How can we provide challenge for a child who is learning English

  • Children can really learn a language if they are playing.
  • Never force a child to speak, they will when they are ready.
  • Children learn best when they are interested in something.
  • Children pick up languages best if there is a context and reason to use it.

Young children learn through their senses with a trial and error approach. While gradually learning boundaries and expectations is important, it is totally normal for very young children not to behave in the way that an adult expects. By observing children and really tuning into their interests, we can plan activities and experiences that are age-appropriate and engaging. When children are engaged in motivating and meaningful activities, their ‘behaviour’ is less of an issue.

When we assess a young child, we are asking ourselves “What do my observations tell me about this child?”Assessment is about analysing our observations and understanding the potential of each child.

When a child learns something new or develops a new skill, we often call this a ‘magic’ or a ‘wow’ moment. Observation and really knowing the child are key to recognising these developmental milestones. We can plan the next steps for a child’s learning after we have observed a developmental milestone.

All young children are learning something, and assessment in early childhood means analysing what a child can do. Comparing a child to his or her classmates is not useful, as it doesn’t tell us anything about what individual progress a child has made (what they knew or could do before, what they know and can do now). Assessment in early childhood is about helping children move forward in their learning and development, and labelling a child ‘intelligent’ doesn’t help them make progress in any way. To give a child confidence, it is more useful to comment on a specific thing they have done well, rather than give them a generic label.

Children should be assessed in a genuine situation rather than through a contrived, adult-led test. Asking a child to count is not a reliable way of gathering information, as the child may become anxious when asked to ‘perform’, may not understand why they are being asked to count, or may not feel confident enough to share what they can do, even though they actually do know how to count. By observing the children while they are playing, the teacher sees that, as well as being able to count to five, the child also knows the colours blue and pink. Had the focus of the assessment just been on counting, the teacher might have missed this.

Spending time with children, and observing what they know and can do, will help you provide the right amount of challenge and support. For a child who is learning English, this could be knowing their favourite story or song and encouraging them to join in with key refrains, observing that they understand the words for different toys in English and encouraging them to say some of these words, or modelling key language associated with a particular activity.

© British Council

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Como vc pode ajudar no desenvolvimento da linguagem de uma criança.

Existem várias formas de ajudar a uma criança no seu desenvolvimento de vocabulário em inglês. Abaixo seguem algumas dessas ideias

You will notice quite a rich and varied vocabulary. We wouldn’t be expecting a child to produce this kind of language, especially if English is an additional language, but the adult can expose the child to this language, inputting key words and expressions associated with different activities in a fun and natural way. Remember that children like playing with words, even if they don’t know what the word means, and this is a valuable opportunity to work on pronunciation.

Children will reap the future benefits of this language rich environment, so closely connected to the activities that they love doing.

Playing with blocks

  • use language for counting and sorting: How many are there? Shall we put the blue ones here?
  • use positional language: in, on, under, below, behind, next to
  • explore language related to size: big, small, long, short
  • describe what a child is doing while playing: finding, stacking, pulling, pushing, building, pressing, dragging
  • describe shapes and objects the children are making: square, rectangle, tower, house, castle, garden

Dress-ups (and drama)

  • describe the costumes (fairy, princess, pirate, king, clown) and actions for getting dressed: put on, pull up/down, zip up, do the buttons up, unbutton, unzip
  • highlight the relevant parts of the body: put your arms through here, tie this around your waist/wrist, put these on your feet – first your left foot, then your right foot, put this over your head
  • use nursery rhymes and stories to model language for imaginary play
  • develop listening comprehension by encouraging the children act out the rhyme or story in their costumes
  • extend vocabulary associated with role-play: hospital, airport, artist’s studio, garden centre, vet, doctor, routines (breakfast/lunch/dinner/bed time)

Making and decorating (art and craft)

  • name the materials: paint, paintbrush, crayon, felt-tip, marker, card, paper, crepe paper, shiny paper, tissue paper, newspaper, glue, scissors, cotton wool, fabric, sequins, feathers
  • describe properties and textures of materials: runny, thick, smooth, hard, long, short, spiky, rough, shiny
  • experiment with and describe colour
  • use instructions: paint, draw, colour, smudge, blur, blow, copy, pour, make, cut, stick, decorate, hang (it) up
  • art appreciation and describing what the children have made, painted or drawn.

Malleable materials (dough, plasticine, clay)

  • use language of manipulation: push, pull, drop, squeeze, press, bend, twist, roll, stretch, squash, squish, pinch, flatten, poke, scrape, break apart
  • describe length/thickness: longer than, shorter than, the same length as
  • use language related to colour and smells
  • describe texture: soft, hard, squishy, lumpy, grainy, shiny
  • talk about materials that can be added to dough: feathers, sticks, twigs, shells
  • explore language related to shapes

Music and movement activities

  • use language related to actions, position and parts of the body: put your hands up in the air, draw circles in the air, touch your nose, wriggle your fingers, jump, hop, lie face down on the floor, lie on your back, move over there, come closer, curl up into a ball, stretch your arms out as wide as you can, take a nap
  • name musical instruments: shaker, drum, recorder, xylophone, block, triangle, bell, tambourine
  • use language to describe sounds: loud, quiet, soft, high, low, long, short, fast, slow, tap, shake, scrape, knock, tick, hum, howl
  • familiarise children with a range of sounds through onomatopoeia
  • use songs and rhymes to work on pronunciation, rhythm, stress and intonation

Toys and small world play

  • extend vocabulary related to a particular topic: park, zoo, farm, hospital, transport
  • comment on the objects, toys or figurines the children are playing with
  • comment on the settings, scenes, themes or storylines children are developing as they play
  • describe the position of the things the children are playing with: behind, next to, in, on, under

Puzzles

  • describe the pictures and colours on the puzzles
  • comment on the shape of the puzzle pieces: rectangle, square, triangle, circle
  • comment on the position of the puzzle pieces: up/down, here/there
  • encourage the social aspects of using puzzles: take turns, it’s your turn next, share

Sand play and water play

  • use language related to equipment and resources: brush, spade, scoop, spoon, cup, jug, bucket, sieve, cutters, rake, comb, funnel, sponge, soap, bubbles, straw, ladle, tea pot, watering can
  • extend vocabulary related to imaginary play: boats, diggers, bulldozers, tractors, treasure, dinosaurs, pirates, gardens, tea party, firefighter, plumber, dolls
  • use descriptive language: wet, dry, damp, gritty, hard, lumpy, flat, smooth, wavy, sticky, cold, frozen, clean, dirty
  • use language related to size, shape and position
  • describe capacity and quantity: enough, more, less, too much/little, overflowing, how much/many? a pile/cup of…
  • describe actions or what is happening: it’s fallen down, it’s gone, flatten, pour, tip, fill, scoop, cover, stir, splash, leak, drip, float, sink, trickle, spray, wash, dry.

Supporting and extending language development

Through interactions we can support and extend a child’s learning and development, particularly in the area of communication and language.

Apart from building an emotional connection with the child through interactions, children benefit from hearing lots of talk, conversations and words. In 2012, Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Meredith Rowe, carried out a study which looked at what contributes most to a child’s later vocabulary development. She found that:

  • children’s vocabulary at 30 months was influenced by the quantity of words parents used one year earlier,
  • their vocabulary at 42 months was influenced by parents’ use of a variety of sophisticated words one year earlier,
  • their vocabulary at 54 months was influenced by parents’ use of narratives and explanations one year earlier.

Adults can interact by talking, listening and responding to the child.

Even if a child is not yet able to communicate verbally, the adult can contribute to the exchange using language. For example:

The child grizzles because he is feeling hungry.
Adult: I can see you’re upset. Would you like some milk?
Child nods.

The child rubs her eyes.
Adult: You look sleepy. I think it’s time for a nap.

The child flaps her arms excitedly.
Adult: I know you like that song! It goes la, la, la, la!
Child squeals in delight.

By showing genuine interest in the child and adding interest to what the child has offered, we are building trust, communication, and developing the child’s language skills all at the same time.

We can support and extend a child’s language development, just by being with them and interacting in a natural way.

Why is it important for a child to feel happy and safe in order to learn?

How can we provide a proper environment for children to develop?

Here are a few examples:

  • Provide optimal conditions for rich play: space, time, flexible resources, choice, control, warm and supportive relationships.
  • Make materials easily accessible at child height, to ensure everybody can make choices.
  • Provide experiences and activities that are challenging but achievable.
  • Provide activities that require give and take or sharing for things to be fair.
  • Plan first-hand experiences and challenges appropriate to the development of the children.
  • Convey to each child that you appreciate them and their efforts.
  • Ensure children have uninterrupted time to play and explore.
  • Incorporate recognisable and predictable routines to help children to predict and make connections in their experiences.
  • Use puppets and other props to encourage listening and responding when singing a familiar song or reading from a story book.
  • When you use songs and nursery rhymes, help children understand the words by using actions as well.
  • Help children to predict and order events coherently, by providing props and materials that encourage children to re-enact, using talk and action.
  • Set up displays that remind children of what they have experienced, using objects, artefacts, photographs and books.
  • Display pictures and photographs showing familiar events, objects and activities and talk about them with the children.
  • Provide activities which help children to learn to distinguish differences in sounds, word patterns and rhythms.
  • Encourage correct use of language by telling repetitive stories, and playing games which involve repetition of words or phrases.
  • Follow young children’s lead and have fun together while developing vocabulary, e.g. saying ‘We’re jumping up’, ‘crouching down low’.
  • Talk through and comment on some activities to highlight specific vocabulary or language structures, e.g. “You’ve got a blue ball. I’ve got a green ball. Hannah’s got a red ball”.
  • Provide collections of interesting things for children to sort, order, count and label in their play.
  • Provide different sizes and shapes of containers in water play, so that children can experiment with quantities and measures.
  • Offer a range of puzzles with large pieces and knobs or handles to support success in fitting shapes into spaces.
  • Provide a wide range of materials, resources and sensory experiences to enable children to explore colour, texture and space.
  • Provide space and time for movement and dance both indoors and outdoors.
  • Lead imaginative movement sessions based on children’s current interests such as space travel, zoo animals or shadows.
  • Provide a place where work in progress can be kept safely.

Aprendendo Brincando

Play and learning

‘What did you do at school today?’ ‘We just played.’

We’ve talked about why children play and the benefits of play, but the idea still persists that if it’s too much fun, children are not learning.

However, the evidence suggests the opposite. Research shows that children actually learn through play. Play is learning.

Children need time to play

Play is fun, all children love playing, and children learn so much through play without even realising it. So we need to give children time to play, not just ten minutes when they finish their ‘work’.

When children play, they are experimenting with ideas, testing hypotheses, mastering skills, using their imaginations and representing their world. If you cut out play when teaching English you are removing a vital step in childhood development.

Here are a few examples of the different types of things children are learning and developing as they play.

  • When playing with play dough  children develop their fine motor skills. Children are working on hand-eye coordination and building up the muscles in their hands and fingers when modelling plasticine. These are valuable pre-writing skills, as good muscle strength and hand-eye coordination will help children hold and use writing tools properly later on. By playing with plasticine, children are also experimenting with things like colour, shape and texture.

  • When playing with dolls and a tub of water they are learning about the concepts of wet and dry, floating and sinking, clean and dirty. They are also engaging in sensory play, and experimenting with the way water feels.

  • When playing with musical instrumentschildren are developing sound recognition (the sounds that different instruments make and an understanding of how sounds can change (e.g. high, low, soft, loud, fast slow) and an appreciation of music. These valuable listening skills are transferable to the area of language and communication.

  • When playing with transport toys, children are experimenting with friction and motion, up and down, forwards and backwards, fast and slow.

  • When children are playing with blocks, they are learning about colour, shape and patterns, as well as the concepts of weight, size, height, length, vertical and horizontal.

  • In dramatic play and small world play(acting out scenes from real life, stories and/or imagination created with small figures and objects) children are representing ideas that help them make sense of the world around them. They can also experiment with playing different roles and inventing different scenarios, taking them beyond the real world and developing their imagination.

Toys and resources for play should be chosen on the basis that they are:

  • safe – toys should be checked regularly and broken toys thrown out.
  • clean – soft toys and dressing up clothes should be machine washed regularly.
  • age appropriate – no toys with loose or small parts for babies and toddlers (0-3 years), safety scissors provided for children who are learning to cut, sharp objects stored out of reach.

Adults should:

  • provide adequate supervision of children at all times.
  • model safe practice and behaviour.
  • set clear boundaries according to the child’s age and stage of development.
  • encourage children to respect each other while playing.
  • encourage children to think of the consequences of their actions.

Children will learn better knowing that they can play without hurting themselves, and are safe to experiment with new and different things.

How children acquire language

https://view.vzaar.com/8252498/download/hd

Every child is unique. Children develop different skills and knowledge at their own pace and in different ways. As adults, it is important that we respect and value these different ways and rates of developing and learning.

A child who is not speaking may be actively listening and may need time to process what they are hearing before saying anything. It is important to value listening as well as speaking – non verbal responses from young children are perfectly acceptable. They show that the child has understood the message.

Having fun with the sounds of a language, experimenting with words in rhymes and songs, and saying things over and over again, are all things young children enjoy. When children do these things, they are learning new words, language structures and pronunciation, without even realizing it!

While in some cases translating may be necessary in order to put a child at ease, very young children may not understand even if you say it to them in their home language. Young children acquire language naturally, and this is also true for an additional language. Using mime and gesture, showing the children what you want them to do, and encouraging them to join in, are generally more effective ways of communicating meaning. The more English children hear, the more they will be able to produce in the future.

16-26 months

  • Copies familiar expressions, e.g. Oh dear! All gone!
  • Explores and experiments using senses and whole body.

22-36 months

  • Listens with interest to the noises adults make when they read stories.
  • Is interested in others’ play and is starting to join in.
  • Runs safely on whole foot.
  • Is aware that some actions can hurt or harm others.
  • Repeats words or phrases from familiar stories.
  • Recites some number names in sequence.
  • Experiments with blocks, colors and marks.

30-50 months

  • Responds to simple instructions, e.g. Put your toys away.
  • Can catch a large ball.
  • Notices what adults do, imitating what is observed and then doing it spontaneously when the adult is not there.
  • Can play in a group.
  • Holds books the correct way up and turns pages.

40-60+ months

  • Uses a pencil and holds it effectively.
  • Extends vocabulary by grouping, naming, and exploring the sounds of new words.
  • Writes own name and other things such as labels or captions.
  • Constructs with a purpose in mind, using a variety of resources.

Some advice for parents and educators.

  • A child who is not speaking may be actively listening and may need time to process what they are hearing before saying anything. It is important to value listening as well as speaking by giving the child lots of exposure to the language.
  • Non verbal responses from young children are perfectly acceptable. They show that the child has understood the message.
  • Don’t force a child to speak, they will when they are ready. Forcing a child to speak before they are ready could actually delay language development.
  • Be genuine in your interactions with young children.
  • Use mime and gesture as you would if you were talking to the child in their home language.
  • Value the home language. The skills that children develop while learning their home language are transferable to an additional language.

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about how children learn and how they acquire language, or you have completed the activities with time to spare, have a look at the links and videos below.

  • Read this article on how to help young children learn English as another language.
  • Watch What do babies think? by psychologist Alison Gopnik.
  • Watch The linguistic genius of babies by professor of speech and hearing sciences Dr Patricia Kuhl.
  • Read this article about how talking to babies and young children builds their brains.

International Women’s Day 2019

International Women’s Day is celebrated each year all around the world on March 8th. It is considered as a worldwide event which celebrates every woman’s victories & achievements ranging from social to political things. It is also observed by various communities all around the world such as charity farms, government organizations, business grounds, and etc. This special day also brings to notice about one of the most important factors that is ‘Gender Equality’. This remarkable celebration started all way back from 1900’s and nowadays various big organization and industries have already started to consider this day as an important day all around the world. There is also an interesting thing to look on this day. There are a lot’s of colors which effectively signify this day. Globally purple color is used to symbolize women. But there is a brief history behind this color code. Initially purple, green and white colors were used to symbolize and represent women’s equality.

It was originated back in 1908 from Women’s Social and Political Union which was located in the United Kingdom (UK). The color white is used for symbolizing purity but as a matter of fact, the color white is no longer considered to symbolize the word purity as because many things it is a controversial topic. The color Green symbolizes hope; purple represents women from all round view. There are two new combinations which represent two new concepts about feminism. One is purple with yellow which symbolizes contemporary progressive feminism and another is purple with green which symbolizes traditional norms of feminism. If anyone looks at the timeline then the International Women’s Day from the very beginning was celebrated by communist type countries and active socialists. Later in 1975, it was adopted by United Nations (UN) and now it is now widely celebrated all around the world.

https://www.womensdayquotes.net/

As Novas Palavras Criadas em Inglês na Atualidade

Cat café’ and other words added to OxfordDictionaries.com

NBD, but are you ready to fangirl over our dictionary update? Abso-bloody-lutely. We’ve got some awesomesauce new words – no, rly – that will inform and entertain whether you’re hangry or it’s already wine o’clock. Mic drop.

Mic drops, awesomesauce, manspreading, and more

Let’s pick that mic up again and check out some of the words that have been added to OxfordDictionaries.com in the world of informal language. The mic drop in question can be a literal ‘instance of deliberately dropping or tossing aside one’s microphone at the end of a performance or speech one considers to have been particularly impressive’, but it’s more likely to be figurative – or an exclamation to emphasize a particularly impressive point: Nuff said. Mic drop.

Mic drop has been added to OxfordDictionaries.com

If you want to describe something as excellent, you can use awesomesauce; on the other side of the coin, anything of a poor or disappointing standard is weak sauce. Weak sauce came first, and has a more comprehensible origin as a metaphor; an inadequate sauce would certainly let down an otherwise decent meal. Though awesomesauce clearly comes from the words awesome and sauce, the former is currently beating the latter in the Oxford English Corpus and Oxford Twitter Corpus.

Why say banter (‘playfully teasing or mocking remarks exchanged with another person or group’) when you can save a syllable with bants? (Be careful where you use it, though; the term might be recognized in the UK, but is likely to get bemused looks elsewhere.) And, speaking of brevity, the initialism NBDcan take the place of no big deal, while rly is handy textspeak for really. SJW stands for social justice warrior, which is also added in this update. It’s ‘a person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views’, but the word is used derogatively, usually by those who do not share these views.

You may remember mansplain from last year’s update. It’s now joined by the noun manspreading: ‘the practice whereby a man, especially one travelling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seats’. If you’re a gentleman reading this on the bus … can we suggest you arrange your legs considerately? Rly.

Manic pixie dream girl has been added from the world of film criticism: find out more in our video post.

Other informal terms in this update include brain fart, bitch face, bruh, butthurt, fur baby, MacGyver, mkay, rando, and swole.

Mx, Grexit, and other words in the news

Among the additions in the August update, there are those that relate to recent news and events. The blends Brexit (British/Britain + exit) and Grexit (Greek/Greece + exit) were coined in 2012, relating to potential departures of the United Kingdom from the European Union and Greece from the eurozone (those countries which use the euro as their national currency).

Mx has been added to OxfordDictionaries.com

The honorific Mx has also been added to OxfordDictionaries.com. It’s used (in the same way as Mr, Miss, Mrs, Ms etc.) before a person’s surname or full name as a gender-neutral title. Katherine Martin, Head of US Dictionaries, recently spoke with the New York Times about the rising popularity of the term, which is first found in the late 1970s and has gained significant traction since.

Hangry?

Some fanciful words relating to food and drink are also included in the August update. Beer o’clock and wine o’clock are humorous terms for the (supposedly) appropriate times of day for having your first glass of either drink. You might need to start the meal earlier if you’re feeling hangry: a blend of hungry and angry, meaning ‘bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger’. Anything snackable will come in handy.

Hangry has been added to OxfordDictionaries.com

English often forms new words using existing suffixes, and the realm of food and drink shows several such innovations. From the –y ending comes cheffy (relating to, or characteristic of, a chef) and melty (melting or partially melted); from the –ery ending, we get cidery (a place where cider is made) and cupcakery (a bakery that specializes in cupcakes). The latter is a venue where you’re unlikely to have the option of cakeage, which is ‘a charge made by a restaurant for serving a cake that they have not supplied themselves’, and another word created by the inclusion of a common suffix. The word is modelled on the pattern of corkage, where the same rule applies to wine. And if you can’t bring yourself to have the finest things in life separately, there is now the option of a cat café, where café patrons can eat while surrounded by feline friends.

Cat café has been added to OxfordDictionaries.com

Edible additions to OxfordDictionaries.comfrom Australian English include Anzac biscuit, barmaid’s blush (typically red wine mixed with lemonade or beer mixed with raspberry cordial), battered sav (battered saveloy sausage), and lolly cake (a cake containing sweets, known generically as lollies in Australian and New Zealand English).

Gaming and the Internet

Whether you’re a Redditor, a YouTuber, or more used to handling physical meeples(playing pieces in certain board games), this update has terms that’ll come in handy. Some don’t show the finer side of the human character: rage-quit is a verb meaning to ‘angrily abandon an activity or pursuit that has become frustrating’, and is especially used in relation to video games.

Rage-quit has been added to OxfordDictionaries.com

One reason you might rage-quit is because you are being pwned: that is, utterly defeated by an opponent. This informal term is used more often in video gaming, and supposedly resulted from a common mistyping of own with this sense, as a result of the proximity of p and o on a computer keyboard. Along with pwn comes pwnage(and ownage), being ‘the action or fact of utterly defeating an opponent or rival’.

A Redditor is a registered user of the website Reddit; the word is formed on the pattern of editor, and the site relies upon user-submitted content, posted in subreddits(forums dedicated to specific topics). Users might well post content that they consider glanceable, shareable, and even snackable – which can refer to online content designed to be read or viewed quickly, as well as to food.

Other additions from the sphere of technology and the Internet include spear phishing (‘the fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information’), and blockchain (‘a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly’). Nor are mobile phones left out: butt-dial and pocket-dialhave been added, denoting that awkward moment when you dial someone’s number by mistake while your phone is in your pocket.