Language Link Certificate in Teaching Primary Learners
7-9 / 10-12 year olds
For many years in our country, children have been required to take a foreign language from second grade on. Many parents begin to take their children to English classes before they even start school. The demand for teachers of English who specialize in early education is growing. However, not every teacher, even among those with diplomas from pedagogical universities, possesses the necessary knowledge and skills to work with children in a kindergarten or elementary school. A lack of understanding of the process through which children master a foreign language can cause them to lose interest in learning it from the very start. Everything is just too mixed-up and complicated: transcription, grammatical tables, long, boring texts, lines of meaningless words, lists of words from God-knows-where to memorize, etc. It makes perfect sense that children must be taught differently, not like adults. This is a separate world with its own methodology and its own secrets. These are the secrets and knowledge that the methodologists of LL, specialized teachers of foreign languages for children, are ready to share with you. In the new school year, to help teachers who work with children (in elementary schools, preschools, and in the extracurricular education system), we offer:
Course on the Methodology of Teaching English to Children
Course aim: the main goal of this course is to provide progressive improvement in the teaching of the English language at the beginning level of instruction and the expansion of teachers’ practical knowledge of modern, effective methods of teaching English to young schoolchildren (7-12 years old). The course is aimed at teachers who: have work experience, but with to freshen their knowledge of the theory and practice of early English language teaching; are just beginning their teaching careers or are planning to begin working soon and with to master practical skills for teaching the English language to children.
By the End of this Course, Students Will:
— expand their knowledge about the basic principles of teaching the English language to children;
— create a positive atmosphere at lessons, conducive to learning;
— become familiar with various types of activities at lessons (TPR, songs, games and more), which correspond to the developmental and psychological characteristics of children;
— Use the knowledge they have received in practice.
As a result of the course, you will receive:
— Unique methodological materials
— A certificate from International Language Centre Language Link
— The chance to complete the TKT Young Learners module
Forms of instruction: discussion, practical lessons and master classes. The unique trait of this particular course is its focus on the chance to exchange experience regarding the issues of teaching the English language to children. Students will get the opportunity to observe the lessons of professional teachers with Cambridge University CELTA YL Extension certificates. The course is designed to coordinate with the standards of the Cambridge University methodology.
Course Duration: two weeks (46 academic hours)
1. Classroom Management. Positive Behaviour management
2. Young Learners and Second Language Acquisition (YLs & SLA)
3. Planning for Younger Learners
4. Focusing on language with YLs (Grammar)
5. Focusing on language with YLs (Lexis)
6. Using a storybased approach
7. Developing YLs reading skills. Phonics
8. Reading activities
9. Developing listening skills
10. Getting YLs speaking (accuracy)
11. Getting YLs speaking (fluency)
12. Developing YLs writing skills
13. Funology – age appropriate activities for working on Phonology
14. Teaching very Young learners
15. Games in the YL Classroom
16. Arts and Crafts
17. Music and Video in the classroom
18. Incorporating CLIL (Teaching English through Subjects)
19. Testing and Assessing YLs
20. Mixed Abilities
Requirements for candidates: knowledge of English no lower than Intermediate, which corresponds to level B1 on the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This course does not require official confirmation of your language level.
Course date: 4 — 15 February, 2019.
Early Registration: until 4 December
Price of Early Registration: 25,000 rubles
Price for Regular Registration: 30,000 rubles
Registration for the Course
YL COURSE REVIEWS
The course for young learners is the best course I have ever attended. If we were taught like this at universities, we would have better specialists. It’s very intensive and sometimes stressful, but it helps you to concentrate on what you are doing and achieve your goals. The course is well-staged and logically divided into slots. It provides not only lectures, but real-life practice, that is the most useful thing. My progress of teaching has grown significantly. First of all I liked the idea of planning lessons (I have never done it before). It helps to analyze the lessons structure and anticipated problems. The first week was really challenging because of mixed-ability group, the main difficulty was in creating appropriate class material. It was rather complicated (some children couldn’t read), but we managed. It taught how to adapt to circumstances. All inputs were necessary and educational. I got many activities and ideas for my lesson planning. One more important thing is the idea of feedback after lessons. This analysis supports you as a teacher and identifies your strong and weak points that help you to move on. No doubt all new material will be used at my future lessons. One billion thanks to my tutor –Victoria, she is an example of perfect mentor: attentive, caring and smart. All information from her input sessions was useful and top-qualified. I had a feeling that she is like Wikipedia – has answers to all questions and she’s always online, ready to help. I am happy to meet her, she has inspired me to continue my personal development and get CELTA certificate. There is only one thing I would like to change – to make reception staff in the office more friendly and organized.
During the course I paid a special attention to two things that I didn’t notice before and which are of paramount importance when teaching children. The first one is a system of recognition and production; the second one – stir and settle activities. On the very first day we had to observe our tutor Victoria’s lesson, which was a bright example of how balanced these two aspects should be at a lesson. The students coped with production tasks perfectly. It was a vocabulary lesson. Since that I started to analyze my lessons and lessons of other trainees in terms of having recognition first and then production. I started to understand why some of my students have problems with practicing some new materials; I just didn’t give them an opportunity to absorb new items of language. As opposed to adults they need twice more recognition activities. When we teach adults it is easier for them to understand and remember meaning of words, grammar points, etc. as they can think analytically, they can make notes, ask when they don’t understand. Young learners often don’t ask if they don’t understand the meaning and they often don’t have the cognitive ability to deal with analyzing language. Adults usually try to avoid mistakes so they think about accuracy, while children have a short attention span and are not necessarily motivated to “get it right”, especially if it is comprehensible. The second point I paid attention to is a way we can organize these recognition and production stages – using stir and settle activities. My second lesson was a listening lesson and students didn’t have enough dynamic activities and this lesson was a bit boring: there were different types of activities but children were mostly sitting. After the lesson I was a bit disappointed as I spent a lot of time to plan it and completely forgot about changing types of activities and make my students stand or dance or show something. With adults it can work, we only need to change interaction patterns, but not with children. The problem is with children’s short attention span. It is very difficult to hold the attention of a whole group of children and the best way to do it is to change the type of activities every five or six minutes – we need to see that they absorb what they are doing. It is good to make a list of activities that children really enjoy and not to forget to add new ones. Observing other trainees and experienced teachers I tried to pay special attention to these two points that I need to work on. And I tried to analyze not only my lessons but their lessons also. I suppose that one of Kate’s lessons is a good example of balancing between recognition and production tasks: the topic was food, they worked with cards (meaning), pronunciation, and form and only after that moved to production activities. I think in my following lessons I gave children enough recognition tasks (it was a reading and writing lesson, and before writing they had enough activities to understand what to do), that’s why they didn’t have problems with production. As for the types of activities (stir and settle) during the observations I made notes about what activities children enjoyed. For example, I noticed that children liked competitions and group work and I tried to use it in my lessons. We also had a mingling activity, colouring, etc. So I tried to change tasks all the time. And I noticed that we need to change types of activities every five minutes not to lose children’s attention. I also think that I need to try new and new activities to know what my students enjoy and what will keep their attention for at least five minutes. I benefited a lot from the observations as I had an opportunity to see everything not in theory but in practice. Although I can see some improvements now, I suppose that I still need to work on these points by watching different DVD lessons by experienced teachers or by observing my colleagues. Other action points I need to work on encouraging students to work in groups and try to avoid individual work as students dry out fast and collaboration is always beneficial for young learners.
- Before the course I had expected to get practical experience on how to teach the young learners and some advice from the experienced tutors. I had also wanted to raise my awareness of existing methods, approaches and resources in teaching practice. During the course I have received lots of knowledge which helped me to get fuller picture of the things that happen in the YL classroom.
I also clarified the structure of the proper YL lesson, got aware of the YL different personalities and abilities that should always be taken into an account by a teacher. I understood that dealing with children can be quite challenging in terms of classroom management (setting interaction patterns, using lots of handouts and pictures, etc).
- During my further teaching practice, I am going to improve the teaching skills that I have got during the course. These are: choosing appropriate materials that suit the particular age and level of English; maintaining proper discipline in the classroom, following reasonable balance between the receptive input and the productive output on my lessons, giving clear instructions.
- The tutors provided me a sufficient amount of theoretical and practical materials that I could use while planning my lessons. The tutors helped me to develop an ability to notice and correct my mistakes (both, in terms of language and methodology) that I make on my lessons.
To sum up, I can say that my course expectation and requirements were met.
Your thoughts and expectations before the start of the course The main reason why I wanted to participate in the course was learning new methods and techniques for teaching kids and teenagers. It was a great opportunity to acquire practical experience and adapt it in my daily work. YL lesson framework, lesson planning and stages ordering were new for me as I have never done it before in my practice. Feedback from your tutors and peers During the course my teaching practice was marked as “a good lesson” (which means standard), and “a weak lesson” (which means in need of improvement). Thanks to the feedback from my tutor and peers I got the general idea of my improvement in this sphere. I followed the recommendations and advice provided by the tutor and peers. Being observed always makes me nervous but this was a good ‘lessons learnt’. The atmosphere and rapport was marked as good after each lesson. As about the lesson planning, classroom management – I have a lot to do in this sphere for improving my skills. Notes from your Teaching Practice and post-lesson self-evaluations- Getting feedback after each teaching practice was a good opportunity for me to see where I need improvements. Sometimes we have some problems but can’t find solutions. Writing self evaluation gave us the opportunity to analyse all the risks, assumptions and points to work on. All provided ideas, such as Receptive input and Productive output, changed my understanding and vision of lesson planning and importance of it. I have got a lot of information during this course and the resources provided by the tutors will help me improve my teaching. After this course I have strong understanding of lesson planning and stages ordering. I started to see the course book differently after I saw how professional tutors select appropriate materials for different age and level. I got knowledge and practice on working with mix abilities groups. Now I can clearly imagine how to organise lessons and develop reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Thanks to Victoria’s great inputs, I have clear understanding of Lesson planning, classroom management, HOs and materials design and materials adaptation. Thanks to her great support our teaching has been enriched by various methods, ideas and games. She provided us with useful literature and other materials which will make our lessons more colourful, interesting and inspiring!