Teach English in LuanshAn Zhen - Zhuzhou Shi

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Grammatical structures are the building blocks of language. To use the language means knowing and using many aspects of grammar such as word order, understanding subject from object in English, knowing how to add the ‘s’ to third-persons singular, understanding what time to use and much more for a simple task to express your thought verbally in English. However, these rules and structures can be explained much easier to the adult than a young child. After all, the main difference between them is motivation, skills of processing language, analysis of “form” and the types of tasks that are useful to improve one’s knowledge. Young learners can be considered children who are at the primary school-aged level and very young learners such as pre-kindergarten early childhood ages. That is the age group of children that we will be looking at in this essay while thinking of the best techniques and approaches to teach young learners about English grammar. First of all, it is important to remember that when we are facing young learners and teaching them a foreign language, we need to understand the principle of how they learn things. When we think about kids, we can say they learn by copying actions that they see and hear. The first word they said in their life was nothing more than just repetition of words or sentences that they heard constantly in their living environment, without even understanding a proper meaning of them. According to Lynna Cameron (2001) the approach to teaching grammar should be by learning centers. In other words, the approach to the teaching grammar should match the way student learn at that particular age. Young children are active social learners and thinkers. They learn as mentioned before by doing and repeating thing that they see others do such as their peers who are playing the games, or their parents’ everyday activities such as socializing and communication. For us, the teachers, that’s the best clues we could get to start constructing lesson plan for young learners before teaching grammar. According to research about language acquisition, language learning is not a linear process where we learn easy parts first. This indicates to us that while planning classes for children, we need to include active, interactive and meaningful approaches of teaching techniques because the easiest way for young children to learn is trough lots of meaningful exposure and input. For example, including chants and song while teaching simple grammar structure can be used as a positive support tool for children to much easier memorize certain words and phrases about grammar. Another tool that could be implemented while teaching is stories, which would motivate creative thinking in kids while at the same time can provide an example of correct grammatical structures in the text and their uses in different contexts. This would create a long-lasting positive impression on children which they can use as an example when they take upon themselves a task which requires to use their previous knowledge for writing or talking. There are other similar tools that can be used to improve the teaching process and make it more fun for kids while learning it. The reason of why we are doing that is that if kids are not interesting in your lesson they won’t retain very much once your class is over. Moreover, it can cause anger in the students or misbehaving due to the fact they are bored and tired and simply just do not want to sit around and listen to teacher’s grammatical explanation. They might just simply be not capable to understand teachers’ explanations because of the lack in knowledge and understanding of the topic. It is necessary to remember that the teachers should give plenty of meaning focus input, which means lots of exposure to listening language in context and reading language in context because of their young age, they might not understand abstract concepts such as grammar compared to adults. By making sure that young learners use grammar and are active participants in the lesson we ensure that there is enough attention paid to our lesson topic and that our students grasp understanding of grammar uses in different contexts while preventing negative behavior activities during the class activities. In conclusion, young children do not learn simply trough grammatical explanations about English grammar, rather they gain an understanding of the grammar implicitly through repetition and recycling the same way they have learned their native language, by repeating actions they see in their environment. Teachers should take that into account when they are making lesson plan because this will help them find the most suitable approach of teaching young learners about specific grammar topic. However, while teaching the teachers needs to implement different tools to support such young student and motivate them in positive way. This can be achieved by singing songs or reading stories to show different ways of grammar usage in different contexts. This will not only improve the mood in the class for children but also will prevent possible misbehavior and create long lasting memory about learned topic which is beneficial for the kids. References Google Books. (2019). Teaching Languages to Young Learners. [online] Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Teaching_Languages_to_Young_Learners.html?id=RqEtek4elD0C&redir_esc=y [Accessed 20 Dec. 2019]. Anon, (2019). Speaking Difficulties Encountered by Young EFL Learners. [online] Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270340628_Speaking_Difficulties_Encountered_by_Young_EFL_Learners [Accessed 20 Dec. 2019]. Macrothink.org. (2019). International Journal of Linguistics. [online] Available at: http://www.macrothink.org/journal/index.php/ijl [Accessed 20 Dec. 2019].