Опубликован: 18.11.2015 | Доступ: свободный | Студентов: 2635 / 0 | Длительность: 22:20:00
Специальности: Преподаватель
Лекция 12:

Teaching Young Learners

< Лекция 11 || Лекция 12: 12345

What are the differences between children and adults in language learning?


Read the statements in the box below and note down whether you agree or disagree with them. Make a note of any comments or thoughts about these assumptions.

  1. Younger children learn languages better than the older ones; children learn better than adults.
  2. Foreign language learning in school should be started at as early an age as possible.
  3. Children and adults learn languages basically in the same way.
  4. Adults have a longer concentration span than children.
  5. It is easier to interest and motivate children than adults.

Now read the Self-check key at the end of this unit and compare it with your own answers.

What do we need to know about our young learners to be able to teach them efficiently?

Besides the few characteristics of the young learners discussed in the task above, we need more information about the students we are going to teach. Our classroom management strategies, content of our lessons, the activities we choose to present, the new material to be learnt and practised depend on our thorough knowledge of our learners. The success of our lessons can be measured by the amount of learning that has taken place. Our students’ and our own enjoyment in the process are directly connected with this knowledge.


What exactly do we need to know about the children and where can we get the information from?

Compare your answer with the suggested answer at the end of this unit.


The grid below contains the developmental features of each age group of young learners. Read the features for each age group and then think about what type of teaching techniques and activities are suitable for each age group, what topics would be appropriate and some classroom management tips.

Age group Emotional Cognitive Social
Early Elementary (Age 5 to 8)
  • ego-centric / self-centred / wrapped up in themselves
  • need and seek approval from adults
  • like to play games, but can't accept losing; emphasis needs to be placed on success and cooperative games where everyone can win; failure should be minimized
  • adult help is needed in learning to cope with failures and problems
  • move into a state of industry; more interested in doing things than in the end product; beginning projects is more important than finishing them
  • thinking is concrete; learn through senses by touching, seeing, smelling, tasting, and hearing rather than by thinking alone; verbal instruction should be accompanied by demonstration
  • learning to sort things into categories; collecting things is important and fun
  • can depend on other adults such as teachers or youth group leaders in addition to parents
  • learning to be friends with others; younger boys and girls enjoy playing together, but by the end of the stage, boys and girls will separate; fighting occurs but does not have lasting effects
  • peers become important; want to impress peers more than parents; small groups are effective.
Middle School (9 to 11)
  • need to feel accepted and worthwhile; successes should be emphasized and failures kept in perspective as learning opportunities
  • performance should be compared with past personal performance rather than with the performance of other youth
  • still think concretely, but begin to think more logically; new ideas are best understood when related to previous experiences
  • think of things as absolutes, black or white, right or wrong
  • joining clubs becomes important; will form clubs with a group of others similar to themselves
  • begin to identify with peers, although they still need and want guidance from adults
  • have difficulty understanding another person's thinking, but are beginning to discover the benefit of making others happy
  • satisfaction in completing projects comes more from pleasing the adults in their lives than from the value of the activity itself
  • toward the end of this period, are ready to start taking responsibility for their actions
  • divide themselves into sex-segregated groups
Early Adolescence (Age 11 to 13)
  • Begin to demonstrate Kohlberg's post-conventional moral thinking
  • During puberty, emotions begin the roller coaster ride which characterizes adolescence.
  • Changes in hormones and changes in thinking contribute to mood swings.
  • Begin to test values
  • Have a weak sense of individual identity. Feel challenges to personal self-concepts.
  • Feel the need to be part of something important.
  • Move from concrete to abstract thinking, but still tend to think in all-or-nothing terms.
  • Demonstrate formal operational thinking.
  • Speak in longer sentences, use principles of subordination, understand multiple levels of meaning, and increase vocabulary.
  • Will intensely explore subjects of interest. Often reject solutions offered by adults in favour of finding their own solutions.
  • Justice and equality become regarded important issues.
  • Move away from dependence on parents toward eventual independence
  • Dependence on opinions of adults shifts to dependence on opinions of peers.
  • Enjoy participating in activities away from home.
Middle Adolescence (Age 14 to 16)
  • Actively involved in search for independence and personal identity, although neither goal is completely achieved during this age period.
  • Achieving satisfactory adjustment to sexuality and defining career goals are important.
  • Seek emotional autonomy from parents.
  • Learning to cooperate with each other as adults do.
  • Learning to interact with the opposite sex may preoccupy middle adolescents.
  • Unsettled emotions may cause teens to be stormy or withdrawn at times.
  • Take pride in responsibility and respect from others.
  • Continue to gain meta-cognitive abilities and improve study skills. Write longer, more complex sentences. Can adapt language to different contexts. Use teen slang.
  • Mastering abstract thinking. May imagine things that never were in a way that challenges, and sometimes threatens, adults who work with them.
  • Egocentric. Believe in imaginary audience and personal fable.
  • Have difficulty understanding compromise; may label adult efforts to cope with inconsistencies as "hypocrisy".
  • Explore and prepare for future careers and roles in life.
  • Set goals based on feelings of personal needs and priorities. Goals set by others are likely to be rejected.
  • Generally self-centred, but capable of understanding what other people are feelings.
  • Relationship skills are well developed. Friendships formed at this stage are often sincere and long-lasting.
  • Recreation moves away from the large group and more away from the family. Dating increases and moves from group dates to double dates to couple-only dating.
  • Acceptance by members of the opposite sex is now of high importance.
  • May begin sexual relationships
  • Want to belong to groups, but he recognized as unique individuals within the groups.
Late Adolescence (Age 17 to 19)
  • Independence and identity formation are achieved.
  • Feel they have reached the stage of full maturity and expect to be treated as adults.
  • Leave home for education, employment, and establishing own households, separate from parents.
  • Clubs, meetings, rituals, uniforms, and traditions have lost much of their appeal for late adolescents.
  • Metacognitive abilities and study skills continue to improve with instruction and practice.
  • Plans for the future are very important and influence in which activities late adolescents choose to participate
  • Can determine their own schedules.
  • Only general directions are needed when they are assigned familiar tasks.
  • Become preoccupied with the need for intimacy. Some will marry at this age.
  • Likely to be sexually active.
  • Employment and education fill the need for social relationships which were earlier filled by club and group activities.
  • Control their own activities.

Write your own answers in the following grid and then read on.

Age group Early Elementary (Age 5 to 8) Middle School (Age 9 to 11) Early Adolescence (Age 11 to 13) Middle Adolescence (Age 14 to 16) Late Adolescence (Age 17 to 19)
Techniques and types of activities
Classroom management tips
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Лилия Громова
Лилия Громова
1 октября отправила на проверку первое задание, до сих пор не проверено, по этой причине не могу пройти последующие тесты.
Светлана Носкова
Светлана Носкова