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2.

1
YLLs DEVELOPMENT
1.A CHILD
Characteristics
Children
bring
different
experiences and knowledge to
their learning and it is likely that
each child will learn something
different from the same activity.
In the classroom, the teacher has
the responsibility to make sure
that each child is learning; it is
not the responsibility of the child
alone to keep up with what the
teacher is teaching.
Teachers
therefore need to observe and
note individual childrens needs,
and then work on meeting those
needs through supporting their
learning.

2.1
YLLs DEVELOPMENT
1.A CHILD
Characteristics

Who are
Young
Language
Learners?

Young learners (YLs) are children


from 6-12 years old* (the most
vital
age
in
a
childs
development).
Young language learners learn
English as a foreign language
after
they
have
already
developed their L1.
YLs learn a foreign language**
as opposed to having the
opportunity to acquire it as they
did their L1.
* Different sources cite young learners at various ages from 4 to 13 years old. In this course, we have cited the YLs age
according to the research supporting the TKT Young Learner Module.
** Foreign language learning is when the learner lives in a country where the target language being learned is different from
the native language.

2.1
YLLs DEVELOPMENT
1.A CHILD
Characteristics
Although we identify YLLs to be
from the ages of 6 to 12, they
should not be generalized into a
homogenous group but broken
down into subgroups.
A single year of age can make a
huge difference among children;
thus detailed analysis is needed to
identify differences between them
that significantly changes the way
they learn from one or two years to
the next.

2.1
YLLs DEVELOPMENT
1.A CHILD
Characteristics
As the concept teaching English
to young learners suggests, age
plays a crucial role in what we
teach and how we teach it, since a
young learner class is different
from an adult or young adult class
in terms of the learners language
learning needs, the language
competences emphasized, and the
cognitive skills addressed. Thats
why, it is highly important to show
the differences of these learner
groups keeping in mind the fact
that every learner is unique and
such
lists
can
only
reflect
generalizations
Jeremy Harmer, 2007

2.1
YLLs DEVELOPMENT
1.A CHILD
Characteristics
The following grouping reflects
the EFL teaching environment
of young learners of English in
primary education:
Ages 6-8
Pre-school 3 Grade 2
Ages 9-12
Grades 3 to 6

2.1
YLLs DEVELOPMENT
1.A CHILD
Characteristics

It is not possible to say that at


the age of five all children carry
out specific tasks, but it is
possible to point out certain
characteristics of young children
which teachers should be aware
of and take into account in
teaching.
The following slides will list
specific characteristics for the
two young learner age groups
previously identified.

What are YLL


characteristics?

2.1
YLLs DEVELOPMENT
1.A CHILD
Characteristics
Learners ages 6 -8
Their own understanding of the
world comes from hands, eyes
and ears. The physical world is
dominant at all times.
They are very logical what you
say first is what happens first.
Short
attention
concentration span.

and

Difficulty distinguishing between


fact and fiction.
They need the
others.

company

of

2.1
YLLs DEVELOPMENT
1.A CHILD
Characteristics
They cannot decide for themselves what to
learn.
They learn best when enjoying themselves.
They are enthusiastic and positive about
learning.
They can use a wide range of intonation patterns in
their L1.
They
can
understand
direct
human
interaction.
They have a need to feel safe and relaxed.

2.1
YLLs DEVELOPMENT
1.A CHILD
Characteristics
They understand the world is
governed by rules.
They understand
quicker than they
language.

situations
understand

They use language skills long


before they are aware of
them.
They learn best when they are
interested and engaged.
They are not usually conscious
of their learning.

2.1
YLLs DEVELOPMENT
1.A CHILD
Characteristics
Learners ages 9 -12
Their basic concepts are formed.
They have a specific view of
the world.
They can tell the difference
between fact and fiction.
They ask questions all the
time.
They rely on the spoken word
and the physical world to convey
and understand meaning.
They are able to make some
decisions about their learning.
Learn language chunks.

2.1
YLLs DEVELOPMENT
1.A CHILD
Characteristics
They have definite views
about what they like and
dont like doing.
They have developed a sense
of fairness about what happens
and begins to question the
teachers decisions.
They are able to work with
others and learn from others.
They
learn
through
interaction with peers and the
teacher.
In
language
development,
they:
understand abstract
understand symbols

2.1
YLLs DEVELOPMENT
1.A CHILD
Characteristics

These characteristics should be considered along with individual


ones that vary between children like learning styles, intelligences,
previous learning experience, L1 background, motivation,
personality and attention spans.

2.1
YLLs DEVELOPMENT
1.A CHILD
Characteristics

How do
characteristics
influence what
we teach?

Understanding YLLs characteristics can positively


influence the way we teach. Look at the following list of
characteristics and their implications on decisions about
teaching.

2.1
YLLs DEVELOPMENT
1.A CHILD
Characteristics

2.1
LessonDEVELOPMENT
Summary
1.A CHILD

In this lesson, we considered


characteristics on young learners.

the

effects

of

learner

These characteristics have certain implications on us as


teachers insofar as what we plan, the activities we choose, the
way we teach, and on how learners will learner.

BEFORE YOU CONTINUE TO THE NEXT LESSON:

Watch the video again and become


familiar with the terms and concepts of
learner characteristics.

Complete the quizzes and check your


answers.