Posts Tagged ‘YL’

Engaging YLs with content,language and learning skills

What a fantastic session with some great teachers in Lausanne, Switzerland on Saturday 8th Nov 2014.

Here is the presentation. I hope it impacts on your teaching and you found the ideas and activities useful.

My 3 takeaways (from a presenter’s point of view)

Some teachers really picked up on the little things I said, which weren’t planned or one of the aims. Remember that this happens in class too. Learners will acquire the language they are ready to learn, which might not be the same thing that you have intended to teach.

A teacher with an MA in TEYL said that she learned loads of new things. It doesn’t matter how much experience we have, or what qualifications we have there is always room for more learning.

Feeding ideas to teachers breeds more ideas. There was so much creativity going on. I love the thought that they will go on and share the ideas with their colleagues, which in turn will influence their learners. There is something to be said for cascading knowledge.

I look forward to returning to  ETAS one day 🙂


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Recently I’ve been teaching adults at IH Newcastle…and after specialising in YLs for over 15 years, I never thought I would find the same enjoyment teaching adults. However, I’ve found that I use the same motivating techniques with  adults…singing, chanting, dancing, playing. etc. Admittedly, I’m the one who does most of the dancing but it does get them motivated, makes them laugh (which lowers the affective filter) and gives them something to talk about. I think if they see that you are prepared to make a fool of yourself, and act childishly, they are too and their inner child is unleashed. The advantage of this is regression is perhaps linked to first language acquisition, and students acquire the language being taught in a way that they learned their first language.

Samples of post lesson whiteboards

More board work

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Whole school projects

I was recently reminded about a session I did with Emma Lopes at the International House Young Learner conference back in 2006 in Torres Vedras.
When I was working as the DoS at IH Porto we regularly coordinated projects for the whole school to get involved. It created a very motivating environment and brought all ages and levels together. It was also good publicity for the school as we would invite people in to have a look at what were doing.
Having tasks that are differentiated by outcome (rather than by level) means that students can work within their own capabilities. It also helps teachers identify students’ strengths and weaknesses which aids future planning and assessment.

Hopefully this document (a pdf version of the original session) will inspire and motivate other teachers to look outside for topics for projects.


Whole school projects

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