That wonderful activity that used to be so popular among your groups doesn’t work anymore? One of the reasons is that a lot has changed in recent years, and we need to rethink the principles we use to plan our lessons for young learners, keeping in mind that the lessons should always be engaging, enjoyable and relevant to this age group.
Here are some new competencies that can be incorporated into English language teaching for children:
- Digital & Media Literacy: With the increasing use of technology in education, teaching digital literacy skills is essential. Children should learn how to navigate online resources, use digital tools for language learning, and understand internet safety. Teach children to critically analyze and evaluate media content, such as advertisements, news articles, and videos. Help them develop skills to identify biases, misleading information, and persuasive techniques, enabling them to be discerning consumers of English-language media.
- Intercultural Communication: Encourage children to develop an appreciation for different cultures and languages. Teach them to communicate respectfully and effectively with people from diverse backgrounds, fostering cultural sensitivity and understanding.
- Social & Emotional Learning: Promote the development of emotional intelligence in children by incorporating activities that encourage self-expression, empathy, and understanding of emotions. Engage them in discussions, storytelling, and role-plays that address emotions and promote effective communication. Critical Thinking and problem solving are essential and we can incorporate activities that promote these skills, such as puzzles, riddles, and language games. Encourage children to think creatively and independently, applying their language knowledge to solve problems. Foster a collaborative learning environment where children work together on projects, group discussions, and language-based activities. Encourage them to cooperate, share ideas, and learn from one another.
- Multimodal Communication: Explore various forms of communication beyond traditional reading and writing. Integrate visual, auditory, and kinesthetic elements into lessons, incorporating videos, songs, role-plays, and hands-on activities to enhance comprehension and engagement.
- Global Citizenship: Instill a sense of global citizenship by incorporating topics such as human rights, social justice, and global challenges into English lessons. Engage children in discussions and activities that promote empathy, respect, and responsibility towards others and the world.
These competencies should be integrated into age-appropriate and engaging activities, ensuring successful learning experiences for the learners. Provide opportunities for them to face challenges, take risks, and learn from mistakes. Encourage a growth mindset and foster a positive learning environment.