Chapter 1: Children as language learners Students: Barrau, Natasha Herrán, Joana Martin, Melisa Paci, Belén
1) CONTEXT FOR LEARNING ENGLISH Necessary conditions for a learning situation: Time Exposure A real need for English Variety of input Meaningful input
MAKING A CLASSROOM A POSITIVE LEARNINGENVIRONMENT:Use attractive wall displays, displays of pupil’s work, etc.Use interesting and enjoyable learning activities.Create a warm and happy atmosphere.Help pupils to develop personal reasons for learning English.
2) CHILDREN AS LANGUAGE LEARNERS How do children learn a foreign language?Children use language creatively.They have knowledge of the language system.They try to experiment and work out the rules of the language in their heads.Students need opportunities to try out and work with language, but they also need a feedback to confirm or modify their hypotheses.
GOING FOR MEANINGChildren have a good instinct for interpretingsense or meaning of a situation.They work out the meaning, and do not paymuch attention to the words.
USING “CHUNKS” OF LANGUAGEChildren use complete phrases or formulas learnedas a whole.Examples: I don’t know. Come on. Goodbye.Then, children start to break down the phrases andrecombine the words in new ways. Sign of language development
HAVING FUNChildren have a great capacity to enjoythemselves.If pupils enjoy the learning activities The desire to continue increases. More exposure to input. More opportunities to practise the language.
JOINING IN THE ACTIONChildren construct their understanding of the world byexploring the environment and interacting withpeople.Physical activities provide excellent contexts forlanguage learning “Children learn through doing”
TALKING THEIR HEADS OFFIn general, young children (5 to 10-year-olds)are enthusiastic and eager to talk in class.Children’s desire to communicate is verypowerful.If they are engaged with the activity, they willtalk their heads off happily.
FEELING AT HOMEo Pupils often feel frightened, embarrassed or insecure about learning a language. They will participate, take risks and enjoy L2 learning if they feel at home.o Teachers should create an appropriate learning environment where children can develop the abilities they have and encourage their students.o Teachers should be aware of students’ feelings and support them in the learning process of the L2 creating conditions which support language learning.
AN APPROPRIATE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTTO DEVELOP CHILDREN’S ABILITIESo Create a real need and desire to use English.o Provide time for English, exposure to varied and meaningful input, opportunities to practise, experiment and use the language in different contexts .o Create a friendly atmosphere in which children can take risks and enjoy their learning.o Provide feedback on learning.o Help children notice the underlying pattern in language.
3) HOW TEACHERS’ BELIEFS ABOUT LEARNING AFFECT THEIR TEACHING?o Teachers’ beliefs about learning will affect the plan and organization of their lessons as well as the attitude towards pupils and language.o We are not aware of our beliefs until we hear someone else’s opinion.o Our beliefs about learning will also affect the kind of relationships we build with pupils.
4) WAYS OF OBSERVING CHILDREN’SLANGUAGE LEARNINGTeacher’s beliefs affect the way we planour teaching and the way we respond toyoung learners.
HOW TO BECOME BETTER AT WATCHINGAND LEARNING FROM PUPILS Keep a diary: write down things you observe children say and do. Plan future lessons or provide specific help. Tape record children’s pair group interaction: Example, tape record children doing a particular language-learning activity.
SUMMARYWe have seen: The different contexts in which children can learn English and how these affect the quantity and quality of language input children get. The variety of ways a children learn and the abilities and characteristics children make use of in learning another language How teacher’s beliefs affect the way they teach. Ideas for observing children.
Children learning a second or foreign language will use similar processes of acquisition BUT The difference lies in the type and amount of language exposure. Teacher: powerful position: positive, stimulating and successful experience