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English Teaching for Children


I always think that phonics learning and vocabulary word memory are parallel in impertance. ... the benefits of using gestures and physical activity in a lesson? ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: English Teaching for Children

English Teaching for Children
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  • ?????(Leonard)

Chapter 1 In search of an approach
  • Millions of children are learning English in
    Asia, and thousands of teachers are searching for
    an approach to teaching that will work most

Finding an Effective Approach
  • It is time for each of us to build an approach
    that fits the particular needs of Asian
    elementary school children learning English as a
    foreign language.

EFL in Asia
  • The teaching techniques we use in one kind of
    situation may be very different from those we use
    in another situation.
  • There, because the teaching of English to
    children in Asia is still in its infancy in many
    respects, techniques designed for different
    situations have often been imported and assumed
    to be appropriate.

The distinctions between EFL and ESL
  • ESL refers to the learning of English by
    immigrants to a country where English is the
    native language.
  • Melissa who is a foreign English teacher teaching
    in my school, for example, had immigrated to
    Canada when she was in her mothers belly. Her
    father, a Chinese, had escaped from Southern
    China into Thailand where he met and married her
    mother. While in pregnancy, her mother moved to
    Canada and lived there until now. For Melissa,
    Thai is the first language and English is the
    second. She is now not only a French teacher but
    also an English teacher in Canada. English to
    her is very different from those of us living and
    growing in Taiwan.

  • ESL learners generally have more chances to use
    English naturally outside class.
  • They are also likely to have much more exposure
    to English.
  • In general, they are more likely to deeply
    understand the importance of English and feel it
    is natural and necessary to learn it.

  • It is true that in many Asian countries, not
    only is there little exposure to English in the
    childrens daily lives, but their native
    languages also have little in common with
    English, and have different writing systems.
  • we need to be careful about using teaching
    techniques that were originally designed for very
    different situations.

  • How do children learn effectively?
  • Because of the distinct situations, the answers
    are very different between EFL and ESL.
  • This means a child-centered lesson in an Asian
    EFL classroom may appear quite different from a
    child-centered lesson in a French EFL or an
    American ESL classroom.

We need an approach
  • A new language target may be introduced in a
    teacher-centered way and practiced in a
    child-centered way.
  • Kate, a foreign English teacher in my school one
    or two years ago, had always adopted this kind of
    idea to teach in the classroom.
  • It did work to enhance students level in some
    English aspects successfully.

  • All approaches to teaching have strong and weak
    points, and that standard approaches may not fit
    our particular teaching situation, so we need to
    draw on ideas from a number of different
    approaches and add ideas that come from our own
  • However, the methods we choose need to fit
    together coherently.

  • I always think that phonics learning and
    vocabulary word memory are parallel in
  • Both are the most important parts for elementary
    school students to learn and to establish a good
    foundation in learning English.
  • Therefore, the learning process from phonics to
    words is especially crucial to elementary school
    students from beginners through the advanced
  • Through this, the students are asked not to use
    the alphabet in their own language .

  • We need to develop a general approach based on
    our views on how children learn most effectively,
    and then teach, manage, and assess the children
    in ways that are consistent with this approach.

Starting from established approaches
  • There are many approaches or opinions for us to
    choose and use in our teaching.
  • Some are compatible with each other but others
    are diametrically (or exactly) opposed to each
  • Some approaches that are dominant in western
    educational psychology, may not be suitable so
    well in Asia.

  • It is important to understand some of the most
    recognized approaches, and think about which
    aspects of each approach we agree with or
    disagree with.
  • Behaviorist psychology, humanist psychology and
    constructivist psychology are three examples that
    are stated in this chapter.

Behaviorist approaches
  • The behaviorist view focuses on the reinforcement
    of behavior through repetition and rewards.
  • This is especially important for the starters in
    elementary school to learn English.

A lesson influenced by the approach may contain
the following five of all elements
  • The teacher controls both the childrens behavior
    and learning process.
  • He has a clear lesson and step-by-step
  • English patterns are repeated through drills and
    choral repetition.
  • Children are protected from making errors. (the
    idea of trial-and-error, the example of the mouse
    in a cage)
  • Success is reinforced by praise and rewards.

Questions to consider
How important is it to control the childrens
  • In the classroom, if the children behave badly,
    the rules will be violated so that they will not
    get what they must learn. It is especially
    important for elementary school teachers to teach
    because the children are always out of control
    without restrictions.

Is it important to make a careful plan before
starting a lesson?
  • Sure. It is especially important for a novice to
    make a careful plan before teaching. Without
    plan, the teacher could be too nervous to find
    good ways to teach.

Is it best to have a step-by-step syllabus?
  • I think so. But even with the step-by-step
    syllabus, the teaching must change if the
    condition or the situation requires change.

Are repetition drills important?
  • Yes, it is a must. With repetition drills, the
    children may learn some new words and realize
    some patterns in sentences unconsciously. Even
    though it is like a kind of military training
    that may possibly have some danger to it, it may
    evoke childrens inventory potential.

Should we try to prevent children from making
  • No. Making errors is a kind of nature in human
    beings, and it is a process of obtaining success.
    I had learned trial and error from the subject
    of Educational Psychology that was about the
    research of the procedure of a cat in a cage to
    get the fish. The cat had strived many, many
    times to find the key button to open the door for
    getting the fish, and it succeeded eventually. A
    very small part of childrens learning language
    is like the cats learning, so do not ever try to
    prevent them from making errors.

Are rewards and praise important?
  • If the rewards and praise are worthy and
    effective, they are important. If they are used
    too much to help students, and even tend to
    decrease their learning they are unimportant and

Input approaches
  • A lesson is generally influenced by some or all
    of the following basic principles
  • 1. We should expose the children in our classes
    to English they can understand at present or that
    is just beyond their present level.
  • 2. They should not be expected to produce new
    words and patterns until they feel ready to do
  • 3. We can introduce new words and patterns
    through physical demonstration, and we should
    encourage the children to be physically active.

Questions to consider
To what extent should we try to control the new
words and patterns the children encounter in our
  • Find new words which would happen and be used all
    the time in the daily life first. Start learning
    English from some simple tenses in sentence
    patterns, and they would usually be used in life
    too. There is no extent in learning English, the
    more you learn the better it is.

If Asian EFL learners are not expected to produce
new words and patterns until they feel completely
comfortable in doing so, can we expect them to
speak out and be communicative?
  • This is an abstract question, so maybe I can
    answer it in an abstract way. If you do not know
    how to walk, how can you run and jump? However,
    if you can walk well, why not try to run or to
    jump at all?

What do you feel are the benefits of using
gestures and physical activity in a lesson?
  • For children, the way of teaching using TPR
    (Total Physical Response) is always the best. It
    has been used the most in elementary schools to
    teach English compare to other methods. The
    teachers use their gestures as an aid to
    communicate with students from time to time and
    their lesson plans are full of physical
    activities here and there.
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