One of the most rewarding experiences in life is to teach young learners. Not only do primary educators have the chance to contribute to their students’ cognitive development and celebrate their successes with parents, but they can also enable them to join a multilingual community for life.
As the development of children’s language acquisition remains the most impressive process to witness, young learners’ teachers are unique in their ability to guide children and observe from their on-the-ground perspectives how it is accomplished. This process can be relatively complicated and involve struggles that are not directly connected to methods of teaching.
Our team has found seven videos to inspire educators to engage young learners both online and offline. In addition, these videos can help educators looking for fresh classroom ideas and find solutions for puzzling psychological issues associated with YL teaching.
Improving early child development with words
Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald at TEDxAtlanta
This TED talk gives a thought-provoking idea about early childhood education featuring Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald. According to her (and we agree!), language is a powerful indicator of human well-being, and it starts with babies, who by nature are hardwired to learn different languages.
Right from the start, language acquisition occurs between a child and a caretaker (in some families it even can be multilingual), and the more words introduced while interacting within a family, the better. As teachers of primary-age students, we can reflect on how to promote this interaction, helping parents and sharing tips on fostering L2 interaction not only in class but elsewhere.
Why? Because language nutrition includes exposing children to as many words as they can comprehend with the help of parents and/or educators, it is crucial to aid them and promote the idea of future success based on the language(s) they learn.
Building vocabulary for kids
Reading specialist Elizabeth Babbing discusses how teachers and parents can make vocabulary more accessible to young learners, providing efficient strategies to help them tame new words consciously.
Developing children’s reading confidence requires vocabulary exposure and subsequent careful reflection, according to the expert. In the opposite case, they might spend less time reading or pick easy reading so they are not too challenged or frustrated. Providing explanations that relate to a story, doing vocabulary sketches, and integrating technology are just a few of the “bricks” whose practical complexities have become less apparent, and refreshing them may give reading classes a greater sense of significance both for educators and students.
These tips may also help synchronize vocabulary routines with parents.
Vocabulary Revision Games & Activities! ESL
Among other classroom activities, vocabulary games have become a catchy tune, but they still play a crucial role in vocabulary immersion and building peer-to-peer interaction.
The following video suggests fun and simple activities to monitor how confident your students are in using new words actively. Although the activities are class-based, they can be modified so that students can also work together in small groups and/or individually with the teacher. Some of the activities presented do not require any preparation (for example, the first game called “the line”) and can be used as last-minute ideas or when all other activities are successfully completed by learners.
There are some ideas in this video that may be useful as supplemental/revision strategies to the ones mentioned above by Elizabeth Babbing.
How to Teach Your Kids English
(when you are also an English learner)
You might share this video with your student’s parents: it tackles an important misconception people have about how to assist their kids in learning. In today’s world, many parents want to contribute to the positive learning experience of their children, and giving them ideas on how to help is becoming more and more vital.
Certainly, there is still a lot of controversy over the level of English parents should have to co-teach their children outside the classroom, but the emphasis on the child-parent bond is a real game-changer.
The key takeaways for you to share with parents:
- It is important to create a positive communicative environment so children are excited, curious, and interested;
- Kids don’t need to speak with natives when they’re just starting;
- For kids, establishing learning “partnerships” with their parents can be beneficial;
- The emphasis should be on increasing a child’s confidence and mindset, rather than on perfectionism (the so-called “mistakes-are-ok” attitude)
21st Century Skills for Young Learners
This video is a webinar held in 2019 by Katherine Stannett, the author at National Geographic Learning. The main message may sound crystal clear: understanding the skills and abilities that our now-young learners need to build better language and other corresponding skills isn’t an easy task.
The process of defining soft skills remains subjective, so many educators have difficulty incorporating these skills into teaching the target language. The speaker emphasizes the four C’s, or critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity, showing examples of tasks and how to review them with students based on these four aspects.
There are many important insights in this webinar, and for those looking to expand their horizons beyond a strictly prescribed syllabus, it can be an impeccable guide.
All About Empathy for Kids
Early childhood educators are often required to provide emotional support and assistance to their learners beyond the language teaching alone. Why so? Language, as a tool for communication, is always associated with a certain set of emotional patterns. And for young learners to become confident language users, it is essential to help them recognize and understand not just verbal but also non-verbal cues.
Together with your students, consider these questions before watching: What is empathy? Why is empathy so important? How can you demonstrate empathy to others?
Some children are empathic by nature, while others have difficulty putting themselves in their peers’ shoes, and this can negatively impact their ability to recognize and name emotions using L2. When language and emotional awareness are taught simultaneously, young learners gain first insight into their emotional intelligence and expand their communication ties with their peers.
In the video, there are several teaching takeaways that you may adjust for the current needs of your students.
10 Easy Classroom Management Hacks
The following video may provide the best answer to the pretty worrisome question: how to make classroom management tips really work?
In your career, you may find that basic googling does not give you useful information other than general advice you can’t apply, so you give up on it. Considering the strategies from the video may reinforce your professional enthusiasm, channel the mood in the classroom and make management less hectic by responding to undesirable behaviour appropriately.
The primary teacher, Michelle Ferré, divides them into three categories: behaviour management, tattling and question management, and volume/noise management, and each has a few creative hacks that are easily applied. Your learners, for instance, can be chatty, and you always spend valuable instructional time trying to persuade them to follow your lesson agenda.
Since children their age can’t distinguish between lessons and tattletales to share with their teachers, the hack called “ask-me tag” is an excellent way to make one of the students in a group into the teacher’s assistant position. After watching, let us know which tips you want to apply.
We hope you’ll find these videos insightful and practical, and you’re also welcome to share some enlightening resources in the comment below 😊
Take a look some more: Games to practise countable and uncountable nouns with young learners