Teaching Young Learners – Stories and Speaking Activities

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(754 words)

For this writing task, I was asked two questions about using stories and speaking activities to encourage learning.

  1. Which of the activities could be used or adapted for both young learners and teenagers?

I think the shopping activities would certainly allow the learners to express themselves in different ways relating to one subject matter ‘shopping’. I think it is important for the learners to be able to absorb all knowledge of one subject by completing different tasks. The learner can approach the task of learning about shops and shopping by understanding the subject from different angles. I feel this gives the learners various opportunities for learning. The learners can complete the tasks using their existing skills while learning new ones. Individual learners can show their recognition of certain tasks and show their ability to perform. Initially, the learners have to find magazines. This gives them the chance to talk with their parents, prepare and complete the task of finding magazines for their class project. These magazines are a great visual aid. Once in class, they have to think about different shops and what they sell. This highlights the learner’s ability to create mental images and work on their ideas. Then they have to express their knowledge and those ideas. The learners have to cut out pictures from their magazines and stick them onto cardboard. This is a hands-on activity and a task to be completed by the learners. This allows them to show their practical skills. At this stage, the teacher can introduce a range of vocabulary which is an initial vocal outlet for the learners’ thoughts and knowledge of the subject of shops. In groups, the learners have to fill their imaginary shops with goods. This is a great exercise that highlights their visual spatial skills within a cooperative learning experience. This is another good chance for the teacher to talk more to the group/learners about their task and what they are making while trying to expand their learning. The teacher can expand the exercise by getting the learners to put prices on the goods and create their own shop ready for a role-play and even drawing some money. The teacher can easily photocopy this money to have enough for everybody. The learners can, after setting up an imaginary street, go and buy goods with the money they have and see how much they can buy with the amount they were given.

2. Describe an activity which would practice comparatives/superlatives using old magazines for either young learners or teenagers.

A good activity which could be used from old magazines is “My Favourite Things”.
The objective of this activity is to practice using comparatives/superlatives. Initially, the students are asked to bring in old magazines because they have been told they are going to do an activity with them relating to their ‘Favourite Thing’. The lesson starts with the students getting into groups. They look through the magazines and find four favourite things and cut them out.  These are then stuck on a large sheet of paper. The teacher then shows the learners her favourite things. She explains that she likes them, for example, because they are beautiful (rose), expensive (gold watch), fast (Ferrari), and big (plane). The teacher then hands out some more adjectives and some more pictures. She asks the learners to put the adjectives on the pictures she has just given. Each group has the same adjectives. Once they have gone somewhere near finishing or finish this exercise, the teacher lets them know the answers. The teacher now asks the students to choose and place some of the teacher’s adjectives or their own by their pictures. The teacher then gets them to write their adjective next to their picture. The students have to show that they can talk about their pictures (This car is fast). This is done in groups. Each student can describe their pictures in the group. The teacher can now show a few examples of comparatives showing that ‘one is bigger than the other’ or ‘one is faster than the other’. The teacher models a few examples of comparatives from the students and then gets them to find at least three students with the same adjectives. The teacher goes around the class helping. The teacher then gets the students to write their three sentences on the bottom of their sheet. The teacher checks the work and then gets the pairs of students with the same adjectives to get up in front of the class with their pictures and show comparatives.