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Teaching Very Young Learners (4 - 8 year olds)

Contrary to popular belief, teaching very young learners (4 - 8 year olds), also referred to as primary learners), can be as rewarding an experience as teaching adults. Unfortunately, so many horror stories abound in the field of EFL that most teachers tend to shy away from wanting to teach very young learners. As mentioned, this is unfortunate, as most EFL schools give hiring preference to teachers who have experience teaching English to children. Because teaching children is different from teaching adults, many certificate courses offer additional training in this area. Similarly, most language schools offer workshops and seminars with the goal of assisting teachers to develop their skills in teaching very young learners, and though the pages contained in Link Up are inadequate to thoroughly perform this task, the ideas and techniques that follow should serve as a starting point.

1. Discipline:

Before you begin a children's course, decide what rules and routines you want to establish. Here are some things to think about:

Rules, routines and classroom language should be taught as lessons! You could plan very simple first day activities, but focus on rules and enforce them! At first, students will need to be reminded of these every day, e.g.:

I don't understand.What's this called in English?Pass the ______, pleaseWhose turn is it to ____?

Remember that children are likely to show good behaviour in the first few classes, but they will soon test you! It is necessary to be firm for the first two weeks to establish authority. What follows are a few fun ideas for maintaining discipline.

2. Fun Ideas for Maintaining Discipline

3. Tips for Teaching Very Young Learners (4 - 8 year olds)

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