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LG 546 WEEK 5. MATERIALS EVALUATION FOR YOUNG LEARNERS. YOUNG CHILDREN LEARN DIFFERENTLY…. They respond to meaning as much as to individual words. They learn indirectly rather than directly, taking in information from all around them.

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Lg 546 week 5

LG 546 WEEK 5


Young children learn differently

  • They respond to meaning as much as to individual words.

  • They learn indirectly rather than directly, taking in information from all around them.

  • Understanding comes from sight and sound, and tactile experience.

  • They have an enthusiasm for learning and a great curiosity about the world.

  • They need individual attention and approval from the teacher.

  • They like to talk about themselves and their own lives [don’t we all?].

  • Limited attention span; need to change activities often.

Good teachers
Good Teachers………………..

  • Good teachers of children need to provide a rich diet of learning experiences which encourages their students to get information form a variety of sources. They need to work with their students individually and in groups to develop good relationships. They need to plan a range of activities for a given period.

Message focus games
Message Focus, Games,

  • Often teaching for young learners may be message focussed rather than form focussed. Many textbooks for young learners clearly attempt to apply CLT principles to the teaching of young learners. Techniques associated with CLT such as Information gap, Opinion Gap and Information Transfer have made their way into materials for young learners. Games play an important part in the teaching of this group, and it may be argued that information gap occurs naturally in many children’s games.

Age learning differences



  • Adolescent learners and young adult learners are faster in the initial stages of L2 learning than young children

  • With continued exposure, young children become more native-like than adolescent and adult learners on all linguistic measures.

  • The process of L2 development appears to be highly similar across child and adult learners.

  • Deterioration to sensitivity to linguistic material may begin as young as 6.

  • Loss of sensitivity to linguistic material is not sudden, but progressively declines with age.

  • Individual learners may depart from these generalisations.

Susan haliwell s list
Susan Haliwell’s List….

  • Does the school expect you to provide homework? If so, you may wish to make sure that the book has things in it that you could use for this purpose and perhaps has suggestions about what homework could be based on.

  • Do the children have to buy their own books [in some schools, books are provided by the state/school]., If so, price becomes a major consideration.

  • How much time have you got for preparation of supplementary materials? Good language teaching with children needs a wide range of varied materials and tasks; , so the book could allow for this, with resources/suggestions for such supplementary materials.

  • Are the children well-intentioned but slow? You will need something that provides varied practice of the same points, recycled over time.

Susan halliwell 2
Susan Halliwell 2

  • 5. Are you going to use the book with a more difficult class? You priorities here would be attractively presented materials which are simple and clear. Already restless children will not wait long to be persuaded that the exercise is worthwhile, and if they cannot immediately become involved in an activity, to get into it, they are likely to become more restless and difficult to manage.

  • 6.Are there many children in the class who are weak at reading and writing? If so, you must choose a book that does not rely too heavily on words or explanations of

    them to show what is to be done.

Penny ur 1

  • Criteria for selecting materials for young learners of English.

  • 1.General Approach. Do authors see language as means of self expression and communication rather than as primarily a collection of forms? Do they show awareness of teacher and children as individuals in interaction? Do authors convey positive educational values.

  • 2. Externals. Do the books in general look neat, colourful, attractive? How do they feel to handle? Are the illustrations pleasing?

  • 3.Syllabus. Are language items selected on criteria of frequency, usefulness, simplicity? Are language items systematically reviewed?

Penny ur 2

  • 4. Subject Matter. Do the texts carry real, interesting content? Or are they only vehicles for the language points? If there is real content, is it likely to suit children? Does it have acceptable educational potential?

  • 5. Methodology. Do the exercises provide for plenty of repetition through success oriented practice? Does the practice consist of interesting meaning based activities? Is there room for learner initiated utterances and for expression of personal opinions, tastes an d thoughts/Are there plenty of stimulating general fluency exercises giving practice in the four skills for purposeful communication?

  • 6.Organisation. Is the layout easy to grasp for both teacher and students? Is the course flexible?

Talking like texts

  • I always get a up at 7 o’clock. I have breakfast in the kitchen with my family..I always watch TV and play with my toys, at half past nine I say ‘good night’ to my mother and father……

  • The language of the texts, i.e. describing one’s day, hobbies, tends to be stiff and dull, unreal, such texts typically precede role play and pair work practice.


  • What’s your favourite season?

  • My favourite season is winter.

  • Why?

  • I Like cold snowy weather

  • What do you do in the winter?

  • I go sledding and ice skating.

  • Not like children’s real language use, stiff and lifeless. What happened in the real CR dialogues?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • S1.What do you do in the autumn?

  • S2.Autumn. I go bike.

  • T. Bike riding

  • S1 What do you do in the summer?

  • S2.I go swim

  • T. I go swimming

An extract from a popular story
An extract from a popular story…..

  • So then we went to the shoe store to buy some sneakers. Tony chose white ones with blue stripes. Nick chose red ones with white stripes. I chose blue ones with red stripes but then the shoe man said We’re all sold out. They made me buy plain white ones, but they can’t make me wear them.


  • Halliwell, S.1992. Teaching English in the Primary Classroom. Longman.

  • Ur,P. 1985. Courses for Younger Learners. ELT Journal 39/4 pp 282-288.

  • Cameron, L. 2001. Teaching Languages to Young Learners.

  • Rixon, S. 1999. Young Learners of English: Some Research Perspectives. Longman.

  • Moon. J. 2000. Children learning English. Macmillan.