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Language assistants' answers


Question: Large classes of young learners

I have been asked to teach in a local school as part of a community service program. The class will consist of 40 12 year olds who have little or no previous experience of English. Lessons are an hour and a half long. Has anyone got any tips on how to create and keep the interest of young learners in very basic English?

 

     
 

 

Answer:

I can understand your initial concern. An hour and a half is a long time for a lesson with youngish students. However, the time will give you scope to do more varied work. Your students will need frequent changes of activity to hold their interest so do not do anything that lasts more than 15 minutes max. It can be a strain on their ears to concentrate for long periods on your voice so give them a break with some reading, writing, colouring, cutting and making things before listening again.


Answer:

Change activities, vary from a story to a picture description, from a chant with number cards to copying and matching the numbers. Move from a game to some writing and so on. Have lots to do to fill in time and change mood.


Answer:

Vary their contact with you. Don't hog the limelight. Direct questions then let them practice in pairs, read or colour together and even do something in groups. Keep switching from you to them and back so their attention is maintained and they have rest times.



Answer:

I noticed some good stuff on www.eslcafe.com . Go to the Ideas Cookbook, choose 'Kids' and enjoy! There is a good game tip called "It's not over till it's over" using the alphabet.


Answer:

Repeat, recycle and recycle again. The long term memory of young learners will not be so great, so review language frequently through games and see how to make repetition fun in your Manual on page 60-61. Stories, rhymes, songs, chants and games which involve repeating the same language over and over will be just right for them.

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