _?


d. 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.

Free Writing
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 possible.
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 the learner.

Managing Young Learners

There 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.

Maintaining 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.

Many 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

The following set of organizational practices should help to establish effective control of the classroom by the teacher:

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 classroom behavior.

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 to discipline.

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 the syllabus.

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 our work".

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.

Here 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 the class.
  • 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 are teaching.

Classroom Atmosphere

Children learn better in a secure, comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Here are some ways that the teacher can create that atmosphere:

a. 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.

The Room
The Sights
To create a visual environment that:

1. Is Attractive
2. Is Functional
3. Is Stimulating
4. Is Motivational
5. Creates pride and self esteem

The Temperature

Temperature 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 and alert.
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.


Where there is mutual respect in a friendly, non-threatening atmosphere, a place where everyone can bloom and do their best.

Negotiating Rules:

It 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

As 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.

Many 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.

Meeting the challenges – Some useful suggestions

a. 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 particular lessons.
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 about15 minutes.
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 answers.

Using Stories, Songs and Chants

Why stories are important?

Story 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 story?

Stories 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 are ok.

You can also understand your child when you read out the story noticing his or her response to it.

Advantages of stories

• Stories help to develop confidence.
• Stories help the children to relax hence reduces stress.
• 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 imagination .

Tips 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 not interested
• 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 ..

Benefits 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 .

What 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 interest.
• Beginners with books need stories with simple language and easy to understand or else they may feel put off.
• Remember all children are different so do not force a book on some one

Why 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.

Here 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.

Technique 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 the children.
• 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 same ,
• 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

More facts on stories and their importance

Folktales: 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

I've run away from a little old woman, a little old man, and a cow...
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 and
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.

These 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.

Music – Songs and Chants

The Benefits of Preschool Songs and Nursery Rhymes

There are many benefits to learning nursery rhymes and preschool songs:

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 .

2. 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 songs.

3. The rhythm of songs, poems and rhymes help children to remember the words and helps to develop auditory memory skills .

It 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.

4. Listening is an important skill to encourage – and it is an important step towards one day learning to read.

5. Poems and verses use words to paint word pictures and nursery rhymes help to activate that awareness.

6. 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!

7. Nursery rhymes also help children to appreciate and develop an understanding of

8. 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.

9. Finger play rhymes and clapping songs are a delightful way to help children develop motor skills and co-ordination .

10. 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 play

• 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

Music 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

It has also been proved that music is advantageous for still other reasons.

- 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 to learning.
- Through songs, students are exposed to “authentic” examples of the second language. .
- Music is perhaps the strongest motivational factor

How music motivates?

The 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

If 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

Strategies to use music in class

Section 1- Activities To Do Before the Song is Learned


Description: Students dance to a song they will learn later on.

Purpose: 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.


a. 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.

b. Have groups perform for the larger group. The class will vote for the best choreography.


Description: Students learn the meaning of song vocabulary from one another in order to create a skit in which all vocabulary are used.

Purpose: 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.


a. 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.

c. 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).

d. Ask student groups to perform their skits for the class. Use as many props and costumes as possible.

Section 2- Activities Performed While the Song is Being Presented for the First Time


Description: While students hear the song for the first time, they observe their teacher
or other members dramatize the song's lyrics.

Purpose: 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 language acquisition.


a. 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.

b. 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.

c. Play the song for the class while the actors perform it.

Section 3- Activities Performed After the Song Has Been Presented


Description: Students practice mini-dialogues containing specific "patterns" and/or
"routines"* which the teacher has extracted from the song's lyrics.

Purpose: 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.


a. 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 Martha.”

• Mickey Mouse: “Nice to meet you, Martha.”

Feel free to be creative with your mini-dialogues.

b. 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.

c. 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.

d. 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.

e. 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 several times.

Once 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.

f. 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.)


Description: Students will "lip sync" the song before a group of student judges.

Purpose: 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.


a. Divide students into groups of fours.

b. 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.

c. Identify three students who will serve as judges of the lip sync talent show.

d. Play the vocal version of the song so that each team can perform for the class.

e. Ask the judges to announce the winner. Recognize the winner of the talent show in some way (e.g., a candy, applause).

Teachers should feel confident using music to facilitate the language acquisition process because clearly, there are numerous benefits associated with it.

Acquiring Vocabulary through Story-Songs

Objective: To acquire vocabulary.

Target age: 8 to 10 years

It 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.

Select a Story-Song

Before 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 pictures, photos
• 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 class.
• 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

A 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.


1. 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 applicable.


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