Characteristics of young learners
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Characteristics of Young Learners. 1. Involuntary attention. not pay attention to language system but to task, topic & situation form is acquired indirectly through peripheral learning language is a means for expressing meaning. 2. Limited attention. short attention & concentration span

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Characteristics of Young Learners

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Characteristics of young learners

Characteristicsof Young Learners


1 involuntary attention

1. Involuntary attention

  • not pay attention to language system but to task, topic & situation

  • form is acquired indirectly through peripheral learning

  • language is a means for expressing meaning


2 limited attention

2. Limited attention

  • short attention & concentration span

  • tend to focus on the end of words & add suffixes & postpositions before noticing the existence of & begin using prefixes & prepositions (e.g. goed, eated, whom with)


3 holistic skills

3.Holistic skills

  • approach language holistically  not analyzing it or breaking phrases into chunks but treating & learning it formulaically & integrated with other skills

  • language production does not depend on explicit knowledge, but must be developed implicitly


4 inability to observe regularities causal relations

4. Inability to observe regularities & causal relations

  • are neither cognitively nor psychologically mature to make comparisons between the L1 & the TL

  • require constant repetition to infer & generate grammar rules & to identify causal relations between various occurrences


5 undeveloped problem solving skills

5. Undeveloped problem-solving skills

  • can’t yet diagnose problems & generate solutions based on the information available


6 weak memory

6. Weak memory

  • cannot control what they are taught

  • the younger the learner, the patchier the storage & recall

  • need recycling activities


7 limited experience

7. Limited experience

  • have limited life & learning experience

  • do not bring in background knowledge

  • they are in the process of learning their L1


8 here now reasoning

8.  Here & now reasoning

  • concrete reasoning  concerned with physical here & now realia & observable situations in the immediate environment

  • abstract reasoning is tied to biological growth & does not develop until between 11 - 14 years old  abstract grammatical patterns are beyond children grasp


9 undeveloped ll aptitude

9. Undeveloped LL aptitude

  • influence the rate of development where formal classroom learning is concerned

  • 4 major components of LL aptitude:

    (1) phonetic coding ability: an ability to identify distinct sounds, and to form associations between them and representative symbols

    (2) grammatical sensitivity: the ability to recognize the grammatical functions of words (or other linguistic entities) in sentence structures

    (3) rote learning ability: a memorization technique based on repetition

    (4) inductive (language learning) ability: the ability to infer or induce the rules governing a set of language materials


10 mechanical memory

10. Mechanical memory

  • 2 kinds of memories:

    • mechanical memory (short-term memory)  predominant in children

    • logical memory (long-term memory)

      • develops very slowly between 11 - 14 years of age,

      • is related to abstract thinking

  • children under 12-13 can repeat & memorize long words & expressions, but are not able to analyze them because logical memory is not well developed yet


11 lower order functioning

11. Lower-order functioning

2 broad types of functioning:

  • lower-order functioning

    • responsible for the understanding & production of speech

    • involves basic syntactic processing & the motor operations employed in speaking & writing

    • a function of early maturing

  • higher-order functioning

    • involves semantic processing & verbal recognition

    • dependent upon late developing neural circuitry

    • available for use only in older learners


12 undeveloped interactional skills

12. Undeveloped interactional skills

  • young learners are prone to be less involved in sustaining a conversation

  • progress less rapidly than older learners


13 motivation

13. Motivation

  • rarely have clear motivation

  • be less able to:

    • assume responsibility for their learning

    • use the metacognitive strategies of focusing, arranging, planning, monitoring & evaluation

    • rule out any serious attempt at large-scale comparative assessment of their progress


14 literacy numeracy

14. Literacy (& numeracy)

  • children are far behind taking their first steps with the alphabet & numbers

  • a whole new code must be taught alongside the introduction of literacy & numeracy


15 ongoing categorization

15. Ongoing categorization

  • children still acquire L1

  • establish the range of reference of the lexical items

  • find out the boundaries of the relevant classes


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