Teaching English to Young LearnersPaper atau makalah ini untuk memenuhi tugas TEFL II.Kami mahasiswa semester 4 di Universitas Wijaya Kusuma SurabayaDosen Pembimbing: Mrs. Ersy Laksita Rini, M.Pd
TEACHING ENGLISH TO YOUNG LEARNERS
1. Seba Candra R (13620005)
2. Aprilia Devi P (13620010)
3. Luluk Muflitah (13620017)
4. Elly Arifa (13620030)
5. Kholifatunni’mah (13620104)
6. Tomy Rysdianto (13620071)
LANGUAGE SCIENCE FACULTY
WIJAYA KUSUMA SURABAYA UNIVERSITY
I. Definition of TEYL
TEYL is an abbreviation which stands for ‘Teaching English to Young Learners’.
Whereas there is not a fixed definition of what constitutes a ‘young learner’, the most
popular includes children between the ages of four and twelve. The effectiveness of
language teaching methods differ depending on the age of the learner, and it is for this
reason that techniques employed successfully to teach adults may not be as affective
when used to teach younger learners who will require different teaching methods.
In globalization, learning English were very important. We all know that English
will become a universal language. Many countries used English as their second
languages, where some others use it as a foreign language. In Indonesia, English has
become a popular language and children will be taught in English at their school.
Teaching English to children is not an easy job, but also not difficult, if we already know
how to do it.
Teaching English to young learners (TEYL) has become one important
educational concentration in recent year. Teaching English to young learners is
significantly different with teaching English to secondary level. What children can do and
accept is significantly different with what adult can. “Students at this age posses three
very important conditions before they even enter the class room. They are naturally
cooperative, curious and the least self-conscious of all levels. In addition they learn very
quickly (Kids-world, 2000)”. There are a lot of very good secondary teachers are failed
when teaching English to primary level or young learners. It is because the way of
teaching adult is also significantly different with the way of teaching children or young
learners. Therefore, there are some important things have to be aware before teaching
young learner. First, the teacher has to know what the young language learner is. The
classification of the young learners and each characteristic is really important to know.
Second, Factors that influence learning English class. And the last is the important thinks
that the teacher known in teaching English to young learners and can applied in the class.
All are combined to create an active, innovative, creative, effective, and convenience
teaching and learning process. So, what becomes our expectation that is to grow a
qualified young generation can be obtained.
Considering its importance, therefore, in this article the writer will discuss such
important things have to be aware before teaching young learner.
II. The Young Learners
The British philosopher John Stuart Mill started to learn Greek at the age of three.
Clearly, John Stuart Mill was not an average child. What we are talking about in this
session is the average child. We define young learners as children aged five to twelve.
There is a big difference between what children of five can do and what children
of twelve can do. Some children develop early, some later. Some children develop
gradually, other in leaps and bounds. It is not possible to say that at the age of five all
children can do x, at the age of seven they can all do y, or the age of ten they can all
do z.But it is possible to point out certain characteristics of young children which you
should be aware of and take into account in your teaching. You, as the teacher, are the
only one who can see how far up the ladder your individual pupils are. We can only draw
your attention to the characteristics of the average child which are relevant for language
We have divided the children into two main groups throughout the article. The
five to seven year olds and the eight to twelve years old.
Five to seven year olds
What five to seven years olds can do at their own level
They can talk about what they are doing.
They can tell you about what they have done or heard.
They can plan activities.
They can argue for something and tell you why they think what they think.
They can use logical reasoning.
They can use their vivid imagination.
They can use a wide range of intonation patterns in their mother tongue.
They can understand direct human interaction.
Eight to twelve years old
Children of five are little children. Children of twelve are relatively mature
children with an adult side and a childish child. Many of the characteristics listed above
will be thing of the past.
Their basic concepts are formed. They have very decided views of the world.
They can tell the difference between fact and fiction.
They asked question all the time.
They rarely on the spoken word as well as the physical world to convey and
They are able to make some decision about their own learning.
They have definite views about what they like and don’t like doing.
They have a developed sense of fairness about what happen in the classroom and
begin to question the teacher’ decision.
They are able to work with others, and learn from others.
The characteristics of young learners
Basically, to keep in mind as one of the important goals in learning English is to
grow a child's interest in learning English. In order to achieve these objectives we need to
understand the characteristics of children so they can choose the method and appropriate
learning for students. Thus, before a teacher come into English classes, the teacher should
have sufficient knowledge about the students who will be facing. The characteristics of a
Young Learners are as follows:
1. Children have the egocentric nature, rather the tendency to connect what they
learn or dowith it self. They liked the subject matter related to daily
life and surroundings. Topics orphrases such as "my body .. my family .. my
house .. my house that they can easily digest.
2. Young Learners difficult to distinguish between things or objects
that concrete andabstract. So that teaching materials should be initiated from the
things that are concreteand then toward to things that
are abstract. Concrete objects around them that can be seenand
touched by their senses such as chairs, doors, windows, etc.. So that teaching
methods can be combined with the songs with pointed object: "This is
a window, that isthe door".
3. Children tend to be imaginative and active. Likes learning through games, stories
andsongs. Learn to speak while playing a fun activity for children. Teachers need to
knowthere are three the sources of a child’s attention in the classroom are pictures,
games and stories. In the game there is a need to communicate that encourages
children to talk eitherwith their self or with their friends.
4. Feeling easily bored, is one of the characteristics of children. They have a level of
concentration and short attention. To overcome their boredom, learning
activities should be varied and need to be replace every 10-15 minutes. Variations can
be achieved inlearning activities on student grouping, time range of activities,
teaching materials andvariations in the teacher's voice.
5. Child's life is full of colors and cheerful. Activities and tasks are accompanied
by colorfulimages that will make children happy. Media in the form of Flash cards
and Colorfulpuppets, singing with movement make learning English enjoyable.
6. Children love stories. Through stories, children can be trained to better focus your
concentration and attention, and with game the students more motivated to active.
7. Learning by doing. Verbal teaching with words is not enough. Increase activity using
the example, movement, expression and utilization of images that can
facilitate children learnlanguage. Such activities can help children to words
or phrases just given and their newhearing.
All the characters above especially for teachers for Young Learners can
enhance creativity in teaching, so that goals can be achieved in
learning. But besidesthe above characteristics, the teachers need to know there
are several factors can influence learning English.
III. The Learning Behaviour of Young Learners
Young Learners have short attention spans and are easily distracted, so be sure to
make your exercises and classroom activities fun and short. Even the best thought-out
activities lasting 25 minutes are probably doomed to failure because childrens' brains just
are not designed to stay focused that long. Make sure that you stay active, with energetic
expressions to keep the kids focused on you and the activity in hand.
Get your students used to how to behave in your classes. Teach them early on to
raise their hands before asking questions and not to talk over you. It is worth spending
time getting this right in the first few lessons, as a well-organized, happy group of
children will learn far more language over the time spent with you than if kids are
allowed speak over you and generally be a bit too noisy. Children will naturally look to
teachers and adults for guidance on how to behave, so set your stall out early and get a
well-behaved atmosphere going quickly.
Organizing the class into three of four teams or 'houses' works well, as you can
award points for good behavior or take points away for lapses. The young children love
this kind of competition and it will be harder for children to misbehave if they feel that
the whole team may lose points. In general, your teaching will be far more productive, as
will their learning, if you create good class rules and have a good routine.
Some Factors that influence learning English:
a. Mother tongue
It is difficult for Indonesian children pronounce a long vowel sound, as in
the wordfood; room; because the diphthong / ei / , / au / , / ou / as in the words away,
b. Teaching Material
Selection of material with the learning techniques appropriate to the age and interests
of the child will be pleasing students. Children have great attention to things relating
to interest for example about hobbies, family, favorite animal, etc.
c. Social Interaction Teacher-Student
Communication between teachers and students can be tied primarily to either through
games, songs and learning activities in pairs or groups. First students must imitate,
then answer and ask questions.
d. Learning Media
Children like things that are visual, can be seen. Shape of real object, pictures,
puppets can make the presentation more interesting and fun material. Teachers can
prepare the tools taken from his/him own collection in the form of photographs,
drawings, real objects, such as pen, watch, and bag or images in the form of flash
e. Background Family / Parents
Factor family or social background can also support or hinder the success of children
in learning English. Availability of the picture dictionaries, books and other facilities
at home and support of parents is also a factor that can influence the process of
learning a foreign language. Child'shome environment objects can add vocabulary
such as TV, sofa, cupboard, student books, dictionaries and books that bought by
parents can help their students learn on their own.
IV. The Strategies of Teach Young Learners
Teach key concepts associated with classroom activities, e.g. share, partner, line up,
sit in a circle, clean up, come here. Use photos to illustrate the ideas.
Identify some key vocabulary to teach, e.g. help, no, yes, bathroom, want, finished,
Use songs and actions to teach simple commands, e.g. Simon Says.
Use songs for routines e.g. “Hands up, hands up high, hands up, touch the sky, toys
away, toys away, everybody toys away” and “Hands on top …. That means stop.”
Use repetitive songs, chants and rhymes to teach essential vocabulary and sentence
forms. e.g. Everyone sits in a circle. Going around the circle, begin with the first line,
pointing to yourself when you say “I” and to the child whose turn it is to respond
when you say “you”. Each child has a turn to respond with the full sentence “My
name is ----“. Children are learning this common sentence form as well as pronouns
I/you/he/she, syllabication, and are also learning the names of all classmates.
Whole group: I have a name, you have a name, I have a name, tell me please!
One child: My name is --------
Whole group: Her name is --------- (repeat and clap the syllables)
Or: His name is ---------- (repeat and clap the syllables)
Always have a visual agenda (boardmaker symbols) displayed low enough for
children to touch and use it every day.
Use the statement “First -----, then -----.” Supported by boardmaker symbols to help
children understand what is going to happen next.
Create boardmaker sequences for routines e.g. entry, snack time, etc.
Have boardmaker symbols readily available at the carpet to pass to a child rather than
giving a verbal instruction (e.g. symbol for sitting cross-legged to pass to a wiggling
Use children’s photos to indicate where they should go on arrival before calling the
Use a visual timer for activities and transitions.
Use smart board with children’s photos to take attendance or to answer a question for
Children move their photo to indicate their presence or their response to the question.
Use pictures of children or outlines of children (like a gingerbread man cut-out) to
indicate number of people allowed at a given centre.
Rehearse emergency routines before practice alarms/lock downs actually occur. Go
through the entire procedure physically – don’t just talk about it. Use visuals to help
with the rehearsal and have a visual to match with each procedure. Teach the
necessary vocabulary to match with emergency procedures.
Use social stories to rehearse social situations and emergency procedures.
Use boardmaker visuals for steps to complete activities.
Keep verbal instructions and teacher talk to a minimum. Always pair talking with
Use language along with demonstration when introducing a new skill or concept.
Think about the amount of time and number of opportunities for children to talk.
Think about the type of talking required by children under different circumstances and
provide opportunities for different types of talking e.g. labeling, discussing,
questioning, commenting, describing, responding, expressing likes and dislikes,
comparing and contrasting, guessing/hypothesizing, sequencing.
Use simple but explicit language to “label” your own actions as you carry them out,
e.g. “Now I am stopping.” “Now I am putting on my smock.”
Label children’s actions as they carry them out the same way you label your own
Verbalize your thinking and the strategies you use to solve a problem.
Consider developing an overall thematic or project-based framework with language
functions embedded in it. Themes and functions should be oriented to children’s
everyday lives, surroundings and routines.
Consider media and popular culture-based themes because they are what ELL
children have in common with their peers from the majority culture and from other
Access to peer group culture is important so children can make friends with each
other and learn to play together, no matter what their cultural and linguistic
Consider activities that enhance children’s oral language development. Literacy
should not be the only goal of early education programming. At this age, children’s
language development is the foundation necessary for literacy development later on.
Direct correction of vocabulary and grammatical errors is not helpful to young
children because they are not likely to know why they are being corrected. They are
not likely to learn from direct correction, and it can inject a negative tone in the
Shaping young children’s formulation of language is best done through recasting what
they said using the correct form, and then moving on with the conversation. Recasting
is a way of giving children a good model of language without drawing attention to
Focus on language progression by always expanding on children’s speech. For
example, if a child says, “My shoes,” you can talk about the colour or type of shoes
the child is wearing.
Use communication temptations: These are activities designed to make children feel
the urge to talk. Pictures or stories with unexpected images or events, such as
swimming in sand or wearing a snowsuit to the beach, create the temptation to
comment. “Spot the differences” picture pairs are a variation of this. Images/pictures
of cartoon/media/book characters known to most, if not all, children of this age are
appropriate for this type of activity.
Use Language-based games: Examples of these are “Simon says” and “I spy with my
Simon Says is a game that can be used for teaching body part names and verbs like
“touch”, “pull”, “tap”, “stomp”, “press”, “squeeze”, “clap”, “tickle”, “kiss”, etc. The
nouns are used in full sentences like “Simon says pull your ear”, “Simon says kiss
your hand”, “Simon says stomp your feet”. The language function involved is giving
Use storybook reading to improve the acquisition of new vocabulary; repeated
reading, explanations of target words and incidental exposures to new words.
Use read-alouds with proficient readers & choral read-alouds of familiar, patterned
Use some wordless books during story time and have children contribute to the telling
of the story.
Pair props with stories e.g. puppets, masks, etc. Set out the props and book for
children to practice retelling the story.
Use DVD’s to support repeated story telling.
Use the Language Experience Approach. Have the child tell a story while an adult
scribes. Use the written text as the basis for literacy activities.
Use children’s first language knowledge and highlight connections between
Include dual language books in classroom instruction, both commercially made and
Use tools that support vocabulary development such as The Frayer Model. This model
helps to develop a better understanding of complex concepts by having students
identify what something is, what are examples of it, and what it is not. The center of
the diagram shows the concept being defined, while the quadrants around the concept
are used for providing the details. This model can be the basis of oral discussions or
can be created visually over several sessions during a thematic unit.
The important thinks should be known to teach the children.
Words are not enough
Don’t rely on the spoken word only. Most activities or the younger learners should
include movement and inform the sense. You will need to have plenty of objects and
pictures to work with, and to make full use of school and surroundings. Demonstrate what
you want them to do. The balance will change has the children get older, but appealing to
the senses will always have the pupils to learn.
Play with the language
Let the pupils talk to them self make up rhymes, sing songs, tells stories. Play with
the language. Let them talk nonsense, experiment with words an sounds: “let’s go/pets
go”. “ blue eyes/blue peas”. Playing with the language in this way is very comment in
first language development and is a very natural stage in the first stage of foreign
language learning too.
Language as language
Becoming aware of language as something separate from the events taking place
takes time. Most eight to twelve years old already have this awareness in their own
language. The spoken word is often accompanied by other clues to meaning, facial
expression, movement, etc. We should make full use of this clue. When pupils start to
read, the language become something permanent and there are viewer other clues to
meaning. Pupils can take a book home, they can read it again and again, they can stop,
think about the language and work it out. The same is true of writing. So reading and
writing are extremely important for the child’s drawing awareness of language and for
their own grow in the language, although both are very demanding and take time and
patients to learn.
Variety in the classroom
Since concentration and attention spans are short, variety is a must-variety of
activity, variety of pace, variety of organization, variety of voice. Older pupil can
concentrate for longer periods and you should allow them to do so, but you still need lots
Children benefit from knowing the rules and being familiar with the situation.
Have systems, have routines, and organize and plan your lesson. Use familiar situation,
familiar activities. Repeat stories rhymes, etc.
Cooperation not competition
Avoid rewards and prizes. Other forms of encouragement are much more
effective. Make room for shared experiences-they are an invaluable source of language
work and create atmosphere of involvement togetherness. Most of us enjoy the feeling of
belonging and this is particularly true of young children.
Children have an amazing ability to absorb language trough play and other
activities which they fine enjoyable. How good they are in a foreign language is not
dependent on whether they have learnt the grammar rules or not. Very view of your
pupils will be able to cope with grammar as such, even at the age of eleven of twelve.
They may be aware and clear about the foreign language, but they are not usually mature
enough to talk about it.
As a teacher, you should note the structures, function and grammar items which
you want your pupils to learn as well as those they already know, but your actual teaching
should only include the barest minimum of grammar taught as grammar, and then for the
children only. This does not mean teaching grammar rules to the whole class. The best
time to introduce some sort of simple grammar is either when a pupil asks for an
explanation, or when you think a pupil will benefit from learning some grammar. This
may be when you are correcting written work, or it may be in connection with an oral
exercise with practices, for example, “Did see…?” and “Does she…?” older pupils
especially those at level two, may ask exactly what the deference is
between did and does,since both are used for questions, and you can then use the
opportunity to explain the deference in simple terms. You might want to use the terms “a
yesterday questions” and “a today questions”. It might or might not be appropriate to
compare what happens in the mother tongue in the same situation. What is important is
that the explanation should be given on an individual or group basis when the pupils
themselves are asking the questions, that the explanations are kept as simple as possible,
and that the pupils are able to grasp the point and so benefit from the explanation.
Even though formal assessment may not be a compulsory part of your work, it is
always useful for the teacher to make regular notes about each child’s progress. You may
fluent to tell parents how their children are doing, and you should be talking to the
children regularly about their work and encouraging self assessment. From the beginning
this can be done in very simple terms, stressing the positive sight of things and playing
down what the pupil has not will able to master. Nothing succeeds likes success.
V. The Classroom Procedure of TEYL
Classroom management refers to the ways in which student behaviour, movement and
interaction during a lesson are organized and controlled by the teacher” Richards (1990,
10) .Definition of Discipline
To maintain order and to keep the group on task and moving ahead, not to spot and
punish those students who are misbehaving.“( Greenwood and Parkay, 1989)
The best teachers anticipate when misbehaviours are likely to occur and intervene early to
prevent them. The most effective interventions are subtle, brief and almost private. They
do not, therefore interfere with classroom activities.
Causes of deviant behaviour (Cole and Chan, 1987)
At the beginning of the school year, establish the class rules.
Discuss Classroom rules with the students and consequences of misbehavior.
Post room rules and consequences of misbehavior.
The way the students are seated in the classroom will often determine the
dynamics of the lesson. Indeed, a simple change in the seating pattern can make an
incredible difference to group coherence and student satisfaction. In many cases the
seating has been a crucial element in the success or failure of the lesson. In some cases,
the desks are fixed to the ground or the school has strict rules about not moving the
furniture. Student numbers are also going to be an issue. Teachers have different
preferences for seating arrangements – each group is seated round small tables is often
one choice. This is probably the best option for the larger classes. For smaller numbers
and with adult or teenage students I think the horseshoe shape, which I find has all of the
advantages of groups, and none of the disadvantages. A horseshoe may be desks in a U-
shape with a hollow centre, students in a semicircle on chairs with arm-rests and no
desks, or students seated around three sides of a large table, with the teacher at one end.
In any case, whatever seating pattern you choose or is imposed on you, the class is likely
to be more successful if you keep the following principles in mind: Try and maximize eye
contact. Make sure students are seated at a comfortable distance from each other. Think in
advance about how you will organize changing partners or changing groups.
Make two sets of name tags – one for the child's table space or desk, and one for the
child to wear around the neck to special classes.
Hang name tags on a hook by the door.
Make it private: call to desk, whisper, nonverbal cues.
Briefly talk to student/assess penalties.
Time out at desk or another room.
Communicate positive expectations to students: convey confidence in students’ ability
to do well and maintain high expectations.
Teacher Talk & Drawing Attention
Don't speak when children aren't listening and ready. Wait.
Establish a signal for getting the group's attention:
1. turn off the lights
2. clap a pattern with your hands
3. Say “Freeze!” and everyone halts right where they are, like a statue. Then say
“Melt!” when you are ready for them to move again.
Practice numbers, in the beginning, even when children are doing well, just so they
get the idea of how to respond to your signals. Then praise them.
Example: “One, two, three eyes on me”
Establish good listening habits for story time. Sometimes we read and listen, and
sometimes we read and discuss, but we always listen.
It is better to make your instructions for primary students precise and concise.
Use puppets to help with classroom management. Puppets can whisper in the teacher's
ear, and they can write messages to the class.
Compliment leadership in students. "Oh, I like the way Antonio is ready!" will cause
everyone to turn to look at the ready student and to get ready also.
Use the same standards for everyone – no favorites!
Using Pair and Groupwork
One of the successful ways, if the teacher is resourceful and skilful enough, to
motivate his/her students to participate in the lesson is to use “pair work” or “Group
Language is best learned through the close collaboration and communication among
students. This type of collaboration results in benefits for all or both learners. In fact,
learners can help each other while working on different types of tasks such as writing
dialogues, interviews, drawing pictures and making comments about them, play roles,
etc… Setting Time Limits 1) You should set time to each activity when you are
planning your lesson so that you would know if you would be able to finish your
objectives or not. 2) You should tell your students about the time assigned for each
activity when you give them a task to do in class. 3) Your students should gradually
be aware of the importance of the time issue and respect it. Role Play
This is a technique to vary the pace of the lesson and to respond to the fundamental
notion of variety in teaching. Teachers are advised to use the role- play activity in
order to motivate their students and to help the less motivated learners take part in the
lesson. Besides, certain tasks in the student’s book are followed by a role- play
activity where it becomes a necessity to undergo such an activity. As good examples
of that we can state: the hide (item) and guessing game, dramatizing an interview of
customer and shop assistant, doctor and patient conversation, etc…
Tasks for Early Finishers
This especially happens when students finish an assignment while other students are
still working on it. That’s why you need to include an “early finisher” activity with
Think in advance for possible activities, options including extension activities related
to the current topic, journal writing, silent reading, and educational games
Whole Class Feedback
Take a look at the following classroom exchange:
Whole class: He bought a sandwich. (Sea of noise in which the teacher hears the
answer) Teacher: And number 4? Whole class: He drank orange juice. (Sea of noise
in which the teacher hears the answer)
Sound familiar? How many times have you done feedback like this? Probably many.
Why do we fall into the pattern of getting feedback in this way? Is it the easiest way?
I began to realize that generally it was only the stronger or the more confident
students who would shout out the answers. When I looked at individual student’s
work, I saw that they didn’t always have the correct answer and, more importantly,
they didn’t know what the correct answer was.
Feedback is better checked through each student’s response on a written form paper.
Make sure students easily see the board. Have your lesson objectives clear for
your students. Write them on the board or get the kids to know them at the beginning – by
the end of this lesson I will have learned…… These clear objectives provide a guide to
what you want to achieve and can be the basis of the lesson structure. A map on the board
can help to show the kids where you are going with the lesson.
In TEYL, we define young learners as children aged six to twelve. There is a big
difference between what children of five can do and what children of twelve can do.
Some children develop early, some later. There are some important things have to be
aware before teaching young learners. First, the teacher has to know what the young
language learner is. The classification of the young learners and each characteristic is
really important to know. We have divided the children into two main groups throughout
the article, the five to seven year olds and the eight to twelve years old. Second, the
important things that should be known by the teacher to teach children and Factors that
influence learning English class. All are combined to create an active, innovative,
creative, effective, and convenience teaching and learning process. So, what becomes our
expectation that is to grow a qualified young generation can be obtained.