The first session in my ten-week teacher training course for Young Learners’ teachers gets trainees to consider why children are different to adult learners. Trainees consider the suitability of some demonstrated activities for different age groups, then discuss differences between the children they teach and the adult learners they taught on their CELTA. The session then looks at published Young Learners course books and how their approach differs from course books for adult learners.
During 2015 I helped with the development of the Young Learners learning objectives for Pearson’s Global Scale of English and co-presented the project with Mike Mayor at IATEFL in Manchester.
Since then, the learning objectives have been finalised and published. Teachers of 6-14 year olds can now use them to see what level of proficiency their learners have reached. You can download them at: https://www.english.com/blog/download-gse-young-learners or read them in this PDF: gse_lo_younglearners
They are also available as part of Pearson’s Teacher’s Toolkit at: https://www.english.com/gse/teacher-toolkit/user/lo
If you look at page 8 of the PDF, you can see how the learning objectives have been used to inform the lesson objectives and activities in Pearson’s Poptropica Primary course at Level 2. You can map the materials you use with your Primary learners to the learning objectives, so do have a go at seeing how these objectives can inform your teaching and let me know how you get on.
Teachers are invited to get involved with the project and Pearson welcomes feedback from teachers and ELT practitioners with experience of teaching children. You can send feedback at https://www.English.com/gse/contact
Since coming back after the break, I have been tasked with briefing some unit and progress tests for an A2 Lower Secondary course for 11-14 year olds. I’m currently writing the progress and end-of-year tests, so I am working with my Cambridge English KET Handbook close to hand. I am cheered by the news that I may have found a writer for our unit tests as we are asking for someone to start as soon as possible and our first choices were booked up.
It’s the second day back at my desk since the UK August bank holiday, when I treated myself to four whole days off including a very sunny Friday in the garden.
I’m now getting on with revising a sample Primary test in line with the client’s feedback. I know my stuff, or so it seems from the good overall feedback, but I have to be mindful of not writing too much especially as it is the first unit test. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Fortunately the client has given good suggestions on how to counter this, so I will be amending the activity types so less text can feature. And I will be sketching out the layout as this is a requirement.
Sometimes people think because there is so little on the page for children that it is a doddle to write for this age group. Wrong! I am inclined to think it takes more time as you have to get it right in terms of cognitive challenge, interest, physical ‘fit’, course book ‘fit’, motivation, engaging activities that children want to do and so on.
I am backtracking a little and posting session 7 of my 10-week YLs teacher training course. In it, I work on getting teachers to consider how they demonstrate to their young learners that they value them and have high expectations of them. The session is a blend of theory and of activities that ask trainees to consider their practice as teachers.
Please note, I am currently awaiting permission to reproduce one of the resources in this session. The Michael Rosen poem can be found here
As most UK and some overseas schools return after the winter half term break, here is the eighth session of my 10-week Teacher Training course for teachers of Young Learners.
Session 8 examines the different reasons that underlie activities in children’s and teenagers’ lessons. Trainees explore how the students’ motivation for doing an activity can vary widely from the teacher’s aim. They analyse recently published YL course materials or the course materials that they use with their YL classes to discover each side’s motivation for doing the activities.
I hope you find these materials useful and relevant to your teaching context. Do please let me know if you have any feedback or questions.