The activities of 'speaking and listening' teaching to young learners are written in this article. The main objective of this article is to recommend to the teachers how to teach listening and speaking the ways of useful activities such as mime stories, songs, chants, paintings, creating stories, listen and repeat activities and etc.
Key words: mime stories, creating stories, paintings, listen and repeat activities
Young learners have a natural musical taste. Krashen (1981) stated: «The most striking features of songs that enhance language perception include their rhythmic and repetitive nature and the joy that the association between melody and content brings to educational activity. Children are well aware of the rhythm, and they have not yet experienced the anxiety that can accompany the study of the second language "(quoted in Sevik, 2012, p 11).
Scott and Itreberg offer useful information in the book Teaching English for Children (1990) that provides effective guidance for the teaching of English young students. In their opinion, before learning to read, listening is an ability that children acquire in the first place. Visual backup through facial expression, through movement, through pantomime and through the image, etc. Helps learners understand what they hear. Also it is worth remembering that as soon as something was said, it disappears. The advantage of reading is that rereading is possible, and repeated reading can clarify the situation. But this may not be possible in the case of listening. Therefore, it is important to clearly say things and repeat them while the children are listening.
Children have a very short period of attention, which increases with age. Eight to ten years old usually have more attention and they sit still for longer periods of time. Therefore, it is important not to overload children when they are working on listening tasks (pages 26–27).
Listen and do activities:
Communication is two ways, and it can be easily understood by looking at the student, whether they received a massage or not. In most classrooms, language is a type of «listen and do» activity, so teachers should use this from the moment they start their homework, giving this instruction (page 27).
Actions such as moving allow teachers to find out if children can understand instructions by listening to them or not. Classroom vocabulary, the word movement, counting, writing, etc. You can do it using actions. Children like role-playing; they can play the role of «instructor», which will improve the conversation (page 27).
Mime stories are also interesting for young students. Here the teacher tells the story, and the students and the teacher carry out their actions. This again provides physical movement (page 28).
«Listen and draw» is a favorite type of listening in almost all classes, but drawing takes time, we need to keep a simple picture. In this exercise, the teacher or one of the students tells others to draw (page 28).
Listening to information: «Listening to information» is actually the title of an umbrella that covers a very wide range of auditions. However, we perceive this as listening to details, for obtaining specific information (page 29).
Putting an order:
Students can be provided with a series of images that illustrate the text before them. They can listen to the text and put the pictures in the order they think is right (page 30)
The excise type questionnaire includes a little writing or filling in numbers that are very useful for language exercises (page 30)
Listen and color:
Children like to paint pictures, and this can easily be aural activity. Instead of allowing them to simply paint the picture, teachers can turn it into a language lesson (page 30)
«Listen and repeat»:
(Rhymes, Songs) «Listen and repeat» exercises are fun and give students the opportunity to feel the language: sounds, stress, rhyme and intonation. When they are performed in conjunction with movements or with objects or pictures, it helps students to establish a connection between words and meaning (page 32).
Compiling a story with children at all stages helps them to translate their thoughts into words. And also it gives a real sense of a common history, and one can not predict how this will end, but this happens, as a rule, rather unconventional (p. 33).
Younger students hear that they can speak better. Teachers can read a book out loud, and not tell a story. Children love to repeat their favorite stories, and they very often will be able to tell you a story verbatim without changing a word.
Children of all ages like to read, and teachers can spend a lot of time reading them, which is very useful for listening (page 35).
Scott & Ytreberg (1990) in his book said that speaking ability is the most difficult skill for a teacher. As young learners can express their emotions, communicate with each other and react, learn the language and share their humor in their own language just as they expect them to be able to do the same in the target language. To communicate in the target language, it was observed that when they cannot find the right word, they use their native language. Therefore, it is important for teachers to find a balance with the newcomers through controlled and managed classes and at the same time allow them to enjoy natural conversations, since most of our students have little opportunity to practice conversational English outside the classroom. At the initial stage, the activity will be under the supervision of the teacher. There are several ways to represent the language «orally»:
Use of the mascot:
Representing the language, for young children using a class mascot or puppets, was probably the most successful way of teaching. The constant presence of a familiar person with whom teachers have conversations about anything, and all this is a wonderful way of introducing new subjects and a new language, for example, using a teddy bear as a talisman, asking questions, demonstrating dialogue, etc. (Page 39), Most of the simple drawings on the board are also useful to teach you to talk about it instantly (page 40).
«Controlled practice goes hand in hand with the presentation, since it is important that the students try a new language as soon as they hear». (page.37) there is little chance that students will be wrong in controlled practice. There are many ways to obtain controlled practice with young students. For example, telling the time that he / she does, etc. (P. 42)
Practice can be done with a couple or small groups. In this practice, students are given a certain choice, but the choice of language is limited. Pictures or objects or facial expressions to help the student understand the content and practice words — talk about time, ask questions, talk about colors, dialogues and role games, etc.
In addition to the exercises with guidance, there are activities for improving oral skills, such as free classes, pair work, group work, storytelling, whole classroom activities, etc. Inclusion of various activities helps students to master an audience and speak in a classroom where they have the opportunity to practice talking with their peers (page 43)
- Savic, V. (2013). Developing Language Skills in Teaching English to Young Learners. Serbia elta newsletter. Retrieved from http://www.sharepdf.com/2014/2/17/7ebbd12421ae4864987824d95f5df8ab/serbia-eltanewsletter-2013- march-young_l earners_playground-savi c.htm
- Scott, A., & Ytreberg, L. Teaching English to Children, London New York:
- Klein, K. 2005. Teaching young learners. English Teaching Forum43 (1): 12–17. Karlsson, P, A (2012) Storytelling as a Teaching Strategy in the English Language
- Rumley, G. 1999. Games and songs for teaching modern languages to young children. In The teaching of modern foreign languages in the primary school, ed. P. Driscoll and D. Frost, 114–25. London: Routledge