Foreign language studies with the young age group are only possible if the children are able to love the target language. The child only accepts and wants something he likes, does not want and rejects something he does not like, this approach also applies to foreign languages. It is not possible for children to look at or approach the subject rationally like older students. Therefore, endearing language should be a part of every work done. In this case, the following items can be listed as important points in language teaching for the younger age group.
- Studies and exercises should be done in accordance with the learning characteristics of each child.
- Lesson units should offer a wide variety.
- The child should only speak when she wants to, and should never be forced to speak.
- Action-based contexts and environments should be created so that the child can use a foreign language.
- Language development should always be viewed as a positive process.
- Necessary studies should be carried out so that the child can realize her own learning characteristics.
- The child should be familiar with various learning techniques and be able to draw her own development.
How to teach children English?
Starting English language education before the age of 3 is very effective in learning the language. Children who are in English-speaking environments other than their mother tongue can easily learn both languages. Therefore, by paying attention to some points, children can be taught English easily from a very early age.
At What Age Should Children Begin Foreign Language Education?
The methods used in teaching English to children differ according to age. According to studies, 0-6 years of age is the best time for children to learn a foreign language. In this period, the child learns what he hears more through repetition and imitation. Auditory sources such as television and radio play an active role. Children like to do and imitate the things they love, and it is more effective to teach language through the things they love. For example, it will be very useful to watch cartoons in English. Some of the activities that can be done with children in the preschool period are:
Demonstration Q&A• Drama and role playing• Simulation• Pairworks and group work• Pantomime• Storytelling
While teaching English to school-age children, written methods are used as well as verbal and visual methods. During this period, more emphasis is placed on basic skills such as reading, writing, listening and speaking. However, we should not forget to practice while teaching students the structures and rules of the language. Let’s not forget that language is a communication tool. Therefore, the most effective foreign language learning method is to learn by speaking.
As the British Academy, we have a Kids program to teach foreign languages to children. The materials we use are visual, auditory and also written. Our lessons are taught by both Turkish and foreign instructors. Therefore, it is a program that appeals to children aged 7 and above and is specially prepared for them.
What Learning a Foreign Language Brings to Children
- It teaches our child a language other than their mother tongue.
- The importance of foreign language learning in keeping up with the developing world is undeniable.
- Along with the second language, the child is provided with a new and different culture / world perspective and way of thinking, thus enabling her to realize her own characteristics and essence more effectively and clearly.
- The child recognizes new and different learning techniques while supporting her general development and reaching a better point of learning ability.
- Develops their own learning-to-learn processes. This situation will bring direct or indirect success in other lessons in the future school life.