“Teachers help students find important things they’ve lost every day. Sometimes it is a
paper, backpack, or jacket… other times it is courage, confidence, or a smile”

The advice continues with more great tips for new Young Learner Teachers.  This time, Cris Vieira Cardaretti shares what she has learned about child development and her own teaching experience.

  1. Make the most of music
    Music is memorable.  It makes a place warm and inviting and interacts directly with our emotions.  From my experience and observation of my young learners in class, music is a vehicle for helping children develop effective listening, increase concentration and develop creative self-expression.
    You can use music as a jump of point for a wide range of activities.  Think beyond the typical gap-fill and try doing memory games, sequencing, and even role-plays. Music provides endless possibilities.
    My favorite resources are the video songs produced by Super Simple Songs, Baby Einstein and Jbrary.
  2. Storytelling
    Children have an innate love of stories which makes story-time a magical moment during my
    classes.  A well-chosen story book will contain certain characteristic such as rhyme, rhythm and repetition, allowing children to acquire lots of new words with ease. In addition, a good storyteller will encourage active participation, stimulate imagination and creativity.  Before you attempt to read a story aloud to your learner, here are some important steps to take:
    – Practice the reading the story aloud on your own;
    – Think about how the story relates to the theme you are working on OR create a theme around the story!;
    – Think of what you can get the learners to do before, during and after the story.
  3. Movement
    Research has shown that children need opportunities to move in class and that there is a link between memory and movement. In fact, when a learner is doing, moving, acting, and interacting it can change the way the brain works and can accelerate a child’s learning process.  This has direct implications for your lessons.  By  alternating activities that are cognitavely engaging (settlers) and physically engaging (stirrers) you can also avoid many classroom management problems that occur when you try to get young learners to sit still for too long. There are lots of activities which we may use in class in order to stimulate their learning
    in an interesting way. Games such as Twister, songs such as “Head, shoulders, knees
    and toes”, animal yoga will make them move and learn a lot.  While I was writing about this tip, I searched for possible resources, here there are two links: http://www.funenglishgames.com, https://www.eslkidstuff.com/Gamescontents.htm

Cris Vieira Cardaretti teaches Young Learners at English Creative Factory – Escola de Idiomas.  If you liked these tips, check out her other work with Young Learners on her Facebook page!

This post was written as part of an assignment for the Teaching Young Learners Course.  Take your career and your teaching practice to the next level with this Oxford TEFL certified course.