Teach English in Huchang Zhen - Xiantao, Tianmen, Qianjiang & S

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For people who are learning a foreign language, their lives might change a lot. They have the chance to talk to more people, get more information, and their brains get trained. As we all know, it’s much easier for a child to learn a new language than an adult. Why? What are the essential differences between adults and young learners? Usually there is a goal which motivates an adult to learn something new, whereas children are acquiring knowledge from what they are experiencing. In other words, children are learning what is provided. Unconscious learning progress plays an important role in young learners’ learning progress, which means making children experience is more important and useful than teaching them. What I said above is mainly for preschoolers. For pupils or adolescents, systematic and sustainable teaching is more necessary, and that’s why they go to school. I've been teaching adults for more than two years, and there comes with a list of challenges. From my experience, people start learning a new language for a hundred different reasons, but they want to stop only because one obstacle. Don’t have time, forget when they learn, self-esteem gets hurt, all become the reason people give up learning. A continuous and interesting teaching content, as well as a milestone learning system, will greatly help to maintain adult enthusiasm for learning a language. Many of my students are successful people in their industry, but English ability might be something that they wouldn’t like to be noticed. Not like children who are not afraid of making mistakes, adults sometimes are ashamed to expose their weakness. As teachers, it’s essential for us to understand students’ feelings and help them properly. Reasonable pairing or grouping have a good effect on releasing adult students' stress and tension. Proper encouragement will also make students be more confident. For example, when I conduct a role play activity, I always demonstrate with a strong student after my instruction. And then, pair one strong student with a weak or shy student to make sure everyone has a chance to speak and the strong student can be a model for the other. So that the weak student know what to do when they change their roles. Of course I would be around observing, encouraging and offering help if needed. Talking with my students, another difficulty which they mentioned a lot is that they always forget what they’ve just learned. Most adult learners have to work and they use their spare time to study. Lack of practice and distraction make it easier for them to forget what they have learned. So I recommend my students to use those new vocabulary or sentence structure purposefully. For instance, you learned present continuous tense yesterday. And no matter what topic you are going to talk about today, and you must make some sentences using present continuous tense. That’s not impossible but very useful. And it’s very important to put words into sentences, and put sentences into contexts. Another obvious difference between young learners and adults is that the latter is used to translate everything when they use the language. But the earlier you start to think in English, the faster you get the language. Does it mean teaching young learners is a piece of cake for anyone? Absolutely not! To better understand the challenges of teaching children, I talked with some people who had taught young learners before. To sum up, teaching children requires the consideration of interest, diversity, and practicability. Children, especially very young learners, can’t focus long. And they are not able to read articles. But pictures, songs, stories, and games are what that are interested in. These are important class materials for young learners. With story as example, there is an activity which involves multiple skills for small-sized class. It can start from the teacher, so that you can decide the difficulty and complexity of the story according to the level of the students. You can also make some rules, such as vocabulary or grammar that must be used. And then ask students to continue the story one by one. The whole process doesn’t need to be long, but their listening and speaking abilities will be practiced. As I mentioned earlier, it’s important to let children experience. Then they would learn naturally. Another a good idea for young learners is crafting. During the crafting, they would learn vocabulary of materials and actions with real props which make deeper impression. And after that they would get a piece of work made by themselves. The sense of achievement will drive them on and on. I haven’t had a chance to teach young learners, but I’d like to try one day with my more than two-year’s adults teaching experience. Thanks for training and I look forward to testing and improving the ideas I’ve learned in the course in practice.