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

Os cinco erros mais comuns no aprendizado de inglês.  

 Por que todo mundo acha que é tão difícil de aprender uma língua? E que requer muito tempo para praticar? Poderia ser porque todos nós temos alguns maus hábitos que não estamos cientes?

Vamos dar uma olhada nos erros mais comuns e descobrir como podemos evitá-los.

1. Vá devagar
Quando a aventura de uma nova lingua começa, o seu entusiasmo não conhece limites. Isso é algo muito positivo. Por outro lado, é importante não depender de entusiasmo sozinho. Quando a novidade e excitação inicial terminarem, você pode não saber onde encontrar a motivação para aprender. É melhor ir devagar.  Controle  o seu entusiasmo e certifique-se que a aprendizagem de uma língua se torne uma atividade diária e regular.

Dez minutos por dia é melhor do que ralar durante uma semana e nada depois disso.

2. Os benefícios da memória 
Memorizar frases inteiras podem ser úteis em determinadas situações, como pegar sua bagagem no aeroporto, Mas não vai ser útil quando temas surgem em conversa que não estavam no livro que você memorizou. 

Use sua memória para torná-la sua aliada. Saiba frases e palavras com as quais você pode fazer associações. E quando uma palavra não parece querer sair, procure uma alternativa do que você quer dizer. 

3. Ninguém é perfeito
Ninguém é perfeito e você não deve tentar ser! Um dos obstáculos no caminho para o domínio fluente de uma língua é a necessidade que você coloca em si mesmo para falar com pronúncia perfeita e livre de erros de gramática. Claro, você pode e vai chegar lá com muita prática, mas não deve ser a mais alta prioridade quando você está começando a conhecer uma linguagem completamente nova. 
 Dê-se uma pausa e não tenha medo de errar. 

4. So trabalho e nenhuma diversão 
Quando você defini um grande objetivo, como aprender uma nova língua é importante desenvolver alguma práticas regulares. Voce deve estudar com rotina, procurar assistir a filmes sem legenda, aprender a cantar uma música, praticar com um nativo. 

5. O objetivo é sempre importante
Manter um objetivo em vista aumenta a motivação. Antes de começar, defina uma meta! Por que você quer aprender inglês? Para um crescimento profissional, para viajar, para estudar fora ou para interagir com estrangeiros?

Boa sorte nos estudos e siga praticando 

In English. 

Let’s take a look at the most common mistakes and figure out how we can avoid them.
1. Take it slow
When the adventure of a new language starts, your enthusiasm knows no bounds. On the one hand, that’s something very positive. On the other hand, it’s important not to rely on enthusiasm alone. When the newness and initial excitement has worn off, you might not know where to find the motivation to learn. That’s why it’s necessary to steer your initial exuberance in the right direction, and not let it disappear like a flash in the pan. It’s better to take it slow – tame your enthusiasm and make sure that learning a language becomes a regular daily activity.
Otherwise something like this might happen: You’ll study every day for the first week. Already in the second week you’ll skip a day because you’re too tired. The following week it happens again, and then again the week after that. Soon, you’ll be staring, frustrated, at that pile of language books on your desk.
Our Tip: Steer your initial exuberance in the right direction and make sure that learning a language becomes a regular daily activity. Ten minutes a day is better than full-on for a week and then nothing after that.
2. The benefits of a bad memory
No, we’re not crazy. We’re talking to all those people who think that memorization is the key to everything, to everyone who boasts about their photographic memory, and to everyone who gets stuck on vocabulary lists. Don’t get us wrong: a good memory is definitely helpful, but one should not forget (no pun intended) to use and train it the right way.
Memorizing entire phrases can be helpful in certain, clearly-defined situations (like picking up your luggage at the airport, for example). But it won’t be of any benefit when topics come up in conversation that weren’t in that book you so diligently memorized.
Use your memory and make it your ally. Learn phrases and words with which you can make associations or create mnemonic devices. And when a word doesn’t seem to want to come out, find an alternative or paraphrase what you mean. In this way, you don’t only get your synapses firing, but you can also remember things better and for longer periods of time. Try it for yourself!
Our Tip: Your memory is an important ally if you use it intelligently.
3. Nobody’s perfect
No one is perfect… and you shouldn’t try to be! One of the first obstacles you encounter on the path to “fluent mastery” of a language is the absurd and premature demand you place on yourself to speak with perfect and error-free pronunciation and grammar. Of course, you can and will get there with a lot of practice, but it shouldn’t be the highest priority when you’re getting to know a completely new language.
If you get lost in especially complicated grammar when you’re trying to say something simple, or if you’re only sure of yourself when you don’t make even the smallest pronunciation mistakes, then it’s highly likely that within a few weeks, you’ll give up out of total frustration.
“Until I can speak perfectly, I won’t speak. But if I don’t speak, I’ll never improve and can give up hope of ever being able to speak perfectly”. It’s a Catch 22!
Our Tip: Give yourself a break and don’t be afraid to make mistakes! You’ll soon see the progress that’ll bring you closer to your goal.
4. All work and no play…
It’s exactly you – so tirelessly and steadfastly learning – who we’re speaking to here: Are you finally going to get up out of that chair, or do you want to put down roots right where you’re sitting? You’re diligent and persistent. You’ve used your memory and your desire to learn in the best way possible. You’ve trusted yourself to speak to people because you understand that we all learn from making mistakes. And now? Now it’s time to give yourself a reward!
When you set such a big goal as learning a new language, it’s important now and then to pat yourself on the back and enjoy the success you’ve achieved. You’ve managed to have your first real-life conversation? You’ve got all that difficult pronunciation down? You’ve gotten through the jungle of pronouns? Then you should celebrate it and do something fun! Watch a film, sing a song at the top of your lungs, or listen to the radio… but, of course, in the language you’re learning! When you couple language learning with activities that bring you joy, you’ll learn more effectively and remember what you’ve learned more easily.
Our Tip: You don’t have to learn like a crazy person. There should also be time to combine the enjoyable with the practical, and have fun while learning!
5. The goal is always within sight
Learn the art of always keeping your goal within sight. Of course, anyone could say that learning for learning’s sake is the ideal picture of education… that goes without saying. But if you want to reach the end of the road, it’s important that you’re aware of why you stepped onto the path in the first place.
Why are you learning a new language? For love? To get a raise? Because you want to try your luck in a new country? Because you can’t stand films that are dubbed? Very good. Keep your goal in sight and imagine that with every tiny step forward, the path to your goal gets shorter and the top of the mountain gets closer.
Our Tip: Keeping a goal in sight increases motivation. Before you start, set a goal!
Ready to learn a new language? Use the tips above for a fresh start.