The Young Learners Edition (23rd) of the ESL/EFL/ELL Carnival

Welcome to the 23rd edition of the ESL/EFL/ELL Carnival with the focus on Young Learners! Let us start the month with some fantastic resources on motivating and managing young learners. These resourceful reading materials are from many of the finest bloggers, authors, and educators of the English language teaching world! So brew your favorite coffee and indulge in the quotes I share from each post.

You can also enjoy this slideshow with clickable links and music. Just click play and on any of the images to be taken to the post! And, feel free to embed this Vuvox slideshow on your own blog 🙂

Tips, Lessons, & Issues

In Carol Read’s ABC of Teaching Children blog, she asserts in her post, S is for Storytelling:

It is arguable that stories can play a similar role in the context of children learning a second, additional or foreign language as well. From my own experience over many years of teaching, I am convinced that it can. In our classes with children, the magic of stories seems to lie in the way that they provide shared contexts for promoting participation and developing emerging language skills in a natural and spontaneous way. Stories also potentially engage children’s hearts and minds, as people and as thinkers, with issues that are relevant, real and important to them.

In Richard Whiteside’s I’d Like to Think That I Help People to Learn English blog, he describes in his post, Let’s see what the magic bag thinks:

Sometimes in class we want to choose one child to do something and often this can be difficult because the kids get annoyed if they aren’t chosen. What criteria do you use to choose which child is going to do whatever it is, or go first? … I recommend a simple technique that I learnt a couple of years ago.

In Dave Dodgson’s Reflections of a Teacher and Learner blog, he describes in his post, Student (De)generated Dialogue:

My attempts to include more drama and more ‘unplugged moments’ in my lessons have continued in the new semester and so last week I decided to try some ‘unplugged drama’ with a twist on the classic ‘disappearing dialogue’.

In Sabrina De Vita’s weblog, she reveals in her post, Dogme with Young Learners:

Been thinking quite a lot about dogme recently, and it has just struck me that I am applying it in my young learners classes without even having noticed it.

In Leahn Stanhope’s Early EFL blog, she illustrates a lesson for us in her post, Tried and Tested Drawing Activity for Young Learners:

This is a really simple but highly adaptable  controlled practice activity that most children really enjoy. Quite simply take a piece of paper show the children how to fold it into 4 or 6. It depends on you. Next get them to number the boxes 1-4 or 1-6. Now you’re ready to draw.

In Sandie Mourao’s Picturebooks in ELT blog, she describes the book in her post, My Nose, Your Nose – Celebrating Individuality:

There’s a nice rhythm here, the two children shown as different, each on different spreads, then brought together with a similarity onto one spread.   Melanie Walsh uses this rhythmic, visual structure to reinforce her message, which culminates in bringing all four children together.

In Jason Renshaw’s English Raven blog, he points out in his post, Ways to Extend News Articles in the ELT Classroom for Multiple and Integrated Skills:

On my World News for Kids Teacher’s Page, I demonstrate how I build extensive ‘kits’ based on initial news articles, working through reading, extending into listening with additional topical content, then working through a variety of different speaking and writing activities.

In Barbara Sakamoto’s Teaching Village blog, she reminds us in her post, Rocco’s Day: A Student-generated Story Activity for Literacy Practice:

This foundation of spoken language is the perfect base from which to begin reading and writing. If students have a good teacher and/or a good course book, then the language they have learned helps them talk about the things that interest them, which means they can learn to write about the things that interest them, and can practice reading things that interest them. It’s a winning situation!…Today, I want to share a very simple  activity I use with emergent readers and writers.

In Marisa Constantinides’ TEFL Matters blog, she tells us in her post, Watching Young Learners at Work: From Practice to Principle:

This post is based on three activities on video with a young class in their first year of English videotaped as part of a training project for a course on teaching young learners.  At the point of  being video-taped, this class of Greek children attending classes in a small language school in Athens, had had about 40 hours of English in total, mostly concentrating on oral work.

In David Deubelbeiss’ EFL Classroom 2.0 blog, he posts a poem and illustrates how to use it in his post, Imagine…. (a poem about school):

Listen to the original song and share with your students. What do they imagine about education and school? Here’s what some elementary school students wrote me when I asked their class to give me questions they’d like to know answers about! Imagine if they had the time to explore as they wanted?

In Ken Wilson’s blog, he shares a guest post, Guest blog 21 – Beccy on teaching ‘difficult’ primary school pupils…:

I’d never met children with such a low opinion of their own abilities. And there were many like them in the class. The children were spectacularly down on themselves. They were disengaged. They thought they were “the worst class in the school”. Obviously, the urge to do something about this was strong.

In Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day blog, he tells us in his post, The Best Resources For Learning How To Use The Dictogloss Strategy With English Language Learners:

Dictogloss is primarily a listening and writing activity used with English Language Learners. It can certainly be done a number of different ways but, very simply-put, the teacher reads a short text, often one students are familiar with…Here are few of the best resources that I’ve found on using the dictogloss strategy.

In Erika Osváth’s For English Teachers – Angoltanároknak blog, she describes in her post, Our children transforming education in action:

Kids can do this so naturally, so why don’t WE, adults learn from them? It’s high time we paid more attention to what kids can teach us before they go to school and all their innate knowledge, abilities and aptitudes are slowly or quickly, for that matter, anaesthetised and then killed.

In Mark Chapman’s The TESOL Zone blog, he says in his post, ESL Writing for Children:

Writing is an important, if sometimes neglected skill, when teaching children English… It is needed at school, it deepens the student’s understanding of English grammar and vocabulary, it helps students develop their own thinking, provides an alternative creative output for children, allows students to work at their own pace alone, or can be used to encourage group work and more social interaction.

In Kevin Gallagher’s AbsolutESL blog, he says in his post, Humor in the ESL Classroom:

Whether I like to admit it or not, one of my biggest struggles in any classroom is maintain the attention of my students. It seems humor, especially in the East Asian countries where I taught, can help to break the ice.

In Mary Ann Zehr’s Learning the Language blog, she points out in her post, The Nation Sees a Drop in Latino Preschool Enrollment:

Yoshikawa observed that Mexican-American preschoolers have a very low rate of preschool enrollment in the United States, while the rate of enrollment for preschoolers in the country of origin of their families is very high.

Teaching YLs Effectively with Technology

In Burcu Akyol’s Blog My Integrating Technology Journey blog, she says in her post, DOs and DON’Ts of Blogging With Students:

This is a little reminder for the blogging ISTEK teachers. These guidelines are specific to our school but some of the suggestions might be valid for the other blogging teachers too.

In Eva Büyüksimkeşyan’s A Journey in TEFL blog, she describes in her post, Easy to Use Web 2.0 Tools:

They are digital natives, I know but they are only good at playing computer games and as they are young learners they are slower than the teenagers. However, they are more motivated and enthusiastic. I belive if they hear their voices published on their class blogs they will be more willing.

In Graham Stanley’s and Kyle Mawer’s Digital ELT Play blog, they describe in their post, Playing video games = Healthy body, healthy mind:

You’ve probably sat on a bus or train and see someone playing ‘braintraining‘ and finding out how old their brain is. You may even have played it yourself. This popular hand held puzzle video game was designed by a prominent neuroscientist who claims that playing the games’ puzzles reduces the chances of dementia in old age.

In the Pumkin English blog, the new free Iphone app for kids is described:

Learn the colors for free with our new iPhone app. We were on the iTunes “Whats New and Noteworthy” area. So you can be assured that it is noteworthy. In fact it is much more than noteworthy it’s amazing!

In Jennifer Verschoor’s My Integrating Technology Journey blog, she says in her post, Virtual Worlds for Young Learners:

Motivate your young learners by introducing virtual worlds in your daily teaching. I´ve been uploading several virtual worlds in my Web 2.0 online calendar!

In my post, Survival Tips for Teaching Kids English: 30 Tips & Resources, I reflect:

I remember teaching a group of 14 seven to eight year-old students. They climbed the walls (oddly there were racks on the walls), fought a lot, and flew paper airplanes everywhere. I went home after a 9 hour day and cried. I wanted to quit. I have a fighting spirit, though, so I went online to research lessons and ideas. Throughout the four years that I have been teaching in Germany I have collected some great research, resources, and tips to make me a much better English teacher of young learners!

Looking forward to the next carnival?
The Carnival welcomes any blog posts, including examples of student work, that are related to teaching or learning English. You can contribute a post to it by using this easy submission form. If the form does not work for some reason, you can send the link to Larry Ferlazzo via his Contact Form. The following edition will be published by Eva Buyuksimkesyan on September 1st. The November 1st edition will be hosted by Berni Wall. Let Larry Ferlazzo know if you might be interested in hosting future editions.
You can see all the previous editions of the ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival here.


Try any of these resources with your young learners.

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What are your tips for working with young learners?

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  1. 3

    Always appreciate your innovative ways of presenting things… cool music too!
    I’ll be digesting these posts this week and its given me a good reminder to focus more on the area where I’m trained – Young Learners!

  2. 5

    Hi Shelly,
    Thanks for putting all of this together and including my post. 🙂 I love the Vuvox slideshow and I’ll be cross-posting on my blog soon!

  3. 6
    Marisa Constantinides

    Thank you so much dear Shelly for including my post and creating this great resource for teachers of young learners!
    I love your presentation of these blogs!!!

  4. 7

    This is awesome!
    If I was teaching YL’s would have loved to share in the Carnival. 🙂
    I also just love the Vuvox as away to share, highlight, enhance blog and preso sharing.
    Very cool!

  5. 8

    A real must for any young learner teacher. Thanks, Shelly, will be spreading the word.

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