Why Adopt New Activities in Language Courses?

///Why Adopt New Activities in Language Courses?

At present, languages are taught to children in a way that is truly different from that of which their parents have retained the memory.

The teaching of English in kindergarten and primary school is becoming more and more frequent, both in the private and public sectors. This is due in part to the insistence of the parents.

According to a recent study by the British Council, parents who enroll their children in British Council courses consider English as an essential skill for their future. They believe that the acquisition of this language will improve their child’s career prospects in a world far different from where they grew up.

Teaching methods used in the teaching of young children generally focus on oral communication. Teachers use a wide variety of resources, such as songs, nursery rhymes, rhymes, DVDs, flashcards, sound effects, objects, actions, gestures, expressions, etc. to speak and communicate meaning.

They stimulate several senses at the same time and offer children multiple ways to connect and assimilate concepts. For example, some children prefer to hear information while others prefer to view it. Children have the opportunity to react in a variety of ways (speaking orally, physically, drawing, etc.), enabling them to take advantage of their strengths.

These methods often differ from the methods that were in place when parents learned a foreign language. They are not necessarily the same as those used to learn other subjects in school.

If parents perceive certain pedagogical techniques as ‘not formal enough,’ ‘not serious enough’ or ‘not sufficiently stringent,’ they may tend to question their effectiveness.

It is very important to dispel this kind of misunderstanding by helping parents understand how children learn and by explaining the reason for these techniques.

It will help them figure out what is going on in class and take advantage of classroom activities to support their children’s learning at home.

The first years of a child’s life are the most propitious for learning a language because it is during this period that they most naturally apply to a new language. The mechanisms of acquisition of the language spoken at Home Children learn by doing and actively engaging in the learning process.

Here are some activities used by teachers and the benefits they receive from children:

Songs, rhymes, and rhymes

Children love songs, rhymes, and rhymes. Their repetitive and rhythmic character makes them ideal for learning a language. They allow children to become familiar with the new language and through repetition, retention, and reuse of sentences. They enhance the motivation and confidence of the child. They promote concentration, memory, and coordination.

Many songs, rhymes and nursery rhymes come from the traditional repertoire; they awaken the intercultural sensitivity of the child. Finally, by singing together, children share an activity and develop social skills.

Games

Children like the board games that motivate them and give them the opportunity to practice a foreign language in a relaxed, pleasant and thoughtful way.

They improve the ability to focus and concentrate as well as memory. Children also acquire important social skills by learning to share, to wait, to participate and to cooperate.

Stories

The use of illustrated books and narrative techniques provide rich and natural contextualized learning opportunities. Children like to listen to the same stories over and over again, and this repetition allows them to acquire certain elements of language while consolidating others.

By telling stories to children, they are led to adopt certain learning strategies: listen to understand the general meaning, predict, guess and make assumptions. This particularly favors oral comprehension in children.

The quality of the illustrations helps children understand the story by associating what they hear with what they see. When they listen to stories in class, children share emotions such as laughter, sadness, excitement or anticipation. This encourages the child to feel confident and promotes emotional and social development.

Physical activity

It is often referred to as “total physical response” when referring to these activities because physical activities allow children to improve their ability to listen by following instructions and showing through actions and gestures that they have understood them.

Children appreciate physical activities and help them to enrich their vocabulary and exercise their memory.

The Role of the Teacher

Teachers should explain to children the reasons and objectives of language learning activities to understand what they are learning, why they are learning it, and why they learn it.

The role of the teacher is largely that of a facilitator whose mission is to create a positive climate in the classroom. Teachers should also maintain contact with parents to make them understand the merits of these activities and to extend the learning of their children at home.

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By |2017-02-14T16:47:00+00:00February 14th, 2017|Kids, Lifestyle|3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Prottoy September 18, 2017 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    As language learning is cumulative, it must be consolidated outside the classroom. This can be done as homework by setting regular vocabulary tests that require revision outside of school time, and also in school clubs. Give your students some language to practise at home so they take something away from each lesson. Lots of students enjoy teaching their parents what they have learned in their language lessons. Having taught English as a second language and now teaching French in a UK school, I have become more aware of the need to repeat and revisit grammar and vocabulary tasks.

  2. Vangeline September 19, 2017 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    We cannot deny that there will always be a shift of behavior from generation to generation. Although some may not be as receptive to the idea of shifting the ways and processes of our educational system, I think we sure should cater to the behavior of the next coming generations so as not to put all the learning and efforts into waste. I think it is a matter of being open-minded and being understanding enough of these behavioral changes in order to find what is suiting or most effective in teaching our young ones. It is not about being all so formal or being all so strict in implementing classroom instructions, I think what matters most is how these methods revolutionizes education in a way that is not uninteresting or boring.

  3. Oswaldo Antonio December 22, 2017 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Besides of thinking than learning english is an essential skill for the future, it can open the door for a new range of posibilities and habilities. When this learning process is apply to the children since they are in the youngest part of their lives, the develop a mental speed obtaining a better performance in front of the different situations present in their educational career. In this way, it helps them to expect a better future as they have more access to the information in the networks (knowing that internet is in a constant development and we are involved in it) expanding their probabilities of find a job and having success in their lives. Theses tips are usefull, this article really helps to have a better educational method!

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