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1 Learners and teachers

 Age is a major factor in deciding how and what to teach

o People of different ages - different needs, competences, cognitive skills
o Children of primary age acquire language through play, adults – abstract thought
 Commonly held beliefs:
o Children learn languages faster and effortlessly than adults
o Adolescents are unmotivated, surly, uncooperative => poor language learners
o Adults / many barriers
 Stereotypes / they suggest everyone is the same
o ! each students is an individual with different experiences
 Young children (9-10)
o Respond to meaning even if they don’t understand individual words
o Often learn indirectly rather than directly (learn from everywhere)
o Understanding comes from: explanation, see, hear, and what they can touch and
interact with
o Display enthusiasm for individual attention and approval from the teacher
o Talk about themselves
o Limited attention span. 10 minutes – engaging!!!!
 => rich diet of learning experiences, work individually, & in groups developing good
relationships, plan a range of activities and be flexible about it
o Bright and colourful classroom, big windows, big space
o Make things, draw things, puzzle-solving, physical movement, songs
 Adolescents
o The best language learners – even if you feel differently
o Key issues in adolescence is search for individual identity – key challenge identity
between students and friends and! peer approval more important
o Problems from the outside world, boredom, push the teacher to the limit, but happy if
the challenge is met, if teacher manages to control them. Help but not shout
o If engaged: great capacity to learn, potential for creativity & passionate commitment
o Link language learning to their experiences not to humanistic approaches
 Respond to text with their own thoughts and experiences
 Task they are able to do, not humiliate
o Able to discuss abstract issues with them,
o Our task: provoke intellectual activity
 Adult learners
o Can engage with abstract thoughts / not only games and songs
o Range of experiences to draw on
o expectations about the learning process, own set patters of learning
o more disciplined
o clear motivation
o Experience failure and criticism at work
2 Learners and teachers

o Intellectual powers diminishing

 Minimize the bad effects of past learning experiences, achievable activities
o Aptitude – aptitude tests
o Good learner characteristics
 Positive task orientation
 Ego involvement
 High aspirations
 Who are creative, intelligent guesses
 Learner styles
o Enthusiast, oracular, participator, rebel
o Converges, conformists, concrete learners, communicative learners
o Balance the need of individuals against those of the group and be aware of individual
traits when we pair or group students
 Language levels: real/+false beginner, elementary, lower/pre-intermediate, mid-intermediate,
upper interm, advanced
o A1, a2, b1, b2, c1, c2
o Issues:
 Plateau effect – students accept the level they reach, clear goal, engaging tasks
 Methodology
 Language - adjust classroom language
 Topics – dumbing down
 Individual variations – difference in how the brain works
o Neuro-linguistic programming – we use a nr of primary representational systems to
experience the world: VAKOG – Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory, Gustatory
o MI Theory p 47
 Dealing with individual differences
o Teach everyone but satisfy the group as well
o Maximal advantage to the different people
o Keep a record of what works
o Feed-back from students
 Motivation
o Essential to success
 Internal drive which pushes someone to do things in order to achieve something
o Cognitive factors: exploration, activity, stimulation, new knowledge, ego enhancement
o How much value an individual places on an activity
o Extrinsic
o Intrinsic
o Sources
 The society we live in – how important it is to learn Eng. In that society
3 Learners and teachers

 Significant others
 The teacher
 The method
o Initiate and sustain motivation:
o One of the teacher’s responsibilities
o Three areas: goals and goal settings Long-term, short-term, EXAMPLES?
o Learning environment, emotional atmosphere
o Interesting classes