Friday, December 22, 2006
Teaching young EFL/ESL learners
For the last three months Ive been doing private lessons with young learners, ten year olds with just one year of English. To tell you the truth, it's not something that I really wanted to do as teaching this age group requires a completely different approach and as I'm used to working with teens and adults I wasn't sure I could do it properly.However, my friends insisted and I felt that not to do so would mean letting them down.
Now, here is the strangest thing, I really love doing this. It's incredibly hard work and I have to work twice as hard as I usually do, but the pay off is the great deal of enthusiasm that my younger learners bring to the lessons. It's a real buzz. I'm lucky in that I have a course book that really is a joy to teach. The Chatterbox series embodies all the teaching ideas that I think are vital to language learning, irrespective of age; fun, engagement, use and action.
However, I thought I'd add my own hi-tech twist by using my digital camera in the lessons in order to record them doing the various songs and comic strips that the book has. I, then put them on my ibook and let them see them. If they are not happy with their performance then we do it all over again. It's great feedback
In contrast with older learners, my younger students love seeing and hearing themselves.