APPInep e-newsletter_Autumn_2018 APPInep e-Newsletter 12.7 - Page 4

theory, and are excellent opportunities for as well as getting meaning across very meaningful interaction. However, for these successfully. Or repeating a chunk of language activities to succeed, learners need to know acquired in a story, but in a different context, why they are working in pairs and be able to e.g. winning a game and saying ‘I’m the best!’, reflect on how well they succeeded in speaking a chunk of language acquired from its in repetition in a story of the same name. English and completing the activity’s objectives. This has implications for planning and activity set up. 3) Children have a capacity for indirect learning, for this is how they learned their mother tongue. 6) Focusing on meaning – implicit in many of In the L2, using the language meaningfully these points, yet often overlooked. For young allows for this capacity to kick in. An activity learners, the focus must be on meaning, for a which involves guessing what someone is focus on form comes later, through experience thinking will involve children eagerly using the and discovery. question form ‘Is it a …?’, and the response These six points are interconnected and have comes as naturally, ‘Yes, it is!’. The learners been artificially teased apart here. But they place are focused on the task, guessing the object, an onus on active, meaningful language use over and are using the language meaningfully and and above anything else. instinctively. This is a real task, yet it is also an excellent drill! Specificity 4: Teaching children 4) Children have an instinct for play, so activities Halliwell (1992: 3-6) summarises the unique become qualities children bring to the classroom. Many of children make them so. They put immense these effort into a mime game or a dramatization. qualities fit nicely with Tomlinson’s facilitators of L2 acquisition. 1) Children come to school with an innate ability to grasp meaning, using intonation, facial expression, gesture, actions and the context in which all this is happening. This is extremely dramatic and enjoyable because They really do have a secret that needs discovering and delight in their peers struggling to find it! Halliwell describes children living the language for real through their sense of fun and play, which is what we want children to do! useful when learning a language, as the 5) Children have a tendency for imagination in general message is understood at its basic learning, and this is still their reality, even in level. Over time, and with further exposure, this Grades 3 and 4. Taking on the roles of understanding is dissected and analysed characters in stories, describing monsters, resulting in a deeper level of understanding. including extinct creatures in a list of pets are 2) Children can also be very creative when using their own limited language resources. This is well documented as children acquire their mother tongue, and there is evidence that this all part of their imaginary world. Picture books and stories also support and develop this imagination. Imagination in action requires language and this is key. is the case in an L2 as well. Children use what 6) Children have an instinct for interaction and they know to get their meaning across, so talk! This can sometimes be a problem, but we adding a firm negative may result in ‘No like!’ need to ensure it is used to our advantage.