Following the topic of previous months - assessing young learners - I will here discuss a bit some types we can use with this age groups. Effective language assessment provides chances for children to use their abilities to demonstrate what they can do at their appropriate level. It requires acknowledgement of the principles we have already discussed last month and also of the curriculum goals as well as children's cognitive developmental, emotional and psychological stages [as I have briefly discussed even before]. In order to suit young learners’ reality best,...

Teaching Young Learners have always interested me and assessing them comes hand in hand with it, obviously, so, for sometime now, I have been researching this area and developed a work on speaking assessment which I would like to share with you. In order not to bore you all with an ginormous reading, I have broken the work into some parts so each month I am sharing a bit. I have already talked about YL characteristics and this month I am talking about types of speaking assessment and their...

I have been working on teaching young learners a lot in these past months, mostly due to a new project we are implementing in our school, so I really thought about sharing some of the views I have been studying which definitely impact the teaching of these students. Cognitive development According to McKay (2006:6-14) children are in constant gradual development, continuing to learn through concrete experience, what can be called ‘learn through doing’ . Their thinking develops in knowledge and intellectual skills, but not yet able to use meta-language, the...

I have decided to write about these “types” of English as a lot is being discussed in terms of approaches in teaching due to lots of schools claiming to be “bilingual”. Well, in fact, let’s discuss those two things - what facet of English we deal with in our regular teaching reality and what bilingualism entails. Let’s start with the fact that we live in Brazil and in this country the official language is Portuguese and it is really difficult to function in this country in any other...

It seems such an obvious concept and such an easy thing to do, but then, you set up a task, or ask for an action, and it does not come up as imagined. Sometimes, students just understand or get partial information on what they are supposed to do and so, undesired behaviour comes to play. For me this is a constant struggle and I see lots of teachers in the same situation. Instructions are not something to be overlooked, in fact, giving the right sort of instruction is crucial to...

Let’s start by defining gamification, which according to Oxford Dictionary is  the application of typical elements of game playing to other areas of activity. In our case, it’s the is the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate students to achieve their goals. Games have existed for a very long time and are considered an activity, normally voluntarily, performed within a timeframe and space according to established rules with an end or a goal in itself which provide a bit of tension and...

Beginning of a new term in a year always brings a question mark… Will there be a need of new professionals joining the staff of a school or not? Who and how to hire them? Even though we plan well ahead the steps, it is always a surprise when we finally start the term. A good school normally gets CVs from prospect teachers interested in doing its work force. What would be the features we normally focus at when analysing a candidate? I would say that there are item which...

I had to substitute for a teacher who was going to attend a two-day course and this whole event triggered my thoughts. Well, how odd is it for a teacher to teach new very young learners’ groups in the end of the year? There are many issues to consider. From the perspective of the substitute teacher, there is the fear of having the kids not accepting you as their teacher as they are used to the class teacher who is absent for those days. There is also the fact that...

It's amazing how things happen in life. Learning English has always been a passion for me and this is what I want to pass on to my students, but we never know if this is actually achievable… Well, other day I was taking part in a social event when a woman, accompanied by her husband, approached me and asked for a minute of my time… I had recognised her as the mother of a student and immediately thought it would be a problem of some sort - no one...

CLIL is a fairly recent way of teaching. An acronym standing for Content and Language Integrated Learning - according to Mehisto et all [2008] it is a dual-focused educational approach in which an additional language is used for the learning and teaching of both content and language.  A lot is said and discussed about CLIL and normally the discussions focus on the subject teacher having to teach his or her subject in English.  Most books and articles I found present definitions and ideas almost always trying to help the...