Tag Archives: Young learners

DELTA module 3 – sample essay

8 Aug
DELTA Module 3

DELTA Module 3

DELTA results are in – I hope everyone is celebrating!

I’m going to post my DELTA module 3 essay here. A few people already have asked me how I got a distinction, posting my essay for them to read is the best answer I can give.  However, I think it helped that I chose a topic that I am genuinely interested in and used module three as an opportunity to learn about the specialism, investigate, and put my own beliefs and ideas into a course, rather than just aiming to ‘meet the criteria’ (it probably also helped that I spent 12 months on it!).

My essay is a task based course for Young Learners. It may appear a bit rough – (there’s a buttload of typos!) – but this is how it was when I submitted it. I promise I spent a lot more time on it than the typos might have you believe.  Here it is:

VN130_017_Lewington_Delta3_YL_06 2013

VN130.017.Lewington.Delta3.appendices

I wanted to post my essay up here because I remember there being a point where I really felt it would have been helpful to see what other people did, in terms of how much detail they wrote into their course plans, what the needs analyses looked like etc.  Also, I believe in collaborative learning and open access information, and I think that there is no reason to be insular and secret about things like this.

If you asked me  why I got a distinction, and I threw modesty to the wind, I’d probably say that it was all about the linking between the sections and the clear overall theme.  After I had done some reading (which wasn’t  a massive amount – just 2-3 books – but I did it slowly and in depth) and I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do. Once I had a clear idea of where to go with the course, it was easy to write an essay which was consistent throughout because I knew from the start where it was heading and why. The needs analysis and forms of assessment came naturally. I also kept in mind the whole time actual teenagers that I teach, and I tried many of the course elements out from time to time to see if what I was saying in theory actually worked out in practice, making adjustments where necessary. For most of it, I felt like I was arguing why my course would be perfect for young learners, and I meant what I was saying. I actually believed that it would be a great course for teenagers to study on.

Basically, passion and some hard work.

Good luck with your DELTA module 3 essays. I hope you all find something that you are passionate about to write yours on!

I’d love to here what approach other people took and what results it got them.  I think that more discussion of the DELTA on the blogosphere would be a great resource for people who study it in the future. Got another good essay?  Post it on YOUR blog! Let’s get the discussion started?

 

DELTA Module 3 Needs Analysis

DELTA Module 3 Needs Analysis Results

DELTA Module 3 – Young Learners Book List

9 Jun

Just finished your exam?  Thinking of getting started on module 3?

I just finished my DELTA module 3 on Young Learners aged 13-17,  after reading extensively in the last 5 months.  One thing that slowed me down dramatically was not knowing exactly what to read.

Whilst I wouldn’t want to be too prescriptive, because there are a lot of benefits to selecting your own reading and coming up with your own ideas – I think a basic, critical guide  could be useful, especially for people who will have to buy the books.

Main Books / Chapters in Books for your own learning

  1. Teaching Languages to Young Learners (Cambridge Language Teaching Library)

I read this one cover to cover. At least read the first two chapters and the chapter on course design. Covers children 5-12, very interesting and good guide to relevant research on the age group.

2.  Children Learning English – Jayne Moon

Not much about course design and skint on terminology and usable quotes, but skim through for stuff on teaching methodology for the introduction / course plan. Essential reading if you haven’t done any other form of training for Young Learners or don’t have much experience, as it remains the best practical guide for teaching children. Otherwise probably non-essential for this essay.

   3. Assessing Young Learners (Cambridge Language Assessment) – Penny Mckay

This one is really important. The intro has a great general introduction to teaching young learners.  The rest is absolutely essential reading for your assessment section – I read about 40% of this book in total and quoted from it extensively.

4. Teaching Young Language Learners (Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers)

Good general introduction to the age group, again. Also sections on assessment and materials assessment, if you are using a coursebook. Nothing on course design, though.

5. Teenagers (Resource Books for Teachers) by Gordon Lewis 

If you are writing about teenagers, the brief introduction to this book is about all that I could find which is specifically about Teenagers.  Essential! Good activities to form part of a course, too.

6. The Unschooled Mind – Howard Gardener

Gardener is responsible for the ‘multiple intelligences theory’. This book is in the Cambridge handbook’s bibliography, probably because of Cambridge’s infatuation with learning styles and multiple intelligences. I didn’t find much use for this book, though, as it isn’t about language teaching and there really was no space in my essay to go into the theory discussed here in detail.

– There’s also a few brief notes in The Practice of English Language Teaching by Jeremy Harmer on children and teenagers, good for grabbing a few quotes.

– If you want to put some projects, arts and crafts or drama into your course, look for ‘Projects with Children, ‘Arts and Crafts with Children’ and ‘Drama with Children’ in the Oxford Resource books for Teachers section for both activities, and quotes to justify what you are doing.

– There isn’t much written about teaching EFL to Teenagers, so take what you can from what is written about teaching children and try to think about how it applies to teenagers.

Using amazon market place, I was able to get hold of all of these books for under £10 each and some for under £5.  I spent, in total for module 3, about £60 on books.

If you are in London, St. Gile’s open-access ELT Library has most of the books that are listed here, free to use, and friendly staff to help you find them ( http://www.stgilesedtrust.org/elt-library/resources/ )

Good luck!  To follow, I’m going to post a guide to general reading for course design.

Classroom Management with Young Learners – 5 common mistakes

26 May

 

ImageAs someone who’s mainly been teaching young learners over my entire career, I’ve had a lot of experience with classroom management.  When I started, as a fresh CELTA graduate thrown ruthlessly into a kindergarten class, I was clueless.  From collegues and managers, I got tonnes of advice, but much of it was really quite bad.

Not until I did the CELTA Young Learners extension did I learn anything at all about classroom management.  Even then, it took three more years of careful practice before I felt comfortable in my ability to get the classroom I wanted.

Here are the top 5 mistakes that I made, and that I’ve seen people make, (and some of which I have been advised to do!), with classroom management.

 

1) A Negative Approach

‘If you don’t shut up, you are all losing your break’, ‘Do what I say or I’ll call your parents’

If you start a battle by trying to stamp your authority on them, its a battle that only you can lose.  If they don’t want to do what you want them to do, then they won’t.

Instead, start with the premise that all young learners really want is positive attention. Something as simple as ‘well done’ can make them feel great.  Say ‘well done Roberta for sitting so quietly’ when others aren’t doing so. Tell them that if they work hard, they can play a fun game later or relax a bit. Tell them their English is improving after they try hard.

2) Not using names

‘EVERYBODY BE QUIET PLEASE!!!  EVERYBODY!!!  HELLO??!! WELL DONE EVERYONE

Don’t talk to to all of them.   Talking to everybody is like talking to no one. Use names.

3) Relying on gimmicks

Image

“Well done everyone – the rocket is going forwards!!!”

There’s nothing wrong with ‘classroom management systems’ like this (I sometimes use them, especially with kindergarteners), but in themselves they aren’t going to get students to behave long term.  Use them, but don’t rely on them: their effect wears off.

Teens may also see them as patronizing, which might tell them that you lack respect for them.

4) Not being strict enough

If you aren’t strict, it isn’t fair on the students who are behaving well. Students who are sitting quietly listening to you will expect you to do something about the two students at the back who start talking over you.  If you don’t do something, they will quickly lose their respect and wonder why they bothered behaving well at all.

It’s also about consistency. If you let them talk over you once, then from then on, whether they can talk over you or not will not be clear to them. 

If this doesn’t come naturally to you, it can help to have clear classroom rules written on the board, and to refer the students back to these rules when they break them (‘Daniel, what’s the first rule?’).  Make sure that rules are positively worded, though (‘Speak English in Class’, not ‘Don’t speak Italian).

5) Trying to win them over by being their ‘friend’

Using silly voices, cracking silly jokes, doing silly little actions to make them laugh: all sure fire ways to create long term discipline problems.

Think of the teachers you respected and behaved for at school – were they like this? No, they probably weren’t!

You should be firm, stern and professional, at least until you have them in the routine of behaving well.  In the long term, you can loosen up, but first work on building respect.  If you are worried about feedback forms, don’t be.  When it comes to who students ‘like’ as a teacher, respect always trumps.