Starting a new school year with new bunch of kids.
Children like pretending and playing. Sounds cliché? Maybe.
Young learners’ teacher should be aware of all stages of children development and their cognitive abilities while planning lessons.
I recommend some methodology books in which teaching young learners’ phenomenon is precisely described. The list of my recommendations will be at the end of this article.
Before entering the classroom
Start with simply getting to know your pupils better as described in Scrivener’s ‘Learning Teaching’ chapter 4: Who are the learners?
Basically, after the first glance at your new class, you need to dig deeper to learn about the children more.
- Maybe play some role-plays?
- Make a poll?
- Ask simple questions and take their slips of paper with anonymous answers?
- Play 20 questions?
Here, it does not matter which way suits you the most, but make sure you grab some information.
If your pupils are mature enough, you may talk with them about their motivation towards learning English. Many may just simply answer that they were made to because this lesson is obligatory.
Do not give up easily!
Some pupils may positively surprise you with their internal reasons. Let them feel comfortable enough to share their thoughts with you.
Methods, techniques, tricks and other magic
When you are aware with whom you will be stuck be working this year, refresh your memory on some basic teaching methods applicable to your class age group.
If you do not have much time, you may find helpful to use the most popular English publishers’ websites to smoothly browse through some ideas.
Macmillan’s website: onestopenglish.com
British Council: teaching English
Honestly, I suggest to take advantage of printed/online versions of books for teachers of YL.
I found Macmillan’s ‘500 Activities for the Primary Classroom’ book really useful. Not only, I can expand my bank of activities, but also my knowledge of teaching methodology.
Even if you consider yourself as a well-acquainted with all the methods person, I do advice you to refresh your memory and be open to new things.
Don’t let the boredom beat you!
Jim Scrivener, Learning Teaching: A Guidebook for English Language Teachers, Macmillan
Lynne Cameron, Teaching Languages to Young Learners, Cambridge University Press
The whole series of Resource Books for Teachers by Oxford University Press:
Sheila M. Ward, Very Young Learners, OUP
Sarah Phillips, Young Learners, OUP
Lewis, G. Bedson, Games for Children, OUP
Lewis and H. Mol, Grammar for young Learners, OUP
Andrew Wright, Storytelling with Children, OUP
Sarah Phillips, Drama with Children, OUP
Phillips, S. Burwood, H. Dunford, Projects with Young Learners, OUP
Carol Read, 500 Primary Classroom Activities, Macmillan
Szpotowicz, M. Szulc-Kupaska, Teaching English to Young Learners, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN
Seymour, M. Popova, 700 Classroom Activities, Macmillan
Gradzińska, E. Proc-Homziuk, Gry i zabawy językowe, Enset
Trust me, it’s just a very short list of things worth reading and having on your shelf!