The tools of the trade
Well, there are a lot of things that we can use as a tool in teaching young learner, as we know that the young learner so quite easy to get bored whenever the teacher cannot create fun activities for them. In addition, the teacher should create and maintain the classroom situation as fun as possible so the young learner can enjoy their time in studying. For creating fun on the class, is not easiest thing. The teacher should prepare all the tools and equipment to help him/her in explaining the subject or course to the young learner then use it appropriately and let them to enjoy it. Now, there are some problem here, what kinds of tools the teacher can use?, how to use it ?, how is the technique ? . In this content, we are going to discuss about the tools, how to use it and how is the technique in teaching young learner using that tools ?.
In this content, we’ve tried to put together a collection of materials which we think you will find useful in your teaching situation. Since the physical world is the main means of conveying meaning to young children, a wide variety of teaching aids is necessary in the foreign language classroom. Lessons will be much easier and much more exciting for getting your meaning across.
Materials for you and your pupils to make
These can be paper bag puppets, glove puppets or finger puppets. In addiction to the actual puppets a simple ‘stage’ is very useful if you want to perform dialogue and sketches.
• Class mascot
We’ve used bird as our class mascot, but you might like to have a rag doll or a special puppet or something of local significance.
• Paper dolls
These are very useful for teaching clothes, but have quite a short life and have to be regularly replaced.
• English corner
We said quite a lot about this and of course, the basics have to be there already – the board, the shelves, etc., but encourage pupils to collect anything which is in any way connected with the English-speaking world. Displays should not be permanent.
• Cardboard boxes
Collect shoe boxes and all other sorts of boxes for filing – ones with lids are more useful. The boxes can be covered with paper, decorated and labeled. Make a couple of new ones for each class – partly because the boxes get a bit worn after a while, and partly because classes like to think they have their own boxes. Boxes can also be used as building bricks to make shops, houses, castles, forests, etc.
• Pictures cards
These can be drawings or cut-outs from magazines, or perhaps photos. It is easiest to sort these according to size – really big ones for class work, and smaller class for individual/pair/group work. Once you’ve sorted them for size, put them into themes or subject areas, like ‘people’, ‘places’, ‘food’, etc
• Card games
Almost all card games can be made into language card games and while you want to concentrate on game where some sort of language interaction is taking place, you can also play card games simply for relaxation. Games like ‘Memory’ can be played without saying a word, but if you use cards, at least recognition is taking places.
• Board games
Older children (and teacher) can make up all sorts of board games. Not only are board games useful for relaxation and/or language work, but the making of them presents a real challenge. Most children have played board games of some sort at home, and you get wonderful language work out of making up the rules. For example, you can make up obstacle board games on topics like ‘travelling’ through the jungle ‘or’ a fantastic birthday.
• Word/Sentence cards
Word cards are useful for or displays and for work on the flannelgraph. Sentence cards should only be used for the beginners and only with sentences which are used a lot. If you want to get full use out of you collection, you should work out a system of classification.
If you have an overhead projector, then some of your pictures and other material can be copied into transparencies. Transparencies should be kept in special plastic covers or framed and then put into a file. They keep well, take up very little space and are very useful for working with the whole class.
Your calendar should show the date, the day, the weather and birthdays/special days.
Very simple clock with movable hands are invaluable in the language classroom, not only for telling the time as in the exercise, but also for setting the scene and changing time from the here and now.
Materials to buy
Readers are a real investment for the language learner, and so we want to look in a bit more detail at how to put your book in order.
Although it is tempting to code books according to difficulty, we would not advise it, since we think that children should select books they want to reads, and not the ones that the teacher says they are ready to read. This means, of course, that the teacher has to read through all the books first, select and classify.
Displaying the books
Put the books on low open shelves if at all possible or in clearly marked boxes in your English corner. You might want to put new books or books which lost of people seem to be reading on low tables.
Have a system so that you know who has each books and how long he or she has had it. You might have a large card inside each book, and when the pupil borrows it he or she writes his or her name and the date on the card and puts the card in the space left by the book.
You should have a map or the world or a globe in the classroom. A map of your local area is also useful, especially if it shows rivers and mountains etc. clearly.
There are a number off wallcharts on the market which are made for language classroom. Be on the lookout for charts for other subjects too, especially if you are going to do theme work or take part in projects working across the curriculum.
Cars, animals, furniture, etc. There are endless uses for toys in the language classroom. They also help to connect the child’s world outside the classroom to what is happening inside the classroom.
• Building blocks
Lego is wonderful, but expensive. Other types of building blocks – wooden or plastic – are just as versatile, and can become anything from takes to house.
• Cassette recorders
You should have at least one cassette recorder which can record in every classroom. There are reasonably cheap cassette recorders on the market which have built-in microphone. These are quite good enough for recording yourself and the children in the classroom.
Just as you can never have enough reading material, you can never have enough recorder material. Remember also to have blank cassettes to record in the classroom.
• Overhead projector
Presenting materials on the overhead projector allows you to face the children all the time and provides the children with a common focus of attention. You can come back to the same material whenever you want to, and you can use the same material with different classes.
Materials for you to collect
This section is just to remind you that children find all sorts of uses for materials which might otherwise be thrown away. These are things which can be used in making collages, making puppets, decorating picture/boxes, going shopping, telling stories, counting, acting, miming, etc. The list is endless.
• You can collect :
Yogurt cartons, assorted ribbons, old cards, postcards, cotton reels, all sorts of paper – tissue paper, old wrapping paper, wallpaper – stamps, coins, buttons, string, jars, empty packets of all sorts, bits of material.
Since the physical world is the main means of conveying meaning to young children, a wide variety of teaching aids is necessary in the foreign language classroom. Lessons will be much easier and much more exciting for getting your meaning across. As teacher for young learner, we can use materials such as puppets, picture cards, boxes, and many other to help the young learner in learning the materials and enjoy their class situation.