Yesterday, I opened my “Easy English” “mini course” to visitors here on the website. 👇
The idea behind the course is that young learners need practice before they can produce language on their own.
Stated like this, it sounds obvious, but what may not be so obvious is how easy that practice should be, because “too easy” sounds boring, but with young learners, this doesn’t have to be the case.
Here are some things I’ve moved away from doing in my own classroom since moving towards more easy, deliberate practice:
- Putting time and energy into finding games to “download” (PowerPoint games) because of pressure to play a game during every lesson. Other activities can be just as fun if students have the practice to do them.
- Using “difficult” material. For example, watching a YouTube video which isn’t designed for young learners. The language in these videos sound like noise to young learners!
- Avoiding otherwise useful textbook material because phrases “don’t sound natural”. With young learners, it’s more important that we build their confidence.
- Becoming frustrated when students can’t produce simple phrases on their own. If students can’t do it on their own, they just need more practice.
- Practicing one skill (listening), then expecting students to produce another (reading).
For young learners, if English is easy, it can also be fun, whether students are playing a game, or just repeating phrases from a textbook with their classmates. If young learners have fun, they will learn!