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Teaching children

Unread postby yanmtl » Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:58 pm

I teach elementary school children 5 to 10 years of age and I am still learning how to teach them and want to get better at it. They often say that you mostly need to use games so the kids don't get bored. I agree when we talk of children of 6 and under but for those who are aged 8 to 10, can read and write well and start seeing more grammar I try to teach them more things make them write and read a lot.
This is where I need some tips, if my 8 years old student persits in not wanting to read or write about any of the exercises that we see together in class should I change my approach or should I persit in making her read and write.

Thank you!
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Re: Teaching children

Unread postby eric_p_m » Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:10 pm

Dear Yanmtl,

Try asking your students what they would like to write about. Motivation is a key factor to learning a language. Start off asking them what is their favorite animal in the whole wide world or easier still, what is their favorite color. For your older students, ask them to pretend to be a dinosaur and then ask them what is their favorite food and/or color. Then group the strongest dinosaurs together and have them chase after the other students and finally, get to the point where they eat the weaker dinosaurs.

Have your artistic students draw about what happened and your more advanced students should compose a narration about the resulting carnage and destruction of your classroom.

Get the point?


Sincerely,


Eric Paul Monroe

http://www.eric-tesol.com/
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Re: Teaching children

Unread postby samuel » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:19 pm

Teaching young children is an art! There are many techniques that can be used to catch their attention. Yes, games are always fun ways of learning, but they can also do it with cooperative activities for instance. They can do a jigsaw charade quiz for example. They would be in teams of 4 to do so. We must not be afraid to tech language that is higher than their level as well (not too much though) because they will greatly benefit from it. Discussion is often a simple task that truly is effective with young students. They can talk about their weekend or anything else as long as they are exchanging ideas. Of course, coming back to games every now and then will be necessary because they will get bored at some point. We need to vary our activities in order to truly motivate children to learn. Activities need to be fun, easy to understand and useful for their learning needs.
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Re: Teaching children

Unread postby samueltremblay » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:47 pm

I also think that asking your students about their interests is the best way to proceed. Indeed, they always like to read and talk about subjects that they can easily identify themselves to. I actually did an activity on anorexia with secondary 4 students and I was surprised to see how well they participated. In fact, anorexia is a real issue for students of that age and this is why they were more interested in the subject in my opinion. The best thing to do I think is to get to know your students better and then you will know what kind of readings you can assign them and what kind of activities you can do in your class!
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Re: Teaching children

Unread postby MikeV » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:47 pm

When it comes to teach children, I think they first need an "amusing approach" in order to want to learn. The younger they are, the easier it is to approach material with games or songs. If they are older (8 years old for instance), you can still think of using fun songs that are not too complex for them to understand. If you want to, you can still use games to start teaching them and then switch to more practical exercises. If they start working and enjoy it, their prior knowledge will be activated and you will find it easier for them to participate.
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Re: Teaching children

Unread postby abbaabbacdcd » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:53 pm

I've always wondered about the efficiency of using songs to teach children. Do you think it helps them learn the language or is it just rote memorization?
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Re: Teaching children

Unread postby amrif » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:58 pm

Teaching children is tricky. The only thing that makes it easier is time, practice, and experience. It isn’t always easy for children to focus and pay attention so it is important to mix/change up the kind of activities and learning material being used. Yes, games are always a hit with young children, but following that up with a short grammar exercise is perfectly fine. Using arts and crafts tied in with a grammar or writing exercise/activity is great. No one knows their students better than the teacher. With time you will know what works with them and what works less. Children can adapt to almost anything. Just make sure to vary things.
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Re: Teaching children

Unread postby cyndie » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:59 pm

I agree with what Samuel said, it is important that you supply a lot of input for your children at this age. They learn so fast when they are young that you must use vocabulary that have not necessary be learned or viewed closely in class, this way they will hear a lot of new words and their vocabulary range will increase even if they are not aware of it. Young children catch and register everything you say in class. Maybe not from the first time but some will eventually catch these words that you say in class and use them. Just talk as much as you can in between activities, it will only be an extra for your children and if only one student gets the advanced words that you used, than it will be useful for this person.
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Re: Teaching children

Unread postby samantha » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:02 pm

When teaching young children it is important to keep things fun! They need to learn in such a way that they do not realize that they are learning themselves. Games provide a variety of fun ways to teach English in a classroom context.
Variety is also key when teaching small children because they have such a short attention span, it’s important to mix things up.
Kids also like to work in small groups; this allows them to feel more secure when learning a second language.
Another factor that we should take into account when we teach young children is to have them move around. Using techniques such as the Total Physical Response give students the opportunity to move around since they do not have a long attention span. It will also enable them to make visual associations with the movements that they make and the new vocabulary that they are learning. For example, young children love songs because they can move around and sing along to the parts that they know.
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Re: Teaching children

Unread postby jeffreyrodrigue » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:04 pm

I think it's important that you persist in trying to make them write and read more. It might be less interesting for them, but ultimately it's better for them. The key I think was mentioned in an earlier post, you have to make them read and write about stuff that they like, that they are interested on. And also, the thing is to mix up your activity types; if you have a reading or writing activity then after that make them do a game, drawing and or something like that. My advice is to be taken with in mind that I'm only a university student so I might be completely mistaken.
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